New Bus Loop to Wray Castle extends ‘Cross Lakes Experience’
It’s now even easier to explore the South and Central Lakes completely car-free, with the launch of a bus link to the Victorian, gothic-style Wray Castle on the western shore of Windermere.
The new bus loop between Hawkshead and Wray Castle is part of the newly-extended ‘Cross Lakes Experience’ which enables passengers to travel easily between a range of popular visitor attractions across a wide area spanning Windermere, Coniston and Grizedale Forest.
The Cross Lakes Experience brings together a network of transport providers (including Mountain Goat, Stagecoach, Windermere Lake Cruises, Coniston Gondola and the Coniston Launch) to provide a range of flexible one-day tickets.
From today, Thursday 28 March, the route has been extended to the National Trust’s Wray Castle and Low Wray Campsite, with support from the GoLakes Travel Programme, to make it quicker and more convenient to travel around the Central and South Lakes car-free.
The new X30 bus loop carries up to 16 passengers, with room for up to 4 bikes. It’s ideal for linking up with cycle ways such as the recently resurfaced Windermere West Shore Route between Ferry Nab and Claife Viewing Station and Wray Castle, which was also funded through GoLakes Travel.
It comes as Wray Castle re-opens to the public following a major investment repair project running over the past 6 months. The castle has a long-running association with Beatrix Potter and is well-known as a family-friendly space with something for everyone, whatever the weather; that includes plenty of dressing up and activities for children, guided tours and a café inside, plus a rope swing, den-building and trails in the informal gardens and grounds.
With the extension to Low Wray campsite, visitors really can be ‘car free’ when coming to and staying in the Lakes.Visitors arriving by bus or boat will also get money off admission to Wray Castle, or in the café or Castle’s shop.
To complement the extended Cross Lakes Experience, all ticket-holders will now also benefit from 20%off both Go Ape! Grizedale and food products in Grizedale Forest Café, as well as discounted Grizedale mountain bike hire from one of the biggest fleets of bike in the North of England. Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre is a great base for eight waymarked walking trails, with sixty sculptures across the forest to discover.
Emma Moody, Passenger Transport Advisor for the GoLakes Travel Programme, said, “This newly extended service is a great example of different transport providers working together on integrated ticketing. Passengers only need to buy one ticket, which means less stress, quicker connections and no hidden costs. Plus, they now have direct access to WrayCastle without the need for a car, giving families another great option for a fun-packed day out”.
John Moffat, General Manager for the National Trust in the South Lakes, which includes Wray Castle, welcomed the new initiative and added, “It’s fantastic news that Wray Castle is the latest link on the Cross Lakes Experience. Visitors can now hop on a new bus service from Hawkshead, enjoy a lakeside walk or cycle and then sail home! Not only does it make a great day out, it also helps to keep the Lake District a special place, by reducing the traffic on our roads”.
Ian Wilkinson, from Windermere Lake Cruises, said, “Even if you’ve lived in the Lakes for years, the Cross Lakes Experience is a great, value-for-money way of seeing the landscape around Windermere from a completely new perspective. Passengers can sit back and enjoy spending time with their loved ones without the worry of driving and parking at each location.”
Stephen Broughton, from Mountain Goat added, “We are really pleased to be involved in linking up travel on the west side of Windermere”.
The enhanced daily Cross Lakes Experience will now operate daily through to Sunday
3 November. For timetables and fares, visit: www.golakestravel.co.uk/crosslakes