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One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

Seattle, WA
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One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

Next month we plan to take a train from Moreton in Marsh (after a few days in the Cotswolds) to either York or Carlisle, pick up our car there and head north or northwest. Within a day or two of picking up the car we would like to be in Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders area.

My question is - would it work to pick up the car in York and drive through the Dales and/or the Lakes for the scenery or is a day or two so short that it would just be rushed and stressful? If so, we would take the train to Carlisle and head up from there. Our time requirements would only allow us at most a day to drive through the Dales and a day to drive through the Lakes.

We could just spend a couple of days in one or the other or drive straight north to Scotland from York if that is a nice drive. Any ideas? Thank you for your input.

York, United Kingdom
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1. Re: One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

If you stayed outside of York but north of it this may be your answer. If you got an early train to York did York then picked up your car as late in the day as possible then head out into the countryside. What are your interests. Stay a couple of nights and tour round and then it is only a couple of hours to the borders of Scotland. From Yorkshire we always got up the A1 A66 over Bowes Moor join the M6 and the straight up into Scotland far less stressful than going up the east coast and it tends to be not as scenic as it is very industrial which creates volumes of traffic

North Yorkshire
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2. Re: One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

I would suggest that if you only have two days, you do one OR the other. Choose which you would prefer and use the couple of days to tour either the Dales (from York) or the Lakes (from Carlisle). You won't have time to do both.

Seattle, WA
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3. Re: One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

England six pence - we are interested in just about everything. Mostly just want scenic countryside, towns or villages with character, and would be happy if a few sights of historical or architectural interest were mixed in. We will definitely avoid going up the east side as this is our first experience driving in England.

WACT - I put some destinations into the route finder on the AA website and it looked like it might work to drive York to Hawes via Grassington one day, spend the night in Hawes and then drive through the Lakes to Keswick the following day. We would then overnight in Keswick and head up to Scotland from there.

Maybe in reality this would be too much.

Barnard Castle...
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4. Re: One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

Yes you can do it in 2 days, though obviously you'll not see too much ...

Suggested route:

- Train to York, take an hour or two out to walk the city walls (they are right outside the station).

- Then train 20 minutes to Northallerton and overnight there.

- Pick up a hire car the following morning** and drive Bedale - Leyburn - Hawes - Sedburgh - M6 - Keswick. This only takes a couple of hours if you don't stop, though of course you will!

- Stay overnight in Keswick and walk the lakeside, maybe get a launch tour round the lake.

- The next day take the A591 North then the A595 to Carlisle then the A7 to Jedburgh. Again, this only takes a couple of hours if you don't stop.

** There are no national car hire firms in Northallerton, but firms like Avis, Hertz have offices in nearby towns and will happily meet you there (for a fee!) Or you could stop over in York, pick up your car there and brave the York traffic!

Yorkshire Dales...
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5. Re: One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

I think you route York to Hawes as above would work well. I personally wouldn't stop overnight in Northallerton if I was you. Perfectly pleasant town but not particularly scenic or attractive - much better to stay somewhere in the Dales proper.

North Yorkshire
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6. Re: One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

The drive time is perfectly ok if you are talking about a purely driving tour, you could do both. But as already stated, you wouldn't actually see much if either beautiful landscape. Do the drive York to Hawes, but I would then spend the second day exploring the beautiful Dales area, maybe driving south from Hawes down wonderful Langstrothdale, or heading over to Malham or Settle, or exploring some of the many abbey ruins. So much choice. You could stay a second night in Hawes and head north easily the next day, or stay over nearer Kendal ready for a easier drive to Scotland.

Barnard Castle...
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7. Re: One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

My thinking behind Northallerton was mainly to get a head start in the morning and avoid the York traffic 8-(

An alternative, slightly quicker again, might be:

- Train to Darlington

- Pick up hire car and drive to Richmond; stay overnight

- Drive up Swaledale (Reeth, Gunnerside ..) to Kirkby Stephen then pick up the A66 and on to Keswick.

Seattle, WA
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8. Re: One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

Those sound like some great ideas. I'm going to get out my map and check it out. I know I won't have much time to experience the beautiful scenery but I'm hoping that the drive will be pleasant and give me a taste of the area(s) for future trips.

Thank you for all your help.

Seattle, WA
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9. Re: One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

Ok, so I've bought train tickets to Carlisle and arranged to pick up a car at the train station. We will spend the night near Carlisle and head out the next morning either to Keswick and explore around there for a couple of days or just one day and then head east through Swaledale and then north to Scotland.

Thank you all for helping me sort this out. I'm still interested in any thoughts on driving routes for the above ideas if you have any.

10. Re: One or two days to drive through Dales and Lakes to short?

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