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Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

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27 posts
Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

Dear all

I'll be arriving at Manchester Airport after a 13 hour flight and will rent a car to drive to Lake District.

The first night will be spent at Ambleside and the second Ullswater.

On the way to Ambleside, I was planning to hike Orrest Head.

I wonder whether it is necessary to stop by the Visitor Centre as it would incur a 3 pound fee for parking when I probably would be in there for under 1 hour.

I also understand that there is a Free Parking disc that can be acquired at shops? Is this true? If so how does it work?

If not where should I park for Orrest Head? We are okay with paying for parking if we will leave the car at a convenient parking lot that has access to several attractions/ hikes. Can anyone recommend such a parking lot?

After that we plan to check into the hotel at Ambleside and then drive to Grasmere. Again parking is a concern.

Option 3 would be just to drive through Windermere and wander only at Ambleside.

It seems like parking is a huge consideration when shortlisting places to visit which gets me frustrated. Hope to hear some inputs.

Thanks.

26 replies to this topic
Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for Pollenca, Port de Pollenca
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1. Re: Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

Sorry, can't answer your qns - but some observations.

What time does your 13 hour flight arrive at Manc Airport ? Then add 1 hour for immigration & luggage collection, shuttlebus to Car Rental Village (or elsewhere), car rental admin & checks. So you are probably starting to drive nearly 2 hours after landing, then it's about another 1.75 hours to your parking spot for the hike. Overall starting the hike about 4 hours after landing, is that ok ?

Please do NOT rent a car from Green Motion.

Level Contributor
27 posts
2. Re: Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

thank you for your reply and concern.

I understand that orrest head is an easy hike.

if we are tired we will go straight to the hotel and rest for a while.

i am renting from sixt at the airport. i hope that is okay. i only realised that i have a limit of 300km per day. but i think i've worked it out.

do i have to get on the shuttle bus to the rental car village at manchester with my luggage? are the rental car counters not at arrivals?

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
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3. Re: Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

13 hours on a plane, 2 hours after landing, goodness knows how many hours you were awake before your flight - please don't drive.

Greater London...
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1,408 posts
4. Re: Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

<< if we are tired we will go straight to the hotel and rest for a while.>>>

Does that mean that after the long flight etc and knowing you are tired you still intend to drive ? Driving after a long flight is stupid enough, but doing so when you actually admit you are tired is even worse (and also makes you even more liable legally if you have an accident)

Solihull
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5,011 posts
14 reviews
5. Re: Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

>>>The first night will be spent at Ambleside and the second Ullswater.

The Lake District is very small so unless you have a very good reason it is not worth the hassle of switching places to stay for one night.

>>>I wonder whether it is necessary to stop by the Visitor Centre

What visitor centre? Do you mean Brockhole visitor centre (that has £3 parking), if so that is nowhere near Orrest Head.

Or do you mean the tourist information centre next to Windermere train station? If so where did you get the £3 figure from?

The walk up Orrest Head starts at Windermere train station or Tourist Information centre (they are next to each other).

Parking is at a premium in that area.

There is some parking at Windermere train station (£4 I think),

Next door is a shop called Lakeland (used to the Lakeland Plastics) with a large car park and their web site says "free parking" (not sure for how long or if you have to buy something).

https://www.lakeland.co.uk/stores/windermere

But to be honest even if you have to pay a few pounds to park it is worth it for the glorious view you get from Orrest Head,

You should be able to get up and down Orrest head in less than an hour, though you may want to spend 30 minutes up there to take in the view !

Southampton, United...
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285 reviews
6. Re: Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

How long will you be staying in England? Do you not want to stay in Manchester for the first day then travel to the Lake District after that? Space is limited in the UK and all the nice places that we like to visit have premium parking, you just have to allow for it. Also driving in the UK has lots of strict rules and high parking fines. It takes a lot of concentration, especially if you are not used to them.

Chester, United...
Level Contributor
579 posts
299 reviews
7. Re: Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

There is 1 hour free parking in a layby outside a few shops on the main road practically opposite the start of the path to Orrest Head. Also it's 1 hour max on the roads in the town. If you overstay you will likely get a hefty parking fine. However 1 hour is plenty time to do the walk which is well worth the effort for the view (unless weather is poor so save it for a clearer day!)

The station car park is close by but quite pricey (sorry can't remember how much). There are nearby car parks for Lakeland Plastics shop and Booths supermarkets but these do state for customers only so I wouldn't want to be seen leaving those on foot for fear of a ticket.

The disc system works all over the Lakes where the signs indicate. They are free and available in lots of shops and are basically a square piece of card with facility to spin the front around showing the time. You set your arrival time on the disc when you park up (usually on a road where limited parking is permitted) and leave the disc on display on the car dashboard. You generally get 1 or 2 hours free parking (the signs will tell you how long you have and if you need to display the disc- not sure if they apply in the places I mentioned above). Traffic wardens then know if you have overstayed and issue fines accordingly.

Manchester, United...
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for Pollenca, Port de Pollenca
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8. Re: Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

Sixt are one of the best rental companies, a good choice IMO.

There are "no" car rental counters actually in arrivals at Manchester Airport.

All the official rental companies eg Sixt, Hertz etc are together in the Car Rental Village located about 1+ mile away near the end of the runway. You take a free shuttlebus (with your luggage) to the Rental Village.

A minute or two after the start of your drive towards Lake District, you will have a "key and quick" (be alert) decision to make on your route, as the M56 spur road that you will be on splits both L & R.

I strongly recommend taking the LHS road signposted Chester, Preston M6 etc. Eventually miles later, head N past Preston area etc at the M56/M6 intersection towards Preston, Lancaster & The Lakes.

(Route planning software "might" suggest the RHS road signposted Manchester & M60 etc. IMO avoid that as it takes you into the very congested M60 area round Manchester; and difficult driving for a newcomer to UK after a 13 hour flight).

Here's that sudden split where IMO you should take LHS route (the sign is sometimes hidden by trees).

https://goo.gl/Tu1F1W

Be careful with parking as different rules apply to separate carparks; always check the signage, read the detail, and don't assume.

If you were to fall foul of the rules, the carpark company would contact the car owner (Sixt in your case) for details of who was driving. Sixt (and almost all others) charge the driver a hefty sum for handling that sort of retrospective admin - so your penalty will end up much higher than just the parking penalty

Level Contributor
27 posts
9. Re: Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

thank you all for your generous inputs.

@MrandMrsRo: now i fully understand the disc system. will seek for one and use it at the appropriate parking lots. is there a website that has a list of parking lots using the disc system? also as mentioned about that 1 hour free parking opposite Orrest head, i suppose its using the disc system?

@KWUK: thank you for clarifying about the car rental village and the driving tip. will take the route you suggested. oh and we arrive at MAN at 9am.

@Jane C: thank you for your concern. We will be spending 2 days at Lake district and then drive up to glasgow. I live in Singapore and we drive on the same side but it will be my first time driving in the UK.

@Guilbert53: oh thank you for informing me about Windermere train station & Tourist Information centre being next to each other. Okay I feel more assured that its worth spending some pounds at Orrest head now. I'm just concern whether the 2 days at Lake district would incur a hefty parking cost when I make a stop over several places. Trying to save as much as possible. However if it is worth it and much time is spent in the area, we don't mind paying.

@Maestro500: thanks for your concern and warnings. we will take it slowly from the airport and not rush. I just hope and pray that I have a good rest in flight.

Chester, United...
Level Contributor
579 posts
299 reviews
10. Re: Confused about parking at Lake District 2018

You don't need a disc for a car park (parking lot) but for when you park on the side of a road where permitted. They are marked by signs on a pole somewhere around the parking area.

I am not aware of any website specifically where the disc system is in operation but 'parkopeodia' is a good one to look at car parks generally throughout the UK.

The layby I mentioned I am sure doesn't require a disc. We were there about 3-4 weeks ago and parked there and did a quick trip up Orrest Head and didn't display our disc which we always keep handy in the car. They are definitely needed for parking in Ambleside and Keswick on the road.

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