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Fort William to Lake District

My husband & I are driving from Fort William to Lake District in September. Google says 4.5 hours(just driving) on the Highways, but is that realistic? I know we will have to make stops for gas and hopefully some sightseeing (suggestions welcome). Should I expect the ride to be more like 6 to 8 hours. We are not stopping in Glasgow.

Posted by
3942 posts

Add at least 25% to any Google Maps timings plus any stops that you make.

The Glencoe and Loch Lomond areas are two obvious potential stops without detouring from your route.

Posted by
8889 posts

I am never quite sure what US-Americans mean when the say "highway". In British English a highway is an old-fashioned word for a main road, any main road. Legally a "Public Highway" is any road or path the public can travel along.

The route here: https://www.openstreetmap.org/directions?engine=graphhopper_car&route=56.8178%2C-5.1110%3B54.5999%2C-3.1327#map=8/55.729/-4.089
says Distance: 373km. Time: 4:02.o I would allow 5-6 hours.

The first half of the route, as far as Glasgow, is not a motorway (Autobahn/autoroute/autostrada). It is a normal two-lane single carriageway road. Going through villages and over moors. This is pretty, and will have lots of opportunity to stop.
For example this random location on Google streetview: https://goo.gl/maps/NqCN8QFjgXyCyiYw6

You then get motorway round Glasgow, and onward from there. After Glasgow it is again open underpopulated, but you are on a motorway so you cannot stop. Just press on.

Posted by
1064 posts

You might want to specify your destination in the Lake District. It is from 4 to 6 hours depending. Also be wary of shortcuts. We found ourselves in the mountains of Cumbria on a road that had a sign posted "You Have Been Warned".

Posted by
25 posts

Posted by Chris F
Basel, Switzerland
03/13/20 10:42 AM
8869 posts
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I am never quite sure what US-Americans mean when the say "highway". In British English a highway is an old-fashioned word for a main road, any main road. Legally a "Public Highway" is any road or path the public can travel along.

Sorry for the ambiguity, in the US, a highway is usually a fast moving road such as, in our case, an Interstate Highway where the seeds are above 65mph. I think the U.K. “M” roads would be what I consider a highway that is usually at much higher speeds. I really love the Glencoe area, thanks.

Thanks for the help

Also we are traveling to Grasmere in the Lake District

Posted by
25 posts

Jennifer’s. Thanks, will do.
Chris. Thanks for the links. I love that link to A82, is that Google Earth? And the route you sent is exactly what I have too. I was remembering what I heard that English miles taper not like our American miles, I assume that is do to the narrower roads,

I am very excited about this trip. We will also be in Skye for a few days.

Posted by
8889 posts

A highway is similar to what you would call a motorway.

Which the A82 ain't!
@sewscana, yes it is Google Earth. I searched for a route from Fort Willian to Keswick, pick a random location between Fort William and Glasgow and dropped the little man onto it. That is what came back. A lovely drive, but just a normal 2-line road going through villages, not a motorway.

  • Road numbers beginning "M", or Axx(M) = Motorway. Motor vehicles only. At least two lanes in each direction (usually 3), central reservation, no give way (no crossroads, roundabouts, traffic lights etc.), no sharp bends, entry and exit only at designated junctions which all have "slip roads" for entry and exit. Signposted in BLUE.
  • Road Numbers beginning with "A" = Main road, with local traffic, buildings fronting the road, pedestrians, bikes, tractors, roundabouts, traffic lights. Signposted in GREEN, or lesser ones in Black-and-white.
  • Road Numbers beginning with "B" = Lesser roads
  • Road with no number ("Unclassified roads") = Everything else.
Posted by
25 posts

Oh Chris, thank you so much. This information is great. My thoughts were correct about the “M” highways/Motorways. But the rest is excellent. Thank you again.
This forum is so wonderful. Everyone is so helpful..