Ticket offices on Bowness Bay pier on Windermere

Travel around Windermere

Millions of people visit the Windermere area each year. The A591 is one of the main routes into the Lake District, and there are car parks close to the lake shore. Or ditch the car in favour of the bus, train, cycle, boat or just your own two feet!

By bus

Buses stop at Windermere train station, Troutbeck, Waterhead, Ambleside, Lakeside and Newby Bridge. Frequent buses are:

  • #599 Windermere to Bowness
  • #555/556 Windermere Kendal Ambleside Grasmere and Keswick
  • #6 Lakeside, Newby Bridge and Ulverston
  • #508 Troutbeck and Ullswater
  • Cross Lakes Experience link from Ferry House to Hill Top and Hawkshead

By train

Windermere train station is the end of the branch line and has direct trains which run as far south as Manchester Airport. You can transfer at Oxenholme The Lake District (near Kendal) on the main West Coast line to the Windermere branch line. Oxenholme to Windermere takes approximately half an hour.

The train station is about a mile and half from the lake, which takes about half an hour to walk. Or you can catch the #599 bus.

Useful public transport links

By bike

Try out pedal power for a whole new perspective of Windermere! Hire bikes from:

  • Country Lanes Cycling Holidays (01539 444544) next door to Windermere station.
  • Windermere Canoe and Kayak on Ferry Nab Road, Bowness (015394 44451)
  • Ambleside Mountain Bikes (015394 33592) at Ghyllside Cycles, The Slack, Ambleside
  • Bike Treks (015394 31245) at The Old Post Office Buildings, Millans Park, Ambleside

There is now a network of traffic free paths in the Windermere area including the Windermere West Shore trail between Ferry House and Wray Castle.


A car ferry links Ferry Nab on the eastern shore of Windermere with Ferry House, Far Sawrey on the west. It's a handy shortcut for Hawkshead, Grizedale forest and Kendal.

It is a drive-on, drive-off service where car passengers stay in their cars and an attendant comes round to collect the fare once the ferry is moving.

There are 18 spaces and it is a popular service so do expect queues during busy periods, especially in the summer.

For more details, download Cumbria County Council's leaflet The Other Shore: The Windermere Ferry - check out Cumbria County Council website.


Take to the water to truly experience Windermere. The many different options and tickets allow you to hop off, walk back or just sit back and watch the mountains, woodlands and islands unfold before you. To plan your own voyage of discovery, take a look at Windermere Lake Cruises.


If possible, please try to leave the car at home and use public transport to help keep the Lake District special.

If you're heading off into the rest of the National Park, keep an eye on the fuel gauge. In some of the more remote areas, filling stations are few and far between.

Our car parks around Windermere

Need more help? Pop in to Bowness Bay Information Centre

Waterfront at Bowness Bay

We can help you with booking accommodation, tickets or attractions. See us on the south side of Bowness Bay, home to Bowness Information Centre.