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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!

Burning Creativity

The Art of Charcoal

The Art of Charcoal Workshop

Enjoy a day reliving the old Cumbrian industry of charcoal production. The morning will focus on you making your own charcoal from locally sourced wood and then move on to discovering how to use your charcoal to create drawings inspired by the surrounding woodland. As well as preparing and baking the wood to make charcoal, you will learn about the history of the ancient craft of charcoal making in the Windermere area. All materials and equipment will be provided and you will get to take home your own hand made charcoal.

This is a hands on, practical, messy and creative day to give you (or someone else as a unique gift) a lively and enriching experience, supported throughout the day with experts.

This event takes place at 10am-4pm on 17 July at the National Trust’s Footprint Building at St Catherine’s near Windermere.

Master Your Camera

Landscape Photography Weekend

On this two day workshop you will learn the key techniques to improve your landscape photography. We will look at composition, use of filters, long exposure techniques together with how to use a few simple steps in photo editing software to create stunning landscape images.
Landscape Photography Weekend
This workshop is for those with some experience and participants should have a good working knowledge of their camera.

This will be a mixture of tutor led demonstrations, hands on use of camera controls and software demonstrations.

On Day 2 we will spend the whole day in the field practicing the techniques that you have learnt on Day 1.

By the end of the session you will understand how composition, the use of light and exposure can enhance your landscape photography.

This event takes place at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal on Sat 14th & Sun 15th of July, 10.30am – 4.30pm each day

More info and book tickets here

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

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.

Mylne Bridge House

Mylne Bridge House

No children under 5 years. Quiet location but central with a relaxed atmosphere and good hospitality. High standard of housekeeping, excellent breakfasts. Unobstructed parking for each room. Free fishing permits (subject to availability).

Lingmoor Guest House

Lingmoor Guest House

Lingmoor is a beautiful Victorian guesthouse in Windermere in the heart of the English lakes only 200 metres from Windermere railway/coach and bus station. Wi-Fi throughout. Choice of breakfast. Recently refurbished rooms.

Rockside Guest House exterior

Rockside Guest House

Rockside is a quirky 4-star quality guest house, located less than 2 minutes walk from the bus and train station. Rooms are all en suite, modern and individually styled. Friendly relaxed atmosphere and a home from home environment.

Brook House

Brook House

Welcome to Brook House - A Lakeland stone Victorian guest house built in 1892. Offering Bed & freshly cooked breakfast from our varied menu.

Beech Hill Hotel

Beech Hill Hotel

The Beech Hill Hotel is situated on the banks of lake Windermere. We have 57 bedrooms that have been refurbished to a high standard. Our AA rosette-awarded restaurant offers 2 delicious menus of local and seasonal produce.

Rose How 1

Yewfield Vegetarian Guest House

An impressive Gothic and towered house, dating back to 1859. Set in 80 acres of grounds by the beauty spot of Tarn Hows, Hawkshead.

Camping & Caravanning Club - Windermere

Windermere Camping and Caravanning Club

All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the plentiful wildlife and the wonderful views, and to round off the day, a meal at the 4* rated pub restaurant, The Whistling Pig.

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.

Tower Bank Arms

Tower Bank Arms

Tower Bank Arms is a small country inn featured in the tale of Jemima Puddleduck by Beatrix Potter and next door to Hill Top her former home. A traditional country pub with log fire and flag floors.

Haisthorpe House

Haisthorpe House

Haisthorpe House is a delightful 6 bedroom Victorian guest house situated in a quiet residential area located a short walk from Windermere's village centre and the shores of Lake Windermere.

Oaklands Guest House

Oaklands Guest House

Large spacious rooms with superb quality pocket sprung beds and quality fittings, fresh local produce used for breakfast.

Cragwood Country House Hotel

Cragwood Country House Hotel

Nestled on the shores of England’s longest and most beautiful lake you will find Cragwood Country House Hotel, set in its own twenty-acre estate of beautiful landscaped gardens and woodland, with stunning views overlooking Lake Windermere

Lakeland Lodge

Lakeland Lodge

Set in the magnificent Troutbeck Valley above Windermere, Lakeland Lodge truly has it all on its doorstep

Woodside Cottage

Woodside Cottage

Woodside Cottage provides a fantastic base to explore the Lake District. Sleeping 6 and dog friendly it is located only a few minutes from Newby Bridge. A 250 year old cottage which has been beautifully restored.

Applegarth Villa & JR's Restaurant

Applegarth Villa & Restaurant

A Victorian mansion house set in the heart of Windermere. Fifteen individually designed bedrooms, many enjoying excellent views towards the lake and fells. A family-run hotel which is rich with historical interest.

Low Cleabarrow

Low Cleabarrow

Original lakeland farmhouse set in rural surroundings on the outskirts of Bowness refurbished to a high standard.

Thorneyfield Guest House

Thorneyfield Guest House

Thorneyfield Guest House is a typical Victorian Lakeland town house, it is situated close to the town centre but also along many walking and cycling routes. There are many cafes and restaurants nearby

Spoon Hall Caravans

Spoon Hall Caravans

Spoon Hall Caravans is a quiet family run farm site with beautiful views over Coniston water. Nearly 1 mile from Coniston village in a good area for walking and touring the Lakes.

Howe Farm Bed & Breakfast

Howe Farm Bed & Breakfast

Howe Farm is a traditional working farm offering quality accommodation and spectacular views over Esthwaite water. A warm welcome is assured.

P1040906

Duckling Cottage, Pullwood Bay

Duckling Cottage is one of a small cluster of cottages, located at the entrance to the fifty acre prestigious Pullwood Bay Estate just 2 miles from Ambleside.

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

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