Cheltenham Spa to Penrith (North Lakes)
(1 transfer at Birmingham New Street)
Travel Time: 4h 23min
Total: £321.30 (for 3 people)
Total per person: £107.10
We took the early morning train to Penrith since it was a 4.5-hour transit. I’ve had the Lake District on my list ever since I learned there was a Peter Rabbit museum since this was where Beatrix Potter lived and wrote her infamous “Peter Rabbit”. It is a mountainous area in northern England, inside the county of Cumbria and is considered the wettest area in the entire country. Famous for its lakes, forests and mountains (or “fells”) and its associations with the early 19th century writings of William Wordsworth, it’s a fairly popular holiday destination. There aren’t many towns inside the Lake District so people tend to stay in one of the towns bordering the Lake District and rent a car. We decided to stay in one of the towns within the Lake District called Keswick and we took a bus from Penrith, one of the neighboring towns, to get to Keswick.
PENRITH TO KESWICK:
Take the Stagecoach Gold X4 or Stagecoach Gold X5 from Penrith Station to Keswick
Single Ride Ticket Price: £7.10
North West Explorer Ticket Price: £11.00
Timetable for X4 and X5 can be found here
We took the X4 to Keswick and got off at the “Hawthorns by Eleven Trees” stop. You can let the bus driver know where you need to get off and they’re usually pretty accommodating on letting you know that it’s your stop. We decided to stay at a nice bed and breakfast in Keswick called Woodside Bed and Breakfast. I booked our rooms through Orbitz but you can also book them through their site itself and receive a 10% discount.
WOODSIDE BED AND BREAKFAST:
2 Nights in Keswick
Woodside Penrith Road
Keswick, England CA12 4LJ
Total: $369.73 (for 3 people)
Total per person: $123.25
It’s not the cheapest but you do get a fantastic breakfast included and the location is great. I’ve never stayed at a cute bed and breakfast like this on holiday before so I thought it would be a good experience to have. The house is super cute and there are only five bedrooms so it has a very homey feel to it. The owners cook a fresh breakfast every morning and it’s buffet style – however, the portions are huge so no need to be greedy. The rooms are set up really nicely and the one I stayed in had its own bathroom and a small area to just sit and have a cuppa or look outside the window into the garden.
We arrived to our bed and breakfast around 14:00 so we decided to get some lunch and then explore a bit. One of the principle lakes in the Lake District, Derwentwater is right by Keswick and was only a 15-20 minute walk from where we were staying. It’s best in the early morning with sunbeams lightening the opposite waterside and hills if you’re a photographer. It really was as magical as everyone said – since we went in autumn, all the leaves were changing colors and there was a slight fog hanging over the trees. I really felt like I was in a King Arthur legend and finally understood the landscape of those stories. There is also a moderate hike called Cat Bells Lakeland Walk that has an amazing panoramic view of Derwentwater. Cat Bells is fondly known as“The Hill that thinks it’s a Mountain”. Unfortunately, it was slightly raining and didn’t feel safe to hike when we could potentially slip and get hurt. You can also rent a boat or take the ferry around the lake! The ferry stops running in the early evening so just plan accordingly.