New route encourages car free visits to the west shore of Windermere

Published on: 14 Jul 2023

The official opening of teh West Windermere Way with a man on a bike, a lady and a man in a wheelchair smile at the camera holding a blue ribbon. There is a group of people looking on behind them

At a celebration event today (14 July) the Rt Hon Trudy Harrison MP officially opened the new £1.5 million West Windermere Way route.

The West Windermere Way is a 5.6km multi-user trail connecting Newby Bridge and the Ferry line along the western shore of the iconic Lake Windermere. The new trail follows the lakeshore in some areas, and heads away from the lake to link key visitor attractions on the western shore of Windermere.

The new trail maximises the wellbeing benefits of connecting people with nature, landscapes and heritage through the newly installed educational interpretation panels and access to heritage sites such as Stott Park Bobbin Mill.

The West Windermere Way better connects communities and businesses and enables safe and sustainable travel without relying on a car. The route is suitable for walkers, horse riders and cyclists and can be completed in its entirety or split up into three distinct sections.

Part of the route is designated as the 51st Miles without Stiles route in the Lake District. This means it is suitable for people with mobility issues and families with prams or little legs.

The West Windermere Way connects various sustainable travel options like boat via Windermere Lake Cruises, rail via Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway and bus routes at Newby Bridge.

Trudy Harrison, who is the MP for Copeland and is now Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs officially opened the route.

She said: “We are enabling more people to connect with nature – as outlined in the Government’s Environmental Improvement Plan and also to be more active.  The West Windermere Way achieves both, whilst helping local people to access other forms of transport and enabling visitors to experience the wonders of this beautiful place I also call home.

“The Lake District has a dynamic and historic landscape, this path will support sustainable tourism, providing an economic boost to many businesses too. I’m grateful to all those who made this new route possible and encourage everyone to visit the West Windermere Way.”

Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park Authority said: “We are pleased to be able to officially open the new West Windermere Way today as we know what a huge asset it will be to locals, visitors, and businesses.

“We look forward to seeing people enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of the West Windermere Way and seeing the trail’s impact on making car free travel part of the visitor experience in this area of the Lake District.”

Alan Towart, a local resident to West Windermere Way echoes this welcome of the new trail. He said: “As a local wheelchair user this new path has given me great opportunities to leave the house and explore the nature around the Lakeside area. It also allows me to safely link with the bus route at Newby Bridge.”

The Lake District National Park Authority worked closely with landowners, stakeholders, and local parish councils. The work was funded from the European Structural and Investment Funds and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership. The West Windermere Way is part of Low-carbon Lake District, a partnership approach to reduce carbon in the National Park and mitigate against the effects of climate change on the landscape. The project also benefitted from Defra Access for All funding.

A  young woman looks at one of the interpretation panels on the route

Main Photo shows: Lake District National Park Authority Chief Executive, Richard Leafe with the Rt Hon Trudy Harrison MP and local resident Alan Towart at the official opening of the West Windermere Way route.

Photo above shows: The interpretation panels that have been installed along the route.

Logo strip including ESIF, Lake District National Park, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and Northern Powerhouse

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