48 hours in The Lake District without a car

If you are visiting the Lake District without a car or even just want a break from driving, the following are a few suggestions that will enable you to see the maximum amount of what the area has to offer in just 48 hours:

Orrest Head

Signpost: "Footpath to Orrest Head"

Orrest Head above Windermere has long been proclaimed one of the finest viewpoints in the Lake District and was the walk that ignited Alfred Wainwright's lifelong passion for the area. From the top, which can be reached by foot from Briscoe Lodge in approx 45 minutes, there are stunning panoramic views over Lake Windermere and the entire Lakeland Fells, the Yorkshire Dales and stretches of the west coast. This walk is perfect for those who just want to get out into the fresh air and experience the most spectacular views with the minimum of effort! It is also a perfect place to watch the sun go down with a good bottle of wine!

View over Windermere from Orrest Head

Duration: 1/2 a day if lingered over and you stop for a coffee and a bite to eat afterwards.

Getting there: To find the start, walk down the A591 away from the train station and towards Ambleside for less than 100m. On the right hand side of the path you will see a large sign (pictured above) marking the start of the walk; maps are available at Briscoe Lodge if required!

Windermere Lake Cruises

Steamers on Windermere

Departing from piers in Bowness, you have the option of either cruising to the north end of the Lake where you will find Ambleside and all its many tourist attractions or to the south end of the Lake where Lakeside and the Aquarium of the Lakes are situated; this is also where the steam train departs for a short ride to Haverthwaite which hosts a small railway museum and replica train station of a by-gone age.

Standard cruise tickets cost in the region of £9 for an adult return although combined boat and train fares and boat and Aquarium tickets can also be purchased.

Duration: cruises are in the region of 45 minutes each way although considerably more time will be required for the activities at either end of the Lake.

Getting there: Bowness is a 15 minute amble down the hill from Briscoe Lodge.

Tarn Hows

View over Tarn Hows and surrounding area

Tarn Hows (tarn means mountain lake or pool) is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful locations in the Lake District. It is very popular with visitors and offers a combination of sheltered woodland and still water, set in a cluster of rolling fells and surrounded by the highest Lakeland peaks. There is a 1.5 mile path round the tarn that is level and well maintained and thus suitable for wheelchairs and prams and there are also other circular walks that take in the surrounding fells and countryside. The scenic villages of Coniston and Hawkshead are both within easy reach.

Duration: a visit to Tarn Hows, a walk in the surrounding area and a visit to Coniston & Hawkshead will take up a full day.

Getting there: Tarn Hows can be reached by public transport on the Stagecoach 505/506 Bowness to Coniston bus; for further information go to www.traveline.org.uk

Hill Top Farm

Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm

Immerse yourself in the countryside and lifestyle of Beatrix Potter by visiting Hill Top Farm, the Beatrix Potter Gallery and the village of Hawkshead. Find out what inspired her to live and work in this beautiful place. At Hill Top Farm you can step straight into the world of the books - Jemima Puddleduck, Pigling Bland and Samuel Whiskers – which were written here - and enjoy the garden planted with vegetables and flowers just as it would have been during Beatrix's time. The Beatrix Potter Gallery can be found in the middle of Hawkshead village.

Duration: A half to a full day depending on what sites you visit.

Getting there: Hill Top Farm is in the village of Near Sawrey a two mile country walk west of the Windermere car & foot passenger ferry landing (maps available at Briscoe Lodge). There is a cross Lakes shuttle bus from Bowness to Hill Top and Hawkshead or you can catch the Stagecoach 505/506 Ambleside to Coniston and Hawkshead bus.

Windermere to Keswick by Bus

Windermere to Keswick by Bus

The double-decker bus ride from Windermere to Keswick is renowned as being one of the most scenic routes in the UK, passing through the villages of Ambleside, Rydal and Grasmere and their lakes before finally reaching Keswick and Derwent Water just over 20 miles away. Helvellyn and Helm Crag with its famous Lion and Lamb summit rock figures are just some of the more notable mountains you will also pass en-route.

Why not take time out to stop at Ambleside, Grasmere and Rydal where you will find a range of famous tourist attractions such as the tiny Bridge House (where a family of 8 once lived) Dove Cottage (the home of William Wordsworth), the Grasmere Gingerbread shop and numerous tea shops, restaurants and pubs to relax in. Once in Keswick you will find additional tourist attractions such as the Car of the Stars and Cumberland Pencil museums and Derwent Water with its cruises and boat hire.

Duration: To make the most of this trip a full day is required. The bus journey without getting off is approx 1 hour long.

Getting there: Catch the number 555 bus from Windermere bus station to Keswick. The often open top number 599 bus can be caught as far as Grasmere where a change to the 555 is required to reach Keswick. Buses are generally hourly during high summer but it is best to confirm all timings.

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