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Lake District without a car... is it possible?

Stoke-on-Trent...
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Lake District without a car... is it possible?

We've seen a brilliant deal on train tickets to Oxenholme station in June on dates that fit in with our hols from work. As the only driver in the partnership, a holiday without the car is a great prospect....!

If we take the train to Oxenholme, does anyone have any info about the degree of public transport from that point further into the Lake District?

We were thinking we could either stay in/near Oxenholme if there were useful rail links for days out, or else where would anyone recommend...

Is the prospect even feasible?

We would be mainly interested in easy-moderate walks, possibly hiring cycles one day, dining/pubs that kind of thing.

Thanks :-)

London
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1. Re: Lake District without a car... is it possible?

Yes, the Lake District without a car is perfectly feasible, but you will of course be more limited. I'd be tempted to stay in one of the main towns (Ambleside or Keswick) so you have a reasonable choice of bus routes. Alternatively, if you stay somewhere where there are plenty of easy/moderate walks without needing any transport, proxmity to bus routes might be less important. Grasmere springs to mind on that score, although bear in mind it is very popular with the tourists and can get busy. Shouldn't be as bad in June as during the school holidays, but it will still be busy.

You can get the train from Oxenholme to Windermere, from where you can get a bus or a taxi to wherever you decide to stay.

London, United...
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2. Re: Lake District without a car... is it possible?

It is feasible for sure. However, you will get less done. The other thing to consider is how much you can carry around with you when you're out and about going from one place to another. If you're happy to keep the basics in a couple of backpacks and do pub lunchess you'll be fine if you stick with the main towns as public transport serves them well.

The best walks are in the northern lakes but don't discount further south. Actually I should say there is greater mountain scenery in the north. But further south there are still reasonable walks available. As examples you have Cockshott Point and Orrest Head at Bowness and Windermere respectively and a little further down near Fellfoot Park there is Gummers How. Orrest Head and Gummers How are relatively easy but each does have tricky bits to negotiate so good walking boots are recommended. There are also more eateries further south - I'd be tempted to head to somewhere like Ambleside as a base for your requirements. You can take the bus to Keswick and Windermere from there.

Redlands, California
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3. Re: Lake District without a car... is it possible?

Yes, a bus runs right up through Ambleside, Grasmere, to Keswick. Although it might be awkward to get to some points, for a short holiday public transport is fine. I also like Keswick--smaller and less busy, but all necessary facilities and some nice walks right out of town.

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4. Re: Lake District without a car... is it possible?

Buses in the Lakes are a great choice, and so much less hassle than the car. June is not a nice time to drive in the Lakes, it gets very busy. Buses also have the benefit of allowing you to enjoy the views, not the roads

Summer buses run to almost all place with regularity, with only Eskdale and Wasdale of note not getting buses, though the former has a train (worth the journey in itself) and neither is high on the tourist lists normally except for serious hill walkers. On those occaisons you do have to wait, there are few places as beautiful. And there also seems to be a Lakeland pub just when you need one,

Ambleside and Keswick are the hubs, the former for Southern spots like Coniston and Langdale, the latter for Northern areas like Derwentwater, Borrowdale and Buttermere. The 555 bus runs between them for places like Grasmere and Thirlmere

For short walks, a Buttermere circuit is an easy 2 hours on the flat, for couple of hour climbs, Loughrigg from Ambleside, Raven Crag from Thirlmere and Catbells from Keswick are obvious choices, Dodd from Bassenthwaite is a quiet walk with one of the most stunning set of views in the district

For longer climbs, Crinkle Craggs from Langdale, Skiddaw from Keswick, the Old Man from Keswick would be obvious bets. With a boat walk combo of the Howtown to Glenridding lake side walk on Ullswater being a longer flat option. Send me a PM if you want route info/more details for any of those

Edited: 23 May 2011, 20:24
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5. Re: Lake District without a car... is it possible?

Old Man from Coniston I meant, its quite a walk from Keswick!

Cheshire, United...
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6. Re: Lake District without a car... is it possible?

The Windermere/Bowness area is a very good base to explore, you've also got the Windermere Lake Cruises to take you to Ambleside and Lakeside.

Also there are plenty of trips available like the Mountain Goat for instance, the office is just near Windermere Station.

Stoke-on-Trent...
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7. Re: Lake District without a car... is it possible?

Fantastic replies thanks everyone, train tickets booked I will have a look through all your pointers today and make plans :-)

Are there any places/towns where we could hire cycles for a day? ...Not a "KEEN" cyclist, but may be interested in doing this one day.

Thanks again.

Jerusalem, Israel
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8. Re: Lake District without a car... is it possible?

Is Kendal a good place to stay for a week in August. We are 2 seniors and would like to get a bus pass to travel around the Lake District. Is this possible? Or are there any other possibilities to get around?

Thanks

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9. Re: Lake District without a car... is it possible?

8. Kendal is a nice place, but not ideal for public transport and you will have to get a train/bus to Windermere to get into the Lakes, and take buses from there. Its possible, and perfectly do able, but Ambleside or Keswick are easier

I would tend to disagree with 6. Bowness is not convienient for public transport, as you have to get a bus to Ambleside to get to a transport hub. It also gets horribly busy in summer, as its day tripper land and it can be as busy as central london on a sunny day. Windermere is easier as its a little quieter and more buses run north into the central Lakes, but it can still be very very busy and wouldnt be a preferred place to stay in summer. September onwards is ok as it doesnt get many walkers so has less visitors in the shoulder seasons

Kendal, United...
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10. Re: Lake District without a car... is it possible?

If you're spending a few days without a car I would base yourself in either Ambleside or Keswick as these are the main bus route hubs. Ullswater is a bit problematic however. The main bus route comes from Penrith and the services to Windermere and Keswick are pretty infrequent.