A lake, a llyn, a loch and a lough – by public transport

A lake, a llyn, a loch and a lough – by public transport

That’s English, Welsh, Scots Gaelic and Irish Gaelic, in case you were wondering, and the perfect addition to anyone’s bucket list of holiday destinations. So if you fancy leaving the car behind for a restful (or energetic) break in beautiful lakeside surroundings, hop on the train and head for these waters...

Lake Buttermere

The Lake: Buttermere, Cumbria

Visit for: Unbelievable landscape and an exhilarating bus journey

Getting there: Catch the West Coast main line to Oxenholme and change for the Lakes line, which takes you directly to Windermere. From Windermere, jump on a 555 bus to Keswick from where you can pick up bus numbers 77 and 77A to Buttermere.

Renowned as the most picturesque lake in the Lake District... and that’s really saying something... Buttermere is small enough to stroll around in a couple of relaxed hours. You might have to have a sit down first to recover from the bus journey over Honister Pass – an experience in itself!

Llyn Tegid

The Llyn: Tegid, Gwynedd

Visit for: Majestic mountain vistas and water adventures

Getting there: Take the East Coast main line to Chester and change for Ruabon. From there you can pick up the T3 bus to the town of Bala.

Also known as Bala Lake, Llyn Tegid is the largest natural lake in Wales, home to unique wildlife and one of the jewels of the Snowdonia National Park. A well marked network of paths leads you around this immense wetlands paradise. If you’re feeling adventurous, take the opportunity to get onto or into the water with a little canoeing, rafting and open water swimming.

Loch Awe

The Loch: Awe, Argyll and Bute

Visit for: The spooky atmosphere and brilliant name!

Getting there: At Glasgow Queen Street jump on the Oban route to Loch Awe train station.

The train drops you almost at the northernmost tip of this pretty loch, from where you can appreciate this eerie view across dark waters to the ruin of 15th Century Kilchurn Castle. To visit the old stones, witness to 600 years of Scotland’s turbulent history of clan disputes and rebellion, take the boat from the pier in the village of Loch Awe or go around to the east of the castle to find the footpath from Dalmally.

Lough Strangford

The Lough: Strangford, County Down

Visit for: Wildlife encounters and more bird watching than you can shake a stick at

Getting there: Bus service 10A takes you from Belfast along the picturesque Ards Peninsula on the east side of the lough, stopping at sleepy loughside villages en route.

Not technically a lake, instead a vast tidal inlet, but we hope you'll give us a pass since Lough Strangford is a must visit.

One of only three marine nature reserves in the UK and the most protected natural site in Northern Ireland, Strangford's quiet beaches and islands are home to over 2,000 species of marine wildlife. Expect lolling seals, rare woodland flowers, abundant bird colonies and the occasional glimpse of a resident porpoise gently surfacing the waters.

Which are your favourite lakes, llynnoedd, lochs and loughs to visit? Share your travel plans, pictures and recommendations with us via Twitter and Facebook!

>> The UK's most magical steam railways

>> 7 things you can do today to cut plastic waste