23 August 2013

Ditch the Car!

Ditching the car for alternative means of transport probably brings some of us out in hives and mild panic attacks? However, it really is worth doing, and you’ll be surprised just how close a lot of our attractions are to each other, and how easy (and enjoyable) they are to get to by foot, boat, horse, bike or bus.
There are two, ideally located National Trust Car Parks that provide a perfect starting point, these are Ash Landing, and Harrowslack. Both are located underneath the shadow of Claife viewing station, a site which we will all begin to see changing over the next couple of years, so take this opportunity to view it at its current state. Both of these car parks are a 5 minute walk to the Bowness car ferry (ferry house), and the Windermere passenger ferry. So, if you fancy a trip to Bowness or Windermere but don’t like the idea of driving around one of Lakeland’s busiest towns looking for a parking space, then this would be the solution for you. Also worth taking into account, the Windermere passenger ferry will take you all the way to Ambleside, and also stops at Wray Castle.

Wray castle by bike
Talking of which, why not WALK to Wray Castle? It’s a stunning four mile walk along the Lake shore. The bridleway was resurfaced as recent as September 2012, and is pretty much flat and an obvious route all the way (1 maybe 2 little hills, nothing too taxing at all). As an added bonus Wray Castle has a café, so by the time you get there you will have earned that tea and cake whilst taking in the beautiful views on the terrace. If you don’t fancy the walk back, then you can jump on the ferry or the bus back to ferry house. Getting to Hill Top (Beatrix Potters home) is just as close, in fact, it’s approximately 1.5 miles, and seeing as the Car Park at Hill Top can get full very quickly, it’s well worth considering. The walk is stunning although it is steep to start with so bare this in mind. Also, in true Cumbrian fashion, there is an eatery located on route called the Tower Bank Arms, they do tea, coffee, fantastic food and *ahem* local ales (for the connoisseur’s out there).

Hill top cottage, Home of Beatrix Potter
In a nutshell, Ash Landing and Harrowslack provide a superb location for some introductory walks or bike rides, So why not leave your car behind for a day? Take a bike, walk or if you ride a horse take advantage of the bridleways. You’ll save a fortune in fuel and parking fees and you’ll get that all important warm fuzzy feeling that you are doing your bit for the environment.

Enjoy, and see you there …

post by Ranger Glen


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