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A centrepoint for the mountains

Quite touristy, but a great starting point for scenic trips

Lake Windermere is not only the largest lake in The Lake District, but the largest in the country as well.
It stretches in a long 'comma' shape south to north and is surrounded by pasture type banks leading into trees, forests and finally the slopes of the surrounding peaks.

It's these combinations which have made it a haven for tourists and Artists alike for many years and it's beauty never fails to inspire you.

Obviously, it's the water and the breathtaking scenery which are the main attractions, but the towns around the Lakes have a lot to offer in all things from good accommodation to centres of activity.

Let's take a look at them.

Newby Bridge .....
is at the southernmost point of the 12 mile long Lake Windermere.
This is the termini for the 'Lakeside - Hatherwaite' Steam Railway. Although only 3.5 miles in length, it sports some fine historic engines who will huff and puff you up and down the steep gradient.
You can start your Steamship journeys to Barrow and Ambleside from here with regular daily services through the seasons.
Also worth a visit is the 'Aquarium of the Lakes' with it's large collection of freshwater fish.
It's a small place but strewn with Guest Houses, Hotels and Bed & Breakfast accommodation.

Windermere and Bowness-On-Windermere
Windermere town itself is situated just over a mile from the lake itself, but from the Waters edge is reached via Bowness-On-Windermere.
This is really the main town of the area and has a Railway Station serving train services to Kendal and Oxenholme. In fact, you can get to Windermere from London in less than 4 hours - far quicker than car. There is also a Bus / Coach Station.

Around Windermere are many attractions including the home of Beatrix Potter, 'Hill Top'  In Bowness you can visit the 'World of Peter Rabbit' Exhibition.

Ambleside ....
is a bustling community with a fine mixture of shopping ventures from Walking & Outdoor, Arts & Crafts to Local produce and has a selection of Restaurants and Cafes.

Being on the northern end of the Lake, it has easy access, via the A593 to Coniston Water and beyond that to the high peak mountains and the Western Lakes.
You can try driving over the Hardknott Pass to Eskdale and catch the Steam Train to Ravensglass on the Coast. The pass has the steepest gradient in England, so make sure your brakes are in good order going down !
On top of the Pass you can rest a wee while and see the Roman Fort ruins - and probably think how on earth they got on right up there!

From Ambleside, it's a fairly short and very scenic drive to Keswick on Derwent Water.

No matter where you go around Lake Windermere, you will find a reason to get your Camera out. The scenery and clean air is breathtaking and it's hard to imagine you are only an hours drive away to places like Blackpool.

There are so many activities available to you from Water Sports to walking to climbing or just cruising around the Lake.

With all this, the summer season can be a bit busy, so why not try a Winter Break - a warm Guest House Room or Log Cabin with fire and a view of snow capped peaks. It couldn't be better.

A view looking north west to The Langdale
Peaks - gateway to the Scaffels

Visit the Lake District between October
and April to avoid the summer rush !

Beautiful scenic walks


Some Local advice....

The Cumbrian Tourist Board
Covers the Lake District and Coast etc.

Hill Top
National Trust page on Beatrix Potters home

Windermere Lake Cruises
Information & schedules on boat trips etc

Lake District National Park Authority
Details of nature and conservation issues etc

Camping Holidays

I got into an argument with a girlfriend inside of a tent. That's a bad place for an argument, because then I tried to walk out and slammed the flap. How are you supposed to express your anger in this situation? Zipper it up really quick? ~Mitch Hedberg