Things to do in Lakeside, Lake District | Lakelovers

About Lakeside

Things to do in Lakeside

The nearby Lyth Valley is far quieter than most of the central Lake District, though hardly less beautiful. It exchanges the characteristic rugged fell scenery of the heartlands for pastel landscapes of rolling pastures, little wooded hills, and delightful country lanes flanked by tangled hedgerows of Hawthorn, Honeysuckle and Blackthorn. Damson trees abound here, and the area is famous for their fruit. Cosy inns and excellent eateries dot the area, and you should not find yourself lost for things to do in Lakeside. There are many attractions and wonderful walks locally, while the vibrant centres of Bowness and Ambleside are not far away.

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In lakeside

Windermere Lake Cruises

Staying in this area means you must consider getting aboard one of the steamers and passenger launches that cruise up and down Lake Windermere. You can arrive in style at bustling Bowness Bay, and sample the assorted delights of the tourist hub there, before journeying to the far end of the lake and exploring Ambleside. The short Islands Cruise lets you to see some of the superb scenery around the islets of Lake Windermere. Lakeside is the southern landing point for these cruises, and the pier is nearby the aquarium and the station for the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. –

Lakeside- AquariumLakes Aquarium

This enchanting aquarium houses the largest collection of freshwater fish in the country, and has won several awards. It is a fascinating and informative attraction that we would strongly recommend you take a look at. You can find it near the steamer landing point at Lakeside. –

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

Lakeside is the starting point for a captivating train journey with historic steam and diesel engines. The short branch line will whisk you into nostalgia and the green and charming Leven Valley. –

Fell Foot Park, WindermereFellfoot Park

Situated stunningly on the shores of Lake Windermere directly opposite Lakeside, Fellfoot Park is a wonderful place to spend a blissful afternoon in the sunshine. Walk and picnic in the lovely gardens, tended by the National Trust, have a coffee in the tearoom, and gaze out over the lake or take to the water in a hired rowing boat. Steamers cross from Lakeside regularly to the pier at Fellfoot.

Lakeland Motor Museum

Located in Backbarrow, this motor museum houses many vintage and classic cars, motorcyles, cycles, engines and scooters. There is a lovely riverside cafe, too, and we’re sure you will want to include an afternoon here in your itinerary. –

Lakeside- SwanHotelSwan Hotel Spa and Swimming Pool

If the sun has not come out to play, and you feel the need to pamper yourselves, the Swan Hotel at Newby Bridge offers day passes for use of its excellent swimming and leisure facilities. The hot-tub, sauna and steam room are perfect for restoring yourself after a crisp winter walk. There are spa treatments including full Swedish body massage and manicures available, and this must be one of the most relaxing things to do in Lakeside. –


One of the most pleasant ways to enjoy the Lake District’s wilderness is to set off with a rod and while away a day angling. There are many opportunities to be found for a keen fisherman, though you should always ensure the right permits and rod licences are obtained. South from Newby Bridge on the A590 brings you to High Newton and its trout fishery, an eleven acre reservoir which benefits from excellent views as well as fine fishing. Bigland Tarn is another recommended option, in the country a little to the south of Newby Bridge, and we would urge a visit to Esthwaite Water near Hawkshead, a fully stocked fishery offering shore and boat fishing.


Tourist information

A Tourist Information Centre is to be found on Glebe Road near the lake shore in Bowness-on-Windermere to the north, and you will find detailed information on what to do in Lakeside here. -

Petrol Stations

There is a petrol station at Newby Bridge. There is also one on Rayrigg Road in Bowness.


Goodly Dale Health Centre is not far away, situated between Windermere and Bowness. Westmorland General Hospital is located at Kendal. –


Oakhill Veterinary Group can be found in Windermere on Lake Road. –



Lakeside is beautifully set at the southern tip of England’s longest lake. On its eastern shore, the A592 runs north towards the central Lake District, bringing you first to Bowness-on-Windermere, full of life and engaging activities. You can also take the steamer from Lakeside if you prefer not to drive. Windermere village is connected to Bowness, and further north, at the far end of the lake, lies the walkers hub of Ambleside, which can also be reached on the steamers or via the A591. Wordsworth’s Grasmere is the next stop on that road, famously one of the most scenic in the country, then you continue to Keswick and the Northern Lakes. To the east of Lake Windermere you can find the hamlets of Near and Far Sawrey and Beatrix Potter country, and the pretty villages of Hawkshead and Coniston. South and east on the A590 takes you to the market town of Kendal, and in the back country to the east of the Lakeside area is the Lyth Valley, a peaceful, pastel-green rolling hill country crossed by narrow lanes. The Mountain Goat minibus tours are among the many options for a guided exploration of the Lakes, and offer a ‘Ten Lakes Spectacular’ and a more concise highlights trip around South Lakeland. –

Eating & Drinking


The countryside of the Lakeside area and the nearby Lyth Valley contains many hidden gems in terms of gastro-pubs and hotel restaurants, while Lakeland towns like Bowness-on-Windermere offer a wide range of dining options, from chic cafes and modern eateries to traditional inns and takeaways. At Newby Bridge, the Swan Hotel offers an excellent menu in comfortable surroundings, and we would suggest a visit to the Masons Arms at Strawberry Bank over the hill in the Lyth Valley, too.

Please follow the link below for a list of eating places we think are worth checking out around the area:



Lakeside is beautifully set at the southern end of Lake Windermere. There are footpath, bridleways, and excellent walking in abundance. The wooded valleys contain plenty of opportunities to spend a day on a happy ramble, and the higher hills of the central lakes are just a short car ride away. Anyone deciding what to do in Lakeside will put simply wandering the countryside and the little back lanes high on their agenda. Below we list a few of our favourite walks in the area:

High Dam

North of Finsthwaite, a National Trust car park sets you off on a fairly short walk uphill through woodlands to the pretty tarns of High Dam. On a fine day, we would suggest a picnic by the higher of the tarns, and leaving the main paths to find lovely views of the lake on the hillside behind. 1 hr.

Gummer's Howe, WindermereGummer’s How

We would say that this is a must-do walk near the southern end of Lake Windermere. The low peak of Gummer’s How is easily accessed from a small car park on the little road climbing up from the A592. The ascent is quite short, though some parts are rough and steep. At the summit, there are superb views over the lake and surrounding landscapes, and you can experience the pleasure of conquering higher fells for much less effort. 1 ½ hrs.


A multitude of winding trails wend their way through the trees of Grizedale. The forest is great for mountain-biking, and cycles can be hired at the visitor centre near Satterthwaite. This centre is a good place to start your walk, and there are colour coded marked trails of various lengths to follow. The trees give good cover in rainy or windy conditions, and various high points can be reached to give views over the surrounding area.

Further Afield


Go Ape, Grizedale

For an adventurous day out, we recommend a trip up the western side of Lake Windermere to Satterthwaite near Hawkshead, where you will find Grizedale forest and the Tarzan swings, rope bridges and zip-wires of Go Ape in the tree tops. This attraction combines superb scenery with thrilling action, and comes highly recommended by us at Lakelovers. Good walking and cycling is also to be had at Grizedale, and there is an excellent visitor centre where you can hire bikes. –

South Lakes Wild Animal Park

One of the most interactive zoos to be found anywhere, you are bound to be captivated by the variety of animals, and just how close you can get to them. It is even possible to feed giraffes and penguins, walk amongst lemurs, wallabies and emus, and see lions, tigers, bears, hippos and all manner of other animals up close. There is a mini-train ride, which is bound to appeal to kids, and a great gift shop and cafe. –


You will always remember your day on the hills if you go on a self-drive guided off-road safari with Kankku. The combination of adrenalin-fuelled 4×4 action and a tour through some incredible Lakeland scenery is an irresistible one, and we suggest you give in to it at the earliest opportunity. –

The World of Beatrix Potter

Children can meet Peter Rabbit and friends, and explore the secrets of Mr. McGregor’s garden in this enchanting exhibition. Adults will love it, too, and it is located only a short drive away in Bowness-on-Windermere. –

Glebe Recreation Ground

For a fun day out with the family, why not take a trip to Bowness-on-Windermere. The Glebe is an extensive open parkland area near to Lake Windermere and things to do include putting green, crazy golf, superb 18-hole pitch-and-putt course, and tennis courts. The park is ideal for picnicking or lazing in the sunshine, and there are plenty of ice-cream opportunities here.

Royalty Cinema

If you are looking to take in the latest movies, nearby Bowness has its own cinema. The Royalty maintains a wonderfully traditional feel, with many period features. There is another cinema in Ambleside, Zeffirellis, which also has an excellent jazz bar. –

Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre

The area surrounding Lake Windermere is rich in things to do, and outdoor activities abound. This centre combines onshore activities with water-based fun. Try out windsurfing, kayaking and sailing, orienteering, Nordic walking, navigation and rock climbing, all under the expert supervision of qualified instructors. –

Brockhole Visitor Centre

Go north towards Ambleside to find The Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole. It’s worth the run from Lakeside and things to do include pony rides, trails and orienteering, a tree-top trek, mini-golf, and a pleasant ramble through the extensive gardens and grounds. –

Getting to lakeside


The area is easily accessed from the main north south artery in the North West, the M6 motorway. Leave at Junction 36 and travel along the A590 as if heading to Barrow and Ulverston to Newby Bridge and the Lakeside region, or else pass by Kendal, taking the A591 towards Windermere, and from there follow the A592 down the eastern shore of the lake. Windermere rail station is the closest option for train travellers, though you could take a bus from Kendal on the A590, too. Buses a run regularly along all the main Lake District roads, and information on bus timetables can be found here: