The train station at Windermere played a huge part in making this beautiful Lakeland town so popular. Having opened in the mid 1800’s, it enabled visitors from across the country to travel by train due to the direct link to Oxenholme which was on the Lancaster – Carlisle line which is now the West Coast Mainline. With travel times at their lowest, it is now possible to travel by rail from London to Windermere in little over 3 hours with just one change at Oxenholme.
Encouraging visitors to travel by rail is one thing, to enable them to get around whilst staying in Windermere or Bowness is the other half of the transportation process. With projects such as GoLakes Travel and other low carbon initiatives such as Co Wheels, a variety of transport options are now readily available to thoroughly encourage and make leaving the car at home as easy as possible.
Yes, not everywhere in the Lake District and Cumbria lends itself to a car free holiday, some places are just too remote. But use Windermere or Bowness as a base with the hubs of the bus and train stations, bike and boat hire and lake cruises and it’s quite amazing where you can get to including being able to travel from Windermere to Whinlatter Forest near Keswick with your bike.
This year there is the return of the bike bus. Bus number 800 is Stagecoach’s specially converted Bike Bus service to carry up to 12 bikes and handily links up with Windermere Lake Cruises’ ‘Bike Boat’ over the school holiday times commencing weekends 27 May to 16 July and daily from 22 July to 3 September. . Whether for use by cycling pros in order to cover an even greater area or for families to help younger children see further afield or break up a bike journey, the Bike Bus is a very handy service.
Family and cyclist friendly accommodation close to Windermere can be found at the Newby Bridge Hotel at the southern end of Lake Winderemere. Choose to cycle to Ferry Nab for a quick hop across the lake to Bowness to pick the bus up or cruise from Lakeside to Bowness. For information on the hotel and to book visit http://www.newbybridgehotel.co.uk/.