Category Archives: Ambleside Lake District

New Lake District ‘Bike Bus’ service launched

The Lake District is a popular destination for mountain biking, family cycling outings and road riding alike

Saturday 4 May saw the launch of a new ‘Bike Bus’ service in the Lake District. The Stagecoach 800 runs the full length of  England’s largest lake, Windermere, and has been specially converted to carry up to 12 bikes.

The new route includes the following popular stops around Windermere and links in with the ‘Bike Boat’ ferry shuttle from Brockhole to Wray:

  • Ambleside (Kelsick Road)
  • Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre
  • Windermere train station
  • Bowness-on-Windermere Pier
  • Fell Foot Park
  • Newby Bridge
  • Lakeland Motor Museum
  • Lakeside& Havethwaite Railway

For 2013, the Bike Bus will run on the following dates:

  • 4 May – 14 July (Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays)
  • 20 July – 1 September (daily)
  • 7 Sept – 28 Sept (weekends only)

Claire Maclaine, programme manager for the GoLakes, supporter of the Bike Bus service, said: “The Bike Bus is another great way to help people to explore and enjoy our stunning landscape without the hassle of loading up car bike racks and fighting for parking spaces at the other end. This regular service is geared up specifically for the needs of cyclists and is ideal for families to hop on and off at a range of locations running the full length of Windermere.”

Two new leaflets are being produced to complement the service, ‘Rides from the Bike Bus’ and ‘Days out from the Bike Bus’. Printed on waterproof paper, they will both be available from late May. Alternatively, a full timetable can be viewed online.

Sustrans’ National Cycle Network route 6 runs east from Windermere, linking riders with Kendal and going on through the Howgills and Yorkshire Dales. There’s also a short family friendly bridleway ride on the west side of Windermere, through National Trust land, that can be accessed via the ferry that runs from Bowness-on-Windermere.

It’s about 20km to cycle the length of the lake one way, and there are mainly minor roads and bridleways on the west side and main roads on the east.

Catamaran aids Windermere ranger work

A catamaran will be used by rangers to patrol England’s longest lake, to reflect a shift in leisure activities.

Lake Windermere launch and boat hire area
Lake Windermere Launch Area

The Lake District National Park Authority said it would provide a more stable platform for their work on Windermere than the inflatable and motorboat currently used.

The Cheetah catamaran is similar to vessels used by police and the Environment Agency.

Rangers enforce by-laws, offer safety advice and carry out conservation work.

Park management ranger Sara Spicer said: “We are encouraging a shift from fast watersports towards sailing, paddle craft and open water swimming.

“As the emphasis alters, so does our role.

“These days an important part of our work is watching out for the ever-growing number of swimmers, advising them to be visible and boat users to be on the look-out for them.”

The Lake District vigilantes

The Lake District vigilantes

The warnings couldn’t be clearer – there has been an outbreak of civil unrest in the Lake District.

The area is “not best known as a battleground” points out i, nor is it “a traditional hotbed of British social and political activism”.

Over in the Daily Telegraph there is a warning that visitors should “watch out” for vigilantes.

And offering some much needed analysis, the Times says that the issue is “threatening to split” a community.

But wait, what is this all about? With a bank holiday approaching Paper Monitor is alarmed on behalf of all those planning a visit.

Oh, of course, it’s a disagreement over dry-tooling.

A group calling itself the People’s Climbing Front of the Lake District has been sabotaging equipment used by people who take part in the activity.

Paper Monitor doesn’t spend as much time hanging from cliff faces as it probably should, but understands that it’s all about using ice axes and crampons on bare rock instead of icy precipices.

Participants use it as training for winter climbing, critics say it damages the “naked” rock.

So, at a disused quarry near Coniston, the “protesters abseiled in with bolt cutters to carry out their work, or climbed the face armed with hacksaws” and got to work on the safety bolts and clips left in situ by the dry-toolers (if that is a term).

The Works is popular for dry-tooling — but purists say it damages the landscape

The Works is popular for dry-tooling — but purists say it damages the landscape
Westmorland Gazette/Cascade News

It is not a happy state of affairs.

Speaking out against the activists in i, professional climber Alan Hinkes says: “It’s a shadowy thing to do, because they are not saying who they are, which is vigilantism in one way.”

Others have called the action “petty vandalism by purists”.

Meanwhile, the British Mountaineering Council has called for dialogue, says the Telegraph.

In the first known case of direct action against dry-tooling, the group said it chopped safety bolts from high rock faces and a cavern roof in Coniston

In the first known case of direct action against dry-tooling, the group said it chopped safety bolts from high rock faces and a cavern roof in Coniston Photo: Alamy

It all sounds very stressful.

But, whatever the rights and wrongs of it all, Paper Monitor is pleased that it’s unlikely to be directly affected.

Time for a nice, quiet stroll.

via BBC News – Paper Monitor: The Lake District vigilantes.

Lake District National Park – Going weekend wild

An invitation to get wild in a weekend of Bank Holiday action at a leading national park attraction has gone out.

The free event at Lake District Visitor Centre, Brockhole, on the shores of Windermere, is calling on pond dippers, all-age adventurers, live show buffs and even primitive tool throwers to get stuck in.

Two days of heady fun and entertainment are on offer on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, in Get Wild at Brockhole.

Whether it is taster canoeing sessions, sharing walks and wisdom, bushcraft and survival skills, or street shows courtesy of the Fairly Famous Family, this is the place to be.

Lake District National Park’s events co-ordinator Andrea Hills urged visitors and locals to turn up and experience the expected – and unexpected.

She explained: “This really is a fantastic, free programme with widespread appeal. Irrespective of age or interests, the all-weather itinerary promises a lot of fun for everyone.

“It was hugely successful last year and we’re expecting bumper crowds again. We’re all set for a fantastic day, rain or shine. If people want to chill out and listen to stories, go on to the lake, or a whole lot in between, come and join us.”

via Lake District National Park – Going weekend wild.

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We look forward to meeting you and answering your questions!

Duchess mucks in around campfire | National News & World News Headlines | Latest UK News Stories & International News

Duchess mucks in around campfire

The Duchess of Cambridge stayed true to the Scout motto of “Be Prepared” as she mucked in around the campfire at an activity centre for youngsters in the snow-bound Lake District.

Wrapped up against the biting cold, Kate arrived wearing a fleece, green parka-style jacket, dark blue jeans and wellies with a Scout’s red, white and blue neckerchief, tied in a friendship knot.

As snowflakes were blown around the fells above Lake Windermere at the Great Tower activity centre near Newby Bridge, the temperature was estimated to have plummeted to minus five with the wind chill factor.

Kate, five months pregnant, spent about an hour outside with adult scout volunteers and youngsters.

Sporting a jaunty, Chelsea-style, green woollen hat, the Duchess was undeterred by the conditions, plunging her hands into a doughy mixture of flour, water and sugar as she learned how to make “dampers” or “twists” – a campfire treat for children.

Kate, said to be “passionate” about volunteering, helps out occasionally at a Scout group close to her home in North Wales and she joined 24 other adults on a training day to learn scouting skills to pass on to children at their own groups.

The royal sat around an unlit campfire with the other volunteers listening to tips on how to create fire using a flint and cotton wool. There were cheers and claps as the instructor, despite the wind and snow, managed to create a flame.

Lesson over, the volunteers split into groups of five, with Kate learning how to make “twisters” or “dampers”. In the freezing temperatures the Duchess plunged her hands, still wearing her sparkling wedding and engagement rings, into a squidgy mixture of flour, water, oil and sugar.

She kneaded the dough in a bowl for several minutes before they made elongated twists out of the pastry by rubbing blobs of the mixture between their hands. After washing the dough mix off her hands Kate wrapped a twist of the messy mixture around a twig stripped of bark which was placed over the open fire ready to toast.

The volunteers’ efforts had mixed results, with the Duchess laughing and giggling with the others as some of the twisters dropped into the flames. “I’m not sure if these are going to look particularly edible,” Kate laughed.

via Duchess mucks in around campfire | National News & World News Headlines | Latest UK News Stories & International News.

North West Evening Mail | Home | Lifestyle | Baby friendly walk in the Lake District

Baby friendly walk in the Lake District

LIFE as a new parent can be tough. Sleepless nights, 24-hour responsibility and a whole new identity as ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ can leave your head spinning.

EASY GOING The buggy-friendly walk from Skelwith Bridge submitted

NEW mum NICOLA PARK shares her passion for exploring the outdoors with her daughter in a monthly column detailing baby-friendly walks.

When my daughter Rowan was born six months ago I quickly realised one of the most restful and refreshing things to do with her was head out for a walk.

Even a tiny baby can be wrapped up well and tucked in a sling or pram to enjoy a breath of fresh air. At only a few days old Rowan had already explored the ‘twin peaks’ of Ulverston – Flan Fell and the Hoad, safely strapped to daddy’s chest.

At a couple of months old she even made a winter ascent of Wansfell in Ambleside, though we were questioned on our parenting skills by walkers on the way up.

But as long as the route is well within your own capabilities and baby is well protected from the elements, walking is beneficial to the whole family.

In fact, a study carried out by Liverpool John Moores University in 2004 found babies exposed to plenty of daylight are more likely to sleep better at night.

As a fell runner and climber, an unexpected bonus of parenthood has been that I am now exploring areas of South Cumbria I had previously overlooked.

Valley walks previously shunned as dull have opened up new vistas, and even the smallest hill becomes a soaring mountain when viewed through the eyes of a child.

To share my passion for exploring the outdoors with Rowan I have launched a blog – adventureswithbaby.com. I will be writing about our exploits and sharing my tips and routes for others to try.

To start with, why not try this easy yet stunning walk in Langdale, which is suitable for pushchairs?

Pushchair walk: Skelwith Bridge to Elterwater 2.5 miles

A flat, easy walk by the River Brathay on a largely metalled track with no obstacles.

This walk is out-and-back, so can either be started in Skelwith Bridge or Elterwater. Some on-road parking is available just by the Skelwith Bridge Hotel, or park in the car park around 200m further up the road.

Cross the road and head through the trees to the track that runs by the river. Turn right to follow the track towards Elterwater. The track follows the river, before opening up into a field with stunning views of Elterwater and the Langdale fells. The path at this point can be wet and boggy, so be prepared to get your buggy wheels wet.

The path then meets the lake, an ideal picnic spot and photo opportunity. It then continues into the village of Elterwater.

I stopped for a drink at the Britannia Inn, a friendly pub that serves an excellent range of real ales and food. There was room to change baby in the ladies.

Simply reverse your steps to return to Skelwith Bridge.

North West Evening Mail | Home | Lifestyle | Baby friendly walk in the Lake District.