Set beside the largest natural lake in England and an ideal base for walks in the Lake District, Windermere hotels offer a gateway to one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
Windermere has grown together with its neighbour Bowness-on-Windermere to form one of the most popular tourist areas on Lake Windermere. As well as an enviable position one kilometre from the lake, Windermere has a number of shops and historical buildings. Close to Windermere railway station is Lakeland Limited, a contemporary shopping centre. Bowness-on-Windermere is a larger town on the water’s edge. Here you’ll find the useful Bowness Bay Information Centre, The Steamboat Museum at Windermere which features a collection of restored steamboats, and The World Of Beatrix Potter – a fantastic attraction for fans of the children’s writer where kids can come face to face with the books’ characters and learn about the author’s life. A short walk from Windermere will take you to Orrest Head, a viewpoint that offers breathtaking views of the lake.
South Lake Windermere
To the south of Lake Winderemere is Newby Bridge, a hamlet that gets its name from the 17th century five-arched stone bridge built across the River Leven. One of the most pleasant ways to approach the lake from Newby Bridge is by hopping on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, a heritage railway that runs from Haverthwaite via Newby Bridge and up to Lakeside. Apart from the railway station, the hamlet of Newby Bridge itself has a number of shops, cafés and pubs. Also close to Newby Bridge is Fell Foot Park, a Victorian park that’s perfect for family picnics.
West Lake Windermere
On the opposite shore of Lake Windermere from Bowness-on-Windermere are Far Sawrey and Near Sawrey. The area’s association with Beatrix Potter continues here at Hill Top in Near Sawrey, the former home of the author. Now a National Trust property, the home is a Grade II-listed building and is kept in the same condition as when Potter lived in it. Close to Near Sawrey is Claife Heights, an upland area that boasts magnificent views of the lake and the surrounding area.
North Lake Windermere
To the north of Windermere is Troutbeck Bridge and Brockhole, a family friendly visitor’s centre. Brockhole has an adventure playground for the kids and is a great starting point for a number of outdoor activities, from mini-golf to boat hire. On the opposite shore is Wray Castle, a Victorian Neogothic country house built in the style of a medieval castle.
The Lake District is immensely popular with walkers, ramblers, hikers and amblers. Whether you’re looking for a short stroll to Windermere or a longer trek into the heart of the park, there are plenty of routes to follow for walkers of all ages and ability levels. Windermere dominates the park but there are plenty of other points of interest in the Lake District. Both Grasmere Water and Grasmere Village are worth paying a visit. Derwentwater lies under the Cat Bells fells. The mountain, The Old Man of Coniston, towers above Coniston Village and Brantwood where you’ll find the home of the Victorian art critic John Ruskin.
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