Note the Ravenglass Railway is on the other side of the Lakes from Windermere and isn't easy to get to unless you have a car as there isn't direct public transport between Windermere & Ravenglass.
If there isn't a suitable bus from Windermere to Barrow in Furness it's possible to make the journey entirely by train to Ravenglass, changing at Lancaster and Barrow in Furness. Journey time varies between 2-2/4hr and 3-1/2hr, fare is £18.50 single (valid on any train without advance booking) with a number of departure times to choose from.
If he is interested in a steam train ride then I would suggest going to the station at Haverthwaite:
Here you can board a steam train that can take you to Lakeside station and from there you can also switch to a boat ride on Windermere itself or you can just come back a litte later on the steam train. The boat ride can take you further up the Lake towards Bowness or up to the top at Waterhead/Ambleside. Or you can alight at Lakeside and go for a walk around - there are restaurants and ice cream kiosks there too.
From a tourist point of view it will be far better to do this than go to the Ravenglass one which is quite remote.
You can also visit Fellfoot Park close to Newby Bridge where you could have a picnic or hire a row boat. (You can see and hear the steam train from the shoreline at Fellfoot Park.) Fellfoot Park is at the southern end of the lake (Windermere) and offers excellent mountain views too.
I too would be interested in taking the train ride from Haverthwaithe continue upto Ambleside and return back to Haverthwaithe as we have a car.
Can you please tell us how much time does it take for the whole return trip and the price quoted on the site of around £19.40 is it inclusive of journey on steamer and return to haverthwaithe or just one way fare ?
Also is it worth doing this trip if i have only 1 night in lake district and without children.
That price is return i.e. there and back and includes the train journey and the boat ride.
If you are looking to do a boat ride then it is as good as any for a first time visitor. Your best bet would be to check the timetables and allow yourself some time to stop off and wander around at say Lakeside and then your other stop (Ambleside). There are a handful of shops at Ambleside where the boat stops. This area is called Waterhead - to visit the main shops at Ambleside is about 10-12 minutes on foot.
If you have a car and want to see more scenery then I would suggest doing the train and boat ride early, getting back maybe 4 hours later and then driving either further round towards Coniston Water or back past Ambleside and onto Grasmere. Coniston is about 25 minutes by car from the train station at Haverthwaite.
Another option is to drive past Ambleside and go via the Langdales to some mountain passes, Wrynose and Hardknott. To do these properly you should allow two hours minimum from Ambleside. The views are spectacular but you should be prepared for some very narrow sections and some sheer drops as well as 1:3 gradients at points.
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