National Park Buses

njamescouk

Member
Joined
8 Apr 2017
Messages
147
I suspect that the best way to get to Wasdale Head by public transport involves the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and a walk of several miles.
I got the train to Seascale and and paid £30 for a taxi to Wasdale Head just over a year ago. Plus £30 to come back! Once in a lifetime trip for three of us so I didn't mind shelling out, but certainly won't make a habit of it.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

johnnychips

Established Member
Joined
19 Nov 2011
Messages
2,336
Location
Sheffield
^ In summer I suspect the quickest way to reach Wasdale Head is the 77 or 77A to Gatesgarth in Buttermere, then a hike over the Scarth Gap and Black Sail passes! However, if you are already in the west of the Lakes, it’s probably easier from Boot at the end of the Ravenglass and Eskdale via Burnmoor Tarn.
 

RELL6L

Member
Joined
19 May 2014
Messages
101
Wasdale Head is a long way from a bus route (ignoring the 77!) and probably always has been. And its a long way from anywhere. Well worth going by car though, the valley and Wastwater and incredibly beautiful.

I'd like to do the 77, its on my bucket list. Done the 78 to Seatoller and back - that's brilliant. The 508 (see my post on page 1 of this thread) is outstanding - combining the steep hills and amazing views of the Kirkstone Pass with the quiet shores of Ullswater. It stops for the winter in a couple of weeks - hope it returns next year!
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
53,301
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
Wasdale Head is a long way from a bus route (ignoring the 77!) and probably always has been. And its a long way from anywhere. Well worth going by car though, the valley and Wastwater and incredibly beautiful.
I agree. If people were more public-transport-minded I could see some kind of shared taxi from the coast working, but for now the car is the way to go if you're going over that way - best combine it with a stunningly scenic and challenging drive over the Hardknott/Wrynose! :)
 

carlberry

Established Member
Joined
19 Dec 2014
Messages
2,313
Wales is a challenging place to operate. All the operators are struggling. Cardiff Bus and Newport are up the creek. Arriva do best with what they have as someone who uses their buses in North Wales i cant say they are that bad.
One of the other Welsh National Parks, the Brecon Beacons, is at something of a high point as regards buses at the moment, and they all operate all year round despite the area having fewer visitors and less population (in the park) than Snowdonia.
There used to be a range of summer Sunday routes paid for by the NAtional Park however none survived austerity however in their place the Traws has been improved such that the three major valleys (Taff, Tawe and Usk) now have Sunday buses and the Taff and Tawe valleys have the best bus service that they've ever had. Plus the two Traws routes are free on Saturday and Sunday!
 

johnnychips

Established Member
Joined
19 Nov 2011
Messages
2,336
Location
Sheffield
I agree. If people were more public-transport-minded I could see some kind of shared taxi from the coast working, but for now the car is the way to go if you're going over that way - best combine it with a stunningly scenic and challenging drive over the Hardknott/Wrynose! :)
If you are old enough you will remember the Mountain Goat ‘buses’ which ran to a timetable but you had to book them, and one route was Ambleside to Wasdale Head. They used Ford Transit minibuses. Me and a friend used them once in about 1979, as you say they drove over the two passes. It was quite an exciting journey to put it mildly: the NZ driver clearly had a death wish. We were the only two on it, and then the timetabled services died to change to bespoke tours.

EDIT: Is the Bristol OB an old bus? If so they used to run one from Ambleside to Glenridding in summer.
 
Last edited:

johnnychips

Established Member
Joined
19 Nov 2011
Messages
2,336
Location
Sheffield
Wasdale Head is a long way from a bus route (ignoring the 77!) and probably always has been. And its a long way from anywhere. Well worth going by car though, the valley and Wastwater and incredibly beautiful.
There used to be a Thursday only Cumberland service from Netherwasdale (Strands) to Whitehaven in 1979. Not sure when it finished but it’s still three miles from Wasdale Head.
 

peterblue

Member
Joined
25 Jun 2018
Messages
115
Location
England
If you are old enough you will remember the Mountain Goat ‘buses’ which ran to a timetable but you had to book them, and one route was Ambleside to Wasdale Head. They used Ford Transit minibuses. Me and a friend used them once in about 1979, as you say they drove over the two passes. .
Mountain Goat still have a route which run down from Hawkshead to the other side of the Bowness Ferry. I considered using it but they were charging a ridiculous amount - £8 single and £11 return.
 

skifans

Member
Joined
8 Jun 2016
Messages
198
Location
Lancaster
If you are old enough you will remember the Mountain Goat ‘buses’ which ran to a timetable but you had to book them, and one route was Ambleside to Wasdale Head. They used Ford Transit minibuses. Me and a friend used them once in about 1979, as you say they drove over the two passes. It was quite an exciting journey to put it mildly: the NZ driver clearly had a death wish. We were the only two on it, and then the timetabled services died to change to bespoke tours.

EDIT: Is the Bristol OB an old bus? If so they used to run one from Ambleside to Glenridding in summer.
Muncaster Microbus still run a similar dial a ride service as far as Nether Wasdale linking various Cumrian coast stations, only Tuesdays and Thursdays though and I'm never sure the extent to which they are open to non-local residents. http://www.muncastermicrobus.org.uk/page8.html
 

181

Member
Joined
12 Feb 2013
Messages
309
^ In summer I suspect the quickest way to reach Wasdale Head is the 77 or 77A to Gatesgarth in Buttermere, then a hike over the Scarth Gap and Black Sail passes! However, if you are already in the west of the Lakes, it’s probably easier from Boot at the end of the Ravenglass and Eskdale via Burnmoor Tarn.
You're probably right. The walk from Boot is less hilly, which might make a difference to someone laden with camping equipment or food.

Wasdale Head is a long way from a bus route (ignoring the 77!) and probably always has been. And its a long way from anywhere.
It's interesting that, although the Scottish Highlands of course have quite a few places like that, there are places there that are remoter and less visited than Wasdale Head but nevertheless have some kind of bus service (e.g. Arnisdale or the end of the road in Glen Affric), or used to before the demise of post buses (e.g. Kinloch Hourn or Glen Lyon).
 

Tetchytyke

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Sep 2013
Messages
11,057
Location
Isle of Man
The Lake District has honeypots to support some sort of network- Keswick, Ambleside, Bowness, even Coniston. Many of the routes are out-and-backs a relatively short distance from Keswick, the bus alternating between different routes during the day. The 555 is supported by passengers switching between honeypots.

Away from those honeypots, it's not so good. Even Carlisle-Wigton-Keswick only supports 4 returns a day, with the last bus back to Keswick from Carlisle being a commuter-friendly 1600.

My 9yo lives with her mum in Hesket Newmarket in the north of the National Park. Other than a summer-only walkers bus, there's nowt to there or Caldbeck; their nearest regular bus is in Dalston or Wigton, a mere 10 miles away. I drive to visit her, there's no other way.

Stagecoach do a brilliant job in the Lakes- make no mistake, they do, the timetable book itself is a thing of pure Stenning joy- but they have the tourist market to fund it. Away from the tourists, it's worse than even in the Dales or North York Moors.
 

neilmc

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2011
Messages
833
Penrith is really only accessible from the West (Workington/Keswick) and the North (Carlisle), once the 508 is truncated back to Patterdale for the winter. Anywhere east or south has effectively not got a service. I have been doing a political survey in Shap and the lack of transport to Penrith or Kendal, even though Shap is a large village on the A6, was brought up time and time again. Nobody can afford to subsidise these services, every local authority has been squeezed by the Government and anything which doesn't have to be provided by statute has gone. Most of us in the small outlying villages have a once a week Fellrunner bus, we knew that before we lived here, but Shap deserves much better. If bus-loving Boris is actually speaking the truth for once and will start throwing money around at bus providers, we want to be at the head of the queue.
 

TheGrandWazoo

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Feb 2013
Messages
14,354
Location
Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
Penrith is really only accessible from the West (Workington/Keswick) and the North (Carlisle), once the 508 is truncated back to Patterdale for the winter. Anywhere east or south has effectively not got a service. I have been doing a political survey in Shap and the lack of transport to Penrith or Kendal, even though Shap is a large village on the A6, was brought up time and time again. Nobody can afford to subsidise these services, every local authority has been squeezed by the Government and anything which doesn't have to be provided by statute has gone. Most of us in the small outlying villages have a once a week Fellrunner bus, we knew that before we lived here, but Shap deserves much better. If bus-loving Boris is actually speaking the truth for once and will start throwing money around at bus providers, we want to be at the head of the queue.
I can remember doing a Cumbrian day out probably c.2006 and travelling on the 106 (?) from Kendal to Penrith. Lightly loaded B10M IIRC and about 4 return journeys per day
 

RELL6L

Member
Joined
19 May 2014
Messages
101
Yes it was the 106. Now a college day only service to Kendal (506) plus a shopping service to Penrith three days a week (106).

I remember doing this years ago on what was then a new Gardner-engined National 2. Which was an interesting contrast to a Leyland 510-engined Bristol RE on one of the routes around Ambleside the same day. A National sounding a bit like an RE and an RE sounding a lot like a National - but still with the RE's distinctive transmission whine. I digress...!
 

Top