Windermere and the Folly of Trying to Visit Hill Top

I decided to spend the whole day around Windermere. Having parked at Lakeside, I purchased a freedom of the lake ticket that allows you to use all the boat trips on the lake as many times as you like over a 24 Hr period.


The day started out very wet with the promise of sunny spells later. I planned the following;

Lakeside to Bowness, Bowness to Ferry House, Walk from Ferry House to Wray castle, Wray Castle to Ambleside, Ambleside to Bownesss, Bowness to Lakeside.

It started to go wrong at Ferry House. When I got there the rain became very heavy and the 2 mile walk to Wray Castle is very exposed. I decided on the spot to take the shuttle bus to Hill Top instead. Hill Top was Beatrix Potters’ House, I had passed it many time before but it’s in the middle of nowhere and the parking is very limited. I have no great interest in Beatrix Potter, it was just because it was there. The shuttle bus seem to be the ideal way to avoid the parking problem.

When I got there I got my ticket, these are timed and mine was for a hours time. Ordinarily this would not be a great problem, except, inexplicably, the shuttle bus doe not run mid day. (normally it’s every 30 minutes). This would have meant, hours wait to get into Hill Top, 15 minutes to walk round it (it’s not very big), hour and a half wait for the next bus, which only seats 18 so there would be a good chance it would be full. So with this in mnid, I cut my losses and just took the bus back to Ferry House.

Back at Ferry House, it was still raining heavily and so I decided to get the boat back to Bowness where I could pick up the boat to Ambleside and get to Wray Castle from there.

I stopped for a bit in Bowness and had an excellent lunch, then caught the boat to Ambleside.

When I got to Ambleside, it turned out the with the timetable to Wray Castle, I would have missed to last boats back to Bowness and Ambleside.

I had a great day, but never did see Hill Top and it’s the last time I try. Also Wray Castle was a missed opportunity as it’s shortly to be closed and redeveloped as a hotel.