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April 2, 2024

Destination: The North


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How to Get From London to the Lake District

The Lake District is a stunning scenic area in Northern England that houses a large National Park that accounts for 866 square miles of the region. The Lake District sits entirely in the English county of Cumbria.  

The Lake District is home to England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike and England’s largest lake, Lake Windermere. The famous lake-strewn valleys and rugged rocky terrain are what attract walkers, cyclists and tourists alike to enjoy adventure holidays.    

But how do you get to the Lake District? Let’s find out…   

blencathra mountain in the lake district

Flying into London

For most international visitors you’ll most likely arrive at London Heathrow Airport. If you are travelling from the East Coast of America, you have the option to fly directly to London Gatwick.

From London Heathrow, the connection into Central London is very simple via the Heathrow Express. Running frequently, it takes just 15 minutes and arrives in London Paddington where you will find your onward connecting train to Devon.

From London Gatwick, you’ll need to make your way into Central London and across to London Paddington where there are multiple departures daily to Exeter.

Where in England is the Lake District?

The Lake District is located in the northwest of England in the county of Cumbria. At its northern end, you’ll find the border with Scotland. To the east, you’ll find the city of Durham and England’s largest county, North Yorkshire. The south borders the county of Lancashire. 

Amongst many other things, the Lake District is known as a walker’s paradise and is home to several challenging summits such as Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw.   

Depending on which part of the Lakes you are visiting it is between 257 miles (to Oxenholme, Kendal) and 310 miles (to Buttermere). Car journeys are between 3.5 – 5.5 hours.  

Train routes from central London can take as little as 2 hours, 40 minutes so to avoid traffic on the motorways we would recommend using public transport.   

Avanti West provides trains multiple times per day from London Euston to Oxenholme Lake District. The final destination of these trains is either Glasgow Central or Edinburgh, so look out for these on the departure boards at the train stations.  

From Oxenholme Lake District you can find onward connecting lines through to various towns throughout the Lake District.    


How to get from London to the Lake District

The London to Lake District Train: London Euston to Oxenholme Lake District, takes approximately 3 hours depending on how many stops the service makes along the way. The non-stop service will take you there in as little as 2 hours and 40 minutes.   

From Oxenholme Lake District you can connect to major towns such as Windermere via the Northern Railway network. The more remote areas such as Buttermere and Helvellyn are slower to reach via public transport as the last legs of the journey will require bus services. It may be advisable to rent a car or use a private hire company for harder-to-reach locations.   

Other train routes: The Lake District, particularly Oxenholme Lake District is served by train from many other major UK cities. There are quick and direct services from Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Glasgow.   

Train tickets can usually be purchased up to 3 months in advance of your trip. 

Car or private transfer: Without traffic, it takes approximately 4.5 hours to reach the Lake District. Depending on which area you are travelling to it can take up to 5.5 hours.   

The road network beyond Kendal is smaller. Therefore, getting to the far-reaching parts of the Lake District will take longer.   

It is a reasonably easy drive if you rent a car. The roads are major motorways and A roads from London. But if you’re not sure about ‘driving on the left’ then a private transfer is an option. 

For more Lake District inspiration check out our walking tours and holidays or contact us for help and booking advice.  

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