Things to do in Windermere, Lake District | Lakelovers

About Windermere

Things to do in Windermere

The branch line from Oxenholme station stops here. Plus you can find our own headquarters amidst the iconic slate-built cottages. This is a small, friendly, traditional Lakeland community. Yet Windermere also feels sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Modern cafes and eateries dot the little streets. Plus there are many excellent independent stores and gift shops.

The Lakeland hills are all around you, and the wonderful lake frontage of Bowness Bay is moments away. Windermere is our own home for good reason. We are sure it will become a second home for you, too. As well as being the ideal base for exploring the wider Lake District, there are top attractions and things to do in Windermere village itself and close by.

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Total Adventure total adventure logo

Total Adventure offer a hire service of Canoes, Bikes, Kayaks and SUPs. Explore the Lake District by land or water while having fun and getting some exercise!

Mountain Goat Tours

Mountain Goat minibus tours have their main booking office in Windermere village, opposite our main offices. Professional guides will escort you and your party around the very best of the Lake District in ease and comfort. The company is highly experienced, and offer a range of tailored trips. Trips include their ‘Ten Lake Spectacular’, and shorter taster adventures. A lovely way to spend a day or two when you stay in one of Lakelovers’ Windermere cottages. –


Wonderfully exhilarating guided off-road 4×4 tours. Drive your very own specially prepared vehicle over mountain tracks. Experience the Lake District in a thrilling and alternative way. You can find the Kankku offices near the train station and Booths supermarket, and our own office on Victoria Street. –

Lakeland Ltd

A visit to the well-known kitchenware specialist is a must for all those with a culinary bent. This branch is the flagship store for the company, located past the rail station. The cafe upstairs is rightfully popular. –

Windermere Lake Cruises

No checklist of what to do in Windermere would be complete without a cruise on the lake which gives the town its name. Head down to Bowness pier, where steamers and passenger launches take you to Ambleside in the north and Lakeside in the south. This is a wonderful way to explore the beauty of England’s longest lake. You may wish to consider the Islands Cruise, which takes you round the pretty little islets scattered across Windermere. –

Blackwell Arts and Crafts Historic House, WindermereBlackwell Arts and Craft House

Built by Baillie Scott, Blackwell Arts and Craft House is a treasure trove of furniture from the turn of the last century. The terraced gardens, designed by Thomas Mawson, offer superb views over the lake to the Coniston hills. –

Bowness Bay Marina

Go to the waterfront in Bowness and hire your very own boat. Cruise the tranquil waters of Lake Windermere under your own steam. The marina on Glebe Road offers electrically-powered craft that are easily handled. They allow you to explore the lake for an hour, half a day, or a full day. –

The World of Beatrix Potter

Wondering what to do in Windermere with your children? Lakelovers recommend a visit to this charming exhibition. It brings Beatrix Potter’s celebrated tales to vivid life. Youngsters will always remember their encounter with Benjamin Bunny, Peter Rabbit and friends. Plus they can even explore Mr. MacGregor’s garden. You may wish to take the car ferry across to Sawrey and visit Miss Potter’s home at Hilltop. –

Crags Adventures

Climbing Rocks, Abseiling & Ghyll Scrambling in the Lake District –


Tourist information

The Tourist Information Centre and Cafe is situated on Victoria Street near the our offices and the rail station. It is full of more great ideas for things to do in Windermere. –


There is a Co-op on Oak Street and several other convenience stores. Booths supermarket, near the train station and opposite our offices, offers high quality groceries. There are supermarkets in Kendal, including Morrisons, Asda, and Aldi.

Petrol Stations

There is a petrol station on Main Road in the town centre, and further on Rayrigg Road in Bowness, south on the A591 at Troutbeck Bridge and north at Ings.


Goodly Dale Health Centre lies off the main road between Windermere and Bowness. Westmorland General Hospital is located at Kendal. –


Oakhill Veterinary Group have a practice situated on Lake Road in Windermere. –


Pay and display car parks are located at Broad Street and at Station Precinct by the rail station. On-road parking around the town centre is time limited, so please be sure to read the signs on the street where you leave your car.



Windermere- Canoeing

The A591 winds north to the walking hub of Ambleside and Wordsworth’s Grasmere. If you venture down the east shore of England’s longest lake, past Bowness, you can find the hamlet of Newby Bridge at the bottom end of Lake Windermere. Things to do including a visit to the Lakes Aquarium and a ride on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway.

Taking the car ferry straight across the water lets you explore Sawrey and Beatrix Potter country. Heading south on the A591 takes you to the market town of Kendal. It offers supermarkets and other shopping opportunities. South of Bowness in the rolling back-country, the Lyth Valley is peaceful and beautiful. While a drive through the charming Troutbeck valley takes you to the steep Kirkstone Pass. This provides a stunning drive, and access north-east to lovely Ullswater. Windermere is perfectly placed for touring by bus, too. If you want to take it easy and put your adventures in the hands of expert guides, we would recommend The Mountain Goat minibus tours. The main booking office is in Windermere, close to Lakelovers’ own offices. Their day trips include a tour of Beatrix Potter country and a ‘Ten Lakes Spectacular’. –

Eating & Drinking


Lighthouse Restaurant WindermereWindermere is a bustling small town, and offers many good options for food and drink. Hooked is a well-rated fish restaurant located in Ellerthwaite Square. Francine’s offers excellent Mediterranean fare on Main Road, while El Porton is a first-class Spanish restaurant on High Street. The Golden Mountain is a Chinese restaurant offering takeaway, and can be found on Victoria Road. The Prince of India provides an Indian option, and The Little Chippy on Beech Street sells traditional fish-and-chips. For coffee, we would suggest visiting The Lighthouse, also a great option for food. Or else Homeground Coffee and Kitchen, both on Main Road.

Please follow the link below for more detailed recommendations on places to eat out in Windermere during your stay: 



Windermere is well situated for lower and higher level walking. It is located between the central Lakeland fells of the north and the level country of the lush Lyth Valley and Newby Bridge region of the south. there is something for all tastes and abilities in this beautiful area. Mountain bikers can enjoy a fantastic day in the woods on the slopes of Wansfell between Windermere and Ambleside. Or can cross the car ferry to Sawrey and nearby Claife Heights. In Ambleside you will find a fine selection outdoor stores, offering everything you may need – gear, maps and guidebooks. See below for some of our favourite local routes:

Windermere Cottages - Things to DoOrrest Head

This was the first peak walked by legendary Lake District rambler and writer Alfred Wainwright, and we can see why it inspired him to begin his Lakeland odyssey. The views are simply breathtaking, and do not require hours of effort to discover. The track is well-established, and the start of the walk is clearly signed from the top of Windermere Village on the main road.1 hr.

School Knott

A small peak overlooking Windermere village, School Knott summit can be reached via country lanes and rolling pasture-land, and a little tarn that provides a lovely picnicking opportunity. Once at the top, you will enjoy wonderful views over the village and lake. 1 hr.

Troutbeck Round/Wansfell

You can create a walk of various lengths and heights in stunning hills and woods above Lake Windermere. The most well-trodden route takes you towards Ambleside over the lower slopes and loops back round over the rocky peak of Wansfell. You can also choose to do either the steep fell walk or the leveller track separately. Start from Troutbeck village near the post office. 2-3 hrs.

Adelaide Hill and Millerground

Once visited by Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV, and named in her honour, Adelaide Hill and nearby Millerground offer a short but varied walk with terrific views across Lake Windermere. You will find some excellent places to picnic and relax amid meadows, hillside, wooded shoreline, and there are even waterfalls here. Lakelovers strongly recommend following in Queen Adelaide’s footsteps during your stay in one of our Windermere cottages. Go to the bottom of Birthwaite Road from Windermere village, and turn right, parking in the car park that lies a little way along Rayrigg Road. ¾ hr.

Gummer’s How

Towards the bottom end of the lake, Gummer’s How provides a short but rewarding ascent. The car park on the road running up the side of the hill from the A592 starts you off part way up the hill, and though the peak is rocky and steep in places, the views more than make up for any exertion. 1 ½ hours.

Further Afield


Brockhole Visitor Centre

Take a short car journey north of Windermere and things to do are in abundance at the Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole. The centre offers an excellent introduction to the region, and you can enjoy pony rides, tree-top treks, mini-golf, trails and orienteering, or simply wander in the lovely gardens. –

Holehird Gardens

Holehird Gardens are tended by the Lakeland Horticultural Society, and you will want to spend some tranquil moments here admiring the beautiful trees, shrubs, and flower garden, just a few minutes away from Windermere itself, on the road to Troutbeck. –

Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre

Learn about kayaking, windsurfing and sailing with the guidance of fully qualified instructors. You can also decide to stay ashore and enjoy orienteering, navigation, Nordic walking, or rock climbing.

Sail and Dine

Enjoy fine dining on board a luxury sailing yacht, and glide over beautiful Lake Windermere to add that dash of romance to your Lake District holiday. –

Fell Foot Park

This Victorian country park is located near the southern end of Lake Windermere, and provides some of the finest lake access and views available. A great choice for picnicking and playing, and an afternoon spent here is perhaps one of the most pleasant things to do near Windermere during your stay. There is an adventure playground and you can hire boats from the Boathouse Cafe. –

Getting to windermere


Daffodils at Lake WindermereLeave the M6 motorway at Junction 36 and pass Kendal, following the A591 straight through to Windermere. Windermere rail station is the final stop on the branch line from Oxenholme, by Kendal, which itself is on the west coast mainline. Buses run frequently from Kendal and Lancaster. Information on bus timetables in the Lake District can be found below: