Guide to Cumbria's Public Transport

Apr 26, 2022
Trains in Cumbria

There are many ways you can get around in Cumbria. You can use your own wheels indeed, but that means you need to pay attention to the street and you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery. If you want to leave your car at home, you can move around by train, bus and boat. Read on as we tell you how.

By car

If you decide to opt for the comfort of driving your own car, you’ll be pleased to know there are great benefits. Getting around Cumbria by car is the best way to reach those out-the-way places nobody knows about, but everyone dreams of visiting.

On the other hand, driving around Cumbria can be stressful, as streets are often narrow and steep. They can also get very busy, especially around the most touristic areas like Windermere and Keswick. One way to avoid crowded car parks is to purchase the National Trust membership, as it permits free parking at every NT’s car park.

By train

There are no main lines within Cumbria, except for the branch-line between Oxenholme and Windermere. However, there are many scenic railways that offer fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. One is the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Steam Railway between Haverthwaite and Newby Bridge. The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway runs through the picture-perfect Eskdale Valley.

The Cumbrian Coast Line connects Barrow to Carlisle at the border with Scotland. This line is also great to visit Maryport on the Solway Coast and the Georgian city of Whitehaven.

By bus

The bus service in Cumbria is very efficient, with plenty of departures connecting the various points of interest in the county. Stagecoach is the main bus provider, offering various ticket options depending on your needs. Another regular service is the 555 Lakeslink, which runs a couple of times an hour and connects Windermere, Troutbeck, Ambleside and Grasmere. The 599 service is also highly recommended, where you’ll be able to get some extraordinary views of the lakes while listening to the audio guide.

You can also purchase the ‘Bus and Boat’ ticket, which allows you to travel indefinitely on every bus and single boat rides on Coniston, Derwentwater, Ullswater and Windermere.

By boat

There are several cruise boat services to get around Cumbria, from Windermere, Coniston Water, Derwentwater and Ullswater.

Windermere Lake Cruises run regular services from nine jetties, including Ambleside and Lakeside. It also allows you to get off as many times as you like and hop on the next cruise from a different stop. The Keswick Launch runs non-stop round trips from Keswick and offers cruises to Portinscale, Hawes End and Lodore.