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Lakes Culture World Heritage Signature Experiences - Ambleside, Windermere & Kendal (Bridge House picture: 'The Bridge House, Ambleside' by Kurt Schwitters 1945. Courtesy of the Armitt Trust)
Lakes Culture World Heritage Signature Experiences - Ambleside, Windermere & Kendal (Bridge House picture: 'The Bridge House, Ambleside' by Kurt Schwitters 1945. Courtesy of the Armitt Trust)

World Heritage Signature Experiences
Ambleside, Windermere & Kendal

Since 1847, with the arrival of the railway, this south Lakes area has been a popular visitor destination; not least because it is home to England’s longest and largest natural lake – Windermere. You can arrive by train at Oxenholme Station near Kendal in less than three hours from London and 1.5 hours from Manchester making it a perfect place to feel like you’re really getting away from the busy built up cities.

With our partners Lakes Culture, we have selected some authentic and creative ways for you to experience some of the hidden treasures these popular Cumbrian places hold. You could also mix in a few Signature Experiences from our other selections!

A Masterpiece

Blackwell - The Arts & Crafts House

An artistic masterpiece that can’t be seen in a gallery

Blackwell is a masterpiece of the Arts & Crafts Movement lovingly and beautifully created by renowned architect MH Ballie Scott and located in an equally stunning setting overlooking England’s longest lake and the Lake District mountains beyond.

The place is one of beauty with many contemporary arts and crafts on show and for sale – linking our cultural heritage with today’s creative spirit. Families are welcome especially during the school holidays when there are lively activities in place to help children get involved in the history of house, including a Children's Trail activity sheet to help them explore. The freshly baked cakes in the Tea Room are a must!

More info and book tickets

Explosive History

Uncover our explosive history in Langdale and see what remains today

The industries that used to take place in the Lake District have had a profound impact on the way the landscape looks today.

Download this self-guided walk around the Langdale Estate and learn about the gunpowder history of the area and what the buildings you see today were used for.

See authentic blast walls, machinery and photographs to help you to imagine the dangerous and sometimes fatal life of Lakeland workers in the 19th century.

Download route map

Self-Guided walk around Langdale, with Lakes Culture

Change how you see things

Windermere Lake Cruises

Instead of looking at the lake from the land, turn things around and take in the remarkable World Heritage landscape from the lake.

Many different tours are available linking the key locations around Lake Windermere and extra location stops are available during the summer season, making it a relaxing way to take in attractions such as the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Steam Railway, Brockhole Visitor Centre and the Lakes Aquarium where you can learn about local wildlife and conservation projects.

Enjoy the World Heritage scenery whilst also helping to protect it by cruising England’s largest lake and reducing your carbon footprint.

High Dam, Newby Bridge

Write your own 'talking heads'

Brewery Arts Centre

Alan Bennett, acclaimed British playwright, is known for the powerful and engaging series of monologues that were written for BBC television.

In this one-day workshop at the Brewery Arts Centre you will learn themes and techniques to create your own absorbing monologue. The Lake District has long inspired great writers of the world, maybe you’ll base your character on someone you meet during your visit?

This event takes place on 3rd March 2018

Details & book

Brewery Arts Centre

Delve deep

The Bridge House, Ambleside by Kurt Schwitters 1945. Courtesy of the Armitt Trust

Discover rare historical art and archives at The Armitt

The Armitt Museum, Gallery and Library, in the bustling town of Ambleside is a treasure trove of antique books, photographs, art and artefacts that preserve and let us share in the cultural heritage of the Lake District.

The permanent exhibition is a must for all Beatrix Potter fans; the museum holds a fantastic collection of her life and works that she bequeathed to museum from her scientific drawings to her personal first edition of her ‘little books’ she’s known for the world over. The Armitt also has the largest collection of works on permanent display in Britain of the internationally important artist Kurt Schwitters.

To get more than a glimpse of our authentic cultural history, make sure you stop by.

Find out more

Be an early Lake District tourist

Experience the
Grand Victorian Circular Tour

Accompanied by an entertaining and knowledgeable National Trust tour guide you can relive the Lake District as the early tourists did in the Victorian and Edwardian era. The full day experience includes being transported by steam train and luxury steam yacht, a delicious picnic and taking in key viewing points. We’ve added a little help from modernity to make the connections easier and more comfortable, and feel free to use your camera or phone to capture the views instead of needing to draw them in your sketchbooks.

This event takes place on 15 June and 7 Sept. Book on to one of the dates or small groups are welcome to get in touch to arrange a date.

Book and more info

Grand Victorian Circular Tour

Find places to stay

We have a collection of great places to stay around the Ambleside, Windermere and Kendal area.
Please click any of the links below to view details and book your stay.

Damson Dene Hotel

Damson Dene Hotel

Damson Dene Hotel is a 40-bedroomed hotel, restaurant and leisure centre, tucked away in one of the prettiest and most tranquil settings in the Lake District, yet only a short drive from Windermere.

Broadrayne Farm

Grasmere Independent Hostel

This small, quiet, deluxe hostel is superbly situated on a farm in the heart of the Lakes, adjacent to the Coast to Coast route. See the best of Lakeland from our doorstep

Park Cliffe Camping Pods

Park Cliffe Camping Pods

The winner of many top-quality awards, Park Cliffe is set in 25 acres of picture-postcard countryside above the eastern shores of Windermere with sweeping views across the lake.

Kings Arms

Kings Arms

The famous Kings Arms Inn is a friendly, family-run, village centre Inn. Good food, real ales and warm surroundings make this 500 year old inn an ideal stopover in the historic village of Hawkshead. Children and pets welcome.

Holmlea Guest House

Holmlea Guest House

Adult Only. Quiet location 2 mins walk to Lake Windermere, shops and restaurants. Free Wi-Fi and parking. Discounted lake cruise ticket during your stay. Highly recommended by our guests for our food, comfort, location and high standards.

Ellerdene Guest House

Ellerdene Guest House

Located in Windermere village, in the heart of the Lake District.

Riverside Cottage Views

Riverside Cottage

Riverside Cottage is a beautifully fitted three bedroom home, sleeping up to six, situated in the world famous Grasmere Village, in the heart of the Lake District National Park.

Broadrayne farm Cottages

Broadrayne Farm Cottages

Broadrayne is a traditional Lakeland Farm with a small cluster of former 17th to 19th century farm buildings nestling round a picturesque farmyard in the beautiful Vale of Grasmere.

High Wray Farm B&B

High Wray Farm B&B

This charming 17th C farmhouse has original oak beams and many original features.

The Old Vicarage

The Old Vicarage

A charming Victorian house, carefully converted and quietly tucked away in it's own wooded grounds in central Ambleside. Onsite car parking, Swimming Pool, Sauna & Hot tub etc. Overlooking Rothay Park and tucked away from traffic noise.

Spa bath room

Southview House & Indoor Pool

The Southview is a licensed guesthouse with its own indoor heated swimming pool, guest lounge, 10 en suite bedrooms including 6 superior rooms and 4 classic bedrooms

Birslack Grange Cottage

Birslack Cottage

This warm and friendly cottage for 2 has wonderful views over the Lyth Valley. An excellent place in which to chill out and relax.

Brantholme Guest House

Brantholme Guest House

Prime example of a Lakeland Victorian Villa sympathetically modernised to a very high standard, with stunning, unobstructed fell views. All rooms have super-king size beds, en suite with separate bath & shower, 40" TV & free internet.

The Castle Green Hotel in Kendal

The Castle Green Hotel in Kendal

The hotel is set in 14 acres of natural gardens and woodland yet is only 6 miles from M6 & 10 miles from Windermere and the Lake District. Recently awarded Best Western Fans Favourite for 2015 it offers modern comfort.

Ivythwaite Lodge - front garden

Ivythwaite Lodge

Spa baths and king-size four poster bedrooms make Ivythwaite Lodge the perfect romantic retreat. For those seeking peace and comfort, this family-run guest house is an ideal choice.

Walker Ground Barn

Walker Ground Barn

This converted traditional Lakeland stone barn is situated in a picturesque rural location at the end of a small lane and next to the bridle path leading to Grizedale Forrest. Sleeps 4, accepts 1 well behaved dog. Change over day Saturday.

Hartsop Fold Holiday Lodges

Hartsop Fold Holiday Lodges

Between Ullswater and Windermere. Scandanavian style lodges on a secluded site, in a quiet corner of the Lakes. Sleep up to six in all Lodges. Week, mid-week & weekend breaks available. Equipped with fitted kitchen, colour TV & free Wi-Fi.

Bank Cottage living room

Bank Cottage

Detached single storey cottage away from the traffic in mature surroundings, with garage, private parking, sunny terrace with built in bbq and gardens. Walker friendly. Suitable for visitors with minor mobility problems, as ground floor.

Burn How Garden House Hotel

Burn How Garden House Hotel

Burn How Hotel - 3 nights for 2!

The unique Burn How Hotel has individually designed rooms set in the privacy of our gardens. An oasis in the middle of bustling Bowness but only a 2-minute stroll to the village or lake Windermere.

The Wheatsheaf Inn

The Wheatsheaf Inn

In the heart of the picturesque village of Brigsteer, The Wheatsheaf Inn offers superb food, great real ales and a fantastic range of wines.

We are the Lakes
Blackwell Arts and Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere

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