Status of Lake District public transport and attractions - May 2021

There have been frequent changes to public transport timetables and attraction openings with Covid restrictions continually changing and now gradually easing. With the latest restriction easing on 17th May 2021, the following is an attempted summary of the latest status for Lake District public transport and attractions.

All transport services and many attractions require the standard face coverings, social distancing and hand washing. Additional procedures are often in place so always check websites for detail. It is hoped that the majority of transport services and attractions will return to normal following the final easing of lockdown on 21st June 2021. Until then, third party websites detailing transport and attraction information are likely to be incorrect. Check transport operator or attractions own websites for current information.


Patterdale Bus

Bus services

These are generally all running to the summer timetable but with reduced capacity. Contactless payment is preferred. Stagecoach have produced a guide for current advice and procedures here. Many Lake District buses are primarily there for visitors so it seems fair to take advantage of that.


Boat services

  • Keswick Launch, Derwent Water

    Windermere. There are 3 cruises running, the Red cruise between Bowness and Ambleside, the Yellow cruise between Bowness and Lakeside, plus the Islands cruise from Bowness and back. Online booking only, early booking advisable. The Windermere Ferry is also running.

  • Derwent Water – There are round the lake cruises from Keswick but there are no other stops for the time being. There is a separate boat shuttle between Keswick and Hawes End. No bookings, pay at Keswick jetty.
  • Ullswater – The full length of the lake cruise is operating but with reduced services and capacity. You can leave the boat at Howtown but you cannot board there. The Glenridding to Aira Force shuttle boat is also running, again with reduced capacity. Minimum purchase 2 tickets. Online booking only, early booking advisable.
  • Coniston Water – Coniston Launch is running but with reduced capacity. No Northern cruises on Sundays at the moment. Book online or pay on the boat. Steam Yacht Gondola operating 3 cruises per day, 4 cruises per day from 24th May 2021, but with reduced capacity. Online booking only, early booking advisable.


Windermere Train, Lakes Line

Train services

All mainline train routes are running across Cumbria but with reduced services and capacity. Services are gradually being increased as lockdown eases and demand increases.  Online booking recommended to ensure you get a seat. Or contactless payment at the station.

Ravenglass & Eskdale plus Lakeside & Haverthwaite railways are also running with reduced services and capacity. Both can only be booked online in advance.


Ambleside, Bridge House
Ambleside, Bridge House


The majority of attractions are open or opening through May in some capacity but may have reduced or limited opening as well as other Covid restrictions and procedures. It is advisable to check attraction websites for detail and booking etc. It is likely to be indoor attractions that are most affected and take longest to fully reopen.


Basically, it is perfectly possible to come and enjoy the Lake District on board public transport, although planning and booking ahead is more advisable than normal and Covid procedures will need to be followed. Hopefully, we will soon get to the point where the Lake District is fully open and we can return to normal.