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Transportation Route to Keswick

Davidson, North...
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Transportation Route to Keswick

We are driving from Stratford upon Avon in June--I long drive I know, but I wanted to get advice from locals on the best route. I know we stay on M-6, but should we go straight to Penrith and across to Keswick or take the more scenic route through the South Lake District and up A591? We are traveling on Monday, June 21st. Thanks for your help.

Bingley, United...
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1. Re: Transportation Route to Keswick

Rather than go through the "joys" of Windemere I'd go further west and take the A590 then go up the side of Coniston before joining the A591 at Ambleside then just past Thirlmere take the B road to the A66 rather than the direct road to Keswick

Davidson, North...
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2. Re: Transportation Route to Keswick

Sounds much more scenic than staying on the M-6 until Penrith. My map guides estimate four hours of drive time. Does that sound correct? Thanks for your help.

Kendal, United...
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3. Re: Transportation Route to Keswick

For speed the M6-A66 wins hands down but it doesn't get many points for scenery.

Unless you're coming up mid-morning at the weekend or during the school holidays, I wouldn't be too worried about congestion in Windermere. My guess is that by the time you get up here from the South, it will have died down. There are also some nice lakeside views from this road. Its probably a good balance between journey time and scenery. I'd say it will add 1/2-3/4 hour to your journey.

Alan Row's itinerary is certainly scenic but quite a bit longer. The road along the east side of Coniston water is a beautiful lakeside route through the woods but it is also single track so you might find it a bit enervating if you've just slogged up the motorway from Stratford. You don't see much of the Lake from the A5084.

Another option you might consider is to take the A592 north from Windermere over the Kirkstone Pass (the highest road in the Lakes with a nice view from the top) down past Brothers Water and Ullswater (where there is a long stretch of Lakeside highway), north on the A5091 and east on A66.

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: Transportation Route to Keswick

Route planner www.theaa.com www.viamichelin.com

London, United...
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5. Re: Transportation Route to Keswick

Depends on how much time you have. I hope the roadworks on the M6 north of Birmingham will be much less than they are now when you travel.

I would suggest a half-way house viz your route up to Keswick. Come off at J36 (Kendal) and follow through to Windermere, going along the A591. Head towards Ambleside, then to Grasmere, and follow the signs to Keswick.

The first part will get you your first view of Windermere as you approach on the A591.

You will then get a chance to drive along the shoreline as you go towards Ambleside.

You will get another view of Rydal Water and Grasmere as you go further north.

You will get some good photo opps of the mountains closer to Keswick once you pass Thirlmere.

With all of the above you will have the opportunity to stop off at a pub or two( Grasmere is small and quaint enough that you could have a sandwich/tea there for a brief stop).

TBH there are many different routes you could use to get up to Keswick - it just depends on how much time you have.

Davidson, North...
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6. Re: Transportation Route to Keswick

Many thanks for all the good options. I'll be studying our route maps and will likely take one of the scenic options proposed so that we will see some scenery once we get up to the Lake District.

Kenilworth
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7. Re: Transportation Route to Keswick

I live Warwickshire and I've driven to Keswick many times. It is difficult to predict exact journey times by car as there could easily be delays on the motorway, but take your time and enjoy the journey.

It will be best if you leave Stratford no earlier than 9.30am as if you are earlier you might get stuck in the rush hour traffic on the M40, M42 and M6. One interesting route option at the start of your journey which will only add a few minutes to your journey is to take the A46 to Kenilworth, then the A452 through the town past Kenilworth Castle and up through Balsall Common before joining the M6 near the National Exhibition Centre.

Another option from the NEC which avoids any traffic delays through Birmingham is to take the M6 Toll which goes around the north of the West Midlands and joins the main M6 further north.

A very good place to stop for a break on this trip as an alternative to the motorway service areas is the Canalside Craft Centre at Galgate, Lancashire (www.canalsidecraftcentre.com - reviews elsewhere on TripAdvisor) - it's only a couple of minutes off the motorway. I've stopped there many times and always had good service.

Alternatively it is very easy to get a train from Stratford to the Lakes (Windermere), and then a bus to Keswick - I'd recommend this as a very pleasant option.

Davidson, North...
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8. Re: Transportation Route to Keswick

Thanks for the very helpful information. We're actually planning to leave Stratford Monday morning in time to tour Warwick Castle at 10:00 and then go by Kenilworth Castle as well, so thanks for that route information. Is that doable given the distance and possible delays along the way to the Lake District? I appreciate the information on the possible rest stop too. We'll definitely check it out. We originally planned to take the train from Stratford to the Lake District, but we wanted to have our rental car and got a better rate rather than do multiple pick-ups and drop-offs. I may be sorry that I didn't opt for the train.

London
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9. Re: Transportation Route to Keswick

If you don't mind forking out the £5 that it will cost you (possibly less depending on when you are going) I would heartily recommend that you use the M6 toll road. If the old M6 is clogged up with traffic (which it often is) it's £5 very well spent.

After that, then personally, I would carry on up the M6 to Penrith, for one reason alone. That reason is the Tebay services between J38 and J39 (I think) of the M6. It is quite unlike any other motorway service station in the country, and well worth a visit so you can stock up on lots of lovely local produce at their farm shop.

Davidson, North...
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10. Re: Transportation Route to Keswick

Many thanks to you all. I feel much better equipped to review the map and determine the route given all the helpful tips and suggestions. Ya'll are the best!