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Experience unmatched customer service when you hire a car from our company in the breathtaking Lake District. Be it a trip to the historic Muncaster Castle or a picturesque drive through the Honister Pass, we ensure a hassle-free journey. Our punctual, friendly service and local knowledge make us unique. Reach out, we're here to help!

Car Hire in Lake District

Top Tourist Spots and Tips for Driving in the Lake District

City car on serpentine road, Lake District scenery, stone walls, sheep grazing

The Lake District, also referred to as Lakeland, is undeniably one of the most bewitching parts of England. Famous for its soul-stirring landscapes, the region is dotted with clear shimmering lakes, rugged mountainous terrains, and picturesque market towns. Travelling by car is an excellent way to navigate through the Lake District, offering both flexibility and the best views.

Start your journey in the vibrant town of Keswick. Located near the northern end of Derwentwater, Keswick serves as a perfect gateway to the dramatic landscapes of the north lakes. A car ride to Borrowdale is a must, boasting unique spots such as the Bowder Stone and refreshing waterfalls. From Keswick, a one-hour drive through the mesmerising landscape will bring you to England's highest peak, Scarfell Pike, which provides unrivalled views of the magnificent region.

Around a 40-minute drive south from Keswick is the picturesque town of Ambleside, nestled on the northern shores of Lake Windermere. Here, the Hill Top House, the former home of Beatrix Potter, is a popular tourist attraction. From Ambleside, a further 30-minute journeys will take you to Bowness-on-Windermere. At the heart of the Lake District, this waterfront town makes an excellent place for boating activities, lakeside strolls, and exploring the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. A car trip is truly the best way to experience the delightful diversity of the Lake District.

Car Hire Guide

Lake District Car Hire FAQ

1. How much does it cost to hire a car in Lake District?

The price of hiring a car in Lake District varies according to the type of car and the rental duration. However, prices typically range from £30 to £70 per day.

2. Which car model is most in-demand for hire in Lake District?

The most frequently hired car model in Lake District is the compact or medium size due to the narrow lanes and limited parking space in some areas.

3. What are the most popular locations for car hire in Lake District?

The most popular locations for car hire in Lake District are Windermere, Kendal, and Keswick.

4. Is there a round-the-clock pick-up and drop-off service?

Yes, most car hire companies in Lake District offer 24-hour pick-up and drop-off services.

5. Is there a minimum rental period?

Yes, a minimum rental period typically applies, usually it is 24 hours.

6. What is the minimum age requirement for car hire in Lake District?

The minimum age to hire a car in Lake District is 21 years, with a valid driver's license held for at least a year.

7. What documents do I need to hire or drive a car in Lake District?

To hire a car, you'll need a valid driving licence, a credit card and proof of identity such as a passport.

8. When is the best time of year to visit Lake District by car?

The Lake District is beautiful all year round, but Spring and Autumn are especially scenic for car travel.

9. What are the main airports in Lake District?

The nearest major airports to Lake District are Manchester Airport and Newcastle Airport.

10. Can I pick up the car in one city in Lake District and drop it off in another city?

Yes, most car hire companies in Lake District offer the option to pick up and drop off your vehicle in different cities.

Car Hire Reviews


Windermere – 02-01-2024. The car I hired from this company was absolutely pristine, and the staff were exceedingly friendly. I drove all around the picturesque Lake District – it was a real pleasure. Even better, the price was quite reasonable! I'm very pleased with their service.


Keswick – 12-12-2023. Hired a car for a week-long trip in the scenic Lake District. The car was outstanding, clean, and safe. The best part was driving around the charming town of Keswick. Excellent customer service and a wide selection of cars to choose from. Quite affordable too.


Bowness-on-Windermere – 08-11-2023. Recently hired a car for travelling in and around the Lake District. The car was in perfect condition. The staff were extremely helpful. Driving around Bowness-on-Windermere was simply stunning. Quite a good bargain regarding the price too!


Ambleside – 25-08-2023. Hired a car from this company during my trip to the Lake District. The staff was very accommodating, and the car was comfortable. Price was absolutely reasonable. Made my trip around Ambleside a breeze.


Grasmere – 08-08-2023. The car hire company delivered exactly what they promised. Spic and span car, cooperative staff and seamless system. Travelling across Grasmere in their car was the highlight of my trip. Overall, a respectable service at a good price.


Coniston – 01-05-2023. Quality service from the car hire company. Hired a car that was clean and reliable. Drove from Coniston to other areas in the Lake District with ease. Professional staff and pricing was fair too.

Lakes and Wonders

Discover the Lake District

  1. Kendal: Known as the 'Gateway to the Lakes', famous for its mint cake.
  2. Windermere: Home to England's largest lake, a magnet for outdoor activity lovers.
  3. Ambleside: At the head of Lake Windermere, an ideal base to explore the national park.
  4. Keswick: Surrounded by stunning mountains, it's a walkers' paradise.
  5. Bowness-on-Windermere: Offers boat hire services that can be a unique way to explore the lake.
  6. Grasmere: A tranquil village, once home to the poet William Wordsworth.
  7. Coniston: Known for the Old Man of Coniston mountain, it's a hotspot for hikers and climbers.

Top Lake District Routes

Explore the most popular destinations starting from Lake District

  1. Lake District - Manchester: From Lake District, a 144-kilometre journey through M6 will lead you to Manchester. Average travel time is around 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
  2. Lake District - Liverpool: A 145-kilometre drive on M6 and M62 to Liverpool takes roughly 2 hours. Liverpool is famous for its museums and The Beatles!
  3. Lake District - Blackpool: One can easily reach Blackpool from Lake District through M6 and A583. Covering a distance of 98 kilometres, expect to drive for about 1 hour 20 minutes.
  4. Lake District - Leeds: To reach Leeds, take the M6 and M62. The journey takes approximately 2 hours to cover a distance of around 134 kilometres.
  5. Lake District - York: Enjoy a 2.5-hour drive on the M6 and A59. The circuit is 159 kilometres long, with York's historic attractions proving a fitting destination.
  6. Lake District - Newcastle: Newcastle can be reached via the A69, having covered 120 kilometres in around 2 hours. Explore its iconic quayside and bridges.
  7. Lake District - Edinburgh: For a longer trip, drive from Lake District to Edinburgh along the A74(M) and A702. It is approximately a 3-hour drive covering 215 kilometres. Explore the history and beauty of the Scottish capital.

Lake District Driving

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the speed limit in Lake District?

The speed limits in the Lake District are the same as elsewhere in the UK. They vary according to the type of road and the area, from 30 mph in built-up areas to 70 mph on dual carriageways and motorways. Always check the road signs for the current speed limit.

2. Do I need a special driving licence to drive in Lake District?

No, you do not need a special licence. However, you must hold a valid licence that allows you to drive a car in the UK. Foreign visitors can usually drive on their home country licence or an International Driving Permit.

3. Are there speed cameras in Lake District?

Yes, there are speed cameras in the Lake District, as well as traffic enforcement officers who can issue fines for speeding. Always obey the speed limit to ensure your safety and avoid penalties.

4. Are there toll roads in Lake District?

There are no toll roads in the Lake District, but there are a few narrow, winding roads that require a toll to use, such as the Hardknott Pass and the Wrynose Pass. Ensure you have small change if you plan to use these roads.

5. Are there any particular driving rules in Lake District?

Driving in the Lake District follows the same rules as the rest of the UK. Always drive on the left side of the road, observe speed limits, and give way to traffic coming from the right at roundabouts.

6. What should I know about the driving safety in Lake District?

Driving in Lake District involves narrow and sometimes steep roads and unpredictable weather conditions. Always watch out for pedestrians, cyclists, wildlife and farm animals.

7. How often will I find petrol stations in Lake District?

Petrol stations are less frequent in the Lake District compared to more urban areas. It's advisable to fill up your tank whenever possible, especially before heading into more remote parts. Stations in rural locations may also have shorter operating hours.

8. What does 'single track road' mean?

In Lake District, you'll encounter single track roads. These are narrow roads which are only wide enough for one vehicle. They have passing places every so often to allow vehicles to pass each other.

9. Are there any road signs unique to Lake District?

Most road signs in Lake District are standard UK signs, but you may see signs for sheep or cattle crossing, indicating that animals may be on the road.

10. How is the parking situation in Lake District?

Parking can be limited in popular tourist areas and small villages. It's recommended to use designated car parks where available and always adhere to parking restrictions.

11. How is winter driving in Lake District?

In winter, weather in Lake District can be challenging with snow, ice and fog. It's essential to have winter tyres or chains and be prepared for unexpected weather changes. Some roads may also be closed due to bad weather.

12. What is the procedure when a service vehicle (like an ambulance or fire engine) is approaching?

If a service vehicle displays flashing lights, you should pull to the side when it is safe to do so, allowing them to pass.

13. What are the rules for overtaking in Lake District?

Overtaking is the same here as in the rest of the UK. Always overtake on the right where it is legal and safe to do so. On many narrow and winding roads in the Lake District, however, overtaking may not be safe or allowed.

14. Is it safe to drive at night in Lake District?

Driving at night in the Lake District requires caution due to less visibility, especially on narrow, winding roads. Some animals may also be more active at this time.

15. What should I do in the event of a breakdown in Lake District?

If your car breaks down, pull over safely, turn on your hazard lights, and call your hire company or breakdown cover provider immediately.

Lake District Highlights

Visit must-see attractions with ease

  1. Windermere Lake Cruises: Enjoy stunning lake views aboard a traditional steamboat.
  2. Wordsworth Museum: Explore the life and work of the famous poet William Wordsworth.
  3. Beatrix Potter Gallery: Discover the inspirational world of Beatrix Potter in this charming gallery.
  4. Keswick Town: A picturesque market town offering local shops, eateries, and art galleries.
  5. Ambleside Roman Fort: Venture into history at this well-preserved remnant of the Roman Empire.
  6. Rydal Mount: Tour the historic family home of the renowned poet, Wordsworth.
  7. Muncaster Castle: Experience the grandeur of this haunted castle and its stunning gardens.
  8. Hardknott Roman Fort: Walk among the ruins of this ancient fort, offering panoramic views of the Lake District.

Lake District Roadtrips

Top routes for exploring by car

  1. The Keswick Round: This scenic 50km drive offers stunning lake and fell views. Highlights include Ashness Bridge, Surprise View and Castlerigg Stone Circle.
  2. Windermere Way: A 45km loop with breathtaking views of Lake Windermere, Ambleside, and Hawkshead. The route also leads to the Hill Top, former home of Beatrix Potter.
  3. Honister Pass and Buttermere: Drive approx 35km over the Pass and down to Buttermere with its tranquil scene of mountains, woods and water.
  4. Hardknott and Wrynose Passes: An exciting and challenging 28km drive through the highest roads in England offering stunning panoramic views.
  5. Ullswater 'Steamers' Route: A 30km drive around Lake Ullswater with opportunity to cross the water on an authentic steamboat.
  6. Glenridding and Kirkstone Pass: Take this 58km drive for some of the best scenic views in Lake District, include Brothers Water and Ullswater.
  7. Coniston and Tarn Hows: A 40km round trip, pass through beautiful surroundings of Coniston Water and the quiet beauty of Tarn Hows.
  8. Barrow-In-Furness to Ravenglass: Venture outside the heart of Lake District with this 50km coastal drive offering fantastic sea views.