The 'Topless Bus'
Or maybe I meant 'Open Top Bus'
I was on my way through Kendal the other day and found the 'Lakeland Fellranger' bus parked by the roadside. There was a picture of a pal of mine on the back, and the words 'face like the back end of a bus' came to mind, but that might have been provoked by a sudden fit of jealousy, and I immediately dispelled the idea from my mind!
I got in touch with Mark Richards for the 'story', and was surprised to hear the bus make-over was basically a 'gift' to him for all the work he's done promoting Stagecoach buses in the Lake District. (Look out for his free 'A to B to See' leaflets describing what you see while travelling on the most popular bus routes.) The 'Lakeland Fellranger' bus runs on the busy Bowness, Windermere, Ambleside, Rydal, Grasmere route, offering great views from the top deck, but watch out for low-hanging branches. Serious adventurers will love being up there in the wind and rain!
Mark also diverts some of his hard-earned 'Lakeland Fellranger' royalties to 'Fix the Fells', so that they can quite literally fix some of the worst-trodden fell paths.
Fair play to him- nice story!
I like those busses. I've never outgrown the thrill of sitting upstairs, preferably at the front. It's all the more fun when it's wet & windy.
I was 'on the buses' this afternoon, and while I was looking out for the 'Fellranger Bus', I didn't see it, but then my bus routes only coincided with part of the route used by that bus.
I've just spent the past week on the Cumbria Way, which starts on my doorstep, heads north through the Lake District, and finishes in Carlisle. I made it to Carlisle by 1530, and the next bus out was 1600 to Keswick. Just enough time to grab a coffee before catching the next bus at 1730 to Kendal, and just enough time to grab a sandwich there before getting the 1915 back to Ulverston by 2010. All three buses were double-deckers... and there's no better way to see the Lake District from a vehicle!
I caught the 'Honnister Rambler' for the first time last week (though only from Lorton through to Keswick). I got off at Whinlatter on the way back so I could check out what was happening with the Ospreys.
I do love Lakeland busses and always try to use them when we're up despite us having a car.
Whatever happened to the Haweswater bus? The bus stop is still there but the busses seem to have stopped running.
Sam... I guess that's the flip side...
There are lots of bus services that I once used, that are no longer available. I can't remember when the Haweswater bus last operated, and I can't find anything relating to the Kentmere bus any more either. There's still a 0615 bus out of my town to Ambleside, but there isn't a 2300 bus home any more, so no more late nights on the fells. My local Sunday bus service simply doesn't allow me to do anything, except come back on the same bus that I'd use to leave town!
Still... the buses seem to be working fine on all the popular Lakeland routes. It's just a shame that so many of the lesser-known places don't get any services any more.
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Jon Doran wrote (see)
Open bus in the Lakes? Brave call
I was on the buses saturday/sunday. I was concerned I could see no mention of the Central Lakes day rider on the Stagecoach site but it's still available (7.- now), worth baring in mind if you out for a day trip in the Langdales or Grasmere from Windermere.
It's great being on the open top busses when it's wet & windy
Paddy- shame about the Haweswater and Kentmere busses. Another thing which I think is a shame is that the 'through' bus that goes down Patterdale & over Kirkstone Pass stops running at the end of August (it terminates at the Patterdale Hotel from then onwards). We stay at Askham regularly in September and have looked at walking the High Street ridge whilst we're there (from the Troutbeck side of the Garburn Pass, finishing on Moor Devoke and dropping back in Askham) but it isn't possible without two cars (which is how we did it originally) or an expensive taxi ride. If the through bus didn't stop running when it does you could do it quite easily (by walking over Moor Devoke to Pooley Bridge on the bridleway and picking up the first bus of the day). Ah well- can't have everything I suppose..
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