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Mountain bikes go free on Windermere ferry

Posted 19 July 2012
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Mountain bikes go free on Windermere ferry
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Next week could be a great time to jump on a mountain bike and go for a ride in the Lake District.

The Windermere car ferry, which crosses the lake between Bowness and Far Sawrey, normally charges £1 a time to cyclists, but next week (July 22nd -29th) is Drive Less See More Challenge Week and cyclists will be able to cross the lake without charge.

Cumbria County Council, which runs the service, has agreed to waive the normal cost and the ferry runs back and forth across the lake every 20 minutes, offering plenty of chances to use it.

Tim Knowles, Cumbria County Council's transport and environment portfiolio holder, said: "Waiving the fee for anyone travelling by bicycle or electric bike on the ferry for the week of the promotion is a small gesture which demonstrates the county council's commitment to encouraging more sustainable ways of getting around.

"Travelling the Lakes by bike, bus, boat or boot offers a completely different experience from just driving around - you really do see more if you drive less."

Riders can enjoy plenty of good routes on the west side of Windermere, which is far quieter than the opposite bank.

The woods of Claife Heights and beyond offer minor roads and numerous paths and bridleways.

Amiong these are a lakeside road passing through the Claife Estate towards Wray Castle and other on-road routes reaching Hawkshead and Esthwaite Water.

The nearby woods include a number of bridleways with panoramic views in clearings between the trees, as well as a number of tarns, albeit mostly artifical. These include Wraymires Tarn and Moss Eccles Tarn, the latter being a favourite of Beatrix Potter, who lived nearby.

Calife Heights itself also contains a curiosity, as the only ghost to appear on an Ordnance Survey map - the Claife Crier - is marked on it.

The spectre is said to have had a similar effect to the sirens of Greek mythology, with one boatman who rowed across in response to the cries returning to Bowness white as a sheet and never speaking another word.