Lake District and Cumbria Travel
The Lake District is located in the county of Cumbria, in northern England, and is easily accessible by train, plane, coach, bus, ferry, or car. There are major trunk roads to the west, and several international airports within easy reach. The UK rail network West coast main line runs the full length of Cumbria, with connecting lines extending right into the Lakes.The paragraphs below highlight ways of arranging your travel with estimated journey times.
The UK has an excellent rail network including both an east coast and west coast main line rail service running from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow. Most major towns, cities, airports and ferry ports are connected to the rail network. The west coast line skirts the eastern edge of the Lake District calling at Kendal, Penrith and Carlisle. Connecting services travel onwards into the heart of the Lake District. Generally rail services in the UK run efficiently with the majority of trains running on time, but visitors need to be aware that engineering work can disrupt timetables, especially on Sundays and national (bank) holidays. Not all trains have dining facilities – so check before you travel. It is also advisable to reserve seats in advance as many trains can get very busy. For all the help you need to plan your train journey to the Lake District try www.thetrainline.com . Or call national rail enquires on +44 (0)8457 48 49 50.
Typical journey times by rail from:
• Manchester – less than 1½ hours
• Birmingham – less than 2½ hours
• London – less than 4 hours
• Newcastle – less than 3 hours
• Edinburgh – less than 4 hours
The UK’s comprehensive network of motorways, dual carriageways and ‘A’ roads means that the Lake District can easily be reached by car. Visitors should be aware that some of the more popular locations in the Lake District can get congested at busy times, and some of the roads are quite narrow, winding and steep – however the views are spectacular and well worth the effort.
Typical journey times by car to the Lakes from:
• Manchester – approx 1½ hours
• Birmingham – approx 2½ hours
• London – approx 5 hours
• Newcastle – approx 2½ hours
• Edinburgh – approx 4½ hours
The above figures are assuming reasonably free flowing traffic. At busy times (e.g. 08.00 – 09.30, 15.30 – 17.30 and each Friday afternoon) allow additional time for congestion and traffic hold-ups)
The Lake District is served by a number of airports however Manchester is the most convenient airport to fly into to quickly access the Lakes. However, if you are hiring a car Newcastle, Glasgow, Liverpool, Humberside, Teesside and East Midlands are all within easy driving distance.
- Manchester Airport
- Newcastle Airport
- Glasgow Airport
- Liverpool Airport
- Humberside Airport
- Durham Tees Valley Airport
- Nottingham East Midlands Airport
Hiring a car from any of the above airports is a good way to get to the Lake District and explore this wonderful region. Car hire prices in the UK are reasonable and start from around £10 per day for a small / medium sized car. It's wise to book in advance and using a comparison site or broker is a good way to get the best deals. Try www.rhinocarhire.com who offer discounted prices from all of the main agents at all of the above airports.
Scheduled coach services run throughout Britain including to Cumbria and the Lake District. Although one of the slower forms of transport it usually has the advantage of being a ‘door to door’ service in relative comfort. For all the help you need to plan your journey by coach and buy your tickets contact www.nationalexpress.co.uk
Or phone +44(0)8705 0 80 80.
Typical coach times from:
• Manchester – approx 3½ hours
• Birmingham – approx 4½ hours
• London – approx 7½ hours
• Newcastle – approx 4 hours
• Edinburgh – approx 6 hours
Ferries link Belfast and the Isle of Man to Lancaster (Heysham); Belfast and Dublin to Liverpool or Holyhead, and Northern Europe to Newcastle (North Shields) and Hull. Road and public transport networks conveniently link these ports with North Cumbria and the Lake District.
Further information about European and UK ports can be found at www.ferrycrossings-uk.co.uk Ferry Crossings
and once you’ve got here…
Once youhave arrived in the Lake District you will find there are endless ways for you to get around. Try a scenic bus trip for a pleasurable day out or perhaps a relaxing meander on a traditional steamboat or lake cruiser. Alternatively take a step back in time and enjoy a fascinating trip on a steam train. If you’re feeling a bit more energetic or want to keep fit during your break why not explore some of the many cycle and walking routes available.