Lake Windermere

Things to do in Windermere

  • Share on Facebook

Found at the heart of the Lake District, the charming area of Windermere has beckoned travellers since Victorian times. Offering convenient proximity to the lakeshore and commanding vistas of both the lake and the encircling fells, this region retains its timeless allure and continues to captivate visitors to this day. 

At just over half an hour’s drive away, Windermere and its neighbours Bowness and Ambleside should be among your first ports of call if you’re staying at our Lakeland Leisure Park. Below, we’ve compiled the top things to do in the Windermere area, ensuring that you’re well-planned enough to fill your visit with unforgettable experiences. 

Cruise on Lake Windermere

Cruise on Lake Windermere

Address: Winander House, Glebe Rd, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3HE 

Your Windermere adventure should start with the lake itself, and what better way to experience it than on the deck of a cruise boat? Lake Windermere is the largest natural lake in England and is surrounded by stunning scenery to complement its glassy waters. 

Several cruise operators such as Windermere Lake Cruises provide a variety of options, from leisurely sightseeing cruises to romantic sunset excursions. Whether you want to relax on the deck or explore the lake's surroundings, a cruise is a must.

Bowness-on-Windermere

Bowness-on-Windermere

Address: Crag Brow, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3BX 

Bowness-on-Windermere, often simply referred to as Bowness, is the bustling heart of Windermere's tourist activity. Here, you'll find charming streets lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. 

Take a leisurely stroll along the lakefront promenade, explore local boutiques, and enjoy a meal with a view at one of the many eateries. Bowness is also home to the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, perfect for families.

Windermere Jetty Museum

Address: Jetty Museum, Rayrigg Rd, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 1BN 

For a dose of history and a closer look at the area's maritime heritage, Windermere Jetty Museum is a must-visit. This informative museum reopened in March 2019 after 12 years' closure and redevelopment work. 

It now showcases an impressive collection of boats, steam launches, and other water machinery. You can learn about the history of boating on Lake Windermere and even take a ride on a fully restored wooden heritage boat from the Windermere Jetty Museum collection.

Lakeland Motor Museum

Lakeland Motor Museum
Lakeland Motor Museum: a petrol head's paradise

Address: Old Blue Mill, Backbarrow, Ulverston LA12 8TA 

Car enthusiasts both young and old will appreciate a visit to the Lakeland Motor Museum, located in Backbarrow, which is conveniently located on the way from our Lakeland Leisure Park to Windermere. 

The museum boasts 30,000 exhibits with an extensive collection of vintage cars, motorcycles, and classic automobiles. It's a fun and informative experience with many quirky items such as pedal cars and century-old electric cars. For those who are less fascinated by automobiles, you can also enjoy the vibes at the wonderful recreation of a 1950s cafe to enjoy some refreshments.

Discover breaks in Lake District

Lakeland self catering holidays

Lakeland, Lake District

4 nights from £69

Beatrix Potter's Hill Top House

Address: Near Sawrey, Ambleside LA22 0LF 

Fans of the beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter can explore her former home, Hill Top House, located in Near Sawrey, a short drive from Windermere. This charming cottage is where Potter wrote many of her famous stories, including "Peter Rabbit." 

The house and its gardens are open to the public and provide a glimpse into her creative world, making it an unmissable experience for those who grew up with her works. 

Water Sports @ Leigh Groves Building

Water Sports @ Leigh Groves Building

Address: Leigh Groves Building, Rayrigg Rd, Windermere LA23 1BP 

Lake Windermere is not only for cruising; it's also a hub for water sports enthusiasts. You can try your hand at kayaking, paddleboarding, water skiing, or even windsurfing. Rental shops and water sports centres such as Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre, can be found around the lake, offering equipment and lessons for beginners. 

Wray Castle

Wray Castle

Address: Low Wray, Ambleside LA22 0JA 

Wray Castle, located on the western shore of Lake Windermere, is a historic and picturesque attraction. Although it's not a traditional castle, this Victorian neo-gothic mansion is known for its captivating architecture and beautiful grounds. The unique National Trust property is particularly family-friendly, with interactive exhibits and plenty of space for children to play both inside and out. 

Lake District festivals

If your visit to Windermere coincides with one of the many Lake District festivals, consider attending. These festivals celebrate everything from literature and music to food, beer and the great outdoors. They often feature live performances, workshops, and tastings that can add an extra layer of enjoyment to your holiday. 

See a few more ideas of what's on in the Lake District

Start planning your Great British break

Important information

Brand new holiday homes from £34,995

Holiday home price is for a new 3-bedroom ABI New Horizon holiday home and includes siting, connections and standard accessories.   

Price excludes 2024 site fees, running costs and add-ons requested at point of sale. Subject to status and availability.   

As at 9 July 2024, price is available at all parks, excluding Church Farm, Cala Gran, Cleethorpes Beach, Craig Tara, Far Grange, Golden Sands, Haggerston Castle, Kiln Park, Littlesea, Lydstep Beach, Orchards, Penally Court, Perran Sands, Rockley Park, Seashore, Seaview, Skegness and Thornwick Bay. 

Images are shown for representational purposes. Access to holiday home is subject to park opening times.  

Park cannot be used as a permanent residence. Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven).  Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office:  One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL. We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.  

Pre-owned holiday homes from £19,995

Holiday home price is based on a Bronze Grade pre-owned holiday home 6 years or older and includes siting, connections and standard accessories.   

Price excludes 2024 site fees, running costs and add-ons requested at point of sale.  Subject to status and availability.   

As at 9 June 2024, price is available at all parks, excluding Cala Gran, Church Farm, Cardigan View, Cleethorpes Beach, Craig Tara, Far Grange, Golden Sands, Haggerston Castle, Kiln Park, Littlesea, Lydstep Beach, Orchards, Penally Court, Perran Sands, Rockley Park, Riviere Sands, Seaview, Skegness and Thornwick Bay.   

Access to holiday home is subject to park opening times. Park cannot be used as a permanent residence.  

Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven).  Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office:  One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL.  We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.  

Let2offset - make no site fee payments until 2031

Let2offset is a contractual lettings product that offers eligible owners a guaranteed letting income at a preferential rate (calculated each year) in exchange for a stipulated number of letting breaks. It also allows eligible owners to pay their site fees and receive their letting income in 12 equal monthly instalments; the monthly site fee amount charged by Haven will be after deduction of the letting income.

‘Make no site fee payments when using Let2offset until 2031’ is available at 33 Haven parks excluding Burnham, Cardigan View, Far Grange, Garreg Wen, Lydstep Beach, Riviere Sands and Seaview.  The letting income received will vary by make, model and location. The monthly site fee payment does not include running costs e.g. utilities, rates & insurance.

“Make no site fee payments when using Let2offset until 2031” is applicable to new and existing customer purchases of new Atlas Sahara 3 Bed or equivalent or superior grade holiday home purchases made through Haven where customers have also signed up to Haven’s Let2offset contract. It is not applicable to private sales and cannot be used in conjunction with our free Site Fee promotion.  It is available across 40% of eligible Parks and applies when letting a new Atlas Sahara 3 Bed holiday home (or equivalent or superior grade for 15 weeks.

An example of how “Make no site fee payments when using Let2offset until 2031” operates under Let2offset is the purchase of an Atlas Sahara 3 Bed holiday home at Primrose Valley with a monthly site fee of £585.00 (includes purchasing discount of £45) and monthly letting income of £803.67. The monthly difference equates to £218.67, which will be credited to the owner's account. Both letting income and site fees are subject to yearly pricing reviews and the monthly site fee costs and letting income shown in the example are based on 2024 figures.

Modelled assumptions on expected annual site fee and letting income charges over the 7-year lettable life of the Atlas Sahara 3 Bed indicate that under Let2offset it is anticipated that these customers will continue to receive a monthly credit during this period, however, this is not guaranteed. The modelled assumptions are based on the historical performance of Haven over the past 5 years of trading.

Images are shown for representational purposes. Access to holiday home is subject to park opening times.

Park cannot be used as a permanent residence. Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven). Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office: One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL. We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.

Get the latest Haven exclusives!

Receive Haven news and offers to your inbox

By providing your email address, you are consenting to being updated on all things Haven! Manage preferences via your account or by clicking the update preferences link in our emails. Privacy policy