First boat services get underway  from a new Windermere jetty

First boat services get underway from a new Windermere jetty

Published: 2nd June 2014

The first scheduled boat services to a newly installed floating jetty on Windermere’s western shore took place on Saturday 31 May opening up access to a host of family-friendly walking and cycling routes.

The overall aim of the landmark project is to encourage more people to explore one of the Lakes’ busiest tourist spots by water rather than by car and is all part of a partnership between the GoLakes Travel programme, Windermere Lake Cruises, the National Trust and South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

Windermere Lake Cruises’ ‘Bike Boat’ will now run between Brockhole and the new jetty at Bark Barn, near Belle Grange, every weekend through until mid-July when the service will go daily for the school summer holidays.

The Bark Barn jetty has been designed and constructed by Walcon, a worldwide leader in providing marinas and berthing facilities. Globally, the company has worked on projects such as the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dubai and Florida’s North Palm Beach Marina. The jetty for Bark Barn was constructed in Portsmouth earlier this year, before being floated up Windermere to its new home in March.

The Bike Boat itself has been specially adapted to carry up to 12 bikes and passengers across the lake from Brockhole to Bark Barn (as well as separate regular services to Wray Castle). This traditional wooden vessel, called Sunflower, also links in with Stagecoach’s 800 ‘Bike Bus’ service, which runs the full length of Windermere. Joint ticketing options are available to enable people to get around entirely without their cars.

Steve Ratcliffe, Director of Planning and Management at the Lake District National Park Authority, says, “The GoLakes Travel programme is proud to be playing a leading role in connecting greener travel options and developments around Windermere. By creating better access on the western shore, we will give people more choice and flexibility, and boost related initiatives such as the Bike Boat, Bike Bus and improved cycling routes close to the lakeshore and Wray Castle. We hope this project will also have a longer-term significance, helping shape visitors habits so they aren’t so reliant on getting around by car.”

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, comments, “We hope that the opening of the jetty at Bark Barn will give visitors to Windermere new options to enjoy traffic-free, safe family cycling along the western shore of the lake. We welcome the investment in permanent shore infrastructure, which will enable a long-term approach to the development of additional services for cyclists and walkers.”

Simon Rowley, Assistant Director of Neighbourhood Services at South Lakeland District Council, says, “One of the most picturesque and peaceful shores of Windermere will be opened up by the new floating jetty. Walkers and cyclists will have direct access to this beautiful location. They will be able to leave their cars behind, get off a boat at Bark Barn near Belle Grange and walk or cycle along the West Shore Cycle Trail towards Wray Castle.

It will be a great introduction to this unspoiled location and to the cycle trail by the lake.”

John Moffat, General Manager for the National Trust’s South Lakes Property, adds, “It is great that this project is taking place, helping to fill the gap on the western shore of Windermere to allow easy access for visitors without their vehicles. It is an important link in the access network between Claife Viewing Station and Wray Castle, both National Trust places where we are looking to improve our visitor offer.”

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