There's also a station at Dalston, which is north of the Lakes and on the North section of the Cumbria Way. You could start walking south from there through Caldbeck and the Back o' Skiddaw area and make your way down to Windermere station.
Good chance of relative peace and quiet particurlarly for the first couple of days. And the rest of the time too, if you plan a route to avoid the obvious honey pots.
if you went to Penrith the bus to Keswick will take you along the bottom of Blencathra - or the bus from Penrith to Patterdale will take you down ullswater, or the bus from Penrith to Kendal/Shap will take you down the A6 - and it'll be empty...
you can get a bus from Hereford to Rhyader - i think there's still a bus that goes around the Elan valley from Rhyader - there may also be a bus to Llanidloes.
if you've got a week you'll be fine - and 'pitch late, leave early' means 7pm or so, try and be out of sight of the road or at least 300m away - and no, you won't be arrested.
We do actually have these amazing things in Wales called buses
Getting around Wales by public transport
If you decide on Wales, I'd avoid the main areas of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, and head for the Rhinogs, or Rewrite suggested, mid Wales. The Heart of Wales line will take you to Builth Wells, whence you can get a bus to Rhayader and walk, or to Llanwrtyd Wells whence you can walk. There's a huge area north of Llanwrtyd up to Machynlleth, where there's another train station. Elan Valley, Plumlimon, loads of space, all much quieter than further north or south.
Two people have already mentioned Geoff C's inspirational vg backpacking site. Be inspired!
I'm off to the Elan Valley on Friday for a 3 dayer myself \o/
San Rosa wrote (see)
Bad thing about public transport is that it dumps you at the station usually really early or late and and probably nowhere near where you want to be.
A quick flick through my Lake District timetables reveals...
If you can get to Penrith railway station before 11pm, then you can get the Keswick bus at six minutes past, and be wild camping somewhere on the lower slopes of Blencathra by midnight.
Of course, if you want an early start, then if you can get to Penrith railway station before 7am, then you can get the Keswick bus at six minutes past and pretty much have the whole of the Lake District at your disposal.
I've often used buses as early as 6.15am and as late as Midnight while exploring the Lake District, and never really understood why people say there are no useful buses.
In north Wales, if you started at Llandudno Junction or Conway you could walk the length of the Carneddau. The peaks are high and the main ridge is easy walking in decent weather. Plenty of wild camping opportunities there.
Basic provisions are available at Capel Curig.
You could continue via the Moelwyns. The peaks are not the biggest, but there is lots of wild country to get lost in.
If you prefer the big peaks you could take in the Glyders and Snowdon instead. They are very popular and not ideal for wild camping, but discreet camping higher up should be possible.
The Rhinogs as mentioned are also good for wild camping. The terrain is rather fierce; the rule of thumb for the Rhinogs is find a path and follow if.
For a finale you could climb Cader Idris.
You won't have time to do all this in 5 days. However there are the Ffestiniog railway and the Welsh Highland railway to expedite your journey. As mentioned there are buses too.
You could return by train from Porthmadog or Barmouth.
It depends what most appeals to you. Are you looking to climb mountains or are you more interested in a semi-wilderness experience? In general, north Wales has the better mountains, but mid Wales more wilderness.
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