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      05-20-2013, 07:33 AM   #1
MEGA
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Need help planning a driving Tour of the lake district.

Hi All,

I'm looking to do 4 nights in the lakes with my other half in July as part of a more grand holiday (ending at the first night of the NM5, naturally).


So far, I've got plans to stay an initial night in Kendal as a base, maybe 2 nights there. But to perhaps also have a second hotel further West. Wrynose pass and Hardknott pass are a necessity. But there will also be some walking and taking in of the lakes etc.

I am considering a night in a Windermere hotel but foresee this as a bit overpriced and might be just as well simply parking nearby one day to have a few hours walking there.

Who has done this kind of thing or even lives up there?

I want:

A night with a good hotel bar or even some kind of town center ideally. I think Kendal might be best for this?

Good safe parking
Somewhere to leave our stuff every day (my car has no boot ******* so it's safe

I'm a bit nervous about coming back to find my car stoved in if leaving it on a tiny country lane. Any opinions about this?



Please let me know your thoughts!

The entire journey is likely to be:-

20th July, Depart London. Get to Kendal
21nd-23th in the lakes
24th in Newcastle
25th in York
26th, in Halifax by 19:00 for the beginning of northern meet 5
27th-28th, NM5
Home


But it's the lakes I'm least sure about. I've never been up there. Need to know what parking is like and what to do with my days really. Hotels is the first hurdle!

Let me know
Dave
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      05-20-2013, 07:55 AM   #2
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Windermere area is the place to stay, Ambleside etc. Stayed up for a week a couple of weeks ago to take our lab on his first holiday who spent hours in the lake. Fabulous place but popular areas are heaving in the summer.
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      05-20-2013, 08:50 AM   #3
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would you consider some of the more upmarket B&B's or boutique hotels? In the lakes it seems that hotels are very expensive and B&B's are too many and can be a risk but there aer some 'inbetween' type places.

For the best views without walking too far you need to go up Gummers How at Windermere. I drove Hardknott and Wrynose a year ago but to be honest it is so thin and steep it's not actually much fun, and my side skirts were scraping on the tarmac on the inside of some corners no matter how wide you take them!

If your unlucky or lowered you could end up stuck with your inside rear spinning in the air.
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      05-20-2013, 09:22 AM   #4
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Really? My car is quite low at the back and I'm very precious about it!! The paintwork is immaculate. Did you actually damage the sideskirts? Oh dear.
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      05-20-2013, 10:33 AM   #5
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I got a big scrape on the drivers side near the back. Its on the bottom so you can't see unless you look.

I remember going over there 15 years ago in my Dad's car and thinking it was cool but that was a Jeep Cherokee and it was not how I remembered it. Obviously it is your call but next time I will not be going over unless I have a more appropriate car. It is a nice valley in the middle though and there is some interesting Roman remains to see half way if your into that 'Time Team' sort of stuff.
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      05-20-2013, 01:08 PM   #6
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I'm going at the weekend, staying in my favourite hotel, waterhead in Ambleside at top end of Windermere. All the nice hotels are pricey but this ones worth it (and has parking)

I'd recommend walking up Sca Fell if you fancy a challenge (the highest peak in England), I'm sure you would have no problem

To get there did involve driving some scary gradients, quite likely the one described above - it's OK in good weather although I did get wheel spin on some hill brows when I wanted grip instead.

Can't advise on the more exciting bars, but I'm sure you will enjoy your time in the Lakes. Get the pathfinder guides for walk suggestions.

Barry
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      05-20-2013, 01:23 PM   #7
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The Low Wood in Ambleside (about 2 miles away from Windermere) has a very big car park. The hotel is very nice and right on the shores of Lake Windermere. The drawback is the price. Typically around 150 a night.
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      05-21-2013, 02:33 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies.

Walking up Sca Fell sounds great. Both me and Naomi are relatively fit. I'd look forward to the challenge I think.

But if I have to drive up Wrynose to get there, who knows!!! It sounds like I don't want to take the pass at all from what's been said!
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      05-21-2013, 02:57 AM   #9
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You won't need to take that pass to get to Scafell it is on the south side. you can go up the north side from Seathwaite.
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      05-21-2013, 07:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrySt View Post
I'm going at the weekend, staying in my favourite hotel, waterhead in Ambleside at top end of Windermere. All the nice hotels are pricey but this ones worth it (and has parking)
for this place. Have stayed here with the Missus a couple of years ago and it was very nice.
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      05-30-2013, 03:12 AM   #11
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Ok so that's a great hotel recommendation I'll look into it.

So then: Go around wrynose and Hardknott (boo).

Walk up Sca Fell

Visit windermere

Have a night drinking somewhere (Kindell the place for this? )

I've got best Western Kindell and Waterhead Ambleside as 2 out of 3 hotel nights planned in my head. Might extend one of them to 2 nights. Or could otherwise stay in a little B+B somewhere. Decisions decisions.

thanks for the feedback thus far!
Dave
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      05-30-2013, 08:15 AM   #12
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if you are into driving

alternatives to the usual primary a roads and motorways

a6 from Kendal to Penrith then Penrith to Alston; Alston to Middleton in Teesdale, Middleton in Teesdale over to Stanhope and then Stanhope to Derwent water; drop into Newcastle

if you can; do Stokesley to Helmsby on your way to York

and Ripon to Pateley Bridge, Grassington, Skipton to Halifax
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      05-30-2013, 08:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian_m View Post
if you are into driving

alternatives to the usual primary a roads and motorways

a6 from Kendal to Penrith then Penrith to Alston; Alston to Middleton in Teesdale, Middleton in Teesdale over to Stanhope and then Stanhope to Derwent water; drop into Newcastle

if you can; do Stokesley to Helmsby on your way to York

and Ripon to Pateley Bridge, Grassington, Skipton to Halifax

That's a brilliant response! Many many many thanks.
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      05-30-2013, 11:43 AM   #14
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After the horrific drive up there in 09 I don't think I would want to drive there ever again.

Have a nice trip mate!
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      05-31-2013, 07:39 AM   #15
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We stayed at this B&B recently and I can thoroughly recommend it. Not sure that it meets your criteria since it is definitely not town center with a bar. It's a very comfortable B&B.

Summer Hill Country House
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      05-31-2013, 08:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxb335d View Post
After the horrific drive up there in 09 I don't think I would want to drive there ever again.

Have a nice trip mate!
What happened mate I'm not aware?
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      05-31-2013, 08:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Pigley View Post
We stayed at this B&B recently and I can thoroughly recommend it. Not sure that it meets your criteria since it is definitely not town center with a bar. It's a very comfortable B&B.

Summer Hill Country House
I'll check it out. I'm happy to stick to the country retreat style place in the lakes itself as I will be in a couple of towns/cities in the days that follow

Dave
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      05-31-2013, 03:06 PM   #18
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Try heading from Windermere past dalemain, Keswick, whinlatter and Cockermouth (I'm near there). Trout hotel is good (but that might be too north and west!). Then head to Carlisle, a69 over to Newcastle.
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      06-01-2013, 01:54 AM   #19
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Hi, as for driving in the lakes there are many beautiful places to drive to. Ullswater is great and the road and scenery fantastic. The road leads up kirkstone pass and into Ambleside. Grasmere is only 15 minutes away, Keswick is a further 20 minutes. Buttermere is also near. Take your pick there's loads to do and see.
Enjoy.

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      06-01-2013, 02:24 AM   #20
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Wast water is the deepest lake in the UK, great scenery, hard knott pass (uphill) is a must.....
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      06-02-2013, 01:37 PM   #21
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Wast water is just below Sca Fell so you get to see both if you do the climb.

dropped in at Kendal on my way back from Ambleside - probably worth giving as miss! Plenty of more cute and interesting places to go to.

On a scary side note: I used the car park at the Low Wood Bay hotel (sister hotel to Waterhead) as a base for a nice walk to Orrest Head which has good Windermere views. When I returned to the car park, a car parked at the top of the car park had rolled back and smashed into a newish VW which was itself knocked into the adjoining Range Rover. All this just 3 cars away from where I was parked. There was this line of high end cars just targets for this old Corsa or something. I was very lucky - just a few degrees of wheel turn lucky.
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      06-04-2013, 10:54 AM   #22
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hi Dave

i've spent a lot of time in the lakes, mainly cycling, running, walking, have just returned from the Coniston triathlon. I feel dubious about giving an opinion of where to stay and where to go etc, as we could have very different lifestyles

that said i think Keswick is the best place to stay and will give you the most options for resturants and nightlife

as for walking scafell, unless you are into walking the high fells etc i really would not bother, i'm sure you would far more enjoy something like catbells at Keswick, some might think it tame, but its much more enjoyable to do something like that than beat yourselves up climbing the like of scafell, which is actually quite barron and not pretty....so unless you are into hill walking / the wainwrights etc it might not be the best option, if you are not a walker catbells will still be a 5mile challenge

dont go up any the high fells in poor weather , low cloud unless you are experienced in navigation and difficult terrain

again driving the hardnott/ wrynose might not be the best, its just a brutall climb, best left to us cyclists to nail ourselves on, take a drive out to Ullswater- Grasmere etc

the Lakes are fantastic though, something for everyone. Did you see the series Julia Bradbury did on the Wainwrights ?

Regards Kathy
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