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Travelling Around the Lake District

Whilst many visitors to the Lake District opt for their cars there are many other modes of transport available some of which allow access to parts of the Lakes that cars will not or will find it difficult to get to. As well as permitting access to certain inaccessible areas of the Lakes, some modes of transport may be more fun!

One excellent resource provided by Cumbria County Council is the journey planner which help you plan a journey between any Cumbrian location using a variety of modes of transport. Click here to access Journey Planner.


The Lake District has limited access to the National Rail network. There are mainline stations at Carlisle, Penrith, and Oxenholme (which is close to Kendal). There is also a branch line which connects Windermere station to Oxenholme and the main West Coast line, with trains to Manchester Airport and other popular destinations. Visit the Trainline for timetables and fares.

The Lake District also is fortunate to be home to a couple of other railway attractions. The Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway operates to the south of Windermere and utilises some beautiful steam engines. It is well worth exploring their day packages which combine a ride on therailway with other attractions such as Beatrix Potter, and Aquarium of the Lakes.

Slightly less accessible but well worth the effort is the Ravenglass & Eskdale narrow gauge railway. The journey runs from the beautiful Eskdale valley to the Cumbrian coast at Ravenglass (Ravenglass also has a station on the branch line connecting Carlisle to Barrow, Workington and Whitehaven making the narrow gauge railway accessible to those without a car). This must be one of the most scenic rail journeys in the UK.


There is an extensive range of public bus services throughout Cumbria and a good source of information and timetables can be found by visiting Cumbria County Council's website.

Ferries & Boats

Whether for pleasure or for practical reasons travelling by boat or ferry is an option for visitors to the Lake District.

On Windermere, Windermere Lake Cruises carry in excess of one million passengers a year and operate ferries across the length of the Lake.

Further north at Ullswater, the Ullswater 'steamers' operate between Howtown, Glenridding, and Pooley Bridge. The Ullswater 'steamers' effectively connect all of Ullswater's extremities making it a practical and enjoyable method of taking in this beuatiful lake.

At Derwentwater, the Keswick Launch company connects 7 different parts of the lake including Keswick, Ashness Gate (for Ashness Bridge), Lodore, and Hawse End. The circular route allows walkers to coordinate their walks with the ferry timetables.

On Coniston Water why not enjoy some 'real' peace. The Coniston Launch Company run solar electric launches which visit 8 jetties around the lake and also offer themed cruises such as Donald Campbell's Coniston and Swallows and Amazons.

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