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Sneak peek - Windermere Jetty Museum set to create waves!

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Not a mere Jetty – See Windermere in a whole new light.

Well, it turns out that being part of the Cumbria Tourism team has even more up sides than just the scenic commute, the bloomin’ fabulous people and being able to boast about all things Lake District, Cumbria everyday (I know, as if that’s not already enough)…last week we got the pleasure of taking a sneak preview of the stunning Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories, ahead of the doors opening to the public this Saturday 23rd March 2019.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

Windermere Jetty is located on the site of the former Windermere Steamboat Museum founded by steam enthusiast George Pattinson in 1977 and closed in 2006. Before that it was a sand and gravel works.

Lakeland Arts Trust was chosen to look after the collection and to commission a masterplan for this brand-new site, and a masterplan it is. The stunning, contemporary cluster of 7 buildings, catch your attention instantly, and there’s definitely something to be said for creating such an impression before you even make it inside.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

With the excitement well and truly built, you’re not disappointed as the vast glass doors glide open into the bright, spacious reception area, where knowledgeable and friendly staff assist on how best to make your way through the building and be sure not to miss a moment of this perfectly curated experience.

Your eye is drawn straight out to the water through a cleverly positioned window framing a view of the lake. The Douglas Fir clad walls not only give the space a fresh wood aroma, but create the feeling of being inside a highly crafted boat or contemporary concert hall.

Next our gaze is drawn to the ceiling where a magnificent Windermere skiff is suspended, transformed with lights into something sculptural.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories
When we finally tear ourselves away from the boutique style gift shop, a fascinating collection of boats, equipment and interactive displays lies waiting. From Victorian steam launches to one of the oldest motorboats in the world, steam whistles and a divers’ suit, to Beatrix Potter’s own tarn boat that she used to sketch in; Windermere Jetty, Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories brings together 200 years of life on the lake in a tactile and engaging way.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

Video clips and interactive displays took us back to ice skaters on Lake Windermere, and boat makers stories, while the unmissable 50 foot luxuriously- designed Victorian steam launch ‘Branksome’ sits proudly at the centre of the room. With floor to ceiling windows, we took plenty of time making our way through the exhibition, unable to continue without regular pauses for the surrounding views.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories
A subtle yet enticing smell of wood and varnish carries you out to the unique open access conservation workshop, where at the time of our visit, a member of the skilled conservation team, worked away on restoring a beautiful boat from the 1960s that had been recently found and last used in 1966, retaining its original features. It was beautiful and somewhat therapeutic to watch the care and detail taken in conserving an item that would have otherwise been lost to history.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

Nothing though could have prepared us for the spectacular Boathouse, where the lake and the building meet in harmony. This is the heart of the cluster of buildings and a completely unique museum experience.

The beautiful heritage boats bob gently on the water, the picturesque lake framed by the equally striking Boathouse. You could lose some serious time just standing and taking the atmosphere, sights, smells and sounds of the lake.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories
Though seeing the boats is memorable enough in its own right, when booked in advance you can also hop aboard one of these unique vessels for a trip out on the lake. It really does just get better and better.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

After a visit to the Learning Centre, a dedicated space for workshops, school trips, talks and experiences, we jumped at the chance to sit, eat, and drink in the café, with its incredible views stretching out over Windermere, serving local produce made and inspired by the Lake District, Cumbria, it was the perfect opportunity to absorb our experience. Once sat with a hot drink and sweet treat it was a mission to get us moving, wishing we could simply stay all day and let the rest of the world melt away.

Follow the stories @windermerejetty

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats Steam & Stories opens on Saturday 23 March.

Adults £9. Child (u16) £7
Under 4’s free.
1 Adult family ticket (1 adult uo to 3 children) £18
2 Adult Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) £27

Entrance to the café and shop is free
Heritage Boat trip £10
Parking charges: Museum visitors £4, parking only £10 for the full day.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

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