Whether you plan to visit the Lakes for the first time, or you are making a return visit. Leave the car at home and explore the Lake District by boat and train.
How to Explore the Lake District by Boat and Train
The main Windermere cruise operates every day throughout the year from Ambleside, Bowness and Lakeside, except on Christmas Day. The trip takes 3 hours in total, but passengers are free to hop on and off to enjoy the different attractions around the lake. Favourite places to visit include the World of Beatrix Potter, Ambleside Museum, and the small towns and villages around the lake. Parking is available near the main piers, and private charter cruises can be pre-booked for groups. If you drive from your hotel, park at Lakeside, Bowness or Ambleside.
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If you want to transport yourself back to the 1920s, take a trip on board the Coniston Launch ferries, which run a service to 7 jetties, including Brantwood, the former home of John Ruskin. The solar-electric powered ferries offer a unique and environmentally friendly way of enjoying breath-taking views over Coniston Water, and the informative crew will run a commentary throughout. Of you prefer, take the boat one way and walk back along the lake side foot paths. Special cruises include ´Swallows and Amazons´, ´Campbells on Coniston´ which includes a comprehensive talk about the speed record attempts in the 1930s, or you can even charter a private launch if you prefer. The launch runs throughout the year, with restricted sailings, subject to weather in December and January.
The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
Each locomotive, including the oldest working 15” gauge engine in the world, River Irt, travel some 6,000 miles per year. Surrounded by spectacular scenery, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway continues to attract thousands of visitors every year, and offers cafés and gift shops at both ends of the line. Visitors can also hire cycles and enjoy Wainwright-inspired walks, plus kids can enjoy a new adventure play area at Dalegarth. Opening times vary, according to the season, and all the facilities are open when the trains are running.
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Whether you decide to explore the Lake District by boat and train, you won´t be disappointed. You can even combine them with a boat ride to make the most of Cumbria’s fantastic travel links. Alternatively, explore the magnificent lakeside fells by foot, and take a boat, bus or train back to your hotel, to make the most of this incredible region.