Jump aboard Windermere’s Halloween Ghost Ship, with the UK's leading storyteller

Published: 25th September 2012

A 145 foot ‘Ghost Ship’ will be taking to the waters of England’s largest lake this half term, complete with spooky tales from the UK’s first official Laureate for Storytelling Taffy Thomas MBE.

Windermere’s oldest and most iconic steamer MV Tern will be decked out in Halloween-themed decorations on Sunday 28 October 2012, to mark some of the ghostly goings on in and around Lake Windermere down the centuries.

The centrepiece will be a storytelling cabin with Taffy Thomas, who is widely acknowledged as the country’s leading light in the art of traditional storytelling. Taffy is the artistic director at the Grasmere-based Northern Centre for Storytelling, and he will be recounting a series of ghost stories about lakeside locations on the journey, such as the tale of the Claife Crier.

The Ghost Ship is being co-ordinated by Windermere Lake Cruises and Windermere Reflections to help people uncover the hidden heritage and folklore associated with the lake.

There will also be a range of other family games and themed activities including facepainting. Every child in fancy dress accompanied by a paying adult will be allowed on board free.

“Lake Windermere’s dramatic backdrop is ideal for this great family day out,” says Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises. “There is so much ghostly folklore associated with the Lake District, and who better than the country’s leading storyteller to bring it to life in this unique setting?”

Taffy says, “This is a unique opportunity to hear some of the ghost stories of Windermere from my new book Folk Tales of Cumbria. When I tell the stories from our spooky cabin I can point across the lakes to the places they actually happened!”

Liz Davey, Programme Manager for Windermere Reflections, adds, “We’re really excited to be working with Taffy and Windermere Lake Cruises on this the first of a series of events bringing stories alive in their settings within Windermere’s catchment. It’s one of many ways we’re encouraging people to discover more about the environment and heritage of the area and get involved!”

The Ghost Ship will set sail from the southern end of Lake Windermere at Lakeside, travelling north to Bowness and Ambleside, before making a return trip down the lake. Passengers can join the spooky spectacle for some or part of the journey, using normal scheduled tickets (which will be available online for advance bookings).

The full timetable for departures on the day is:

  • Lakeside, 1.35pm
  • Bowness, 2.30pm
  • Ambleside, 3.15pm
  • Bowness, 4.00pm (for final sail to Lakeside, arriving at 4.40pm)

MV Tern was first launched in 1891 and is a member of the National Historic Fleet; most recently, it carried the Olympic Torch as part of the flame’s nationwide relay.

All News