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Vancouver Island to the Dales

Hello, everyone. I am a single mum who lives on Vancouver Island, and I am (finally) coming to the UK to meet and visit with family. I am a first-generation Canadian, and so I am very excited to be able to come and see all of my relatives and learn about my heritage.

I have loads of questions, made more complicated by the fact that I have never flown, so bear with me. If there is anything you can help me with, I would appreciate your advice very much.

My family are nestled in a little village called Askrigg, in the dales. Me and my two sons will be staying primarily near them, and I am looking for cottage rentals in the area. I've also got some family in Boroughbridge who've kindly said I can stay with them for a few days, but they are quite elderly and so I need to be sure we won't be a burden. We plan to explore mostly Yorkshire and perhaps up into Edinburgh if we have time, but I admit I am very limited with money and so it may be that we stay close to our base.

I have no idea how to get to where we're headed! I thought Vancouver--Manchester would be the best route, but my cousin tells me it's quite a drive from MAN to where they are. She says there are smaller airports such as Leeds, Teeside, and Newcastle that are much closer, so I am asking some advice here. Is our best bet to travel to London and then on to a smaller airport? What about flying to Dublin (I have a friend there I would love to meet), and then on to one of these smaller airports such as Leeds? If I take into account that I will likely need to rent a car to drive from the airport into the dales (I've heard the buses are not very regular in the countryside), which route do you think would be best for a lady who will be driving on a new side of the road?

I'll start with those, and hope that somebody can answer some of them. Thank you so very much for any and all suggestions!

Posted by
30 posts

England is smaller than you think! Manchester Airport to Boroughbridge is about a 2 hour drive, assuming you have no hold ups in traffic and an easy route on main roads. Leeds Bradford airport would still take you about an hour to Boroughbridge so I personally would fly direct into Manchester than have the hassle of taking/waiting for local flights.

I wouldn't rely on public transport for the Dales. There are buses, however, they are not regular and so you'd be spending your time stressing about when and where the next on is due.

Posted by
10 posts

Hello from a fellow Canadian!

I think the answer to your question all depends on how long you are willing to spend in commute (layover time between connecting flights included), and how much money you are willing to spend.

Leeds is your closest airport, if you want to go the fly into London route and then get another flight. Google flights puts the price of that short flight at around €108 right now.

Manchester is closer than London (about a 2 hour drive). There is an option to take a train from there which helps you avoid the whole driving while tired after a long flight on the wrong side of the road thing. But ideally you will need to rent a car anyway for your trip in order to get around. Because you're right, countryside and public transit are not really a match made in heaven. Just like in Canada.

So, yes.... again, the answer to your question depends a lot on how much time and money you are willing to invest.

I don't know if you have ever heard of goeuro? It's a travel app that compares flights, buses, trains, etc. Might also suggest car rentals? But don't take my word for that, I could be making that up lol. But anyway, it will give you multiple options to reach your destination, including the amount of time it will take and how much it costs. This is more practical probably from within Europe, but it might be helpful to check out.

If you can spare the time to stop in Dublin, do it! Spend a weekend there or so if you can. Ireland is gorgeous! You're already on the other side of the pond...might as well make it count.

Posted by
2554 posts

I would urge caution about jumping into a hire car on unfamiliar roads straight after an overnight flight. Tiredness can be a killer.

First visiting Dublin would be a way to overcome the effects of jetlag. You could then get a cheap flight with the likes of Ryanair to Leeds-Bradford, Newcastle or Manchester.

Air Transaat offer seasonal non stop flights to Manchester. Alternatively, their are easy connections to NCL, LBA and Durham-Tees Valley (limited) via hub airports such as Heathrow, Amsterdam, Dublin or Paris. KLM are good at offering connection to regional airports.

Use kayak, skyscanner or googleflights to look at the possibilities. Askrigg is a lovely part of the world.

Posted by
1467 posts

As a fellow North Westerner I am assuming that if you drive;. the distances in the UK are small compared to what we are used to driving. We often go to Van from Camano for an afternoon daytrip. If you are renting a car anyway: Vancouver- Manchester or Vancouver- London (Gatwick or Heathrow) have non-stop international flights available. Dublin would involve extra transfers, maybe Ryan Air? Just check which has the best price for you. I once flew from VAN to MAN on Mid-Summers Night: the flight was Polar and it was Daylight the whole way with high altitude views of Hudson Bay, with a stop-over in Iceland, and a fly-over of Ireland. Avoid SeaTac. The waits for check-in are too long.

Posted by
5837 posts

Just wondering if you could shorten the driving distance by taking the Transpennie Express train from Manchester to Northallerton which would be a closer stop to your family village. That would reduce the drive to 30 miles or an hour each way.

PS. Lovely countryside. We cross the Yorkshire Dales north of Askrigg traveling from Kirkby Stephen to Keld to Reeeth then Richmond.

Posted by
11507 posts

Best idea offered,,,airtransat to dublin first,,then ryanair to smaller airpot in england, then fly home from london, airtransat offers good prices on open jaw flights.( meaning into one city out of another)

Posted by
2 posts

Wow, thank you all so much for this advice and support! I am thrilled to have so many thorough replies. I will be taking all of your tips into account when I book. I appreciate your help so very much.