For more years than I can count I’ve traveled up and down the Borrowdale valley either by car or van but never on the topless bus. This isn’t a liberating excuse to take your clothes off by the way, its and open top bus similar to what you find in all the major cities but without the guide though.
Today we made a sudden and unplanned decision to have a ride on said bus with the boys. It’s a dog friendly service and down to the discretion of the driver as to how many ‘well behaved’ dogs are allowed on the bus at any one time. At just over £8 for a ‘hop on hop off’ ride all day ticket, it’s not bad value, those that know will have seen the car parking situation in the valley, it gets a bit busy, like really busy.
Ours were the only three dogs on the top deck today as soon as they got on at Keswick Bus station. The top deck seats are weatherproof and have to confess to the boys sitting bolt upright on them, all excited ready for the off. I'd also like to point out that proper planning would suggest that a camera with a FULLY CHARGED battery is a must. Oops!
The bus heads up the valley and I’m hooked. The things you see from the top deck are just incredible, the road is tree lined with glimpses of Catbells on the right Wallacrag on the left, just beautiful. There’s an air of excitement with the dogs perhaps they can smell the lake? The bus stops at Lodore, ideal to take in Lodore Falls or to head off around the lake on foot. As the bus continues, I cannot describe the views, they are just incredible, Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Derwentwater. Next stop Grange Bridge there is also a stop at the Bowderstone which is also a great place to explore. Heading deeper into the valley you suddenly realise what an amazing place this is. The bus stops at Rosthwaite and then further on towards the National Trust car park Seatoller where the bus turns around for the return journey.
Staying on the bus we head back down the valley we got off at Rosthwaite and picked up the footpath through the farm heading towards Grange. The walk takes you over a really cute ‘pack bridge’ and then under Castle Crag and past Millican Dalton’s cave. If you’ve never done this walks it’s a must. The view from the top of Castle Crag is one of our favourite of Derwentwater and it’s worth looking up Millican Dalton on Google. As it was a bit hot today we decided (as in the dogs), water was the best option so they swam most of the river down to Hollows Campsite and about a mile further brings you out at a tea room in Grange. Bus stop 500m down the road and I think we were all pleased to hop on and head back to Keswick. One thing about the top deck, you can top your tan up on a sunny day!
So if you find yourself looking for something to do, find and all day car park in Keswick. The Football club and Rugby club offer all day parking for about £3, jump on the 78 bus and head up the and explore the Borrowdale valley. There’s cafes, toilets and great walks for all. If the sun shines it’s a bonus but guarantee you’ll enjoy the bus ride! Topless is the future.
Just want to say the driver was today really accommodating today, it must be hard job driving up and down this route every half hour in all the peak season traffic!