By Train

Virgin Rail train, Oxenholme stationThe Lakes & Dales Loop is easily accessible by train. Typical journey times by train to Penrith (north east corner of the Lakes & Dales Loop) from:

  • London – about 3.5 hours
  • Birmingham – about 2.5 hours
  • Manchester – about 2 hours
  • Newcastle – about 2.5 hours
  • Glasgow – about 1.5 hours

We would recommend starting from Penrith Station on the West Coast Mainline Operated by Virgin Trains, and bike hire is available from the station. Click here to view all bike hire points.

The West Coast Main Line runs from London though Preston to 3 stations in Cumbria – Carlisle, Penrith and Oxenholme.

The famous Carlisle and Settle Railway brings you to a variety of stations in the Eden Valley from its starting station at either Carlisle or Leeds, including Appleby, on the Lakes & Dales Loop.

The Cumbria Coast Line has a range of stations from Carlisle to Barrow along the coast including Whitehaven, Ravenglass, Foxfield and Grange-Over-Sands – on or close to the Lakes & Dales Loop.

Travelling with a bike

Most trains will take a limited number of standard size bicycles, although there may be restrictions on when accompanied bicycles can be carried, especially at busy times. Advance reservation is often required, especially for longer journeys. This is usually a free service although sometimes you will have to pay a small fee. For information about a specific train operator’s regulations go to National Rail’s Train Companies page: select the Train Company you are travelling with and look at the ‘Onboard facilities’ section, which will show their Cycle Policy.

Map of train lines

If you zoom in on the map below you will be able to view all the train stations, using the (+/-) buttons in bottom right corner. The blue line indicates the Lakes & Dales Loop.