UPDATE: The West Windermere Way is now fully open. Read the latest news here: New route encourages car free visits to the west shore of Windermere : Lake District National Park (July 2023).
The information below relates to the first section opened in March 2023.
The first section of a brand-new £1.45 million multi-user trail that will go along the western shore of Windermere between Newby Bridge and the YMCA at Lakeside opens today in time for the spring holidays.
The accessible West Windermere Way one mile route starts at the Swan Hotel in Newby Bridge and goes to the Lakeside Ferry Terminal. Once fully completed in the summer of 2023, this path will go to the YMCA with the aim of linking to the existing Windermere West Shore Way that goes to Wray Castle.
The route consists of locally sourced stone paths and boardwalk sections ensuring it is suitable for some wheelchair users, bikes, horses, and families including little legs and pushchairs. The route will follow the lakeshore in some areas and provide an off-road link to key visitor attractions in the Newby Bridge and Lakeside area meaning people can stay longer in the area and explore the area without their car.
Sara Spicer, one of the Lake District National Park Authority’s Area Rangers said: “We’re thrilled to be able to open this section of the route which means that people will be able to travel sustainably from Newby Bridge to the Ferry Terminal. So far, we have created a new path through an area that previously didn’t have any access, constructed a new bridge over the railway, introduced raised boardwalk sections over areas that get very wet, and created a new route along the railway embankment.
“This is just the first stage of our ambitious plan. We're leading the project and working closely with building contractors who are carrying out the work on this section.
“We wouldn’t have been able to deliver this project without the support of landowners, stakeholders, and local parish councils. The work is being funded from the European Structural and Investment Funds and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.”
Becky Edmondson from the Swan at Newby Bridge says: “This is such an exciting improvement that we know our guests will love. It’s ideal for families to be able to safely walk along a traffic free route to Lakeside, and we are so pleased at how accessible the route is, meaning all our guests will be able to enjoy the trail. This pathway has really opened up potential partnerships with businesses across the lake, and we are currently working on some exciting partnerships. We also hope to introduce bike hire for our guests in the coming months which will mean they will be able to fully explore Windermere, Ambleside and beyond without having to use the car to have a truly relaxing retreat to the Lake District.”
Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises Limited said: “Both Lakeside and Newby Bridge are well served by sustainable forms of transport and the new trail offers a safe and enjoyable connection between these two important transport hubs. We are confident that the new accessible multi-user trail will be popular with both visitors and local residents offering stunning views over the southern end of Windermere. Once the entire route is completed it will connect buses, boats and trains and will create great new sustainable journey options in the heart of the Lake District.”
Mike Maher from the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway said: “We have been delighted to play a significant role in the creation of this new route. It will provide new vistas from the train and new opportunities to enjoy watching the trains running past from the magnificent parkland surroundings.”
Steve Cole, Chair of Cumbria LEP’s Investment Panel said “I am very pleased to see that the LEP’s funding has helped this project come to fruition and deliver this section of the trail in western Windermere. Importantly, it will improve accessibility for walkers and cyclists, helping create a safe and sustainable travel option. The trail is a great asset and one which I am very much looking forward to using with my own family”.
To keep up to date with the second phase of the project please visit West Windermere Way : Lake District National Park