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Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

Los Angeles, CA
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Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

We will land at Manchester airport and hire a car to drive through the lake district stopping to see Hadrian's wall and again in Ornmiston. We will not stop to see the lake visitor center - just want to drive through some beautiful countryside in route. We love to see small towns and stop in little shops or pubs for a rest. We have just 1 day.

I'm from Southern California and when I look at the maps of the lake district I compair it to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Are we in for steep mountains with winding roads and destined for car sickness? How safe are the roads? Many twists and turns "hairpin curves"?

Also, in early July would you expect rain to complicate the trip?

I'm completely open to route suggestions.. must see's... must eats etc.

London, United...
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1. Re: Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

It depends entirely on what you are prepared to take on. The trickiest parts have sheer drops, gradients of 1:3 and hairpin bends, coupled with room for only one car to get through at a time. (But there are places to pull in and let the traffic coming towards you pass).

Then other parts can be driven very easily with none of the above - yet both types of drive can be scenic.

How long do you want to spend on the driving part? I note you say you'll have a day but what time will this translate to when you get to the Lake District? 10-6? 12-8? 12-6?

There are a few different scenic routes available but all are time dependent.

Los Angeles, CA
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2. Re: Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

We're coming off an international flight, I'm hesitant to be on narrow roads with sheer drops in likely rain driving on the opposite side of the road. Perhaps we're better off staying on main roads. That makes me sad though.

I saw that someone suggested a more direct but still scenic route. I'm still open for suggestions.

We land at 7:35 am at MAN. Would like to see Ormiston around 5:00 pm.

Edited: 03 May 2012, 19:55
Windermere, United...
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3. Re: Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

I would look at the route some one else suggested on your other post but with a slight alteration for an easier drive.

Drive up to j36 on the M6 and follow the A590 - dual carriageway and then the A591, single lane 50mph route through to Windermere, you could then drop down into Bowness for a late breakfast or follow the road along the side of the lake (30mph)to Ambleside. Again plenty if shops, cafes and pubs. You should make it by around 10:30 leaving time to pick up bags and get you car at the airport. I would then continue your drive alongside Thirlmere (very scenic) and into Keswick for lunch? 45 minute drive from Ambleside. This road is windy in places but no drops. Speed limit is 40/50mph but likely to be slow with other tourists.

From Keswick use the A66 to Penrith M6 J40 I think. Another 30mins back to the motorway. You can then head North to see Hadrans wall and over the border into Scotland.

Although it is a fair amount if driving I think it would be worth it. You have no need to worry about the roads, I have driven plenty in the American National Parks and in my opinion they are much harder. If you can rent an automatic even better!

Hope this has helped you plan.

Bingley, United...
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4. Re: Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

< We're coming off an international flight >

< We land at 7:35 am at MAN. Would like to see Ormiston around 5:00 pm. >

You are barking mad and a danger to your family and other road users.

North West England...
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5. Re: Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

Hi,

If you decide against driving. there's a direct train service from the airport to Edinburgh. The journey takes three and a half hours, if you book now, you can purchase Advance tickets with fares around £28.00. Advance fares limit you to specific trains.

Good luck1

Edinburgh, Scotland
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6. Re: Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

Not sure whether I would say "barking mad" but for sure it's not a good idea to drive those roads straight off a plane.

South Manchester to Edinburgh is a drive I've been doing often lately, and the part that freaks me out is driving the M60. One moment you have to dodge a crazed Mercedes driver doing 90mph in the outside lane as he dives across three lanes for the exit at the last moment and the next you are stamping on the brakes because all three lanes have come to a dead halt in front of you. OP should be worrying about that road, not the Hardknott Pass!

For sure, I would not drive to Edinburgh straight off an overnight flight, especially when there's a good train service direct from the airport to the centre of Edinburgh. (I only drive when I have other reasons to take a car).

For sure, in these circumstances the OP would be best advised to use the train. Good views up through the east side of the Lakes and through southern Scotland.

Edinburgh, Scotland
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7. Re: Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

Actually, that's one of the few services where an advance ticket does not necessarily restrict you to a specific train. If you book from the airport, and your flight arrival is delayed, the ticket can be re-validated (at the ticket office) for a service following your reservation.

tpexpress.co.uk/campaigns/manchester-airport/

London, United...
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8. Re: Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

If your international flight is coming from LAX then that's a long flight and one I've done many a time from and to LHR (I lived in Laguna Beach for a short while).

You will find it difficult and you will be very pushed for time.

Assuming you still choose the drive Heath's suggestion is fine for your circumstances. Once you leave the Lake District you could also come off the A702 and head towards your destination via Biggar and the Edinburgh bypass. I've always found the drive via Biggar to be quite good.

I can't stress how difficult a day you may find it though. A 10-11 hr flight + 8 hr time difference really requires at least half a days rest before you tackle a long drive.

Lake District...
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9. Re: Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

Unless you go out of the way to find the narrowest minor roads you will NOT encounter 1in 3 gradients, hairpin bends and unprotected sheer drops .

We may talk about mountains but the highest is only about 3000 ft and the roads dont go anything like that high.

United Kingdom
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10. Re: Road conditions through lake district from MAN to Edinburgh

Intense

You mentioned you have been looking at maps of the Lake District and wondering what the roads are like? Have you tried using Google street to see for example the A592 Kirkstone Pass as if you were actually there, driving along and able to look around 360 degrees? It will help answer your questions about the roads and landscape.

They are referred to as Fells rather than mountains.

As mentioned by others you really need and will wish to have more time in the National Park to appreciate the area, better to keep it as a separate longer visit another time.

(also posted this in your earlier forum)