Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Monday, 15 August 2011

This is boating Jim - but not as we know it.

Our daughter Jillian is currently home with us visiting from India. She leaves us again on Thursday to call on London before flying back. She indicated that she would like a day out, so today, looking like the best weather option we visited one of my old haunts - Windermere Lake.......

We decided to visit the southern end of the lake, which is the location of the Lakeside Hotel . On arrival we parked the car on the pay and display car park at the rear. At the side of the car park is the Lakeside station of the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway where a steam train journey can be enjoyed if you wish.
The train departures and arrivals are timed to coincide with the arrivals and departure of the boats of Windermere Lake Cruises . Although tickets are available to complete the full day out on both boats and trains, or even a day hopper ticket for the lake cruises only, which will allow a visit to both Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside. We chose just a return trip to Bowness, where we spent our time looking around town, and had a bite of lunch.
This is MV Teal, one of the company's larger boats, moored at Lakeside ready to depart. They also operate smaller launches, and by the time we had bought our tickets, Teal had left, and we boarded MV Miss Cumbria, one of the smaller vessels.
There are moorings available at the bottom of the gardens of the Lakeside Hotel, something that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago, before the blanket 10mph speed limit was placed throughout the lake. This is how to spoil the fun of everybody, and ruin the livelihoods of many people just because of a few inconsiderate people who liked to operate their jet skis in a dangerous manner. I think a managed solution would have been preferable. Boats on Windermere are very slow to sell at present due to the double whammy of the recession and the speed limit.
This is the lake from its southern most end. There are 10.5 miles ahead of you to its most northern point. The powers that be are now considering lowering the speed limit once again, as there has been confusion as to whether the new by-law meant 10mph or 10 knots. The lake cruising company are fighting this, as it will detrimentally affect their timetables. There are leisure businesses further north that could no longer operate as they teach water sports, including the slower speed wake boarding. However, this could not be done at the [even] slower speed.
The Lakeside Hotel, and its moorings............
One of the three larger boats owned by the company, which are MV Tern, Teal and Swan. We travelled back on Swan, built in 1938 at Vicker's shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, and then transported in pieces by rail, to Lakeside where she was reconstructed and commissioned. There are many large Victorian houses along the lake, which were owned by wealthy industrialists in better times. Many are now used as hotels.
This is MV Swan approaching the jetty at Bowness.
Aboard Swan on the way back to Lakeside.
Approaching the jetty at Lakeside. If you fancy giving this day out a try, the basic return ticket from Lakeside to Bowness was £9.80, with more expensive options that would provide a very full day out. Both Bowness and Ambleside are lovely little towns to visit, but there is evidence, particularly in Bowness, that businesses are becoming too commercial with amusement arcades and fast food outlets, as they try to recoup the revenues lost from the boating community. Wake up those who make the rules, you are slowly ruining the place!


  1. I really enjoy walking in the Lake District. The only problem is when I get to the top of the hill I normally can't see much because of the low cloud ceiling :-)

  2. The weather is most definitely a feature of the Lake District. I say feature because I believe, as do many others, that it is the mixture of conditions, from glorious sunshine to low cloud, mist and rain, sometimes all in the same day, that makes this place so beautiful.


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