The Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway

Haverthwaite Station, Ulverston, LA12 8AL
The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

(Victor Maschek /

Serving Lakeside, the small village at the southern end of Lake Windermere from which Lake Cruises depart, the heritage branch line, known as the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, is a popular tourist attraction thanks to its location.

The railway runs between the villages of Lakeside with its jetty and Lakes Aquarium, and Haverthwaite, which is in close proximity to the Lakeland Motor Museum. Tickets are available that combine train travel with ferry travel and attraction entrance and parking tends to be easier around the stations than in Bowness-On-Windermere, so many people choose to travel by train and then ferry onto Bowness or Ambleside for a full day out.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01539 531 594 / Website
Please see official website
Seasonal Opening:
Open March to Nov with limited Dec Opening for Christmas Specials


Only 3.5 miles of track are currently in operation, part of what was once a much longer line that operated between Lakeside and Ulverston, connecting with the Furness Railway onto Barrow-In-Furness. Constructed in the mid-1800s by the Furness Railway Company, the branch line was created in direct competition to the Windermere branch line, operated by rivals the Kendal and Windermere Railway Company who had several years of success in bringing tourists into the area.

Its main income source, however, was from the transportation of iron ore and other minerals extracted from mines around Lake Windermere. As the mining industry declined, so did the fortunes of the branch line, and it eventually closed in 1965.

Thankfully, a group of local enthusiasts came together with the aim of preserving the railway and after several years of campaigning and negotiations, the section of the line between Lakeside and Haverthwaite was reopened as a heritage railway in 1973.

Things To See

The journey takes you through the picturesque Leven valley, where you will have views of lakes and rivers. Whilst at Haverthwaite, you can visit the Lakeland Motor Museum. At Lakeside you can call into the Lakes Aquarium or hop onto one of the Windermere Lake Cruises onto Bowness-On-Windermere where you will find the World of Beatrix Potter and plenty of shops and cafés.

The railway has several events during the season. Thomas The Tank Engine is a frequent guest of the railway, and the branch line once featured in one of the Rev. Christopher Awdry’s books about the Real Useful Engine. A special ghost train makes a scary voyage around Halloween, and whilst the railway does close during the winter months it opens briefly in December for children to meet Father Christmas aboard the Santa Special.

Useful Information

Ramps are available to assist wheelchair users to board the trains, whilst carriages have an area dedicated for wheelchair users.


Tickets that combine a railway journey with ferry travel and entrance into local attractions must be booked through Windermere Lake Cruises.


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