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When to visit, how many days and what to see

Oxford, United...
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When to visit, how many days and what to see


I'm based at Oxford and would like to visit the Lake District. I'll be renting a car. I'd like to know when is the best time, ie which month when it's not too wet, to visit, obviously not long weekends or school holidays. I don't want to get stuck in traffic jams.

It will be a drive and hike kind of holiday. How many days would be best to see most if not the best part of the Lakes District. I like walking, cycling and taking nice photos. I am not fantatically fit. Easy to intermediate walks lasting 4-5 hours would be maximum and I like bike riding flat terrain.

I've been studying the travel brochures and they all seem to suggest that driving around Lake District is a bad idea, I hope that's not the case if I chose my time wisely. If it is the case, I'll just have to plan getting around by public transport.

Thanks in advance.



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1. Re: When to visit, how many days and what to see


Difficult to advise when to visit as weather in lakes is very changeable. We went 14th feb for a week and had about 15min rain in total, also went 18 months ago 1st 2 wks october and again were very lucky indeed, but, i believe they had a bad summer that year. Best thing to do is invest in some good waterproofs, that way if you get caught out you'll be fine.

We don't drive so can't advise on that but can't understand why it wouldn't be appropriate to drive to your various destinations. We are rather limited in where we stay usually bowness on windermere and then use public transport to get around and normally stay for 2 wks if possible so we can do lots walking.

We are not ultra fit and tend to walk on the flat, tourist information centres sell books/single walk details that you can follow, and, can usually see how strenuous they are. You can do some pleasant walks from Britannia Inn in Elterwater, one of our fav places, lovely scenery (the inn sells a book of about 7 walks, starting and finishing at the inn then you can have lunch!!!). Elterwater is just outside of Ambleside.

Grisedale forest is another of our favourites they have varied walks and bike rides as well as a go ape experience. It is between Coniston water and Windermere - has a visitor centre but at moment the centre undergoing rebuild programme. You can still buy the walking and cycling route instructions - one pleasant walk is the one to Grisedale Tarn. If you google Grisedale forest you will come across more info, don't let rebuild put you off if it isnt finished when you go. There are still clean toilet facilitis, a little shop, bike hire, and a van selling snacks - also picnic benches dotted around the forest along with some sculptures.

I would say a car is definately needed, as some places can be quite remote - have a look at the Go Lakes website for more ideas.

Enjoy yourself in one of the most beautiful places in england.

Anne and Jim

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2. Re: When to visit, how many days and what to see

The roads in the lake district are narrow and twisty, they go up and down 'mountains' - well huge hills anyway, and can get quite congested. They are not difficult to negotiate for a confident driver, but the narrowness of them makes passing impossible if you get stuck behind a slow or nervous person. The buses have to use the same roads, so I don't really see how using Public Transport is going to make travelling around the area much different!! There really aren't any trains, the main lines all skirt around the edge of the region, with Windermere being practically the ONLY place within 'The Lakes' that has a station. There are two little railways, the "Ravenglass and Eskdale" from Ravenglass to Boot, and the "Lakeside and Haverthwaite" going, strangely, from Lakeside to Haverthwaite!! There are lake ferries, however, so depending on where you choose to stay, they can be VERY useful for visiting different places.

If you 'google' lake district walks, you will find lots of options at all levels, on little websites made up by various locals and enthusiasts - it's a worthwhile 'google' for you, methinks!

As we have prevailing South Westerly winds, rain is ALWAYS a possibilty in a hilly area on the West Coast at ANY time of year (think of your Geography lessons!!) (That's also why it rains a lot in Wales, and in Ireland too!!!).

If you want to avoid school Hols, then I'd suggest Either Early September (especially if we do get an 'indian summer' this year) or Perhaps June would suit (my Niece's summer hols don't start 'til 22 July this year).

Time wise, you could spend WEEKS in the Lakes and not see everything - only you can decide on how long you want to be there, but perhaps 2 weeks would give you plenty of time for hiking, and a bit of 'touristy' sightseeing too!!

3. Re: When to visit, how many days and what to see

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