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6 ways to explore the Lake District without a car

8 June 2017

Author: Emma Moody, Strategy and Partnership Adviser for the Lake District National Park Authority

Travelling around the Lake District by bike, bus, boat or on foot is a perfect way to discover the Lake District and take in the fresh air and views, as well as looking after this special place! When it gets to the weekend I like to take a break from driving and explore with my kids. Here are just some of the ideas how you can get around in the Lakes:

Brockhole on Windermere by bike and boat  

I love it when you find a place where you can spend all day without feeling the need to move on, Brockhole is just one of those places. It is so easy to get there, arrive by boat with Windermere Lake Cruises or take your bike on the unique bike boat to keep the kids entertained. There’s lots to do: Beautiful gardens, adventure playground, treetop nets and Trek, mini golf, bike and boat hire, café and shop plus great events throughout the year.

Cross Lakes Experience

This perfect combination of linking bus and boat enables you to get from Bowness, across Windermere by boat to Ferry House then hop on a minibus to Beatrix Potter’s House at Hilltop or on to Hawkshead. We haven’t used it this year yet, but I’ve promised my daughter a Beatrix Potter day in the summer holidays, so we’re looking forward to using it then!

A day out in Coniston  

Coniston is a great place, settled right in amongst the fells with its sparkling lake. You can get there by bus service 505 then go on to enjoy walks, cafés, the museum and more! Then you can walk down to the Boating Centre (less than a mile from the village on well signed paths) where you can hire boats, go on the launch, experience the Victorian splendour of steam Yacht Gondola or relax in the Bluebird café with a drink or ice cream. From here you can also explore the Torver Trail traffic free path on foot or by bike, suitable for all the family.

The Honister Rambler

This must be one of the most scenic, and most exciting bus rides in the country! The bus runs a circular route from Keswick over Whinlatter Pass along the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere then back over Honister Pass and past Derwentwater to Keswick. There are lots of walks to choose from, high and low level. We love the walk around Buttermere followed by ice cream.

The Ravenglass and Eskdale railway

Travelling through beautiful Eskdale on an open coach hauled by a little steam engine on a sunny day will put a smile on your face whatever your age! There are lots of great walks through Eskdale or you can enjoy the Eskdale Trail by bike, combined with a train ride and of course a picnic or café stop to give you the perfect day out. Trains on the Cumbrian Coast line offer the best way to get to Ravenglass, the stations are right next door to each other and you can save money with a combined ticket.

The Grasmere Trail

This new multi user trail links Ambleside with Grasmere via the quiet western shores of Rydal Water and Grasmere. It is mostly on off road tracks and you travel through woodland, on fellside and lake shore to make a beautifully varied journey. When you reach Grasmere you deserve a nice slice of Grasmere Gingerbread!

So keep the car at home and discover the Lake District in a better way!

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