Car-free guide to Arnside & Silverdale AONB
Updated: Jan 10
As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to Arnside & Silverdale AONB, here's our guide to how to how to travel there without a car.
Photos: Diana Jarvis/Green Traveller
Getting to Arnside & Silverdale AONB by public transport
It's possible to take the train right into the heart of the Arnside and Silverdale AONB: there are two stations actually within the AONB: Arnside station and Silverdale station, while just outside the AONB is Carnforth station (made famous by the film Brief Encounter). The Trans-Pennine Express services connect Lancaster with Barrow-in-Furness via all three stations. From Lancaster, you can change onto mainline services, and there are frequent and direct trains to London Euston (2hr 24 mins), Manchester (58 minutes hours) and Birmingham (1hr 52 mins). For more information and to book tickets, see tpexpress.co.uk
Though the trains are a great way to reach the AONB, they're not just a means of transportation... given the superb scenery from the train, travelling around by train in this part of the country is a wonderful journey in itself and a great day trip. See our feature on the great train journey Carnforth to Barrow-in-Furness. To book tickets see: furnessline.co.uk
Silverdale station is also ideally situated for visiting one of the area’s main attractions, Leighton Moss RSPB Nature Reserve (250m walk from the station). Visitors arriving by public transport get free entry!
Beyond Barrow, you can continue on the scenic West Coast Line to Carlisle, stopping at Foxfield, Kirkby in Furness and Ravenglass along the way.
For details on steamtrains that run this scenic route, see ravenglass-railway.co.uk
Getting around the Arnside & Silverdale AONB by public transport
The Silverdale Shuttle bus service aims to meet trains arriving into Silverdale and runs a meandering circular route to the village centre, stopping wherever people need to disembark along the way. It’s a friendly hail and ride service, so just let the driver know where to drop you off. The service runs Monday-Saturday, except public holidays.
For more information and to book tickets see: lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/web/?Bus_Services/19923
Regular Stagecoach Bus services run throughout the area, calling in at villages along the way, including: Kendal to Arnside (551, 552; 40 mins; Mon-Sat); Keswick to Lancaster via Milnthorpe and Carnforth (555); and Lancaster and Carnforth to the Yealands (55).
For more information and to book tickets see: stagecoachbus.com
The eastern side of the AONB is less-well served by public transport, but is criss crossed with walking routes and easily-traversed by bike.
For more information on cycling routes and bike hire, see Jo Keeling's blog featured on Cycling in Arnside and Silverdale