On Sunday July 8, 2018, Jeff and I trained/bussed from Edinburg to Keswick, in England’s beautiful North Lake District.
Just like Ærø in Denmark, Keswick (pop. 5,000, with gorgeous green slate buildings) was our vacation from our vacation. We LOVED the spacious house we stayed in (here’s the AirBnB Link –https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/20294982 – gorgeous views, and we can hear and see sheep in the fields behind us! The house is just a five-minute walk from the pedestrian center of town, and a 15-minute walk from Derwentwater, the third largest lake in the district.
On July 9, we took a walk behind the house to Nichol End Marine. Normally, Keswick Launch (the hour-long “hop-on-hop-off” boat ride that takes you around Derwentwater) stops there, but the water level was too low, so we paid £2.5 each for one of the Marina’s staff to shuttle us to the Keswick Launch pier – thus our bonus/unexpected 15-minute motorboat shuttle.
Keswick (highly recommended by Rick Steves) is an ideal place to base your Lakes District trip. For a short stay you can do a lot by just taking busses and the Keswick Launch boat, with no need to rent a car*. Rick also suggests focusing on the North Lake District, and skipping the more touristy, kitschy South.
- 2 boats per hour, 10:00 – 5:30 in summer, one running clockwise, the other running “anti-clockwise.”
- £10.75 per person. Hop on and off all you want until you get back to Keswick.
- Buy tickets at the Keswick ticket office, right near the boat launch.
- Good way to reach the trailhead for Rick Steves’ recommended Catbells High Ridge Hike.
Travel to Keswick
(This sounds a lot more complicated than it is.)
- Train – Edinburgh to Glasgow’s Queen Street Station (About an hour)
- Train – Glasgow’s Central Station to Carlisle (About an hour)
- Two days before traveling, we bought “open” tickets that allowed us to travel any time of day, which also meant we didn’t reserve seats. I’d recommend that you choose an actual travel time and reserve seats – especially on a Sunday. Our train was full of weekenders going back to London, and we had to scramble to find cramped seats. AND, I read an article in London that stated that this is the busiest train route in the UK.
- Train – Carlisle to Penrith (about 15 minutes. Leaves Carlisle about 10 minutes after previous train from Glasgow arrives.)
- Bus – Penrith to Keswick (about 40 minutes. 1 bus every hour on Sundays (more during the week.) Bus leaves Penrith train station about 10 minutes after the train arrives, so it pays to get to the bus stop right after getting off the train.
Getting around in the Lake District.
*Car rental (Enterprise) is in Penrith, and their office is closed on Sundays. I had originally reserved a car for pick up on Monday, but that meant we would have had to take the 45-minute bus back to Penrith to pick it up. Too much overhead, plus we’ve so enjoyed being car-free for the last six weeks. So I canceled the rental car (their office was very nice about it), and we’ve gotten around just fine using the area’s buses.
- July 21, 2018
- July 27, 2018
- August 3, 2018