Classic Car Breaks in the Lake District

Every classic car motorist knows the potential of driving to the Lake District, you may even have taken classic car breaks in the Lake District yourself already. If not, here are a few of the potential highlights. If you are looking for self-catering accommodation for your classic car break in the Lakes, try Cottages on Line – click here

 

 

Every self-respecting classic car enthusiast on a classic car break in the Lake District would want to visit Coniston Water. Why? To drive alongside the lake on which Sir Donald Campbell drove his incredible speedboat, Bluebird. Sadly, this car and speed enthusiast was tragically killed when Bluebird crashed during a record attempt.

From Coniston itself, you can take the main road (A5084) which doesn’t follow the lake particularly closely. There are several side roads that you can use to access the lake. After the southern end of the lake, before you reach the A5092, you can take the minor road that skirts the lake at the edge of the Grizedale Forest Park. There are opportunities to stop to admire Lake Coniston and the surrounding fells, including the ‘Old Man of Coniston’ which rises to a height of just over 2,600 feet (803m), forming an impressive backdrop to the town. The Old Man of Coniston is a popular walking destination so you can expect Coniston itself to be fairly busy during Peak holiday periods.

If you are looking for self-catering accommodation for your classic car break in the Lakes, try Cottages on Line – click here

Strangely, whilst writing this article, I came across a repeat of the 2008 programme showing Richard Wilson taking a pootle through the Lake District in a Triumph TR3. He started at Keswick, took the A591 past Helvellyn and down to Ambleside. From Ambleside he headed up ‘the Struggle’ to the Kirkstone Pass inn where he was given a surprise birthday party by the affable landlord. The Struggle is the steep hill that links Ambleside directly to the Kirkstone Pass Inn. It was known as the Struggle a long time before the advent of the motor car, horses, carriages and people have always found it a bit of a struggle. Carriage passengers often had to dismount from the carriage to lighten the load so that the horses could pull the carriage up the hill. If you are descending, make sure that your brakes are in very good condition. On the way up, you will probably use only the first two gears. If your classic car is prone to overheating, take a different route up! Richard then headed north past Brotherswater (campsite) and Ullswater. Having travelled all of those roads at one time or another. My first time up the struggle was in the early 1960s whan my Dad drove us up to the Kirkstone Pass (in a Standard 10).

For motoring in Scotland and the UK in general …

Hardknott Pass

This is definitely not for the faint-hearted or dodgy cars! It starts off in a reasonable manner, winding it’s way along Eskdale. Eventually, it becomes a single track road with passing places – please don’t be a complete twat and park in a passing place. The crux comes at the head of the valley where the road steepens alarmingly and takes you round a series of hairpins to the col. There are places other that the passing places where you can stop and recover. You can return the way you came or carry on along the Duddon Valley and find another way back to where you are staying! If you are looking for self-catering accommodation for your classic car break in the Lakes, try Cottages on Line – click here

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