For all routes: The M6 runs along the east side of the Lake District. Exit at Junction 36 onto the A590 for South Lake District (Kendal, Barrow, Windermere, Bowness, Ambleside, Grasmere), or exit the M6 at Junction 40 onto the A66 West for the North Lake District (Keswick, Ullswater, Glenridding, Thirlmere, Cockermouth).
The A590 takes you around the southern part of the Lake District, where you can branch off to explore places like Windermere and Coniston.
It's also possible to visit other delightful places in the Furness Peninsula, such as Ulverston, Barrow-in-Furness, and Walney Island.
From the A590 you can link up with the A595 via the A5092; here, the A595 carries on round and up the Western Lake District, where you can explore some of the most remote yet grandiose parts of the Lake District, not to mention the West Cumbrian Coast.
You can also exit the M6 at Junction 36 to get onto the A591, which takes you all the way through the middle of the Lake District and is often cited as being one of the country's prettiest drives (just check out the image below!)
Visit the Lake District by train
From the Southeast: trains run on a nearly hourly basis from London Euston to Oxenholme Lake District.
From the Southwest: trains run regularly to Birmingham New Street, then take the Avanti West Coast line to Preston (Lancs), changing there to continue onwards to Oxenholme Lake District.
From the Midlands: take the East or West Midlands Trains to Manchester Piccadilly. Then, depending on the train, you’ll change at Wigan North Western to continue onwards to Oxenholme Lake District, or you’ll change at Preston (Lancs) and take the West Coast Line to Oxenholme Lake District.
From Leeds area: you’ll either take the Transpennine Express to Manchester Piccadilly and change here to continue onwards to Oxenholme Lake District, or take the Transpennine Express to Manchester Victoria, then onwards to Bolton and change here again to continue on to Oxenholme Lake District.
From Liverpool/Manchester area: from Liverpool, take the Northern trains from Liverpool Lime Street. You’ll then change at either Wigan North Western, Manchester Oxford Road, or Preston (Lancs) to continue on to Oxenholme Lake District. From Manchester, there is a direct Northern train from Manchester Piccadilly to Oxenholme Lake District; if not direct, the train will change at Preston (Lancs) before continuing on to Oxenholme Lake District.
From Newcastle/Northeast: at Newcastle take the Northern Trains line to Carlisle. You can then change there to head to Oxenholme Lake District or stay in Carlisle to explore the Northern Lake District.
From Scotland via Glasgow/Edinburgh: from Glasgow, the Avanti West Coast line travels direct from Glasgow Central to Oxenholme Lake District. From Edinburgh, take the ScotRail train from Edinburgh Gateway to Haymarket, changing here onto the Transpennine Express to Oxenholme Lake District.
Use Trainline to find times and routes to the Lake District near you.