Things to do | Itineraries | North of England by car

North England car itinerary

3 Days

Lake District - Hawes - York - Durham - North Pennines - Kielder Water

202 miles (326.2 km)

Plan your route: VisitBritain Journey Planner

Scenic splendour of lakes and mountains, castles, dramatic coastlines and glorious National Parks, combined with the medieval cities of York and Durham, lively Blackpool and Manchester, world renowned for its football.

Day 1: The Lake District - Hawes

The Lake District - Hawes: 27 miles (43.8 km)

The Lake District

From Manchester head north to the Lake District – an exceptional beautiful region dotted with freshwater lakes and surrounded by spectacular fells and ancient woodlands. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a yachtsman, a wildlife lover, a walker or a climber – you’ll simply love it here!


From the Northern Lakes, leave the park and go south to Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Regarded as the capital of Upper Wensleydale, Hawes is said to be one of the highest market towns in England and is famous for its handmade Wensleydale cheese.

Dales Countryside Museum | Wensleydale Creamery | The Hawes Ropemaker | The Cat Pottery

Day 2: York - Durham

Hawes – York: 63 miles (102.5 km)
York - Durham: 75 miles (120.6 km)
Totals for day: 138 miles (223.1 km)


Romans, Saxons, Vikings and Normans have all left their mark on York , from the ruined walls that enclose the centre, to the great Minster that dominates the city. Just walking through the narrow cobbled streets and among the wooden houses is like entering a living museum.

Must see & do:

York Minster | JORVIK - The Viking City | York Castle Museum | York Dungeon | National Railway Museum | Castle Howard | YorkBoat Guided River Tours | Yorkshire Air Museum | York Racecourse | Clifford’s Tower


Next on to the former principality of Durham. Take a moment to stroll through the twisting, medieval cobblestone streets that lead up to the great Norman Cathedral. You’ll soon discover why Bill Bryson once described Durham as 'a perfect little city'.

Must see & do:

Museum of Archaeology | Durham Cathedral | Treasures of St Cuthbert | Durham Castle | Bear Bottoms

Day 3: North Pennines - Kielder Water

Durham - North Pennines: 37 miles (59.4 km)
North Pennines - Kielder Water: 85 miles (138 km)
Totals for Day: 122 miles (197.4 km)

North Pennines

The final part of your tour takes you on a scenic drive through the wild open moors of the North Pennines to Hadrian's Wall. This World Heritage structure was built almost 2,000 years ago and traverses Britain from coast to coast.

Must see & do:

The Village Bakery | Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre

Kielder Water

Continue north, and just before the Scottish border you’ll hit Kielder Water. Tucked between wooded hills, you can hire boats and bikes here, and even rent a log cabin. The area abounds with rare plants and animals, and offers unparalleled peace and tranquillity.

Kielder Water and Forest Park | Pot-A-Doodle-Do Arts and Crafts

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