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Places you can visit in the Lake District without a car

Family in the garden at Sizergh with a pushchair, Cumbria
Plan a car-free visit to places in the Lake District | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Whether you’re looking to travel by train, bus, bike or foot, there are many places in the Lake District that you can visit without a car.

Check before you travel

Public transport services can change at short notice so please check the most up-to-date timetables with the bus/train companies before you travel

Acorn Bank
Stagecoach’s bus service 563 between Penrith train station and Appleby stops in Temple Sowerby every day except Sunday. From there, there’s a public footpath to Acorn Bank, which is a 1 mile, 25 min walk. Penrith train station is about 8 miles away (a 45 min cycle or bus and walk away) and National Cycle Route 7 (NCN7) passes about 6 miles away.Plan your visit
Aira Force
For a scenic walk to Aira Force, follow the Ullswater Way from Glenridding (3 miles away) or Glencoyne Bay (1.5 miles away), or for a more challenging walk, it’s 6.5 miles from Pooley Bridge. The Coast to Coast and Cumbria Way paths also pass nearby. Penrith train station is about 10 miles away, a bus ride or hour-long bike ride away and Stagecoach’s 508 bus service between Penrith and Windermere stops at Park Brow, a few mins walk from the main car park at Aira Force. Ullswater Steamers operate from Glenridding and run services to Aira Force. National Cycle Route 71 (NCN71) passes approx 2 miles away.Plan your visit
Allan Bank
Stagecoach’s 555 bus service between Keswick and Kendal and 599 bus service between Bowness and Grasmere both stop in Grasmere village. Allan Bank is then a 10 min walk up the hill from Grasmere village. Windermere train station is 9 miles away, a bus and short walk away or about an hour by bike.Plan your visit
Borrowdale and Derwent Water
From Keswick on the shore of Derwent Water, there’s a network of easy and moderate way-marked walks, including a 10 mile path that takes you all the way around the lake. Keswick Launch Company has 8 jetties around the lake where you can hop on/hop off their cruises to explore. Penrith train station is 18 miles away, with Stagecoach’s X5 bus service regularly running between Penrith and Keswick, while Stagecoach's 555 bus runs between Lancaster and Keswick, through Kendal and Windermere. The Coast to Coast cycle route (NCN71) also passes through Keswick. From Keswick, the Borrowdale Bus, Stagecoach’s hourly 78 service, heads into the Borrowdale Valley as far as Seatoller.Plan your visit
Claife Viewing Station
The Windermere ferry from Ferry Nab in Bowness lands at Ferry House on the west shore of the lake, a 4 min walk from Claife Viewing Station. Windermere Lake Cruises also run a shuttle service from Bowness village to the west shore April-October. You can walk to Hill Top (2 miles or 40 min) or you might prefer to walk or cycle down the west shore path from Wray (4 miles, 1.5 hour walk, 30 min cycle). Windermere train station is 3 miles away, a bus and walk away or 25 min cycle ride, via the ferry.Plan your visit
The Coast to Coast footpath from St Bees runs the length of Ennerdale, via Ennerdale Bridge, and the Coast to Coast Cycle Route (NCN71) passes 2.5 miles from Bowness Knott car parkPlan your visit
Mountain biking at Seatoller, Keswick, Cumbria
Take in the countryside on your journey | © National Trust / Steven Barber
Eskdale and Duddon Valley
Foxfield train station is 3.5 miles from Duddon Valley (a 30 min cycle/1 hour 20 min walk), while Ravenglass train station is about 6 miles from Eskdale – you can take a narrow-guage heritage train on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway between Ravenglass and Dalegarth station in Eskdale between February and October.Plan your visit
Fell Foot
Stagecoach’s 6 bus service from Newby Bridge, Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere stops outside the entrance, while Windermere Lake Cruises’ Lakeside to Fell Foot ferry runs from late May to September. Windermere train station is 8 miles away and you can then hop on the bus to Fell Foot.Plan your visit
Hill Top
Hill Top is 2 miles from the Windermere ferry drop off on the west shore of the lake and 2 miles from Hawkshead. A new bus service, the 525, can take you from the ferry drop off point at Ferry House to Hawkshead, stopping at Hill Top, or if you'd prefer to walk, it will take 40-50 mins and is mostly along the road. Windermere train station is 4.5 miles away – from there it’s a bus ride and walk to the ferry and then another walk once you’ve crossed the lake, or it’ll take you about 35 min to cycle (crossing via the ferry). Stagecoach buses from Ambleside or Coniston stop in Hawkshead and you can complete your journey on foot.Plan your visit
The Langdales
The Cumbria Way runs through the Great Langdale valley. Windermere train station is 9 miles from Great Langdale – from there you can catch Stagecoach’s 555 Keswick to Kendal bus service then change at Ambleside to Stagecoach’s 516 service and hop off at Langdale campsite.Plan your visit
Oxenholme train station is approx. 4.5 miles away from Sizergh, a 25 min cycle along predominantly traffic-free country lanes, or you can get the train to Kendal, with regular local buses then going toward Sizergh. If you get off at the Heaves / Brettagh bus stop, it’s a 20 min walk to Sizergh (crossing a busy road). National Cycle Route 70 (NCN70) passes by the main gate, as does the Lakes and Dales loop, and the Lake District Boundary Walk passes near the pedestrian entrance.Plan a visit
Stagshaw Garden and Ambleside
Windermere train station is about 5 miles from Ambleside and there are regular bus services from the station. Hop off at Waterhead for a short walk to Ambleside Roman Fort and Stagshaw Garden or continue to Ambleside bus station for Bridge House. In the main tourist season, there are regular boat trips between Bowness Pier and the jetty at Waterhead, which is in easy walking distance of Stagshaw Garden and Ambleside Roman Fort and about a mile from Bridge House.Plan a visit
Visitors walking up a steep path at Sticklebarn and the Langdales, Lake District
Visitors walking at Sticklebarn and the Langdales | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra
Steam Yacht Gondola
From Windermere, take Stagecoach’s 505 bus service between Kendal and Coniston, and from Ulverston catch Blueworks’ X12 service to Coniston. It’s then a 1/2 mile, 15 min walk to the landing point for Steam Yacht Gondola. Coniston is 12.5 miles from Windermere train station - you can complete your journey to Coniston by bus and then head to the jetty on foot.Plan your visit
Windermere train station is about 3 miles away from Townend, a 20 min cycle, or you can catch a bus to Troutbeck Bridge and complete your journey on foot – it's about 1.5 miles to Townend, approx. 35 min walk.Plan your visit
Whitehaven Coast
Whitehaven train station is just over 1/2 mile away and St Bees train station is 7 miles away – with train stations at either end of this section of the coast it’s easy to walk along the 7 mile cliff path and catch the train back. You can also take bus service 300/301 from Carlisle, Wigton and Maryport to Whitehaven or service 6/X6 from Millom, Ravenglass and Egremont. The Whitehaven Coast is a short detour from the Coast to Coast footpath, the Coast to Coast Cycle Route (NCN71) starts from Whitehaven Harbour and the Hadrian's Cycleway (NCN72) also passes through.Plan a visit
Wordsworth House & Garden
Take the X4 or X5 bus from Penrith, Keswick or Workington to Cockermouth and it’s then just a short walk to Wordsworth House. Workington train station is 8 miles away and Maryport train station is 7 miles away, both a short walk and bus journey from Cockermouth. The Coast to Coast Cycle Route (NCN71) and Reivers Cycle Route (NCN10) pass the house.Plan a visit
Stagecoach’s 505 bus service between Coniston and Windermere drops you 1/2 mile from the entrance to the Wray estate, then you can walk, off-road, to the castle (20 min stroll). There are off-road cycle paths from Ambleside and along the west shore of Windermere between Claife Viewing Station and Wray (4 miles, 30 min cycle, 1.5 hour walk). Windermere train station is 8 miles away, a bus and walk away or 40 min cycle ride. National Cycle Route 6 (NCN6) passes nearby and Windermere Lake Cruises’ Green Cruise from Waterhead Pier (Ambleside) stops at Wray Castle Pier, a 5 min walk from the castle.Plan a visit
Two Herdwick sheep sitting in the grass with Wastwater and the surrounding mountains in the background on a spring day

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