CYCLISTS are praising the return of the popular ‘Bike Boat’ scheme that runs through the summer period.

The ‘Bike Boat’ operates between Brockhole - The Lake District Visitor Centre and Bark Barn jetty on the traffic-free western shore of Windermere, accessed by the Wray Castle – Ferry House bridleway.

Offered by Windermere Lake Cruises , the service provides eight crossings across the lake each-way, seven days a week until September.

Jennifer, a cyclist on one of the service’s regular crossings, said: “We’re visiting from Yorkshire, specifically for a cycling holiday. We’ve had a gorgeous cycle today after boarding at Brockhole and going across to the western side of the lake. We cycled to Hill Top farm, around to Hawkshead, then down to Wray Castle before heading back to the Bike Boat.

“The hills are just about the right kind of challenge and there have been some really fun bits too. We especially enjoyed ‘track 6’ on the suggested route leaflet on the way back.

"It was lovely and bumpy through the fields with a few wet bits to go through, which was really enjoyable. Hawkshead was beautiful. We had a lovely lunch there and looked in the shops and had a really good day.”

Jennifer’s partner Steve added: “There’s been quite a bit of investment on a cycle path over on that side of the lake too, making it feel a lot safer.”

‘Bike Boat’ Skipper Daniel Barlow said: “It’s been very popular with the hot weather this year and has really helped people get to the west side of the lake where there are so many opportunities to go walking and biking. All the cyclists really enjoy it, and many have told me personally how much they value it. We’ve got leaflets that highlight all the best routes from Bark Barn too, where we drop people off.”

Single and return tickets for the ‘Bike Boat’ are available, with holders of a Windermere Lake Cruises’ Local Residents Discount card being offered a 20% discount on the regular ticket prices. Foot passengers are also welcome to use the service, but priority will be given to cyclists for each crossing.

For foot passengers wishing to cross from the western shore of Windermere to Brockhole, a passenger only service also operates from Wray Castle.