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Lake District National Park | Lake Windermere

Posted by Luci Ackers on 12 October 2016
Related property: Merlewood
Lake District National Park | Lake Windermere Lake District National Park | Lake Windermere Lake District National Park | Lake Windermere Lake District National Park | Lake Windermere

Visiting the Lake District?

Don't leave without paying a visit to the famous Lake Windermere! Situated in a National Park famous for its stunning lakes and incredible scenery, Lake Windermere is an ideal tourist attraction and has a little something to offer everyone. So why should you make the time to pay a visit? We thought we'd sum it up for you!

What makes Windermere so great?

At 10.5 miles long, with a maximum width of a mile and maximum depth of 219 feet deep, Windermere is the largest natural lake in England!

It snakes through the heart of the Lake District National Park, fed by numerous rivers and was formed thousands of years ago... The name Windermere originates from the Scandinavian for 'lake of a man called Vinandr'.

What's here?

The Lake has three principle towns so there are plenty of amenities around. Though the town of Windermere takes its name from the lake, Bowness-on-Windermere is the only town that sits directly on the lakeshore. Ambleside, the third town, lies to the north of the lake and is a popular holiday resort with lots going on. There are pubs, cafés and restaurants as well as different events, which you can find on the website.

A great place for sports

Because Windermere is a ribbon lake, formed by glacial movement, it is very long and very narrow. This means the banks are close and the waters are great for sports. Bowness-on-Windermere is a brilliant water sports town, with direct access to the water, and it's a hub for outdoor activities. There is a boating centre right at the water's edge.

You can hire canoes and kayaks or organise tuition and courses here.

If sailing is more your thing, take a look here.

Maybe you prefer to keep your feet on dry land? Hire bikes to explore the shoreline here.

Fishing, water-skiing and power-boating are also available but Windermere Lake Cruises is one of the most popular activities on offer. This is a boat tour that allows you to sit back, enjoy the scenery and admire the waters whilst relaxing from onboard one of the charming vessels. There are several different piers from which you can start your journey, including Ambleside, Bowness and Lakeside which is right down at the southern edge of the Lake. Cruises range in length and destination so take a look at the website to plan your ideal journey.

Perfect for walks

With such a long shoreline, the lake is ideal for walkers. You can embark on any length of walk that you fancy and will always be sure of a glimpse of the water. Thanks to the sheer size of the lake, its shoreline has a wonderfully varied terrain, from pebbly shoreline, to atmospheric woodland, to rambling fell walks up in the hills. From up high the area boasts stunning panoramic views of the lake and distant mountains. For some ideas on where to walk take a look at:

A huge variety of habitat can be found around Windermere and this is great for supporting a great many different species.

If you're a nature lover keep your eyes peeled wherever you happen to be walking. The surrounding woodland and countryside is home to red squirrels, deer and other mammals. The lake itself is a wildlife haven, home to protected aquatic and underwater plants. Wetlands and reed fringes form in different areas and you may be lucky enough to spot an otter darting in and out. The whole area is also a great feeding ground and nesting area for birds of prey such as osprey and peregrine falcons.

Windermere is particularly important for wintering wildfowl. Over a thousand ducks, geese and swans live on Windermere throughout the year and this more than doubles during the winter! That is more than any other lake in the Lake District. It's one of the top places in Britain for wintering goldeneye, tufted duck and coot, among many others. So remember to pack your binoculars!

Or finding that picture-perfect viewpoint

Surrounded, as it is, by peaks and fells, there is plenty of opportunity for photography. If you venture on one of the walks from Lake Windermere, you are almost guaranteed to come across a picture-perfect viewpoint from which to take that perfect shot back over the water. One of the favourite locations is Orrest Head Viewpoint. From here not only can you see the lake but also the Langdale Pikes, Scafell Pike and the Old Man of Coniston in the distance.

There is a tourist information centre near the Station in Windermere, but there should also be signs pointing you in the right direction to ascend Orrest Head. The footpath lies across the main road from the station.

Tourist information.

Around the lake there are a number of Visitor centres

Brockhole Visitor Centre is great for families with loads of things going on and outdoor adventure activities to discover.

Bowness Bay National Park Information Centre is a smaller centre with maps and leaflets and information to help you do your own thing.

So have we convinced you? Come and stay in the Lake District to discover Windermere for yourself. Find out how to stay in the magnificent Victorian mansion house Merlewood by entering your detaials at the bottom of the page.


Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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