Art At some point I know I will have to complete my North West art collection visits and to that end I've spent much of the afternoon on logistics. Here's what I've discovered.

The cheapest approach seems to be to buy a Freedom of the North West 4 in 8 Day Rover ticket and attempt four of those visits on four of those days. The previous idea was to stay in Windermere but looking at the costs of things, I really can't afford the mix of train fare and hotel room for three nights.

This rover costs £70.

My assumption is that I'll do the collections in Carlisle, Knutsford, Coniston and Grasmere with the last two, in rail terms equaling Windermere twice.  Here's the alternative price.

Return to Carlisle: £47.90 (roughly £30 with advanced singles)
Return to Knutsford:  £16.80 (which is cheaper than advanced singles)
Return to Windermere: £21.30 (about the same with advanced tickets)
Return to Windermere: £21.30 (about the same with advanced tickets)

Which adds up to £107.00.

Rover ticket it is then.  With advanced bookings and whatnot I can get roughly the same price as the rover, but why would I other than the whole, killing myself to get places for a week thing.  But if its four in eight, I'll get the odd day off.

Now, the travel.

Carlisle and Knutsford are "easy".  It's train there and back and both are within walking distance of the station.

Grasmere is pretty easy too.  Bus from Windermere Station and dropped off outside The Wordsworth Museum.

Coniston on the other hand is laughable, because it's not Coniston.  No one should try and do this in a day.  When I told the lady at the Coniston tourist information that I was attempting, there was a lengthy pause and then the tell tale "Right... so..." and a tone in her voice which indicated she was just on the edge of trying to talk me out of it.

Because I'm not travelling to Coniston only.  I'm visiting Brantwood, Ruskin's former home.

Getting to Coniston is relatively easy:

09:28 train from Liverpool Lime Street gets us (or rather to be fair me) into Windermere for 11:39.

I can then get a 505 bus to Coniston at 12:10 arriving at 1:00pm.

Here's where it gets tricky.

The last bus back to Windermere is at 17:05.

Which gives me four hours to get to Brantwood, look around Brantwood.  Get back to Coniston.  Then find The Ruskin Museum and pay my respects.

Brantwood is a half hour picturesque walk from Coniston.  Forty-five minutes by boat.  There's a lake involved and the river cruise only visits Brantwood at the end of the rover cruise.  Which leaves at the quarter hour.  Nope.

Yes, indeed.  My best option is a taxi I guess.  Which I'll have to book ahead, of course, and hope for the best.

If everything falls right, I'll get to Coniston for 1pm, get to Brantwood for 1:20 ish.  Spend an hour there, taxi back, walk to the Ruskin Museum for 3:30pm, spend an hour there then get the last bus back to Windermere.

Shrugs.  When has anything ever gone to plan ever?

The other option is to do Carlisle and Windermere for three days, with Coniston on two of them, Brantwood one afternoon, The Ruskin Museum on another, then do Tatton Park on another day completely.  Yes, thinking on, I could essentially commute to Windermere for three days.  Plus Carlisle.

Oh God.  What have I done?

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