|Subject: Re: GB-Lake District transportation other than rental car|
I think you will be quite happy not having a car in the English Lake District. The roads seemed narrow and crowded with traffic and it looked like parking would be problematic. You can easily enjoy the beautiful area using local buses and lake boats hopping off at a place that appeals to you and finding cozy tea rooms and pubs, interesting shops, and lovely gardens.
We stayed in Keswick, taking the bus from the train station in Penrith. (There is a train line to Windermere). We took Rick Steves alternative-to-tours suggestion and took bus #77 from Keswick to Buttermere that loops around Honister Pass (spectacular scenery).
And we took the lake boat around Lake Derwentwater, getting off to explore a waterfall and have tea, getting back on and getting off at another stop to walk along the lake to the next stop, etc. Both of those could be day trips from Windermere. Another day we took the bus to Ambleside then a lake steamer to Windermere to explore there and visit the Steam Boat Museum.
You can get a free Lakeland Explorer bus schedule with suggested outings from the TI's. Read the small print as some buses are tied to the school schedules and don't run on weekends or holidays. You can also get info at http://www.stagecoachbus.com/cumbria/ For Hadrian's Wall, we stayed in Haltwhistle overnight on the way from Scotland to the Lake District and did Housestead's Fort in the afternoon and Vindolanda in the morning. There is a Wall Bus that runs May-Sept between points and towns along the wall. You can get information on it at http://www.hadrians-wall.org/ along with information on getting to the area.
If you're going back to London to fly home, a very scenic route is from Carlisle via Settle and Leeds.
Angie-ready for spring in Kansas