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Peak District or Lakes District?

Indiana
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Peak District or Lakes District?

My husband and I will be touring England the end of Sept. 2014. Besides seeing places such as York, Durham, and Edinburgh (yes, I know it is not in England), we'd like to spend a few days hiking. Which do you recommend for nice scenery and lovely, but not strenuous walks for 2 60 year olds - the Lakes or Peak Districts? We'd be spending about 2 days there enjoying nature. Thank you.

U.S. expats
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1. Re: Peak District or Lakes District?

Does your two days include travel time?

Even if you are going someplace not far, checking out, traveling, checking in, unpacking can take a bite out of a perfectly good day.

Have you considered hiking near York, say the North Yorkshire Moors?

www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/walking

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: Peak District or Lakes District?

LauraRW's suggestion would fit well with your mention of York.

The Lake & Peak Districts are quite different areas & both offer variety - the Lakes offer plenty besides the actual lakes and the Peak has the "dark" and "white" area (different rock & landscape). Both offer what you seek - scenery & a variety of walks for all capacities. The official national park websites have walk suggestions:

lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/…walking

peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/getactive/getac…

Within those there are links for more "accessible" walks if you prefer something without too much of a climb - eg the "Miles without stiles" or the Peak's trails that use old railway courses.

Indiana
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3. Re: Peak District or Lakes District?

We were thinking of staying at a B & B for 2 days. I read that the Lake District is very rainy in autumn. However,since the Peak District is not that far away, I would guess the weather would be similar in both places. Maybe this is an unfair question, but if you could only stay at one of the places, which would you personally pick?

No,I had never considered the North Yorkshire Moors. They are not highlighted so much in the guide books I have on Great Britain. What would I see or not see by staying there instead of the Lake & Peak Districts?

Thank you for your help. I really appreciate your insight.

Cardiff, United...
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4. Re: Peak District or Lakes District?

"Maybe this is an unfair question, but if you could only stay at one of the places, which would you personally pick?"

Both are beautiful places with plenty to recommend them, but I think Laura has the right of it because if my starting point was an itinerary that was to include York, Durham and Edinburgh and I wanted to include somewhere in a countryside B&B as a base for some gentle hiking where I'd actually go would be the North Yorkshire Moors or somewhere up the Northumberland coast.

Edited: 23 October 2013, 12:31
Cardiff, United...
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5. Re: Peak District or Lakes District?

FWIW though, you really can't include weather as a deciding factor. September in the UK - those days could be lovely and sunny, could be nicer than July, could be freezing and/or pouring with rain. And it could be any of those things in any given location.

Rutland, UK
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6. Re: Peak District or Lakes District?

I'm quite prepared to be vilified by advocates of the Peak District but for me it's the Lake District every time. Personally I don't like the vestiges of the industrial revolution that blight some Derbyshire towns and no where in England can match those gorgeous lakes. And, by definition, lakes are flat and so walks along the shores are serene. Ambling around Rydal Water or the shores of Buttermere is, in my opinion, one of the glories of England.

On the downside the Lake District is not as accessible as the Peak District, the North York Moors or the Yorkshire Dales but, if you can fit it into your schedule, I'd say there is no contest.

Yorkshire Dales...
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7. Re: Peak District or Lakes District?

There is always the North Yorkshire Dales, a beautiful area within easy reach of your other locations, and a National Park.

http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/

All the places mentioned (Lakes, Peak District, Moors and Dales) have Plan B attractions and by that I mean other things to do if the weather should be foul. For instance museums, stately homes, steam railways or whatever.

So in answer to your question about what you would see in or near the North Yorkshire Moors that you wouldn't see in the other places I would answer - heather turning purple on the moors, Castle Howard, Eden Camp, The North Yorks Moors Steam Railway Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay, and that's just for starters..

But I could do a similar list for the other places too - they all have their own appeal.

Manchester, United...
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8. Re: Peak District or Lakes District?

The weather - as already put - is hugely variable here, both from day to day (or even hour to hour) as well as place to place. However, the Lake District is wetter than the UK average & has a higher average rainfall than the Peak District & probably most of the other national parks you might consider.

I'm giving the link to the overall UK national parks website, which in turn links to the individual parks. I suggest, based broadly on the cities you've mentioned that the Lake District, Northumberland & North Yorks would be nearest; the Yorkshire Dales & Peak District a bit further south. They're all different and appeal in different ways.

http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/

You may also want to consider the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - some within & some outside the national parks:

http://www.aonb.org.uk/

Nottingham, United...
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9. Re: Peak District or Lakes District?

I love all three locations and you have to realise that they are very different to each other.

Although the Peak District is on my doorstep and is a beautiful area, it isn't where I would choose for you.

I am going with the North Yorkshire Moors especially as you have mentioned York as a place you wish to visit. I am somewhat biased because I had a home in a village on the Moors for many years and spent as much time up there as I did at my main home in Nottingham. Talk about contrasts!

One thing that hasn't been emphasised is the Moors are surrounded by coastline which makes the location very much different to the other two.

The Lake District, is stunning but parts of it have been ruined by commercialism to my mind. It is the least favourable place to be if the weather is wet too.

Just to put the spanner in the works, I wouldn't discount the Northumberland suggestion. It really is stunning up there and another place that I could go back to over and over again.

Whichever location you choose, I don't think you will be disappointed with but discount the weather because that is always unpredictable wherever you go in the UK.

I think the best thing that you could do is read up on all of these locations and see which location appeals to you the most. I don't envy you trying to make the final decision though.

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10. Re: Peak District or Lakes District?

Just for Castle Howard alone, you would want to consider Yorkshire...

http://www.castlehoward.co.uk/

(Brideshead Revisited anybody?)

Or Fountains Abbey

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey/