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Lake District for 3 Days Help

I was very excited to find out recently that I am going to be attending a work conference in Leeds at the start of July. My girlfriend and I want to follow the conference with a 10-day tour of England and were hoping to start in the Lake District. We’ve rarely done any travel planning at all on our own, much less a big one, so were relieved to find forums like this out there. But I don’t know how they work so much: I do hope it’s allright for us to ask a whole bunch of questions

1. It seems like reading around that most people recommend renting a car, can we get away with not doing so? Any advice as to public transport from Leeds?

2. Is 3 days enough to spend in the Lake District?

3. What are your all’s opinions on guided tours available of the area? Any suggestions for better and worse ones?

4. Are there good “bases of operation,” a town that we might head to from Leeds and tour around from? Will that be impossible without a car or guided tour?

5. What do you think of the coastal areas of the Lake District? We were thinking we’d might be do them instead of somewhere like Cornwall?

6. I’m reading a bunch about July being “peak season” and how problematic that can be. Should we be planning around it somehow?

7. In general, we’d be super grateful for any recommendations, advice you might have to offer at all as to places to stay, see etc.

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