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First time visit to the Lakes

Glasgow, United...
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First time visit to the Lakes

We are booking out 2011 family week away and have found a nice house near Lindale.

I'm looking for some location advice.

I assume most of the key towns are a short drive away, and their certainly looks like lots of walks start in the area, plus the beach isnt too far. Is all that a fair summary, or for a first time visit would we be better placed elsewhere?

London, United...
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1. Re: First time visit to the Lakes

You'll be away from the madding crowds in Lindale but it;s a nice enough area. Worth a visit are:

Grange - nice little town centre as well as the sands.

Cartmel - both the Fell (walking), the village and the Priory. I have reviewed the Mason's Arms in Cartmel on a previous visit and it does great food.

You're about 15 minutes to Fellfoot Park (excellent for children) at the foot of Lake Windermere and about another 15 minutes from there to Bowness and about 25 minutes to Ambleside. Kendal is about 20 minutes. You can also access Coniston Water in about 20-25 minutes from there.

For a first visit the location is a little further out than many people would choose, however, when you consider that a lot of people stay in static caravans further away and are happy to drive around then it is quite do-able. Places like Keswick, Ullswater, and Wasdale are further up and obviously take longer to get to but all have very scenic views of their respective lakes as well as good walks.

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2. Re: First time visit to the Lakes

I don't know Lindale, but on inspecting the location on the map, I'd say it depends on what you're looking for. If you're happy seeing the sea, Windermere, and Consiston Water, you shouldn't go far wrong. However, if you want to do any fell walking it's not a great location. Most of the fells are further north.

Bear in mind that what may look like a short drive on the map can take quite a long time, especially if you are there at busy times. A lot of the roads are quite narrow, and it only takes one person driving a caravan at 15 mph to slow you down considerably.

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3. Re: First time visit to the Lakes

Where you stay depends on what you want to get out of the Lake District.

Most people go for the lakes, the hills, the views, perhaps walking, either low level or fell walking.

And if that is what you want then most people would say stay in or around a larger town, nearer the centre, like Windermere, Ambleside, Keswick, or one of the smaller towns like Coniston, Grasmere etc.

I doubt many people would suggest staying in Lindale. To be honest you are barely IN the Lake District, and because it is near the coast the land is almost flat.

Also you mention the beach, but the Lake District is not really the sort of place you go for a beach holiday.

Note that getting round the Lake District by car is neither quick nor easy. What looks a short quick journey on the map can be an hour or more. It is also tiring driving, with narrow winding roads, and you have to be on the alert for a car or caravan coming round the bend, or perhaps a walker, cyclist or even a sheep in the middle of the road (just noticed the poster above me has said the same thing).

So staying in Lindale and visiting the North area (around Keswick) would be quite a drive.

So personally I would say find another house as Lindale is not really the best place to stay to see the Lake District.

Edited: 09 August 2010, 17:56
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4. Re: First time visit to the Lakes

As an extra may I ask what you actually want out of your Lake District holiday?

How is the party made up (adults, children, children ages etc)?

Are you mainly interested in driving round and seeing the lakes and views, or visit a few tourist sites, or do you plan to do some walking?

If you have young children in your group I often feel the Lake District is not the best place for a "family" holiday. It can rain a lot, and when it is raining there is not a lot for children to do.

You mention visiting the towns, but while they are nice towns I always feel they are mainly places to stay to explore the area rather than towns to visit in their own right (although there are "tourist" things to do in the main towns).

Finally, you dont say WHEN you are going to visit the Lake District, but there are times when it is TOO busy and places like Windermere and Ambleside can grind to a halt.

I have seen Ambleside in May clogged with traffic and queues crawling through the town.

So think carefully WHEN you plan to go and WHAT you hope to do when you are there.

Edited: 09 August 2010, 18:12
Lake District...
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5. Re: First time visit to the Lakes

Concerning driving in the Lakes.

While many of the roads are narrow and you are not going to do great speeds, there is a reasonable number of good A roads between the towns on which you will average 30 mph or more.

You will not get from A to B as quickly as you would in other rural areas but it will probably be as quick or quicker than driving in cities or suburbia.

e.g. Keswick to Windermere - 35/40 mins

Keswick to Maryport 40 mins.

Cumbria, UK
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6. Re: First time visit to the Lakes

You’ve had some good advice from the previous posters.

I suspect that you’ve found an attractive rate that will be much lower than one you’d find that is within the Lake District National Park boundary. I’d consider reassessing your location, depending on what you want form your visit you’ll spend allot of time driving back and forth and not really make the most of seeing the northern parts of the Lakes. Id be more tempted to look northerly if I were you as it will cut down you’re trip from and back to Glasgow considerably. What you may save money wise on staying in Lindale could soon be swallowed up by extra petrol costs and time lost.

Cumbria does have nice beaches; it’s just getting the weather to make good use of them. St.Bees which is close to where I live is very nice but the coast is dotted with many. It does depend on when you plan to visit. In recent years your best bet for dry sunny weather is late April through May although June was OK this year too.

I agree with rarrar here too. The roads aren’t that bad, maybe because I’m used to them but there are many A roads and stretches of dual carriage way around to get you around that bit quicker. Sure there are lots of lanes the deeper into the lakes you go and traffic can be a pain in Windermere and Ambleside in the busy periods. But generally I don’t see the big issue.

Eastbourne, United...
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7. Re: First time visit to the Lakes

I agree with all the above, what you save in cost of house you will spend in terms of extra fuel, time and frustration getting to the heart of the lakes although you are only 14 miles from Windermere the journey will take 30 mins plus!

On the other hand the cost of a house at a more central location will be far from cheap.

You pays your money you takes your choice.

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8. Re: First time visit to the Lakes

Staying slightly out of the main tourist destinations like Keswick, Ambleside and Windermere can be a good thing if you are visiting in high season when it can be really difficult to move around, find places to eat, get parked etc.

Lindale isn't central (and certainly not in the big mountains) but it is a pleasant village with good access to Coniston, Windermere, Hawkshead, and the western lakes etc. Add to that the Cartmel peninsula and views of Morecambe Bay and quick access to lovely places over to the east of the M6 like the Lune Valley then its not a bad choice by any means. There are some good easy walks in the area - would recommend climibing Hampsfell above Grange over Sands on a clear day - fantastic views of Lakeland fells, Morecambe Bay and over to Ingleborough in Yorkshire dales.

9. Re: First time visit to the Lakes

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