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Help with Yorkshire and Lakes trip, please.

Help with Yorkshire and Lakes trip, please.

Old Jan 14th, 2011, 12:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,740
Help with Yorkshire and Lakes trip, please.


We will arrive in Manchester on Monday morning, May 23. We depart on Sunday morning, June 5, 2011.

We want to spend time in York and visit the cathedral.
Other places on the wish list include
Fountains Abbey
Castle Howard
Riveaulx (sp?)
Whitby and Robin Hood Bay
A bit of time in the Dales
Keswick and some time in The Lake District
A day or two in LIverpool for two museums that I won't miss.

Thinking of a dash north to Hadrians Wall, and south to Chatsworth, but either of those can be eliminated. .

Every time I try to plan this out, I get overwhelmed and give up.

We would like to proceed in a circular manner, and be some place not wildly busy during the Bank Holiday.

History, natural beauty and art are the reasons for the trip. We like cathedrals and we like ruins and abbeys.

I'll list our days:
Day 1 (5-23) arrive Manchester in the morning. Don't feel the need to remain there, and would rather proceed to York or Liverpool. Thinking of going to York first, then circling counter clockwise, ending in Liverpool. We are meeting friends in Liverpool.
Day 2 (5-24) York
Day 3 (5-25) York again, or move to another location rather than day trip?
Day 4 (5-26) Up towards Whitby I think
Day 5 Whitby area or move on?
Day 6
Day 7 Have to put Lakes and Dales in here, but not sure where or how long....
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12 Liverpool
Day 13 Liverpool
Day 14 (June 5) Depart Manchester airport at 11:15, so can actually get to the airport from either of our city stays (Liverpool or York; I think Liverpool looks much easier).

Any suggestions here would be much appreciated. Thanks.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2011, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 641
Firstly, tuscan. Let's be honest we haven't got an awful lot of money here. As a result, home is getting increasingly busy each year as the recession progresses. I would avoid the M6, M1, M62, A1 on Friday afternoon/ evening, bank holiday Monday Sunday evenings. You will lose about 2 hours on a journey.

Last year bank holiday Friday was a shocker. The trip itself over two weeks is absolutely straightforward, just need to decide whether to go clockwise or anti-clockwise.

Manchester, M6, The Lakes, over to The Dales, York, North Yorkshire, North Yorkshire coast, M1/M62 is really easy over 2 weeks and should be a pleasure to plan.

Time will not be an issue as one of your longest possible legs : Manchester to Carlisle takes around 2 hours at the most.

I would drop Liverpool as, unless you have a personal interest, it really isn;t worth the detour and neither is Manchester city centre.

The trip to Chatworth from Manchester can again be a horror story. The roads through south Manchester to Chatsworth can eat 2 hours should the traffic be bad. Castle Howard is on your route and is less austere.

When you start to head north there is an hours journey before you start to get to anywhere interesting.

Where are you travelling from and how much of a drive could you cope with on the first day.
humptynumpty is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2011, 01:56 PM
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Posts: 14,740
Hi hnumpty

We haven't really got much money over here, either. But nice award tickets to Manchester, so off we go.

We are coming from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, via Philadelphia to Manchester. We have no interest in stopping over in Manchester. I had thought of going straight to York from Manchester airport. It looks like the drive is under two hours.

Should we just park in a quiet spot for Bank Holiday Fri-Mon? The Dales perhaps?

Liverpool is something we must do. We will meet a Liverpool-born friend there, and I have to visit at the Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight, and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

Chatsworth is off the list. Is Carlisle something we will really want to do?
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2011, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Hi Tuscan

"We are coming from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, via Philadelphia"

US Airways? We love them here. Since BA left us high and dry they are our main route out of Manchester.

No, Carlisle isn't something you should do but the best parts of Hadrian Wall are close by. It was just an example of using the M6 to the extreme of your circle doesn't create a problem for the timing of your two weeks.

The Walker is lovely and has really good examples of Millais/ pre-raphaelite work and Port Sunlight as a village is really interesting.

Crazy idea would be to offer a house swap. We have houses in Lytham and the Scottish borders and are on holiday for those two weeks but I think we are heading for The Bahamas for some sun!

All the above list are absolutely world class and so you are on the right track.

What is you budget per night? Would you consider a rental cottage in North Yorkshire for a week?

I would actually leave Liverpool as a side trip on the last day. Stay in Liverpool that night and simply drive the 1 hour up to Manchester Airport on leaving. Which would suggest an anti-clockwise trip.

Have to go to bed but will talk tomorrow to help out.
humptynumpty is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2011, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,879
I probably missed something but:
Why not head north from Manchester, then over to York, then south west back to Liverpool? I don't know why you plan York first, then backtracking to Lake District?

So, maybe something like--head to somewhere in Dales first, then through Lake District, then to Carlisle. (We enjoyed our brief visit to its cathedral and castle in an afternoon there, overnighting before heading out to a full day along Hadrian's Wall.) Then definitely spend at least a day along the Wall. (We spent the night in Durham--got to see the cathedral). Then to York. Then head southwest back to Liverpool. I'd make the effort to see Chatsworth--just budget the time and go. Amazing place. Just looking at a map this route seems less crisscrossy--but maybe I don't know some parameter you have. But Carlisle is definitely ok as a stop before or after the Wall, the Wall is one of my favorite destinations of all time, and so is Chatsworth, so I'd recommend it, too.
texasbookworm is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2011, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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I just wanted to comment on your need to flee Manchester immediately. I was pleasantly surprsed when I revisted Manchester a year or so ago. I rememebered it from years ago as a bombed out, depressed area, but it is so different now. I really enjoyed their War Museum - not at all what you would expect.

I suppose, though, that I should not add to your itineary, since you arealready overwhelmed by choices.
dancoyle1 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2011, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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We visited a lot of your must-see places this summer (myself, husband, and kids 12 and 9), also flying into Manchester. I spent a lot of time in Yorkshire as a child and have family there.

Many of your Yorkshire places can be done quite easily from a single base. We rented a cottage near Thirsk for a week, and did day-trips to York, the east coast, the Dales, the moors.

If you haven't been to York before, I would give it two days (we did one, as it's somewhere we've been a lot). Walk around the walls, see the Minster, Castle Museum, Railway museum, etc. There are self-guided walking tours available from the tourist board website - worth a look. We did an evening ghost walk - fun for the kids, but the grown-ups quite liked it too.

For the Dales, take the road that goes north from Ripon, through Masham (a good stop) and Middleham. As abbeys go, Rievaulx and Fountains are amazing, but for something a bit different, have a look at Jervaulx, which is just off this road. It doesn't get the crowds, there's no cafe or gift shop, but it's one of our favourites.

Middleham Castle, which has Richard III connections, is a good stop; there's a nice pub just down the road for lunch, but I can't remember the name, sorry. From there, you can head up to Swaledale. Take the Buttertubs road down to Wensleydale, or if you're brave enough, when you get to Keld, you can head north and visit Tan Hill, the highest pub in England. There are a couple of different ways to get to Tan Hill, but the road from Keld is the trickiest, driving-wise. You'll need a drink after that.

Rievaulx and Hutton-le-Hole are a good full day. Rievaulx is wonderful - even (especially?) on a rainy day. You really get a sense of what it was like in days gone by. The Yorkshire Folk Museum in Hutton-le-Hole is nearby and well worth a visit. Sheep roam freely around the village, so watch where you step!

I could go on and on, because I love Yorkshire and I've spent a lot of time there! One thing I do recommend is to get off the beaten track and just drive around discovering little villages. In the Ripon area, you might come across my ancestral village of Roecliffe, which has a perfect village green. Just down the road is the lovely hamlet of Bishop Monkton, with its little stream (with ducks) and nice pub. These places are not in guide books - you just have to discover them - but this, to me, is the 'real' Yorkshire.

As for Liverpool, I also went there last summer to visit an old friend. I've been there a couple of times recently because of this friend, and I have been pleasantly surprised. The Albert Dock area is where you'll find some more museums (Tate, Beatles, Maritime), and restaurants, etc. We stayed at a resort called Thurnham Hall (timeshare place) near Lancaster - it was about an hour's drive to L'pool, and accessible to the Lakes too.

I can't reiterate strongly enough - get off the main roads and just head to what looks interesting. Castle Howard is great, but not too far away you'll come across Bylands Abbey in Coxwold, which you might want also to have a look at.

Let me know if you have specific questions - good luck with your planning!
TaniaP is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2011, 06:23 PM
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Hi texasbookworm, your trip sounds similar to ours. We arrive in London May 21 for a week, Paris for 4 days then we have rented a cottage in Ampleforth, North Yorkshire for a week. We then have a week to see the Lakes and Snowdonia, Wales before heading to Bisley, south Cotswolds, a night in Bath before we head back to Australia.

Lots of really good info on this thread. Let us know what you decide.
Maudie is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2011, 07:46 PM
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I will post tomorrow with even more thoughts and questions but wanted to say thanks tonight.

I am a Pre-Raphaelite fanatic, and will go most any place to view some of my favorite paintings. Thus Liverpool and Port Sunlight. Don't much care about Beatles or Maritime stuff, but might visit the Tate Liverpool if we have the time.

So glad to see all this great information.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2011, 02:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
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How about :

Out of Manchester Airport, north round the M60, straight up the M66 will bring you out at Clitheroe which is a short drive to :

Which is quite expensive but I cannopt think of a better way to spend your first night. The drive on a good day is around an hour and 3/4 mainly on motorways.

Day 2 : Drive up through the Trough of Bowland to Kirkby Lonsdale : Lovely walks and cafes for lunch. Drive up to Central Lakes (one hour) in the afternoon stay overnight.

Day 3 : Central Lakes including Brantwood which is an Arts and Craft house or any of the other NT properties. Drive up to Keswick (45 minutes) over night.

Day 3 : Castle Rigg stone circle is on the way. Huge selection of good value B&Bs. Again lovely walks particularly round the lake with the aid of the public launch.

Day 4 : Drive over to North Yorkshire either two ways. Fast and easy would be the A66 via Scotch corner (around 2 hours).
Or up very early up to Carlise to see Tullie house (Pre-Raphaelites and very good Roman exhibition.

On to Hadrians Wall for Lunch then down over to the A1 and down. (Long day!) You could extend to another day here and go to Lanercost Priory/Brampton Church which has the best examples of Burne-Jones stained glass I have seen.

Day 5 - 12 Rent a cottage in North Yorkshire and take day trips out to all your list which will be no more than one hours drive from a centrally located cottage. Sorry I cannot help with suggestions I have never had the need to rent as the area is so close to us. However, the areas around Thirsk, Ripon or Helmsley would be perfect.

Day 12 (Friday) after vacating cottage a long drive over to Liverpool down the M1 and over the Pennines all the way down the Donkey Derby which is the M62. Buy a lottery ticket prior to departure as it may indicate your chances of the journey being anything between 2 and 5 hours.

Day 13 Friend in Liverpool

Sunday short trip (45 minutes) on a usually very quite morning up the M62/M56.

Dropping Manchester City centre loses this :

which is a big loss.

Indeed, I think you need to balance how much time you want to spend on the West v East. Lancashire/Cumbra has very good links with the Pre-raphaelites through Ruskin etc. Yorkshire less so but has some of the best early medieval to Georgian architecture in the North.

I would well and truely suggest buying either a NT (Scotland)(cheaper) or NT (England) or English Heritage annual membership. Once you get past 4 admissions they start to be cost effective even for 2 weeks. Purchase on line.

On final note : do not rely on public transport for your journey to Manchester Airport on the final morning (I assume you will simply drop off the hire car at the airport anyway). The train services on a Sunday in the North have been shocking. BR seem to use the day as a close down to to carry out work.
humptynumpty is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2011, 02:41 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
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ps because Easter is so late this year, the May school half terms are very spread over time this year in the North.

This should as a knock may some of the busy location less pressurised compared with some years when all schools close for the same week.

Whatever, ANYONE says (I have lived here for 42 years) there are only two main road nasties. The M6 between Preston and Kendal : Friday/Sunday night and most of M62 during the rush hour generally. Some travellers seem to assume that traffic in North mirror that in the smoke down south. It doesn't.
humptynumpty is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2011, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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A few years back we based in Richmond (Yorkshire) and did daytrips around the dales. Richmond is a pretty little town with a castle and a Georgian theatre. And our B&B there was superb: Millgate House. I see it still gets rave reviews on Tripadvisor.

One of our daytrips was to Durham. You probably won't have time for it. But I particularly enjoyed Durham: the cathedral, the university, the pedestrian old town, the riverside walk with a view of the cathedral that hasn't changed in 300 years.
Mimar is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2011, 06:39 AM
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For a cottage rental in North Yorks, have a look at this, just outside Thirsk:

We stayed here for a week (Squirrel) - can highly recommend.
TaniaP is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2011, 03:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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How about
5/23 Head to York. Transpennine Express offers direct train service from the airport or else drive over the M62 (1h50). Spend afternoon in York.
5/24 York - Minster, walk the Walls, river trip on YorkBoat, Merchant Adventurers Hall etc. Try for info.
5/25 Day trip to Castle Howard (about 40 mins drive). Worth checking out Nunnington Hall (National Trust) which isn't too far away and in a beautiful village with great pub. Castle Howard is situated in the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the whole area is gorgeous. Kirkham Abbey, the otherside of the A64 is also a lovely riverside spot with a beautifully located pub.
5/26 Whitby - Captain Cooks Memorial Museum, Whale Bone, Magpie Cafe for fish and chip lunch or Greens Restaurant if you want to splash out.
5/27 Runswick Bay and/or Robin Hood's Bay. You could walk some of the Cleveland Way along the coast, Sandsend to Runsick Bay and back is particularly beautiful.
5/28 Head over to Thirsk via Helmsley (Helmsley area would make a great base for York, Castle Howard and even the coast. Great hotel Feversham Arms or lots of good value cottages.) Check out Black Swan Tea Rooms. Visit Rievaulx Abbey.
5/29 Fountain's Abbey. From here you can head into the Yorkshire Dales. The BH weekend will be busy so although beautiful, if you don't like crowds avoid the honeypot locations like Burnsall and Bolton Abbey. Try heading to Grassington and then up to Buckden and Hubberholme. The road through Langstrothdale Chase is one of the most idyllic picnic spots, impossibly beautiful and usually very quiet.
5/30 Maybe walk one of the famous three Peaks such as Pen-y-Ghent
5/31 Head to Swaledale, the village of Reeth and surrounding area is lovely and famous for its beautiful hay meadows.
6/1 A684 to Dent, lovely village with cobbled streets and then on to Kendal in Cumbria, as gateway to the Lakes. Maybe head to Ambleside and visit Tarn Hows and the area round Little Langdale. Elterwater is also gorgeous.
Grasmere for Heaton Cooper Studio.
6/2 Kewick and Derwent Water. Castlerigg Stone Circle.
6/3 Could do a quick dash north to Carlisle and Hadrian's Wall although adds extra driving. Or spend another day in the Lakes.
6/4 Liverpool
6/5 Liverpool

Have fun.
Snargater is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2011, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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What an enormous mistake to discount the City Centre of Manchester for lots of reasons. There's Roman Ruins, excellent museums and art galleries, theatre, very good hotels, restaurants and shopping.

It's a mixture of old and new with stunning modern architecture and historic buildings from the Victorians and older. It's a compact City and easily walkable. I'd look at the following:

Day 1 Arrive Manchester and stay 2 nights
Day 3 Drive or train to York 3 nights incl trips to Whitby and Robin Hood Bay
Day 6 move to Romaldkirk near Durham for Dales 2 nights (Stay at the Rose and Crown)
Day 8 Across A66 to Lake District-stay at Keswick 3 nights
Day 11 to end at Liverpool

Liverpool centre to Manchester airport is 45 minutes traffic permitting.
Lifeman is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2011, 07:34 AM
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As I did a similar trip a few summers ago, I thought you might like to see my trip report (under a different screen name.) I do regret not getting to Castle Howard, however.
Cimbrone is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2011, 07:30 PM
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I finally getting back to trip planning. I am appreciative of all the help here and have some remarks and questions.

1. I really can't fit in Manchester. The Manchester City Galleries are closed on Monday, which is our arrival day, and although I'm sure the city is wonderful, I'm overwhelmed by trying to fit in another stop. If the museum was open on Monday, I would try harder, I think.

2. We are thinking of visiting York from a cottage or rental where we would stay for a week, or pretty close to it. Is this wise, or should we stop in York as originally planned, then place ourselves in a rental a bit to the north, where we can visit the coast as well as many of the places mentioned above?

3. If we stay in York for 2 nights, then a rental for close to a week (see #2 above), then the Lakes and Liverpool for our last two stops, that means 4 accomodations in two weeks. That's about all we would want to do. This means a rental would have to be in a spot where we can visit many different places on day trips.

Any remarks on these plans?

I see this shaping up as

First 2 nights in York
Nights 3 - 8 in a rental placed for visits to Dales, coast, and more.
Nights 9 - 11 in Lakes
Nights 12 & 13 in Liverpool
Fly home on day 14
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2011, 08:16 PM
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Hi again,

We have just booked our two nights in York at Abbeyfields B&B, pick up a car and move onto this cottage for a week from June 3.

There is plenty to keep us occupied for 7 days, we then move onto Keswick, down through Wales then another cottage in the Cotswolds for 5 days.

I think your plan sounds great - mainly cause its as good as ours! We are very lucky as we have 5 weeks.
Maudie is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2011, 08:33 AM
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Maudie, I'm glad you like my plan, as I like yours.

Two weeks are actually a long time for us to be away; I don't think we have ever gone for longer than that. Our vacation days here are very rationed, and our dog needs a sitter.

I've been using the, but the choices are so hard! Your cottage looks lovely.

I'm hoping for more feedback and a suggestion of where to place ourselves for the Moors and more.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2011, 09:24 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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I often get asked 'where to stay' to be central to visit the Moors, Dales and York and it's a difficult question, mainly because North Yorkshire is a very large county. If you looked at a map you'd probably pick somewhere in the Thirsk area, but that's not necessarily the 'nicest' area to stay. Perfectly pleasant market town but that's about all.
I personally wouldn't stay in York itself as it means you have to battle the York traffic (and the dreaded ring road) every time you go out for the day away from the city.
My advice would be to stay somewhere in the North Yorks Moors. If you want a busy, bustling town them Pickering perhaps.
My personal choice would probably be Helmsley or somewhere very close. Helmsley itself is lovely, it has a castle you can visit, plus you can walk to Rievaulx Abbey on footpaths from the town.
If you didn't want a cottage (and you might find it very difficult to get one for less than a week) then there are bound to be lots of farms that do a good bed and breakfast. This site might help.
Or if you fancy staying in a village then maybe the Black Swan - superb food here too.
Morgana is offline  

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