The ferry route forms part of the B5285 road and crosses the lake at about its midpoint, from Ferry Nab in Bowness-on-Windermere to Far Sawrey, a distance of some 490 metres (540 yd). The current ferry boat, named Mallard, was built in 1990 and can carry up to 18 cars and over 100 passengers.
There has been a ferry at the site of the current Windermere Ferry for more than 500 years. The earliest craft were rowed across the lake, whilst later ferries were steam powered and, more recently, diesel powered. Today the ferry is owned and operated by Cumbria County Council.
The ferry operates all year, with services every 20 minutes from early morning to mid-evening. The crossing takes less than 10 minutes and a toll is charged. If the ferry is not operating, the alternative is a road journey of approximately 15 miles (24 km) around either the head or foot of the lake.
The Ferry underwent its most recent quinqennial inspection and refit in April/May 2014.
- Hall, Nick (November 2006). "Chained links". Ships Monthly. IPC Country & Leisure Media. pp. 17–21.
- "Windermere ferry". Cumbria County Council. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
- "Windermere ferry set for refit". Cumbria County Council. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- Media related to Windermere Ferry at Wikimedia Commons
- Cumbria County Council web page on the ferry
- Webcam of western terminal