Adventures around Windermerewith PlusBus

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Spectacular bus rides leave regularly from Windermere railway station. These are not just ways of getting from A to B: bus journeys around Grasmere and Windermere are beautiful experiences in their own right. There are open-topped buses and views over lakes and mountains. And - best of all - with a bargain PlusBus ticket, you can add a day's unlimited bus travel onto your train journey and explore the poetry of the Lakes without adding to the traffic.

  • County: with PlusBus
  • Great for: boat trip | cycling | family | good cafés | literary connections | Walks |
  • Refreshments: lots of fabulous pubs and cafes
  • Please note: researched/updated in December 2023. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 3. Skelghyll Woods and Stagshaw gardens

    Rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas bloom sunset colours: pink, tangerine and crimson throughout the spring in these little National Trust gardens near Ambleside. An idyllic hillside with a cascading stream beside the path and buzzards wheeling overhead is hidden just off the road from Windermere. The forest stretches uphill beyond the garden, a mix of ancient woods and Victorian arboretum, including Cumbria’s tallest tree: the sixty-metre Grand Fir. A trail leads you round some of the most interesting trees. A map near the garden shows you where the bluebelliest bits of the woods are, but if you are visiting in April or May you’ll see flowers beside the path almost as soon as you leave the bus stop.

    • Get there on one of several buses from Windermere station. Regular bus 555 stops outside the  Waterhead Inn and bus 599 stops near the Pier. Across the road from the inn, look out for stone steps with a footpath sign for an energetic route up the nearby footpath signed Jenkin’s Crag. Climb up for views across Windermere and over a ladder stile into the woods. For a less strenuous way in, walk 250m back along the road from the bus stop and turn left at the Stagshaw Gardens sign.
    • Refreshments: Have a locally-brewed pint (or coffee and cake) at YHA Ambleside’s Lakeside bar. There are plenty more options in Ambleside, including the Waterhead Inn and Ambleside fish and chips – perfect for eating on the lakeside.
    • For more ideas around Windermere, see our car-free guide.