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Hiking in Lake District

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Hiking in Lake District

Dear fellow explorers,

our family of four (two kids ages 6 and 8) are planning of spending 5 days in the lake district and 1-2 days in Edinburg in the 2nd week of August. We are able to hike upto 8 miles a day.

1) We are coming from London. Should we rent a car in London and drive up or should we take a train to Edinburg, spend a night there and rent a car from there, go to lake district, drop the car back in Edinburg and take the train back to London?

2) Ideally, we would like to have one base and do day hikes. Can you please suggest the best option for a base with a great hotel or inn (moderate to expensive) that will provide us a memorable experience? We can stay in two different places if needed since we travel very light.

3) Please name a few good hikes for our family and should we consider the option of guided hikes or stick with self guided hikes?

Thanks in anticipation

Bingley, United...
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1. Re: Hiking in Lake District

It's Edinburgh

August means Festivals (note plural) in Edinburgh. You need to sort out accommodation yesterday if not several weeks ago. Prices start high and go through the stratosphere

August this year also means Olympics in London. Same applies as for Edinburgh

August is also peak season for the Lakes

Petrol is currently around £1.40 per litre. Given the average car does around 9 miles per litre and it's over 200 miles to the Lakes and 300 to Edinburgh you can see how the costs will mount up.

Personally I'd take the train to somewhere like Manchester, hire a car there, visit the Lakes then drive to Edinburgh where you return the car as a car in Edinburgh is an expensive ornament that only drains your bank balance.

Guildford, United...
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2. Re: Hiking in Lake District

Going back to Edinburgh from the Lakes is backtracking - book a 1 way hire and collect the car somewhere convenient that is actually on your route. You could drive all the way from London but train would be faster as the M6 can get very busy.

My favourite hotel in the Lakes is the Royal Oak in Borrowdale, lots of good walking outside the front door!

As long as you are confident with a map and compass then you can sort out your own walks, but do check the weather and adjust your plans if necessary. There are plenty of nice walks, particularly in Borrowdale, that don't involve climbing to the tops of the fells.

Destination Expert
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3. Re: Hiking in Lake District

Some good advice above. You need to treat booking accommodation as a matter of urgency both for Edinburgh and the Lake District. Apart from the pressure in Edinburgh from the festivals, August is a pretty busy time in the Lakes as well.

Taking the train is generally quicker and less stressful than driving, although driving may well be cheaper if there are 4 of you. It depends on how good you are at finding cheap train tickets. I gather there's something of an art in it. Something to do with booking tickets the correct number of weeks in advance.

A 1-way car hire is, I think, a must for your situation, whether you start it in London, Manchester or the Lake District. Penrith may be a good place to hire a car if you decide to take the train to the Lake District. It's outside the Lake District, but only just, and you could easily drive from their to anywhere in the northern part of the Lake District.

There are many places you could stay in the Lake District and have a good choice of hiking. I'd avoid the Windemere/Bowness area, which is a bit flat and over-touristy, but pretty much anywhere else would probably suit you.

But for a specific suggestion, I'm going to go for Glenridding. The Inn on the Lake there is a well regarded hotel. I haven't stayed there, so can't speak for the accommodation, but I have had dinner there and felt very well looked after. There is loads of walking you can do straight from there, and if you don't mind spending up to half an hour in the car before you start your walk, then there is very much more.

Helvellyn, one of the best known walks from Glenridding, may be a bit much for you by the sounds of things, but there are other, smaller peaks nearby that you could go up and back within your 8 miles, such as Sheffield Pike, that will still give you lovely views over Ullswater.

A great idea for a walk is to take the Ullswater steamer from Glenridding to Howtown, and then walk back around the lake.

One of my personal favourite walks around there is to drive the short distance from Glenridding to Hartsop (no more than a 5 min drive), and then walk up to Angle Tarn, which is a wonderfully scenic spot.

You could also visit the Aira Force waterfall, just a short drive up the lake from Glenridding.

Anyway, I'm not saying Glenridding is the best place to stay. It's pretty good, but there are plenty of other great places you could pick as well. Do feel free to post back here once you've settled on somewhere if you want some more suggestions for walks.

There's no need to hire a guide for hiking. If you're new to hiking, do read a bit about mountain safety, make sure you have the correct kit etc, but any good walk book will have a few tips. Tips are generally freely given here as well if you have any specific questions.

Enjoy your trip!

Cambridge, United...
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4. Re: Hiking in Lake District

Hi. If you are looking for a truly memorable experience, you should try to spend a night or two at the Black Sail Hut. (Do not be put off by the fact that it is a youth hostel). Very remote, no car access so you will have to walk in (easy path from Ennerdale) and a great base to explore the valley, black Sail pass, or walk over to Green Gable.

Waking up in a remote green valley, with no "civilisation" around you, and having got there under your own steam is something that will live with you and your children for ever. .

Lake District...
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5. Re: Hiking in Lake District

With a 6 & 8 year old you need options for shorter walks , depending on how keen they are !!

I would suggest Keswick as a base plenty of options from the town itself and a readily accessible lakeshore almost all the way round Derwentwater to mess around on.

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6. Re: Hiking in Lake District

thanks everyone for the great ideas.........Alanrow, sorry for my dyslexia (missing the "h" in Edinburgh!) - you were right, the prices for hotels in Edinburgh are insane in August. We may just do a day trip there, if that.

Bookings in the Lake district are still available and we will finalize in the next 24 hrs.

Otley, United...
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7. Re: Hiking in Lake District

From Keswick, you can take a boat trip to the other side of the lake & walk up Catbells, my 6 yr old did this last year with her Dad & did it in 1.25 hours, 20 mins faster than the couple they set off with from the carpark (they were impressed with her ability as I was!!)

Appleby, United...
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8. Re: Hiking in Lake District

Can I suggest you travel by rail www.thetrainline.com, quick and less hassle.

Penrith station is a good place to access the Lake District and from there you can take a bus or hire a car to nearby Ullswater. Look at www.ullswater.com

For general attractions look at the iPhone app www.digi-lakedistrict.com, it uses the GPS facility to guide you

9. Re: Hiking in Lake District

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