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Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

Hudson, Wisconsin
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Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

Good Morning!

I posted a question yesterday about hiking boots and received so many great replies. You guys are the best! In case you're wondering, we're bringing our hiking boots, but that's not why I'm posting today.

My daughter and I will be taking the train from the London area up to the Lake District at the end of May and staying for 3-4 nights. We won't have a car so we will either have to walk, take the bus or a tour to see the sights.

Our goals are to take some very scenic hikes that aren't too technical, (we've done our share of hiking but don't want to do any serious mountain climbing), tour Hill Top Farm and the Beatrix Potter museum, see the beautiful scenery of the Lake District and hopefully view and hike along Hadrian's wall.

Without a car I don't think we can do this and stay in one location. We can split our stay between two locations. I was thinking of taking the train to Windermere and staying at Tower Bank Arms the first night so that we could just walk to Hill Top and the museum the first day. Then maybe we could head up to Keswick and spend 2-3 nights in that area.

I know that Mountain Goat tours has a Hadrian's Wall tour on Fridays but they leave out of Windermere at 9:15am. It might be a stretch to get there so early and seems kind of pointless to travel south just to get on the bus to travel north again. Also, they only do the tour if they have 6 people. We'd be two passengers but there wouldn't be a guarantee that four others would be interested, altough maybe in early June that wouldn't be an issue.

Do I need a tour to see Hadrian's Wall without having a car? Is there a way to take a bus to a dropping off point where we could explore and hike on our own? More importantly, we'd need to get back to Keswick at the end of the day!

At the end of our stay we'd catch the train from Penrith and head south again. What do you think? I've been pondering how to best make our limited time and budget work to squeeze in a trip to your beautiful area while we are visiting England. Time is flying by and I want to get our rooms booked before they're all full.

I appreciate your time and consideration. Thank you!

London, United...
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1. Re: Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

Try this

discovercarlisle.co.uk/getting-around/bus-st…

Durham, United...
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2. Re: Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

It's possible to do it without a car but it's time consuming and isn't straightforward so a tour would be a good option. There's one from Keswick on www.klmtravel.co.uk/hadrians_wall_world.htm but it involves an overnight stay and isn't cheap.

By public transport it's best achieved by bus from Keswick to Penrith rail station then train from Penrith to Carlisle. The journey planner on http://jplanner.travelinenortheast.info/ is a useful tool. From Carlisle the AD122 Hadrian's Wall Bus will drop you off at all the places of interest along the Wall. Housesteads and Vindolanda are two of the best sites. You can walk along a stretch of Wall from Housesteads.

english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/…

http://www.vindolanda.com/

The link to the 2012 timetable for the AD122 (operated by Alba Travel http://www.albatravelcumbria.co.uk/ ) isn't working yet but last year's on hadrians-wall.org/ResourceManager/Documents/… should be a guide. According to the journey planner the first service of the day actually departs from Penrith at 8.45.

Various other combinations of bus and train are possible.

If you don't think there's time to travel that far just going to Birdoswald (the nearest fort to Carlisle) will knock a couple of hours off the journey time.

Hudson, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

Thanks for your suggestions! I took a look at the AD122 earlier today and it's a definite possibility. Mountain Goat tours has a nice option but it's out of Windermere.

I think I've figured out the Hill Top option. If all goes according to plan we will take the train up early Monday morning, arriving in Windermere at 11:39. Mountain Goat tours starts out of Windermere at 12:00. We take the tour, arrive back in town at 5:00pm. Catch the bus at 6:09 up to Keswick. Spend the next two days exploring God's beautiful creation in the Keswick area.

All that is left to do is figure out where we are staying in Keswick and work out the details to tour Hadrian's wall.

Thanks again for your help. Slowly it's coming together!

London
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4. Re: Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

Would hiring a car be an option for you? That would dramatically increase your flexibility for things like trips to Hadrian's Wall.

If the Ancient Roman stuff is your thing, then I'd heartily recommend a trip to Vindolanda.

http://www.vindolanda.com/

If you want to do some hiking and are thinking of splitting your time between Windermere and Keswick, then do spend most of the time in Keswick. It's a far better base for hiking. Would be a shame not to do some nice hikes after all the trouble of packing your boots!

Hudson, Wisconsin
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5. Re: Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

No, we won't be hiring a car. That's why I'm trying to plan carefully.

We plan on staying in Keswick. I haven't secured our room yet but have a few options. I am wondering where the best location in Keswick is for hiking. Is there a trailhead that it would be good to be close to or doesn't it really matter?

We're looking for a nice, quiet little b & b for four nights. It doesn't have to be fancy. Once I find our B & B, we will have all of our lodging arrangements taken care and I will be very happy!

Thanks again for your helpful comments.

Windermere, United...
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6. Re: Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

You might find the Keswick Launch website useful. You can catch the boat to various stops on DerwentWater and then walk various routes.

http://www.keswick-launch.co.uk/walks.htm

There are five walks varying in length and difficulty

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London
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7. Re: Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

I have stayed here in Keswick, and enjoyed it immensely. On a quiet street, but convenient to walk into the town.

http://www.edwardenehotel.com/

One of the easier walks we did right out of the door of the B & B was to Castlerigg--a stone circle.

visitcumbria.com/kes/castlerigg-stone-circle…

Cambridge, United...
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8. Re: Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

Keswick is a good starting point, but the walks direct from the town aren't the best by any means.

The big question is, how fit are you and what walks are you looking for. You state that you aren't looking for anything too technical. The good news is that there are no walking routes in the Lakes which require ropes and suchlike, some might have a very small amount of scrambling over rocks but thats all.

Below are a few potential walks accessible from Keswick:

Walk round Buttermere, probably the classic Lakeland walk, approx 4.5 miles no discernable height gained

Ascent Haystacks from Gatesgarth (Buttermere) about 5 miles in length approx 1600 feet of ascent, takes 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours depending on fitness level. You can add additional summits along the ridge to this.

Great Gable - ascend from Honister then walk across to Styhead tarn and descend to Seathwaite, Don't have full details to hand, but probably around 2000 feet of ascent and about 7 miles.

All of the above require use of the bus service.

Walla Crag and Ashness bridge, walk direct from Keswick, about 7 miles and approx 1300 feet of ascent

Cat bells, walk/travel on lake cruiser direct from Keswick

U.S. expats
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9. Re: Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

The walk from Keswick to Castlerigg is very good.

More details...

www.go4awalk.com/walks/walk-search/walk.php…

London, United...
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10. Re: Lake District Intinerary Planning Dilemma

From Keswick centre I would suggest any of the following:

Castlerigg Stone Circle as mentioned above.

Latrigg.

Derwentwater.

By bus from Keswick:

Circular walk around Buttermere.

The Honister Slate Mine.

Ullswater east shore via Pooley Bridge

Latrigg would be the most taxing of the above and that is only a small fell.

Others spots like Cat Bells and Ashness Bridge are worth considering but just be aware that they will be a like a 4th of July weekend in terms of how busy they will get. Ashness Bridge is that popular that it can easily be busy all day long - it's a bit like Bowness Bay at Windermere. (The reason being that the bridge is on many a Lake District calendar).

BTW - I would suggest trying a Mountain Goat tour if you can. They have quite a few that will give you a flavour of the area and are especially useful for those with no car.