I will be spending my semester in London and would love to make a weekend trip to the Lake District (Northern). I wondered what the best method of transportation would be... I'm thinking obviously train or bus. Thanks!
Take the train to Oxenholme (that's as far as it goes) and then the local bus the rest of the way up to Keswick. I've done that several times and it works well! Another way to go, although I have never done this, is to take the train to Penrith, a town that is not far from Keswick and then take a bus. It takes about the same length of time.
I like the Oxenholme option best because the bus route takes you up through Ambleside, Grasmere and then up to Keswick...a stunningly beautiful drive. The drive from Penrith is OK (I've done it by car) but nothing compared to driving the road through the core of the lakes.
Thanks so much! Do you remember approximately how long the entire journey takes? I'm trying to do a Thursday night-Sunday afternoon trip... is it too much if I don't leave London until 6:oo pm?
Hello Natalie, I don't know about the Lake District, but it is on my list. What I can do is help with the trains. The first train meeting your requirements to Oxenholme for the Lake District is the 18:30 (6:30pm) Virgin Train from London Euston to Glasgow Central which calls at Oxenholme for the Lake District at 21:08 (9:08pm), after previously calling at Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston and Lancaster. Arriving at Oxenholme after dark (unless this is next summer) you would still have the not short ride to Keswick. That's at 125 mph. A bus would take plenty longer. Perhaps you could split the journey? To return to London on Sunday, assuming that the Sunday you want to return on isn't a Bank Holiday and that there are no planned weekend engineering works that day, there is an 18:28 (6:28pm) from Oxenholme for the Lake District which arrives at London Euston at 21:21 (9:21pm). Off-Peak return fares for that journey are £91.90. For mid September there are no Advance tickets that I can see. I don't know when you would want to go - it might be weather dependent unless you are not a fair weather walker. I also don't know your age so I don't know if you qualify to buy a Senior Railcard or 16-25 Railcard. If you do buy a railcard the journey could be reduced to £60.55. You'd save £31.15 which would just about pay for the railcard which costs £30 for a year. On any other journeys you'd be saving money. If you are hiking in the countryside it is always wise to have a walking buddy.
I was unable to find bus timetables for Oxenholme to Keswick. I hope that Anita will return and clarify this. I found that bus 555 runs from Windermere to Keswick. The last weekday departure is at 18:15, arriving at Keswick at 19:07. You could take a train from London Euston to Oxenholme, departing at 14:30 and arriving at 17:15. Take a train from Oxenholme to Windermere, departing at 17:44 and arriving at 18:03. You could leave London Euston at 18:30, connect in Oxenholme, and arrive in Windermere at 21:34. Or depart at 19:30, connect in Oxenholme, and arrive at 22:39. Spend the night in Windermere. The first bus from Windermere to Keswick departs at 08:16 and arrives at 09:19. On Sunday the last train you could take leaves Windermere at 19:06. Connect in Oxenholme and arrive in London at 22:53. Take the bus from Keswick to Windermere, departing at 17:25 and arriving at 18:34. Or leave Windermere at 17:55, connect in Oxenholme, and arrive in London at 21:21. Take the bus leaving Keswick at 16:25 and arriving in Windermere at 17:34. For the bus timetables go here: http://tinyurl.com/m24tebm
WOW! Thank you all for your help! I'm not yet sure of the particular weekend I'll be traveling to Keswick (or the Lake District in general) but I will certainly consider all of your comments!
I don't know about Oxenholme, but going through Penrith is easy enough. If you leave at night you won't see the views on the bus much anyway. At Penrith the correct bus leaves from in front of the train station, but of course check the timetables for what you need. ETA: I am talking about going to Keswick, of course.
Tim is correct. You do need to take the train from Oxenholme in Kendal up to Windermere.