Back in 2019, I, along with my friends, took a weekend road trip from London to Lake District and it was one of the nicest and fun experience for all of us. It was only an overnight plan, so we left on Saturday morning and came back on Sunday evening. Just recently, going through my Google Photos, I just realised it would be great to share my experience with anyone who is not able to travel abroad right now, but desperately needs one.
It is however, recommended that we do not travel at the moment, giving the current situation and the constant rise in the number of infected people around UK (and everywhere else). However, living with restrictions for past many months, thanks to Covid-19, a lot of us need to get out of the homes. So, only when it is safe to do so, you can plan a road trip to Lake District, not only from London, but from across the country.
We left early in the morning around 5 am to avoid rush hour on the motorway. Although there are many services stops along the way to grab food and drinks, we preferred packing some homemade sandwiches, snacks like crisps, biscuits and crackers, fizzy drink and most importantly a lot of water to stay hydrated.
The journey is about 309 miles via M6 motorway and this took us about 5 hours and 25 minutes to reach our accommodation. If you leave later, the rush hour might extent the journey time by few hours, so I highly recommend you leave very early in the morning, much better if you leave around 4 am.
We stopped a few times just because of the scenery; had to take in nature as much as we could. Five and half hours into our journey, we stopped at Tebay Service (Northbound) to freshen up and just to stretch a bit, especially for my friend who was driving. The views are amazing here and we took some pictures as we couldn’t resist not taking any.
We reached at Lake District National Park at about noon. Driving through the area is a surreal experience, small villages surrounded by beautiful mountains, lakes and waterfalls.
We stopped at Buttermere which was our stop for hiking. The best part of the hike is the views and the Moss Force waterfall, that plunges 420 metres down the peak. Moss Force is a famous tourist spot for hikes and picnics. We went for the Knott Rigg and Ard Crags hike which has a same start and end point. We hiked about 1.6 miles (2.5 km) which was just about reaching on the top of the waterfall and coming back. It is fairly an easy hike with one or two steep points.
After reaching back at the end point, just like any tourist, we had a mini picnic and made sure we were topped up with energy and were staying hydrated.
We then headed to our hotel, Parkside Hotel which is highly recommended if you want a clean standard place to stay with decent meals and is also close to all the nearby picturesque spots.
We dropped our bags and headed to another beautiful spot in the nearby area with blue water lake surrounded by lush green peaks. Spent a couple of hours here and totally loved it.
We then headed back to the hotel to get some rest and as we were kind of tired physically. The hotel manager recommended us a place for dinner in Whitehaven, which was known for its fish and chips. So, we decide to not call it off for the day and we decided to go visit the harbour area of the region. Whitehaven is a large coastal town in West Cumbria. A few things to see around the harbour area are the candlestick, harbour sea lock, north pier lighthouse and the beacon museum.
Unfortunately, the restaurant we were meant to have dinner at was extremely busy with waiting time for 2 hours. We were all very hungry, so we decided to eat at Charcoal Grill – a recommendation by a local.
With only 9 pm and done with dinner, we decided to grab some snacks for the rest of the night as we planned to stay up late. There was an Aldi nearby, so we bought some fruits and crackers to fill us up for the night; after all we had a very long day. After reaching the hotel, we all just relaxed at the hotel backyard, and let me tell you the ambience of the place it great. Everyone hit the bed by 2 am.
Read more: Road trip to Lake District
We woke up around 9 am and had the complimentary continental breakfast at the hotel. We left around 10:30 am and headed to our next first stop of the day, the Bassenthwaite Lake in Keswick. The area is recognised as a nature reserve. It is a great viewpoint for tourists. On a bright clear day, one can see Scotland from the top of the peak. We took the Friars Crag, a ferry ride which was amazing.
You can find many other hikes and short walks in and around the area to your liking.
We then left as we had decided to cover another short easy hike in Keswick but unfortunately, our car broke and we got stuck for 3 hours waiting for the breakdown cover company engineer arrived only to tell us nothing was wrong and we could have just driven ahead after giving a short half an hour cool down break for the car. Nevertheless, we had some amazing time while waiting for 3 hours as the view was just amazing.
Finally, we left from there at about 5 pm. Grabbed dinner on our way back as we did realise, we would reach home late and all of us had work the following day. McDonald’s is always the choice when you need a quick refill on the stomach and haven’t got much time, this is why it’s called fast food.
Reached home at about 11:30 pm, and that was it. After taking a quick shower, I remember dozing off in my bed. Pheww, what a weekend it was. I had never walked this much in the entire year, than I had walked in about 48 hours. But I’m glad I did – we all did!
So, if you are looking to plan for a mini weekend break in UK, this probably would be a good choice. Happy planning!