Category Archives: Windermere 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.”

Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne buys Lake District lodge

The allure of the Lake District has proved too strong for Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne.

Duncan Bannatyne by Lake Windermere
Duncan Bannatyne by Lake Windermere – photo courtesy of in-cumbria

The popular entrepreneur, best known for appearing in the hit BBC television series Dragons’ Den, has a well-documented love of the Lakes. And after putting his villa in the south of France on the market, he opted to invest his money in a luxury holiday lodge on the shores of Windermere.

His frequent trips to Fallbarrow Park, near Bowness-on-Windermere, have been well-publicised and now the entrepreneur has taken the advice of his 11-year-old son Tom and bought a three-bedroom lodge at the five-star park.

Bannatyne has been visiting the park for the last 24 years. He said: “I brought my youngest, Tom to Fallbarrow last year for the first time and we were hiring lodges.

“So this year I gave him the choice of buying a lodge at Fallbarrow or a villa in the south of France and he chose Fallbarrow.

“If you’ve got a holiday home in France, you can’t really leave school on a Friday night and come back on a Sunday so he loves the fact that he can come here every weekend.”

The 64-year-old is not alone in shunning popular overseas resorts for holidays a little closer to home, with a reported 7.8 million people opting for a traditional British escape this summer.

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.

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.

Duchess of Cambridge to visit Lake District

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge will be near Windermere on the 22nd March

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, is to visit Great Tower Scout Camp in the Lake District on Friday 22nd March.

Kate is a volunteer in the Scout Association and will be joining other adult volunteers who will receive training in how to work with Cubs and Scouts.

This training will then be used by Kate who will help to look after 24 Cub Scouts, who are participating in a pack holiday event at the 250-acre Scout activity centre which is close to Windermere.

As part of their programme, the Cub Scouts, from Cumbria and Manchester, will get a chance to try out tree-climbing, belaying, outdoor cooking and fire-lighting under the guidance of Kate and other volunteers.

We have availability for cottages in the area for the weekend –  http://tinyurl.com/cxnzgs6