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Windermere & Bowness

Windermere is the perfect Lakeland destination all year round. With the shores of the lake so close, you are never short of fantastic scenery or leisure activities. Several local viewpoints offer panoramic views of both the lake and more distant mountains. 

The towns of Windermere and Bowness at the heart of the Lake District have been a magnet for visitors since Victorian times. With easy access to the lake shore of Windermere and panoramic views of the lake and surrounding fells, the area remains just as popular today. Access to the lake is actually made 1 mile further from Windermere town centre at Bowness-On-Windermere.

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Merewood Country House Hotel

Merewood Country House Hotel

Set in its own secluded, twenty-acre estate of beautiful landscaped gardens, woodland and meadow, and with stunning views overlooking Lake Windermere, it’s hard to resist a relaxing Lake District break at Merewood.

Briery Wood Country House Hotel

Briery Wood Country House Hotel

Moments from the eastern shores of Lake Windermere and set in seven acres of beautiful secluded gardens and woodland lies Briery Wood. The informal and friendly service is so good you’ll hardly notice it.

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

1881 Restaurant

Windermere Hydro Hotel

Overlooking Lake Windermere, The Hydro Hotel is perfectly situated for both leisure and business guests now offering 78, en suite bedrooms, all with differing design and style. We also have a lovely indoor pool as well.

Lyndale Guest House

Lyndale Guest House

Lyndale Guesthouse is nestled midway between lake Windermere and Ambleside village with superb views of Loughrigg fell and the Langdales beyond. Lake Windermere is 5 minutes stroll away.

MacDonald Old England Hotel & Spa

Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

The Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa stands right on the shore of Windermere and boasts unrivalled views of England's largest lake.

The Hideaway at Windermere

The Hideaway at Windermere

Located down a quiet country lane close to Windermere village. Personally owned by Richard & Lisa Gornall.

Virginia Cottage

Virginia Cottage Guest House

Virginia Cottage is a traditional Lakeland guest house in a convenient location 200 meters from Lake Windermere, and ideally positioned for guests to tour the lakes and mountains of Cumbria.

Oakfold House

Oakfold House

Beautiful, award-winning Victorian guest house with many original features situated within a few minutes walk of lake Windermere and amenities of Bowness. Lovely garden and private car park. Non smoking. Free wi-fi use.

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.

The Homestead Lodge

The Homestead Lodge

Enjoy the luxury of staying in your own private lodge with all the benefits of bed & breakfast accommodation. Picturesque lake and mountain views.

Burnside Park

Burnside Park

Set in the heart of the Lake District National Park, in mature gardens, yet only 300 metres from the promenade, steamer piers and bustling village centre of Bowness-on-Windermere.

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.

Storrs Gate House

Storrs Gate House

Bed and Breakfast of the Year, Cumbria Tourism Awards 2009. Storrs Gate House has a five star grading with Visit Britain. Vince and Shirley welcome you to our luxury family run country guest house, situated opposite lake Windermere.

Squirrel Bank Cottage

Squirrel Bank Cottage

Squirrel Bank Cottage has recently been redesigned and refurbished into a lovely ground floor cottage. This self contained cottage is set in a peaceful location but minutes away from the bustling village of Bowness and Lake Windermere.

Glenburn Hotel

The Glenburn Hotel & Restaurant

Small contemporary hotel close to Windermere with 16 en suite guest rooms. Bar/Lounge and restaurant. Parking on site and free wi fi throughout. Guests also have free use of Leisure spa and pool in Bowness

The Lamplighter Dining Rooms

The Lamplighter ~ Dining Rooms

The family run Lamplighter Dining Rooms offers the very best in accommodation in the Lake District.

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.

Wheatlands Lodge

Wheatlands Lodge

Ample private parking. Newly refurbished to offer a variety of rooms with 4-poster, double, king size and super king size beds, and jacuzzi baths and showers. All in a peaceful setting off the main road. Free Wi-Fi.

Inside one of our guest bedrooms

The Queens Head

The Queens Head features a cosy drinking area with newly-refurbished dining areas and 10 comfortable en-suite guest bedrooms providing the perfect base for guests to Cumbria and, of course, their four-legged companions.

Howbeck Guest House

The Howbeck Guest House

For accommodation, The Howbeck truly is a once discovered, never forgotten place to stay. A delightful Lake District retreat where the warmth and friendliness of staff is always apparent.

Fair Rigg

Fair Rigg

Fair Rigg is a fine Victorian Guest House enjoys a rural setting on the edge of Bowness, with magnificent views up the lake to the fells beyond, It retains many period features and is very well furnished and decorated and has 5* reviews.

Burn How Garden House Hotel

Burn How Garden House Hotel

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.

Room 4

Rosemount

Rosemount is an elegant, Lakeland stone house built in 1884. We have a friendly atmosphere, our beds are crisp and comfortable and our full English breakfasts are extremely tasty particularly the sausages!

Pine Tops Windermere Self Catering
Views from Lindeth Fell Country House
Lake-view pool at Beech Hill

Things to do

What's on

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There are a variety of events taking place in and around the Windermere area.

From arts and culture exhibitions to shore-side music events, check out what is on during your visit and browse the events of most interest to you.

Surrounding Areas

High Dam, Newby Bridge
High Dam, Newby Bridge
Glebe Park

Culture and Heritage

Windermere
Windermere
Fell Foot

There are 14 islands in the lake, the largest of which is Belle Isle (formerly known as Longholme). In 1250 it was the seat of the Lord of the Manor and a Royalist stronghold during the Civil War.

In 1774 an unusual circular house was erected on the island, which was sold (along with the island) to the wealthy Curwen family who renamed the island after their daughter, Isabella.

The lake has long been used as a highway for the transport of stone, minerals, charcoal and woollen cloth. A ferry service has operated across the narrowest point of the lake (Bowness to Ferry House on the western shore) since the 15th century.

The earliest craft were large rowing boats that carried people and animals, with passengers expected to help with the rowing. In 1870 the first ferry to run on underwater cables was introduced; a 20 minute service now provided by the modern Mallard ferry.

By the 19th century, wealthy businessmen from the urban areas began to regard the Lakes as a haven of scenic tranquility, acquiring grand country retreats. Belsfield (now a hotel) was bought by the iron magnate, Henry William Schneider, in 1869 as a commuter home (he built a jetty at the bottom of the garden so he could sail to Lakeside in his steamboat, Esperance).

Storrs Hall was acquired by John Bolton in 1806 on proceeds from the slave trade. Brockhole, built in the late 1880s by Henry Gaddum, a wealthy silk merchant from Manchester, became a convalescent home before opening as the National Park Visitor Centre in 1969.

And lastly, Blackwell, an architectural gem from the Arts and Crafts era, was commissioned by Sir Edward Holt, a wealthy brewer from Manchester.

Pony treking

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