Lake - not madness, sounds like a good plan to me to check out the route.
I've done a few races now in the South of England, and often the travelling / family logistics from Scotland are worse than the running. Once I'm out on the trail is when I relax, because I know everything has worked out, then the running just takes care of itself .
Sussex - cannot help with that I'm afraid as I am one of the 'lucky' unsupported gang, but hope you can still make it. I guess it may be possible that more people might drop closer to the date, so you may still be taken on as unsupported.
Well, mad flurry of hotel booking for me last week, and today got my trains sorted. Been all over the place with this race trying to decide best course of action. Trains Glasgow to B-ham were £124 return , then had no idea what to do about the return from London to B-ham . Now decided I will drive to my parents in Wolves, leave the car with them, then get train to B-ham Friday night, booked hotel in London for Sunday night, then got cheap apex ticket for £22 back to B-ham for Monday morning. Hopefully that's it sorted, now all I have to do is run .