On Day 5, we went for a transportation triple-whammy: Open-topped bus from Windermere down to Bowness, classic excursion boat down to Lakeside at the south end of the lake, then by steam train on the 20-minute trip south to Haverthwaite. From there we walked to a motor museum, before retracing our steps home. (I guess that’s a quadruple-whammy if you count the walk!) The day dawned bright and sunny once again, and we got under way in time to make it to Bowness before the 10:30 sailing, the first of the day that would connect with a train at Lakeside. The kids were almost as excited as Daddy about the agenda for the day!
On our way we saw lots of boats (including the ferry we’d taken earlier in the week), and lots of almost-submerged navigation hazards. The view of the mountains in the distance from the lake was spectacular.
Before long, the train station came into view — right next to the boat dock. Once the boat docked we all hustled across the platform to the train, as it doesn’t wait long for the boat passengers to board. It seemed like a huge crowd made the hustle with us, but the train was largely empty for the run to Haverthwaite. Our engine for the day was Princess, built in 1942 as a shunting engine.
The engine pulled backwards down to Haverthwaite, where it took on water before positioning itself at the other end of the passenger cars in preparation for the next run back to the lake. A crowd assembled to watch (and photograph) the operation.
Once it was back at the front of the train, we got a chance for a closer look. The final picture below gives a peek at the door to the firebox, and even at rest the draft through the firebox and up the funnel is so strong that you can see wisps of smoke being sucked through the door.
Then, on to the important stuff: Lunch and the playground! There was a fun playground just at the end of the train platform, and the kids didn’t waste any time exploring it.
Then it was time to move on. We had a motor museum to visit, after all! First though, we took a quick peek in the engine shed, which was housing the railway’s other engines and other mechanical treasures.
The walk to the motor museum was only about a mile, but it’s completely unmarked. We stopped at a little shop to verify that we were headed in the right direction, and felt obligated to buy some snacks as well. Before long, we’d arrived at the Lakeland Motor Museum. Lots of treasures awaited us there — classic old cars and motorcycles, lots of old bicycles, and even a 1979 Ford Fiesta.
In a separate building they’ve got displays dedicated to Malcolm and Donald Campbell, who were from these parts, with recreations of some of their record-winning cars and boats.
Finally, back to the station, to start our journey back to Windermere.