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Yorkshire Dales & the Lake District – Suggested Self Drive

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Yorkshire & the Lake District

York is a compact walled riverside city, bustling with attractions and oozing medieval Viking history. Resplendent Cumbria is home to the Lake District, where you will uncover the wild beauty of the Lake District National Park, considered the most scenic region of the UK.
Exploring England is easy. In the countryside, the roads are excellent, well signposted and largely toll free. Distances between towns are short and driving is on the left hand side of the road, same as in New Zealand.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Manchester – York (135km)
Travel north into the Yorkshire Dales, the setting of James Herriot’s ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. Stop in quaint market towns like Skipton and Harrogate on your way to discover York, one of the prettiest little cities you’ll ever lay eyes on. The old town is protected by its sturdy medieval walls and inside you’ll find a maze of narrow cobbled alleyways and streets - ‘The Shambles’.

Day 2: York
Spend the morning in Malton then drive back via Castle Howard, a 300 year old house. Discover how Vikings lived at Jorvik Viking Centre.

Day 3: York – Durham (169km)
Explore the wild landscapes of the North York Moors National Park. Reaching the windswept coast wander through the cobbled harbour town of Whitby and the stunning Abbey. Further north, visit the World Heritage-site of Durham Cathedral and Castle. 

Day 4: Durham – Carlisle – Lake District (191km)
Drive through Hadrian’s Wall country checking out the Roman forts along the way as you travel west along the line of the wall. Stop at the town of Carlisle and Carlisle Castle before turning south into the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Lake District.

Day 5: Lake District
Home to lakes, woodlands, stone walls, dozens of tiny villages, and ideal for walking, hiking, boat trips or lazy drives. Windermere is a charming Lakeland town and a great base to explore the Lake District from.  

Day 6: Lake District – Liverpool (138km)

Enjoy breakfast looking out over the picturesque lake and when you arrive in Liverpool make sure you explore the vibrant Albert Dock.

Customise this itinerary to travel at your own pace.
Continue onto Manchester or over to Wales and add on the Wales itinerary. 

Highlights worth seeing along the way
Malton Food Tour – Visit some fabulous artisan food producers and taste their wares. This is the place to do a cooking class.
Goathland – A tiny village, the train station of which you may recognise as Hogsmeade from the Harry Potter movies.
Dove Cottage – Nestled near Grasmere, this is where William Wordsworth wrote some of the greatest poetry in the English language.
Cartmel Village – Call into this historic, unspoilt village found in a quiet valley for the most delicious sticky toffee pudding.
Hadrian’s Wall – Once the northern frontier of the Roman Empire, you can stop at one or more of the preserved stretches, such as at Chester’s Roman Fort, and walk in the footsteps of the Roman Centurions.
Ashness Bridge – One of the most photographed spots in the Lake District, a sweet humped back bridge with a backdrop of views of Derwentwater.
Fountains Abbey and Gardens – Explore Abbey ruins set in beautiful landscape gardens, this UNESCO Heritage-site dates from the 12th century.
Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop – On the shores of Lake Windermere, this is where she wrote many of her beloved stories.
Albert Dock, Liverpool – This UNESCO World Heritage-site has a large collection of Grade 1 listed buildings, abundant with galleries, museums, eateries and the Beatles Story.

Our favourite places to stay
• Novotel York Centre, York
• Burnhopeside Hall, Lanchester, Durham
• Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, Windermere
• Pullman Liverpool, Liverpool

Choosing your Rental Car
Take into consideration the size of the vehicle you require. We strongly recommend a minimum 1.4 litre for two adults. If the vehicle is to be used for day touring from a central base and not for transporting your luggage, a smaller vehicle may be adequate. We suggest you book your car before leaving home as this will save money and ensure you get the car of your choice.

View for more HOT UK & Europe road trips

Image credit: Visit Britain & Mark Gilligan

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