Why The North Lakes Has It All
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If you have decided to spend your Lake District holiday in Windermere then you have made the right choice. Windermere is brimming with things to do; from walking and eating to drinking and shopping, the possibilities are endless. On this page you will find a guide of places to visit while staying in this beloved area.
We don’t believe in saving the best until last here at Lakelovers…so let’s start with the best; Food and drink.
We have compiled a list of our favourite places to spend the night eating and drinking in Windermere; from relaxed and romantic to formal and extravagant.It is hard to decide on where to eat in Windermere and Bowness; there is so much choice! That’s why we’re here to help you… and the best part is this list has been constructed by our local staff. So here they are, in no particular order:
Homeground – the brunch specialists
If you are looking for a tasty meal to start your day look no further than Homeground, it is the perfect spot for a delightful break-feast or even just a frothy coffee and a slice of cake – right in the centre of Windermere. There isn’t much seating but it is definitely worth the stomach grumbling wait for a table.
Cafe Italia – Relaxed and central
Cafe Italia is a fairly relaxed spot with friendly staff and a varying menu – although their pizzas are our favourite. It’s a great place to sit with a glass of wine and watch the world pass by, being in the centre of Windermere there is a lot of people watching to be done. Seating is on two floors as well as outside, which is brilliant on summer evenings.
Bodega – Tapas in Bowness
Located in Bowness, which is only a 15 minute walk or a 5 minute taxi journey from the centre of Windermere (there are also regular buses). Bodega is a bar with a relaxed atmosphere, it is very misleading – you would assume it is a local bar from the outside but they have the most delicious Tapas menu it is definitely worth the short journey to Bowness!
The Fizzy Tarte – Formal fizz
The Fizzy Tarte present the most stunning afternoon tea, specialising in mostly drinks and desserts it is a superb spot for an after-dinner drink. The low-lighting adds to the romantic atmosphere in this upmarket establishment, complete with heat lamps and a shelter for those winter days.
The Crafty Baa – The locals choice
This cosy little pub takes prime position just a 2 minute walk from Windermere train station, don’t miss it on your way in – you’ll regret it! The extensive menu is inviting to lovers-of-ale and even has something for those who aren’t so keen. The Crafty Baa is even complete with a small beer garden to lap up the Lake District sun.
Just Good Food – A walkers paradise
Just Good Food is the new kid on the block – although this fact hasn’t stopped it from becoming a favourite of local and visiting outdoor enthusiasts. This little find is a rarity in Windermere – because they actually concentrate on providing customers with speedy, healthy (Just Good) take-away food! We recommend the burritos and hot meals, they are truly satisfying after a day in the hills.
The Wild Boar – not your average afternoon tea
Now the Wild Boar is a little bit of a drive from Windermere, but we couldn’t miss it off our list. Situated in the pretty hamlet of Crook, the Wild Boar is a grill and smokehouse restaurant serving up some of the best steaks and burgers we’ve ever tasted. We would also reccommend the Wild Boar Afternoon Tea – no ordinary afternoon tea! They serve up mini sliders, skinny fries, scotch eggs and more on this meaty platter of goodness. They also have vegetarian options too.
Next on the list is walks. We have decided to choose just a few of our favourite walks, because as much as we love the Lake District and its fabulous array of walks; we don’t want to baffle you with them all at once. We will be sharing with you: our favourite walk from Windermere Village, the walk with the best view of Windermere Lake (in our opinion), the best child friendly walk in Windermere and also the best dog friendly walk in Windermere.
The Windermere Village Walk – Orrest Head
Orrest head is not a difficult walk, it’s great for beginners! Don’t get us wrong it fits into all of the above categories, but it is by far our favourite walk from the centre of Windermere and also a fabulous picnic spot. You could easily pass the entrance of this walk, but it is visible from the exit of the train station – so why not stretch your legs after your journey and give Orrest Head a go, we promise you won’t be disappointed.
A walk with a view of Windermere Lake – Wansfell Pike
Now this one also fits into all of the above categories, but it does provide you with a dazzling view of Windermere Lake (if you make it all the way of course). Wansfell Pike is definitely not a flat walk, but I suppose you wouldn’t be expecting that in the Lakes. There are many routes you can take but we would recommend driving to your starting point via the Troutbeck Bridge back lane and parking up at the foot of the walk. Pick a clear day for this walk and you will be able to see an extensive view of Windermere Lake.
A child friendly walk – Explore quieter shore of Windermere
The kids will be excited at the thought of taking a short cruise (with Windermere Cruises – Lakelovers guests receive 10% off) across the Lake to reach the hamlet of Wray; where their excitement levels will rise once they notice the stunning Wray Castle. You will then you go on to starting your easy going walk along the lake shore, with luscious woodland and grassy areas along the way. This walk is enjoyable and should be a fair bit quieter than your starting point.
A dog friendly walk – School Knott
A walk favoured by the locals unlike the earlier mentioned Orrest Head; School Knott is much more relaxed walk with absolutely fabulous views over Windermere (on a clear day). You don’t even need a car for this walk, this fell lies to the east end of Windermere Village and hides a beautiful tarn. It’s a pretty difficult entrance to find so we’ve come up with some brief directions. Head towards High Lickbarrow, down Lickbarrow Road and take a look at our map (to the right) which should help you figure out the rest of the walk…
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