Lakes District and May Bank holiday

Old Mar 26th, 2010, 04:32 PM
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Lakes District and May Bank holiday

We will complete our UK vacation on May 4, flying back to Texas on May 5.

We want to spend 2-3 days/nights in the Lakes District prior to departing. How does the May Bank Holiday effect traffic, availability of B & Bs or inns? Crowds? We depart from Manchester and are spending the night at the airport May 4.

Also appreciate suggestions of B&Bs. Look forward to reading your recommendations.

Sylvia
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 04:48 PM
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well, it depends when and where you go. if you stay out of the popular areas, have booked accommodation in advance, and just want to walk, you might get away with it. but if the weather's nice, they have been known actually to close the roads to stop more people going there, and even the remotest tracks can get congested.

the actual bank holiday is on Monday 3rd May, so the traffic will probably be worst on that day both entering and leaving the area [which is the LAKE district, BTW] but it will be heavy all over the weekend. so if you're going to do this, you would want to arrive at the latest on Friday [April 3oth] and DEFINITELY book ahead. you should, subject to the time of your plane, be able to get to Manchester OK on the Tuesday.

but hey, i wouldn't want to put you off!
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 12:36 AM
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Agree with the above - many places will have been booked for months so you need to move fast if you intend to go. You could find accommodation difficult to sort now, although farm B and B's are often a good option if you want somewhere quieter. And if you want to go to some of the more popular restaurants then book in advance too (there are some excellent places to eat in the area).
The weather does make a huge difference of course although if it rains all the 'indoor' attractions are heaving!
Personally I wouldn't go near the area on a Bank Holiday as it IS so much busier but that's because I don't live that far away and can choose to go when it is quieter. It just depends how much you want to go and what you want to see. The nature of the roads (often narrow and twisting) can mean it takes a long time to get from place to place. And I mean a long time!
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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The two areas I always try to avoid on Bank holidays are the Lake District and Cornwall. Not that they aren't doable -- but they just get sooooo crowded, the narrow roads really don't accommodate the extra traffic, room rates are higher, and things book up FAR ahead.
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 11:15 AM
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The two areas I always try to avoid on Bank holidays are the Lake District and Cornwall.>>

lol, janisj, if only their inhabitants had the same option!
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 11:31 AM
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Ah - but you know its coming and can hunker down

Pity the poor unsuspecting visitor who runs into tail backs at -- say, Exeter
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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Pity you, annhig, living in such a beautiful location.

A B&B recommendation which I cant speak highly enough about is Elm House, near Ullswater but I suspect its booked up for that time. The service is individual and wonderful and the location is stunning.

http://www.stayullswater.co.uk/
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 11:54 AM
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well Steve, they are currently showing 3 double rooms and one 4 person suite as available for the time the OP wants, which I would agree is surprising.

it looks very good, [those breakfasts sound terrific] and there's a lot of local info on the website too, which shows that they are taking trouble for their guests.
perhaps if the OP changes his/her mind, we could go instead?

regards, ann
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 02:02 PM
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There are only two times to avoid the M6 between Preston and Kirkby Lonsdale - they are Friday night 3pm to 8pm northbound and Sunday 4pm to 10pm southbound. Even if you travel around those times the maximum delays we experience are half an hourish which isn't really worth the worry compared with the 2 hours I have sat on the M25. The Windermere to Ambleside and A591 near Stavely are also hard work at the same times. The traffic is always weather related.

You will only really see crowds in Bowness, the rest of The Lakes is big enough to take what ever we throw at it.

Sorry bit lost as to B&B as we have a yacht on Windermere and MIL leaves in Keswick so no need for us.

Best eating out is :
http://www.the-punchbowl.co.uk/
http://www.drunkenduckhttp://www.ain...htmlinn.co.uk/

the last is the greatest pub in the world full stop
we also love

http://www.elh.co.uk/hotels/storrshall/

for a posh meal out.

be very careful when eating out - there is a lot of tourist crap out there - Lucys and The Waterside are the worst cases both in Ambleside.

try to get the Booths Supermarkets - they have a branch in Windermere near the train station. It's like visiting the
local markets of Europe under one roof.

Brantwood is a beautiful example of an Arts and Crafts house but Dove cottage and Far Sawrey are overrun with "Nikon" cameras. It may actually be worth joing the National Trust for your visit - by the time you have been to 5 plus properties it becomes cost effective. In addition, they own most of the car parks in The Lakes which cost around £5 a day.

If you want a lovely easy walk try round Derwentwater - it's long and no hills but you can cheat by taking the old launch to skip parts of the walk.
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 03:30 PM
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I have booked Stonegarth Guest House in Keswick. Got a recommendation for this on another forum. All B & B's I tried were booked. Thanks for the recommendations for restaurants, I will make reservations.

Just curious, is Manchester similar to NYC...on holidays city is empty as locals leave for holiday?

I was thinking it might be good to be in Manchester on the Bank Holiday, what do you say?

Also just looked at Ullswater...looks great...wish I had known...many thanks.
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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'...is Manchester similar to NYC...on holidays city is empty as locals leave for holiday?'

No. it will be busy and packed with people.
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 03:48 PM
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I was thinking it might be good to be in Manchester on the Bank Holiday, what do you say?>>

if I had only got 3 days in the Lake District, I wouldn't waste one of them going to Manchester. Honestly.

Keswick is surrounded by so many lovely places and it is a mecca for walkers. the best [IMHO] walking guides were written by A [Alfred] Wainwright who made mapping the fells his life's work. for the Keswick area you want Book Six, the North Western Fells. even if you are not great walkers, the books themselves are works of art, and will still be useful, even if you only want to stroll up Cat Bells.

a very good near-by eatery is [or should I say used to be?] the Pheasant Inn on nearby Bassenthwaite Lake. [the only one of the lakes properly to have he word "lake" in its name.] you should definitely book if you want to eat there over a bank holiday weekend.
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 03:51 PM
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PS - it appears that the Pheasant Inn is still going, but it's not cheap! Sunday Lunch looks the best bet, here's the link:

http://www.the-pheasant.co.uk/
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Old Mar 28th, 2010, 12:21 PM
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Ann

The Pheasant is a Lakes institution and has been open for 3400 years. It is still good but not good value - you can get better for less. You are paying for the building that is drenched in history.

cotondawgs

if you are staying in Keswick there is also a large Booths again near the bus station. Lizzick Hall has beautiful views and has been run for ever by a Spanish gent who offers a very good mix of country English and Spanish food. Armathwaite Hall (where we got hitched) is high end but has the best property in The Lakes, The Borrowdale offers good food as does the higher end Borrowdale Gates.

Ye Olde Friars Chocolate shop in Keswick is another instition as is The Cars of the Stars exhibition.

Another good walk is over the next valley in Buttermere - go up Haystacks, along Red Pike ridge and down to The Fish Inn for lunch.

Strange thing happened today - the weekend before Easter, beautiful day and the roads were absolutely empty as was Bowness for a change.

ps don't dream about speeding on the Cumbrian roads - there are 7 crimes a year in Cumbria so the police have nothing better to do than issue tickets for fun. They have lots of unmarked blue Volvos - be careful.
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Old Mar 29th, 2010, 04:06 PM
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Very good information! We will definitely watch the unmarked Volvos...Thank you all for the great guidance.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 02:29 PM
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Let me just revise the advice above.

Good Friday, only 45 Brits can afford to travel abroad and as a result the roads are total carnage with the weather awful. Manchester to The Lakes 3 hours - it should be 1. Bring a tent for the delay on the motorway, I don't think anyone is going abroad this year. God knows what will happen if the sun shines!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 02:50 PM
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is this the voice of experience Mark?

in which case, hard luck. hope the rest of your break gets better.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 07:34 AM
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we have had many requests to bring good weather from the B&B owners!! Wish we could, but just hope there is no rain...while we are there.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 10:43 AM
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Ann

not a break - just our backyard. Spend most of our life on the M6 between Lytham and The Lakes/Kippford,Dumfries.

Friday - we were going in the other direction to the jams - an empty road INTO Manchester, friends were stuck for 3 hours going the other way.

Today - by all accounts has been even worse, M6 closed for a time near Lancaster and a shocker.

cotondawgs - we get most of your leftover weather anyway, please don't send any second hand hurricanes this year, they are nasty even after 4500 miles of travel. Have a great time, there is something in my bones that says this year will be hot in the UK, which means that there is no better place on earth.
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 02:10 PM
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Friday - we were going in the other direction to the jams - an empty road INTO Manchester, friends were stuck for 3 hours going the other way.

Today - by all accounts has been even worse, M6 closed for a time near Lancaster and a shocker.>>

this makes Cornwall sound poxitively deserted.

Even with the new dual carriage-wayed [is that a word] A30,
the traffic this Easter really hasn't been too bad. not that we go anywhere that tourists are likely to go, though.

sounds as if they've all gone north.
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