Visiting the Lake District without a car
March 11, 2018 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Looking for advice on the best places to stay in the Lake District that can be navigated without a car.

My father and I will are hoping to visit the Lake District for about 3 days in May. (I live in London and he will be traveling over from the US.) Renting a car isn't possible for us, which I understand will complicate things, but we're hoping to find somewhere to stay where this won't be a major issue.

We would like to do a fair amount of walking but we're not looking to camp or stay somewhere different each night (I'd imagine we'd walk 8-10 miles each day depending on weather and other factors). We're not looking to do any rock climbing or anything more intense than basic walking/hiking. We are open to staying somewhere near the town or somewhere more isolated.

We're happy to stay at a B&B or similar, or to rent a home, as long as it wouldn't be too difficult to get groceries by foot. We'd just like somewhere that's a good base to explore from. We'll be taking the train and are open to other trains, buses, walking, or maybe bikes. We don't need to see lots of different sights or places - we're just looking for somewhere beautiful where we can wander.

With this in mind, where would be the best place to stay for our trip? I'd really appreciate any thoughts on the area, and especially tips on getting around without a car.
posted by Put the kettle on to Travel & Transportation around Manchester, England (4 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I stayed in Ambleside (at The Gables B&B) and although I had a car, I happily did several walks right from my hotel. I don't think they were necessarily as long as you are thinking but some were significant hills so took longer. Ambleside has plenty of nice places to eat and is big enough to be served by public transport. I really liked it.
posted by kadia_a at 1:33 PM on March 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I stayed in Windermere and was able to get around easily by bus and train.
posted by brujita at 2:16 PM on March 11, 2018

I stayed at Ambleside as well at the YHA Hostel, which is easily the nicest hostel I’ve ever stayed in. They have options for shared and private rooms, and it’s full of individuals and families, including people of all ages. There were a number of reasonable day hikes that were easily accessible, and the walk to downtown was manageable.

There was also a ferry or boat that left from nearby that went to other locations on Lake Windermere - it wasn’t expensive and you could either get off somewhere else or just use it to tour the lake.
posted by scrute at 2:17 PM on March 11, 2018

nthing Ambleside and Windermere for convenience. Without a car, you're sort of beholden to the A591, which has a fairly regular bus to get you to Kendal or up to Keswick via Grasmere.
posted by holgate at 4:00 PM on March 11, 2018

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