The Windermere Ferry connects the eastern and western shores of Windermere and has been operating for more than 500 years. Its run by Cumbria County Council and runs across the narrowest part of the lake; from Ferry Nab near Bowness to Ferry House on the western shore.
The ferry operates every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Its timetable sees crossings begin around 6.50 am and end at 9.50 pm (8.50 pm in the winter). There is a service from one side to the other every 20 minutes.
The current vessel, Mallard, can carry 18 cars and over 100 passengers. Queues can build up in the summer but it’s a pleasant trip and a good way to get to Hawkshead and Grizedale Forest from Bowness or Windermere without driving round the lake.
The price for a single ticket for a car and its passengers is currently £4.30. The fare for a pedestrian is 50p (free for children under 4). Bikes, motorbikes, and caravans plus minibuses, goods vehicles, and coaches (weighing up to 8 tonnes) are also permitted. Fares are collected by the attendant once the ferry is moving.
During the summer months a minibus service runs from Ferry House to Hawkshead, calling at Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop House.
Leisure cruises on Windermere (between Bowness, Ambleside, and Lakeside) are offered by Windermere Lake Cruises.