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Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

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Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

We're planning to spend a week in the Lake District in mid July.

Where is the best place to base ourselves?

(Hopefully somewhere where there is a decent choice of mid price range self-catering accommodation?)

I was thinking maybe Carlisle or is that too far from the attractions?

Should we hire a car to see the sights or can one rely on pub transport or coach tours to get around?

Thanks

Art

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11. Re: Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

Another vote for Cockermouth. A proper, friendly Lakeland town that deserves support.

The Bitter End is an excellent pub.

Mike

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12. Re: Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

ok thanks

How's this for a plan?

Train from Newc to Carlisle and then bus from Carlisle to Cockermouth (according to my research this will take 1 hr)

Stay 5 days in a hotel in Cockermouth and see the sights without a car?

Next stop is Liverpool

so I guess we would have to retrace our steps backs to Carlisle and then take a train from Carlisle to Liver.

Does this seem logical or is there an easier way?

As we have our Britrail passes, my pref is to travel by train where poss but of course short bus trips ok too

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13. Re: Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

It is really good to have a car in the Lakes, but you can get to lots of places by bus in the summer especially if you're well organised, have timetables and are flexible on times.

Make sure that you do the Jennings brewery tour in Cockermouth if you have even a parting interest in beer.

We've stayed here a couple of times - it's central, solid and recommended : http://www.kirkbraecottage.co.uk/

Mike

PS. Any minute now someone's going to suggest that you stay in Keswick instead...

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14. Re: Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

I would recommend Keswick :p.

I think Cockermouth is a fantastic little town but if you are trying to cover tours as well as use public transport then you will not be in the best location. For example, Mountain Goat Tours who run some excellent routes are actually based in Windermere.

If you have a car then Cockermouth is do-able. But to try and do the above without a car will extend your day and I would even say you will lose lots of time that could use visiting other lovely areas.

As ever, the choice is yours.

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15. Re: Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

See ! ;-0

Fair point. I took the view that, knowing they were relying on buses, the OP would be expecting things not to be entirely straightforward and would be expect to be flexible and have to change buses on occasions. This would be balanced by the fact that they were staying in somewhere less busy with tourists than Keswick. I think that little gems like Cockermouth are far too often overlooked by visitors who go for the more obvious alternative. Actually, I've got a list of 10 places in England that fall into that category, but that's for another time...

BTW, You can still get to Buttermere and even Ennerdale direct in summer from Cockermouth by bus : www.carlberry.co.uk/rfnshowl.asp?L1=COC005

Mike

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16. Re: Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

Trains instead of driving

Well you can get into the Lakes by train and I don't mean Windermere

Windermere isn't the only train station IN the Lake District.

If you decide to stay in Cockermouth then take the bus to Workington or Whitehaven in order to take the train south along the West Cumberland Coast and get off at Ravenglass.

Ravenglass is in itself worth an hour to see but it is the terminus for the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway or the La'al Ratty.

This is a narrow gauge railway which I believe was used to bring stone and timber out of the Lakes to the coast. Today it is used as a passenger train/ tourist attraction. You can take the train up to Eskdale Green and spend an hour or two there for gentle strolling and perhaps a pint in Boot. You will be in the Lakes by train.your Britrail pass will not be eligible for the Ratty I think

The train line on the west coast runs from Carlisle through Aspatria Wigton Maryport Workington Whitehaven St Bees ( nice beach) and on down to Millom Barrow in Furness and you can get to Preston and change for Liverpool

It would save you backtracking to Carlisle by bus It is a smaller slower train and you will follow the coast and it is a pleasant journey.

As others have said Cockermouth is well placed for Loweswater, Crummock Water and Buttermere which are among the least visited Lakes but no less beautiful for that. Nice hotel in Buttermere and if you do gt a Carr look out for the Kirkstile Inn near Loweswater

I look forward to helping you with

Liverpool and you will be pleased to know that you can have a great time in Liverpool and surrounding area without a car

But that's for another thread Art

Whitehaven too is worth the bus fare a nice Georgian port and a nice attraction called the Rum Story about w

Whitehavens connection with the West Indies

Nice harbour

Edited: 14 January 2012, 10:49
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17. Re: Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

I think you will find Cockermouth challenging without a car, yes you can use buses, but just about everywhere will require at least one change to get to your destination. if you want to see much of the lakes you will get to know Keswick bus station fairly well, as thats where you will probably be changing buses.

If you really don't want to have a car, stop somewhere on the main Windermere - Keswick bus route

Sydney, Australia
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18. Re: Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

Thanks all

appreciate your thoughts and input

HOWEVER, I'm now confused

The place we want to stay in should be:

- easy to get to from Newc pref by train for most of the journey

- easy to get away from to Liver - again pref by train (but short bus trips okay)

- central, to be able to pick up a few organised tours of the main attractions, as we prefer to avoid hiring a car

PLUS

It should have a reasonable selection of mid-price-range accomm

On this basis it seems that Keswick or Ambleside would be the better choices

Cockermouth looks v nice but perhaps a it's bit impractical for lazy travellers like us!

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19. Re: Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

PS Is there any reason why we shouldn't stay in WINDERMERE?

seems to have good transport links with a train station and a hub for the tours

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20. Re: Where should we base ourselves for 7 days in the LD?

The main reason people say avoid Windermere is because everyone else goes there so it does get busy. However as a destination for someone looking for the main activities and things a tourist might do it is perfectly fine, especially if you rely on public transport.

Ambleside is much the same. For the northern lakes Keswick is also the same - when business is brisk they are all busy.

Personally I believe the two areas I suggested would be better for you as you will find it easier to access the things you want to do. If you only wanted to do walks then I would have suggested Keswick first. But as you are looking for variety staying around Ambleside or Windermere will make it easier for you.

Grasmere is only about 15 minutes from Ambleside by bus and yes it will be busy but it is a lovely quaint village with a church where Wordsworth's family grave is. There is also a famous gingerbread shop where the queues will go out the door.

For first timers I am always wary of recommending places that are too out of the way. There is usually a reason why people pick the main hubs.

You can get an open top bus to Keswick from the central area. The scenery is a little more spectacular in the northern lakes but the central area also has some superb views - I've said before that in my

opinion the Langdale Valley is the most beautiful valley in the Lake District.

The last thing I'm sure we all want you to feel is confused.

I would suggest listing in order of priority the things that are most important to you for this trip and then making your choice.

I am sure others will disagree with my suggestions but we're all different - I have looked at your requirements and made my recommendations based on those.