We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

Falls Church...
5 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

We will be traveling to Manchester from Cambridge August 9, staying 4 days and planning on getting a rental car to make day trip visits to the national parks in this area. Is Manchester a good home base to stay? What is the best way to travel from Cambridge to Manchester?

Oakham, United...
Level Contributor
2,820 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

If you want to visit the national parks, that suggests that you really like the countryside. So I would advise staying in the countryside, instead of staying in a large city. National Parks in the UK are places that people live and work as normal, and many of them run pub sand B & Bs.. you don't have to just visit for the day. The difference is that they have tight planning controls there.

Your plan seems to be to stay in a city and spend a lot of time sitting in a car to look at scenery.. you only have four days.. scale down your ambitions, pick an area (eg the Peak District if you really want to see Chatsworth) and find a nice B&B in a village there as a base. Then maybe go up to the Dales for another couple of days. Again, why not stay *in* the countryside to experience it better?

The train from Cambridge over to the Peaks isn't that speedy. I suspect it might be best just to hire the car from Cambridge, but that depends on yoru final plan, how many of you there are, and your personal preferences.

Edited: 08 July 2014, 09:12
Liverpool
Level Contributor
483 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

A good point, and one that I think a lot of overseas visitors may not appreciate, is that National Parks in the UK are essentially picturesque parts of the country where it's very difficult to get planning permission. There are no entry fees, and they contain sizeable towns, where tourism is a big source of employment, but by no means the only one.

In your case, factor in that the Peak District is actually on the way from Cambridge to Manchester, and you only have four nights. How about driving from Cambridge, with two nights in Buxton and two in Skipton? You could visit Pontefract on the way, though I'm intrigued as to how it comes to be in such exalted company!

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for Pollenca, Port de Pollenca
Level Contributor
8,906 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

I agree with the above posts; stay much nearer or inside the national parks. Manchester is not a good home base for you.

Having a car in this city would be a liability and you would waste significant time each day (think busy traffic) getting out of the city and beginning to head towards your day trip locations, and the same wasted time on your return leg of the day trip.

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
6,708 posts
83 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

As the previous posters have said - the UK concept of a national park is quite different to that in the US, so there are numerous towns and villages within the parks offering accommodation choices, rather than one or two concessionaires, for example.

I agree with the suggestion for two 2-night stays, though I'd probably favour Bakewell over Buxton (on Chatsworth's doorstep virtually) or even one of the hotels or B & Bs on the Chatsworth estate itself, which I think tend to get good reviews on here

http://www.chatsworth.org/stay-with-us

Given it is August you may find many places booked up, this is the Peak District tourism accommodation page:

www.visitpeakdistrict.com/accommodation/

Falls Church...
5 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

Thanks everyone. This is really helpful. I'll look at some of those smaller towns.

Sheffield
Level Contributor
4,649 posts
145 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

If you plan to visit Chatsworth (and you should) do consider also going to Haddon Hall which is very close and very plain as a contrast to the Devonshires' place. You could stay in or close to Bakewell, as suggested.

You may have a really good reason to visit Pontefract - you may have a thing about rhubarb, horse racing, liquorice (Pontefract Cakes) or coal mining. I wouldn't bother.

Falls Church...
5 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

Since you mention it, I do love both rhubarb and liquorice, but really was most interested in seeing the place where Richard II met his demise. Thanks for the recommendation; will investigate Haddon Hall too.

Sheffield
Level Contributor
4,649 posts
145 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

There's not much left of Pontefract Castle. Richard II is buried at Kings Langley, near Watford if you want to pay your respects.

Kendal, United...
Level Contributor
246 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

I agree with the above posts. Manchester is in the middle of a big urban area, you will have to travel along some really uninspiring and busy roads to get out of it. Two days Buxton / Bakewell seems great, but then how about two days somewhere like Kirkby Lonsdale - a picturesque little town with good selection of restaurants and within easy reach of the Lakes and Dales.

10. Re: Peak, Chatsworth, Lake Dist, Dales, Pontefract?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 14 July 2015, 22:16
Get answers to your questions about Greater Manchester