Cumbria Travel & Transport

The transport system in the county of Cumbria offers visitors a number of ways to get around from public transport such as buses and trains to using the road with car hire, coaches and ferries.

Local bus services in Cumbria provide services to local areas and across the county, with a number of routes covering Carlisle and local towns including Windermere, Barrow and Furness, Kendal, Penrith, Ambleside, Whitehaven, Cockermouth and Workington.

Details of local bus services and timetables can be found at Cumbria Buses

Trains in Cumbria serve a number of routes across the county and to other areas. There are several mainline rail routes offering local and regional services. Carlisle Station is on the West Coast mainline and has services to London Euston station with a journey time of approx 3 hours and 20 minutes. From Carlisle station there are also services to Penrith, Preston, Leeds, Birmingham New Street, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Train services are provided by a number of train operators including Virgin Trains; Northern Rail; ScotRail

Other railway stations in Cumbria include Penrith, Oxenholme, Appleby and Windermere.

For more information please see National Rail Enquiries

Public Transport Safety Tips
Most journeys on public transport in London go ahead without incident, in order to minimise the chances of any incidents, passengers may wish to consider the following safety tips:

- Be aware of your belongings at all times.
- Do not leave your bags and belongings unattended at any time.
- Stay alert and aware of your environment and those around you.
- Do not show valuables including money and jewellery in public.
- If you are carrying a bag/handbag, ensure you use a bag that has a strong good quality strap and wear it across your shoulder (not on your shoulder), with the pockets closed facing towards your waist. Carrying the bag on your shoulder makes it much easier for criminals to snatch the bag or cut the strap.
- Be careful and cautious in crowds and beware of pickpockets, do not leave anything valuable showing in public including wallets in back trouser pockets.
- Sit in carriages with other passengers do not sit in carriages with no/fewer passengers.
- Try not to use smaller/isolated stations especially at night.
- When waiting for buses, trains, boats and taxis stand with other passengers in an area that is well lit, do not stand/wait in isolated areas.

There are a number of car hire firms in Cumbria that offer car rental services for both short and longer term car hire offering a range of vehicles from small budget cars to family cars to larger mini-buses and luxury cars.

Cumbria is connected to the road network via the M6 motorway passing through Carlisle, Kendal and Penrith. London to Cumbria by car via the M1 and M6 is approx a drive of 5 hours 30 minutes to 6 hours depending on traffic. Other major roads around the county include the A66 and A686.

Drivers should be aware there are some winding, narrow and steep roads in Cumbria and the roads around popular tourist attractions and towns can get busy especially during the peak tourist season.

Parking in Carlisle city centre includes a number of pay and display car parks. Major car parks in Carlisle city centre are located at Lower Viaduct, Devonshire Walk and Town Dyke Orchard car parks.

Drivers should note there may be driving restrictions in and around the city and town centres. It is recommended visitors ensure they fully understand the local parking rules before parking and help avoid unnecessary fines and worry.

Cumbria is accessible by coach with regular coach services available to Carlisle, Ambleside, Kendal and Windermere from London Victoria coach station, the journey time from London to Carlisle is 6 hours 30 minutes to 7 hours. Coach services are provided by National Express.

Megabus offers services from London Victoria Coach Station to Carlisle, the journey time is approx 7 hours 40 minutes.

Whilst travelling by coach to Cumbria is usually more time consuming than using rail and road, it is usually more cost effective.

Cumbria’s location on the northern English coast makes it convenient to use ferries to get to Cumbria and to use its famous lakes to travel around the county.

To get to Cumbria:
From Belfast in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man to Heysham in Lancaster there are services operated by Isle of Man Steam Packet Company; there are ferries from Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and Belfast to Liverpool operated by Norfolk Line. There are services from Holland to Newcastle operated by DFDS Seaways. The cruise terminals offer good access to the UK motorway network and railway services visitors can use to get to Cumbria.

To travel around Cumbria:
There are a number of ferry routes covering Cumbria including Bowness, Ambleside, Lakeside, Ferry House, Fell Foot and Wray Castle. There are a number of operators offering services, for more information on Cumbria ferries and routes please see: Windermere Lake Cruises and Coniston Launch

Newcastle Airport is located approx 55 miles from Carlisle, the airport caters for a number of local, regional and international flights.

Blackpool Airport is located approx 60 miles from Windermere and 100 miles from Carlisle.

For more information on public transport in Cumbria including information on public transport and timetables please see: Cumbria Transport from Cumbria County Council.

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