Cotsworld and Lake district

Aug 16th, 2012, 04:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 33
Cotsworld and Lake district

Background: I have been to UK many times on work but have not had a chance to visit either Cotsworld or the lake district. I have another visit planned for Early to Mid-October and was thinking of doing either of these during that time. Most posts I have read suggest hiring a car but I absolutely abhor driving especially abroad and that has been one of the reasons i have never done these parts of UK before.

1. Is October a good time to cover any of these places?
2. Is it suggested to do any of these options without renting a car?
3. If not, i have not traveled to Wales before but i have heard it is beautiful - would you suggest planning something there instead?
suneet is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 04:27 AM
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To be honest I think all three places would be quite difficult to do justice without a car. They dont have the best train services, especially between the villages, and alot of the charm will be in getting off the beaten path.

I believe there are bus services, but I dont think they are catered to tourists, more to people going to and from work so may not be at times you would want to use them.

Mid-October will be cool, with some showers likely - but of course one can never tell. We went to the Cotswolds in 2008 in the beginning of Oct and wore light jackets throughout the day.
jamikins is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 04:37 AM
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Just a note. It's 'The Cotswolds', but 'Cotsworld' does give me a great name for a new business venture ;-)
Kate is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 05:54 AM
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Hi sun,

As noted, the Cotswolds and the Lake District aren't all that well served by public transportation. (Yes, yes, it's better than the US. )

The British Rail map is at

Look for Oxford and see where you can go by train, eg Stratford-upon-Avon, Moreton-in-marsh

Higher up the map, to the left of Leeds, you will find train service to Windermere and other towns in the Lake District.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 06:34 AM
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there are buses in the Lake district, and a company that does tours by a sort of landrover, called

they will pick you up from the station, and tailor a tour to your needs. I've never used them but they seem to get good reviews.

good luck!
annhig is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 06:43 AM
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It all depends a bit on your spare time. But the Cotswolds and the Lakes are relatively easy to visit without a car provided you're prepared to adapt yourself to how people treated the areas before cars became so prevalent

a. Cotswolds

There's surprisingly little to see in the Cotswolds: it's just lots of minor variations on a "what a pretty village, surrounded by such nice rolling countryside" theme. Public transport really isn't suitable for travelling round the area - but it's jolly good (obviously by some underdeveloped countries' standards, outstanding) for getting to and from the area. So you can get to, say, Chipping Campden by train and bus, though its two major railway stations have reasonable hotel facilities in reasonably pretty towns. We call them towns, because they were given charters allowing them to be called towns around 1200-1250 when "Stadtluft macht frei": town status gave citizens the kinds of freedom scarcely anyone else on the planet enjoyed, so we get a bit pissed off when people from johnny come lately countries call them villages. But they look like what you'd call villages.

And from there you walk. They've all got dozens of "nice walks round here" books in their local newsagents (or, and the best views of the countryside, churches and thatched cottages is from the top of what we call the hill but most others call a glorified bump. Getting here details at

b. Lakes

Walking in the Lakes is a tad more strenuous, so you need buses and boats. It's a myth that Lakeland tourism started with Wordsworth. In his day, that meant a few eccentric Londoners took a cottage for six months. Lakeland tourism started when the railways allowed thousands of workers from Liverpool and Manchester to escape from their slums: the area's economy was founded on car-free tourism. Train to Windermere, then public transport. Ideas at
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 06:50 AM
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English weather is almost always benign, but never predictable. October's pretty well the best time to go walking in the Cotswolds, but you do need to have rain protection and stout footwear just in case.

It's likely to be wetter in the Lakes, and by Oct it can be foolhardy to do any serious walking up on the fells without proper research, thought-through clothing and even filing a routeplan. It's fine (if sometimes damp) down on the lakes themselves.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 10:02 AM
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I've used Mountain Goat tours in The Lake district a couple of times and they were great. Will pick up and drop off from your accommodation and very easy to deal with.
Jennywren58 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 10:45 AM
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I'm perhaps a bit biased but there's absolutely no reason you can't do the Lake District without a car. We regularly have guests who come up by train to stay at our place. It's just over 2.5 hours from London Euston to Oxenholme. From there, you can take the branch line to Kendal and Windermere.

You can go with tour companies such as Mountain Goat mentioned above. There's also one called Lakes Supertours, and there's a one-man band operating just out of Kendal called Swish Travel who does private tours.

But, if you didn't want any of that, there's plenty of public transport options as well. Buses are pretty frequent out of Kendal and into the central Lakes, passing through the likes of Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere and on up to Keswick, and you can also take the bus from Kendal into the Yorkshire Dales if you wanted to explore that area.

See for bus timetables for the area.

Hope this helps,

kendalcottages is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 09:46 AM
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We did the Lakes without a car several years ago and had a wonderful time: train from London to Haltwhistle with a change in Newcastle. Overnight in Haltwhistle at Ashcroft House, one of the loveliest places we've stayed. We arrived early enough to catch a bus to Housestead's Fort to walk a part of Hadrian's Wall. The next day we took train to Penrith and easy connection to bus for short ride to Keswick. We had 3 days in Keswick with time for minibus tours, boat trips on Derwentwater, easy hike to Ashness Bridge, etc. We loved this area, preferring Keswick to Windermere on a previous trip. Enroute from London to Haltwhistle, one could always stop for an overnight in York. Or since you mentioned Wales, you could leave Keswick, travel to Chester and then into Wales, staying in Conwy with it's castle and see some of Snowdonia. Train from Conwy to London Euston Sta. is about 3 hours. Send me a PM if you want more information on N. Wales.
trotters is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 09:48 AM
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"Send me a PM if you want more information on N. Wales"

There is no 'PM' function
janisj is online now  
Aug 18th, 2012, 11:04 AM
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"Pretty frequent" is in the eye of the beholder. Here there's a bus every 5 minutes. If I were someplace else I would expect one every 20 or 30 minutes. I suspect "pretty frequent" might be 5 or 6 buses a day.

There's a reason most everyone uses a car. And I'm not sure recommending travel the way people did in 1920 is really productive.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 19th, 2012, 11:43 PM
Original Poster
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Thank you all for your replies.

Mountain Goat sounds like a good option for the lake district - thanks Annhig, Jennywren58 and kendalcottages for the tip.

flanneruk - i am an avid walker and can walk for lengths so like your way of doing cotswold

trotters - gives me more confidence that it can be done without a car.

I am going to research a bit on the suggestions you wonderful people have given and then may come back to you with some more queries. Thank you so much for this.
suneet is offline  
Aug 20th, 2012, 04:01 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 26
"I suspect "pretty frequent" might be 5 or 6 buses a day."

No, that is absolutely not the case. Sure, it's not every 5 minutes, but many of the buses around Kendal run every half hour or so (depending on which bus service).

The 555 bus which runs from Lancaster to Kendal and right up through the Lake District into Keswick, runs roughly every hour from around 8am until around 8pm. The full details for that particular service can be found at
kendalcottages is offline  

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