In the Spotlight: Windermere In the Spotlight: Windermere

In the Spotlight: Windermere

Just a 35 minute drive from Hawthorns Park you’ll find Windermere – England’s largest natural lake. A stunning backdrop for a number of attractions as well as a central location to explore the Lake District more widely. This guide takes a closer look at some of the best nearby places to explore in one of the country’s most treasured locations.

Windermere is a narrow ribbon lake stretching for 11 glorious miles. Shaped like a finger it is situated within a steep glacial valley. Dotted around the lake you’ll find several visitor attractions and picturesque villages.

walking in windermere


Nestled a mile inland from the northern tip of the lake you’ll find the beautiful town of Ambleside. Often regarded as a fitting place to begin or finish a walk around the shores of the Lake District. The town itself is bustling with shops, restaurants and accommodation making it a popular tourist destination. From Ambleside it’s possible to take the Windermere lake ferry situated at Waterhead Pier over to Bowness, Lakeside and Brockhole. Other points of interest to visit in Ambleside are Stock Ghyll Force waterfall, Stagshaw Gardens, Armitt Museum and the Roman Fort of GALAVA.

view of lake windermere from Ambleside in the lake district
Sunrise across Lake Windermere at Ambleside. (CC0 1.0)

Bowness on Windermere

At the southern end of the lake, Windermere and Bowness are very much the heart of the Lake District. Lake Cruises set off from Bowness Pier offering a breathtaking tour of the Lakeland fells. Various cruise options are available, ranging from 45 minutes to a ‘Freedom of the Lake’ full day ticket to explore on and around the lake.

windermere lake cruises offer the perfect opportunity to take in the stunning Lake District scenery
Take in the stunning Lake District scenery with Windermere Lake Cruises

Lakes Aquarium

Discover the fascinating world of freshwater creatures inhabiting the waters of Windermere at Lakes Aquarium. The magnificent attraction is situated at Lakeside Pier with a gift shop on site as well as a restaurant offering stunning panoramic views of the lake. Choose your arrival path by boat from either Waterhead or Bowness or via train from Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.

visit lakes aquarium near Lake Windermere
Enjoy a visit to Lakes Aquarium. Photo credit: Sem Shnaider / (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway

Take a memorable step back in time in a steam train journey at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway. Travel around Leven Valley taking in the beautiful scenery before arriving at Haverthwaite – where you can enjoy a spot of afternoon tea in the Station Tea Room.

Take a steam ride at Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.
Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway. Photo credit: ARG_Flickr / (CC BY 2.0)

Lakeland Motor Museum

The Lakeland Motor Museum holds an extensive collection of 30,000 exhibits of automotive memorabilia. Highlights of the exhibition include a Campbell Bluebird display, a tribute to the Isle of Man TT and a Vincent motorcycles tribute. The museum is open seven days a week, offers free parking and an opportunity to grab refreshment in Cafe Ambio by the riverside. Get to Lakeland Motor Museum by taking the free shuttle bus from the Aquarium car park or a 20 minute drive south from Central Lakes (Bowness).

lakeland motor museum
Lakeland Motor Museum is a great attraction near Lake Windermere. Photo credit: Tony Harrison / (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Getting to Windermere

To get to Windermere from Hawthorns Caravan Park the quickest route is heading north via the M6 and then taking the A590 followed by the A591. It’ll only take just over 30 minutes to arrive at the village of Windermere.

Header photo credit: Mark Hughes / (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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