Motoring & Driving in the Lake District & Cumbria

Tips for Driving Around the Lake District

Grasmere Village SignDriving to the Lake District provides you with the opportunity to visit the countryside and access some of the more remote Lake District locations. Having your own car also means you do not have to haul your luggage around public transport and there is no limit to what you can take. The Lake District is easily accessible by car with the M6 running to its east.

Driving round the Lakes is a thoroughly enjoyable experience as you get to view some of the phenomenal sites on the journey to your destination. As the Lake District National Park is a natural habitat and relaxed environment, you should take care when driving. Here are a few tips you must remember when driving through the Lakes’ countryside:

• Some of the roads can be quite narrow, windy or unsurfaced so always drive carefully and at a steady pace.
• Be respectful of life in the Lakes by being cautious around livestock and pedestrians.
• Never drive off road in the Lakes.
• Keep noise to a minimum and music at low level. Remember, the Lakes is a relaxing and peaceful place where people go to retreat.
• Ensure you always have sufficient fuel in your car and consider carrying a spare canister of fuel just in case. There are plenty of petrol stations in the Lake District but as you venture into more remote areas they may become harder to find.
• Avoid driving in severe weather conditions as roads can be treacherous in the Lakes.
• Pay attention to warning signs.

By respecting the Lakes and the advice above, you will make the Lake District environment more enjoyable for both you and the other visitors.

The only downside to driving around the Lakes is the price of fuel which can be quite expensive. If you are concerned about the price of petrol then visit There you can find the cheapest petrol price in your vicinity. The website also includes tips on driving long distances and how you can take action to decrease your fuel consumption.

Once you arrive at your Lake destination you should find car parks located throughout the Lakes which makes it very easy to find parking. If you are staying in a hotel then check with them whether they have parking in their vicinity.

Tips for Visitors from Abroad

If you are visiting the Lakes from abroad then the nearest airport is Blackpool Airport. As Blackpool is a small airport you may find it less congested which makes it quicker to get through. However, due to its size, airlines at Blackpool Airport only fly to European destinations. If you are travelling from further afield, Manchester Airport is the largest airport nearest to the Lake District.

Hiring a car from the airport is a great way to transport you, your family and your luggage around the Lakes. Quite often you can also add a SatNav to your booking which will help you get to your Lake destination. Although SatNavs are useful, occasionally they can be slightly unreliable in remote areas so you should also have a comprehensive and up to date map of the Lake District with you at all times. There are four car hire providers at Blackpool Airport and nine providers from Manchester Airport, all offering competitive rates. More details here.

If you are travelling to the Lakes from abroad and planning on driving please remember in the UK drivers drive on the left hand side instead of the right. In Britain the national speed limit is 70 miles per hour and vehicles are set to show miles per hour instead of kilometres per hour. Finally, a lot of vehicles in the UK have a manual driving system which you may be unfamiliar with. If you have never driven a manual before then make sure you request an automatic when you book your car hire.

Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club logo

Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club

One of North West England's top motorclubs with motoring events including Cars The Star Show
More info

Lakeland Motor Museum logo

Lakeland Motor Museum

The fascinating Lakeland Motor Museum in the picturesque Leven Valley at Backbarrow hosts a unique road transport collection of some 30,000 exhibits and also features many non-motoring additions.
More info