Train at Windermere station copyright LDNPA

Getting here

The Lake District National Park is the northwest corner of England. Lancaster is to the south and Carlisle is to the north. You can travel to the National Park by train or car.

Public transport

Trains

The West Coast mainline runs to the east of the Lake District, connecting Oxenholme, Penrith and Carlisle with London and Glasgow. A direct train runs from Manchester to Windermere. Local trains call at Kendal, Staveley and Windermere. There is also a scenic route following the Cumbrian coastline with stops at Grange-over-sands, Ulverston and Foxfield which give access to the Lake District, and has stations at Silecroft and Bootle for climbing Black Combe and Ravenglass for walks into Eskdale and the Ravenglas and Eskdale Railway.

Taking your bike(s) on the train  

Bikes can be carried on rail services to the National Park, please check rail operators' websites for details or numbers allowed and any booking arrangements (see links at the end of this page)

Buses

Towns and villages such as Ambleside, Windermere, Coniston and Keswick are linked by bus, with extra services in the summer. If your arrive by train at Windermere Station buses stop in the station forecourt for Bowness, Brockhole, Ambleside Grasmere and beyond. For Keswick and the North Lakes there are quality bus links on service X4/5 which depart from Penrith station forecourt.

By Bike

A number of cycle routes link into the National Park from further afield including the famous C2C and the recently opened Lakes and Dales Loop. There are also local routes heading into the National Park from surrounding towns such as Kendal and Penrith. 

By car

Map of the UK showing where the Lake District National Park is located

The average journey time from London and the south east is about five hours. It takes about one and half hours from Manchester and two hours from York.

The M6 runs to the east of the Lake District National Park:

  • Take Junction 36 and then A590 for the southern end of the Lake District
  • Take Junction 40 and the A66 or A592 for the northern end of the Lake District

If you're using satellite navigation, check out our page.

Even A roads can be quite twisting so allow extra time for your journey and for finding a space in Car parks in high season. Example journey times are:

  • Kendal to Keswick: one hour
  • Windermere to Keswick: 40 minutes
  • Kendal to Wasdale: one and a half hours

Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass between Eskdale and the Langdales have gradients of 1 in 3 and Honister Pass between Borrowdale and Buttermere is 1 in 4, making them some of the steepest roads in England!

Lake District lift share 

Share your journey to the Lake District!

Whether you are coming to the Lakes for an event, planning your own adventure or coming to soak up the scenery, golakes Travel Liftshare (opens in a new window) can help you split the costs and find your perfect car sharing companion. It's free to join.

By air

The nearest airports are Manchester to the south and Glasgow to the north. There is a railway station at Manchester airport with services that run to Oxenholme next to Kendal, Kendal, Staveley and Windermere.

Useful public transport links

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Need holiday accommodation?

Cottage near Coniston - copyright Charlie Hedley

We've cosy holiday cottages, quirky boutique hotels, friendly bed and breakfasts and luxury hotels!

Our commission goes towards keeping the National Park special: Browse and book accommodation online here