From Keswick to Grasmere #CumbriaIsOpen

The winter of 2015-2016 brought unprecedented floods to Cumbria (formerly Cumberland, Westmorland and part of Lancashire).  Storm Desmond early in December caused much damage.  The main road through the Lake District was washed away at a point between Keswick and Grasmere.  Landslides had also blocked it in the same area.

The disruption to daily life for people in the area was huge.  Children could not travel to school without making a very long journey. The first measure put in place to help was a shuttle bus.

Next a route was created for buses for other people to use., while the road was rebuilt.

I had heard that the bus trip was very enjoyable.  We planned to go.  Then at the first weekend in May we read that the road would reopen at the end of the week.  Our only real chance to go was on Tuesday 10 May.  We checked that a National Trust property in Grasmere would be open.  Car-parking in Keswick proved to be rather expensive, but we were going on an adventure.

The queue for the bus consisted mostly of seniors (to use the US term).  We were told there would be two or three single-decker buses going in convoy.  The weather was beautiful.  It was warmer than usual for late spring.

The diverted route created for the buses took us round the other side of Thirlmere from the A591.  Sitting in a bus gives a better view than travelling by car.  Passengers can see over walls and hedges.  There was a place part way along the lake where the buses waited to pass the buses travelling in the opposite direction.  It was possible to alight and take photos.

There was a holiday mood. On the way back the drivers of the two buses kept overtaking each other on the main road, which was closed to other traffic.  They must have heard some news, which did not reach us until a few hours later.  The A591 was reopening the following day, even earlier than we had heard at the weekend.  We had taken the last chance for this adventure!  What we did in Grasmere is to be the subject of another post.


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