|Public transport options around Braithwaite|
used to be
on the railway line between Penrith and Workington via Keswick and
Cockermouth, and the location of the station and the line of
track can still be seen on the other side of the A66 beyond the cricket
ground. Although the line was one of the "Beeching"
the 1960s, for some years now serious efforts have been made to re-open
the Cockermouth-Keswick-Penrith section. If a rail link to
Penrith can help to reduce the number of cars in and around Keswick at
the height of the summer season, everyone, both locals and visitors,
would benefit. After all, once you are in Braithwaite with
its shops and pubs, you don't need a car at all - you can walk
for miles, straight from the
door, for weeks on end (as many of our guests have proved).
Until the Penrith - Keswick railway comes back however, we in Braithwaite rely on bus links to Penrith. The X5 bus, which stops in Braithwaite, follows roughly the route of the old railway, and is the service to use when arriving by train at Penrith. It runs about every hour Monday to Saturday, and takes about an hour. The bus-stop in Braithwaite is only about 250 yards from the cottages.
Once in Braithwaite, you can use the Honister Rambler bus for a beautiful, lazy, circular day trip to Whinlatter Forest, Lorton, Buttermere, Honister Pass and Borrowdale - or the same route in reverse. Alternatively, you can walk over the tops (Sail, Eel Crags, Whiteless Pike) and down into Buttermere village, then have a cream tea or a locally made ice-cream before taking the bus back home. Another walk is into Newlands valley, then up Hindscarth and down the southern side of Dale Head to the Honister slate mine - worth a visit at any time - before picking up the bus at that point.
You may well want to explore Borrowdale, in which case you can use the Borrowdale bus, which runs from Keswick along the eastern side of Derwentwater and then Borrowdale to the valley's end-point at Seatoller, returning along the western side of Derwentwater via Grange and Portinscale, which is one mile from Braithwaite. A beautiful walk from Braithwaite is into Newlands valley, up onto Hause Gate, down the other side into Grange (refreshments by the river), then along to Castle Crag and the "high" way to Seatoller - at which point you may well be grateful for the bus back!
Derwentwater, like some of the other lakes, has a ferry service, called the Keswick Launch, which is a most pleasant way of visiting the western side of Derwentwater.
To reach the central and southern Lakes you will need the 555 bus, which runs from Keswick to Kendal via Grasmere, Ambleside and Windermere. A great day out is to take the Borrowdale bus to Rosthwaite, then walk the 11 miles over the fells to Grasmere, where you pick up the 555 back to Keswick. More ambitious walkers can take the 555 to Wythburn Church or Dunmail Raise, then climb up onto the Helvellyn ridge for a marvellous 13-mile walk back to Threlkeld village, where you can catch a bus back to Keswick. Two hundred years ago Samuel Taylor Coleridge used to walk this way from Keswick to visit his great friend William Wordsworth at Grasmere - except that he of course preferred the romance of a moonlit night for the experience...
For a complete view of the bus services within Cumbria run by Stagecoach, look at the "Cumbria and Lakesrider" leaflet, a copy of which is in the cottage.