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Nice drive to cockermouth from London

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
20 posts
Nice drive to cockermouth from London

Hello all,

Im visiting from Australia in September for a wedding in Cockermouth. Going to hire a car from London Heathrow and drive up. I enjoy the freedom of a car and to explore as much as i want when im in the Lakes and on the way up north.

Just wondering.....

It easily to find the quickest and most direct route from Heathrow to Cockermouth BUT can anyone give me any ideas on the nicest, most scenic route? What are some places to see along the way? Happy to stop, be a tourist and even stay a night somewhere!

Which route would you take to really enjoy the journey??


Rutland, United...
Level Contributor
7,615 posts
79 reviews
1. Re: Nice drive to cockermouth from London

Sorry about this but there really is nothing scenic about this journey. In my view, there are only two worthwhile diversions, Oxford and the Lake District itself.

Oxford is only a very short drive from Heathrow and as your journey is around five and a half hours to 6 hours it still leaves you with a very long slog the next day and possibilities of delays due to accidents etc are high. My advice would be to press on with your journey and you'll be in the Lake District in around 5 hours, almost all of it very dull motorway driving.

On no account should you even think of doing such a drive if you're just off a long haul flight. You'll be a danger to yourself, and other road users. If you need to rest a night close to Heathrow, stay in Windsor.

Destination Expert
for London, Devon
Level Contributor
24,420 posts
52 reviews
2. Re: Nice drive to cockermouth from London

Don't worry, the Op has several threads going on this and it appears he/she is in London for five days before travelling to Cockermouth. Heathrow is merely the location for picking up a car.

Level Contributor
628 posts
42 reviews
3. Re: Nice drive to cockermouth from London

One possible route is A1/A66. Although this is a busy main route and the scenery from the car window isn't generally particularly interesting, you can stop off at Stamford (Lincolnshire) - lovely old town with Burghley House next to it; Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire (National Trust); Wetherby or Knaresborough - both attractive Yorkshire towns close to the road or Richmond (North Yorks, not Greater London!), then go across the A66 (stop off at or near Barnard Castle) and then straight on to Cockermouth.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
34,959 posts
1 review
4. Re: Nice drive to cockermouth from London

Take the train to Penrith, then hire a car there and tour the Yorkshire Dales & Lakes

Destination Expert
for Chester
Level Contributor
4,087 posts
17 reviews
5. Re: Nice drive to cockermouth from London

If you really want to hire a car at Heathrow then go over to the English/Welsh border counties and go North up the A49. This road goes through lovely countryside and close to Hereford, Ludlow and Shrewsbury as well as smaller tons and villages.

From Shrewsbury take the A5 then A483 to Chester where you can see the city Walls, two tiered medieval streets, cathedral, Roman amphitheatre, river Dee ....

From Chester M56/M6 will have you in the Lakes in a couple of hours the next day, That stretch of motorway is usually free of traffic jams (once over the Thelwall Viaduct) and goes through pleasant countryside.

Cardiff, United...
Destination Expert
for Cardiff
Level Contributor
9,436 posts
64 reviews
6. Re: Nice drive to cockermouth from London

Agree with Alan. Get the train at least as far as Lancaster and then hire a car and you get all the scenic areas and none of the boring stretches of motorway that are pretty much unavoidable if you drive all the way from London.

England, United...
Level Contributor
3,525 posts
195 reviews
7. Re: Nice drive to cockermouth from London

I agree with both the above posts. Best is starting in the north, but if you really want to drive then the M4, across the severn bridge and up along the Welsh border is as good a trip as any.

Rutland, United...
Level Contributor
7,615 posts
79 reviews
8. Re: Nice drive to cockermouth from London

Be advised that the AA route planner - usually optimistic by around 20% in my experience - gives a time of 7 hours 40 minutes for travelling via the Severn Bridge and 5 hours 20 minutes for the direct route. Either option is arduous.

London, United...
1 post
9. Re: Nice drive to cockermouth from London

I regularly travel up from London to the North, and there are many options available. I would recommend the following as an alternative to the M40...

M4 to Windsor

A308/A404/A4130 to Henley-on-Thames

A4130/A4074 to Oxford

A34/A44 to Woodstock, Chipping Norton, Moreton, Broadway and Evesham

A46 to Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick

This route will take you through beautiful market towns, past palaces and castles and through the Cotswolds.

If you use up too much time you can then use motorways through the Midlands and detour again in the North, or if you are feeling adventurous you could head from Warwick towards Derby and then up through the Peak District (Matlock and Bakewell) to pick up the A629 to Skipton and through the Yorkshire Dales to the Lakes. I would definitely consider a half way stop over to give you time to enjoy the journey.

10. Re: Nice drive to cockermouth from London

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