The Ultimate Guide to Lake Windermere

Nestled in the stunning Lake District in North West England, Lake Windermere is a must-visit spot. It’s not just the longest lake around there, stretching more than 10.5 miles, but it’s also packed with fun things to do and see for everyone. Whether you love soaking up nature, diving into history, or chasing adventures, this place has got you covered.

What makes Lake Windermere truly special isn’t just its jaw-dropping scenery; it’s also about the lively towns and quaint villages that dot its edges. With places like Bowness-on-Windermere buzzing with activity and Ambleside steeped in history, there’s always something new to discover here.


Historical Significance of Lake Windermere

Before we dive into all the fun and interesting things you can do at Lake Windermere, it’s important to get a bit of background on why this lake is so special. In 2017, Lake Windermere along with the Lake District was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because they’re both historically and naturally significant. Nowadays, anyone who visits can dive into Lake Windermere’s deep history by checking out old houses, museums, and exhibitions that tell its story.


Lake Windermere’s Natural Beauty and Geography

Lake Windermere is also a real treat for the eyes. It’s got this calm vibe and amazing sights all around. On one side, you have the East shore where lively towns like Bowness-on-Windermere and Windermere are found. Here, folks can enjoy tasty food and cool music at night. Then there’s the Western shore on the other hand; it’s quieter but offers incredible views of both the lake itself and Morecambe Bay in the distance. To get a full sense of what makes Lake Windermere special, checking out both its shores is something every visitor should do to soak up its natural beauty and unique surroundings.

lake windermere


Planning Your Visit to Lake Windermere

When you’re thinking about heading to Lake Windermere, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Figuring out when’s the best time for your visit is key. Some folks love it when it’s busy and full of life during peak season, while others enjoy the calmness of the offseason. On top of that, making sure you’ve packed right is super important too. With comfy shoes on your feet, clothes that suit the weather, and sunscreen ready to go, you’ll be all set for an amazing trip to this beautiful place.


Best Time to Visit

When it comes to picking the best time for a trip to Lake Windermere, it boils down to what you’re looking for in your visit. From June through August, the lake is buzzing with life; there are all sorts of events and fun stuff happening around its shores. But if peace and quiet sound more appealing, consider visiting between September and early October. With fewer people around, you get a chance to experience the calm beauty of Lake Windermere at your own pace. For those into swimming or looking for something unique, September hosts the Great North Swim—an event that draws swimmers from across places—making it an exciting time to be there too. So whether you’re up for lively summer vibes or serene autumn days, Lake Windermere welcomes visitors with open arms throughout the year.


Essential Items to Pack

When you’re getting ready for a trip to Lake Windermere, remember to bring along some key things so you can have a good time without any hassles. Think about packing:

  • Shoes that won’t hurt your feet after walking or boots if you plan on hiking
  • Clothes that suit the weather, like stuff to keep dry and others to stay warm
  • Something to protect your skin from the sun and shades too
  • Bug spray
  • A bottle of water that you can fill up again

With these essentials in your bag, as you take in the beautiful views, go on walks or hikes, and try out different outdoor activities at Lake Windermere.


Transportation Options

Getting to Lake Windermere is pretty straightforward with the different ways you can travel. For those coming by train, Windermere station is your stop. It’s linked up with big cities like Manchester and London. Once you’re at the station, catching a taxi or hopping on a local bus will get you to the lake in no time. If driving is more your style, there are plenty of parking spots around Windermere, especially in places like Kendal and Ambleside. This means you’ve got the freedom to check out the lake and its nearby areas however it suits you best. Plus, for getting around locally without much hassle, taxis and buses are ready when you are.


Where to stay in Lake Windermere

For a truly memorable stay in Lake Windermere, consider us at the Swan Hotel. Nestled in the charming village of Newby Bridge, the Swan Hotel offers a blend of classic elegance and modern comfort. Guests can enjoy beautifully appointed rooms, many with views of the River Leven that connects to Lake Windermere, and dine in the hotel’s restaurant that features local Cumbrian cuisine. With its warm hospitality, spa facilities, and close proximity to the lake and other attractions, the Swan Hotel provides a serene and luxurious retreat perfect for both relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo escape, the Swan Hotel is your ideal home away from home in the Lake District. We are also the closest mooring available to the A590 and M6, with these links being much closer than Windermere Marina, perfect for those who love to travel by both land and water.



swan hotel marina


Step-by-Step Guide to Enjoying Lake Windermere

If you’re planning a trip to Lake Windermere and want to make sure you see the best parts, here’s a step-by-step guide for you. It covers everything from taking beautiful walks by the lake, and getting involved in fun water activities, to checking out nearby towns and villages. With this guide, creating unforgettable memories is what it’s all about.


Step 1: Walks Around Lake Windermere

Starting your adventure with a stroll around Lake Windermere is an amazing way to soak in the beauty of the surroundings. By kicking off at Wray Castle, you get to see this eye-catching ornamental castle and enjoy breathtaking views across the lake. From there, wandering through Grizedale Forest’s beautiful paths lets you admire its tall trees and peaceful vibe. As you walk, charming stiles and bridges pop up along your path, making everything even more picturesque. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time walking or if you’re pretty good at hiking; there are trails for everyone to take in the stunning views and calmness that Lake Windermere has to offer.


Step 2: Choosing Your Water Activities

At Lake Windermere, visitors have a ton of water activities to dive into. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful time paddleboarding or an exciting boat trip, there’s something here for everyone. You can rent a paddleboard or kayak and gently make your way across the lake’s calm waters, all while enjoying the stunning views of Lakeland scenery. For those after more of a thrill, hopping on a boat trip that spans at least a mile lets you explore various parts of the lake in depth. No matter if you’re in the mood for something laid-back or action-packed, Lake Windermere has plenty of options to match what you’re interested in.


Step 3: Exploring the Surrounding Towns and Villages

Around Lake Windermere, you’ll find some really lovely towns and villages that are worth checking out. At Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, there’s a lot to do like wandering through beautiful gardens, trying out adventure activities, and looking at exhibitions. Then there’s Haverthwaite which you shouldn’t skip either; it has this cool historic steam railway and is just so pretty to look around. Make sure not to miss Stott Park Bobbin Mill too—it’s the last bobbin mill still working in the Lake District where you can get a peek into how things were back in the day with their industrial heritage. Exploring these places gives you a much better understanding of what makes the area around Lake Windermere so special.


aerial view of lake windermere


Must-Visit Attractions Around Lake Windermere


Windermere Lake Cruises

Windermere Lake Cruises lets you see the stunning Windermere Lake in a whole new way, and it’s something everyone should try. With options like round trips, island tours, and straight paths to choose from, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. From aboard these cruises, you get an amazing view of both the lake and its surroundings that really shows off why Lakeland is so special. Plus, they offer tickets that let you combine attractions or even ‘Freedom of the Lake’ passes which means for 24 hours; you can jump on and off different cruises as much as your heart desires. So whether it’s enjoying a calm boat ride or exploring various spots around the lake that interest you most, Windermere Lake Cruises offers an unforgettable experience at Windermere Lake.


Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top House

Dive into the magical world of Beatrix Potter by taking a trip to her old place, Hill Top House. It’s nestled near Windermere and is a cosy 17th-century farmhouse that sparked the imagination behind many of her famous children’s stories. When you walk through its doors, you get to see where Beatrix Potter herself lived and check out all the original stuff and artwork that gave life to her tales. Around Hill Top House, there are gardens worth seeing too because they popped up quite a bit in Beatrix Potter’s drawings. After hanging around Hill Top House, don’t forget to visit The World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness. Over there, you can dive deeper into this cherished author’s life story and see how her characters jump off the page.


lakeside town


Local Cuisine and Dining Experiences

Lake Windermere is a great spot for food lovers, with lots of local places to eat and different kinds of meals. In Cumbria, by the lakeside, you can find traditional spots serving up tasty dishes using ingredients from the area. Whether you’re in the mood for simple pub food or fancy a more upscale meal, there’s something here for everyone. Make sure to try out some special foods in Kendal too; it’s famous for its great eats. No matter if you want something quick and easy or prefer to take your time over a luxurious dinner, Lake Windermere has got you covered.


Sampling Local Delicacies: What to Try

When you’re at Lake Windermere, don’t pass up the chance to try some of the tasty local food. Kendal is a town close by that’s famous for its good eats. There are a few things you really should taste while there. For starters, give Kendal Mint Cake a go; it’s this sweet minty snack that everyone in Kendal loves. Then, there’s Grasmere Gingerbread from the village next door – it’s spicy and super yummy. And you can’t leave without trying Cumberland sausage – it’s something special from Cumbria and truly captures the flavour of the Lake District area. These treats are perfect for anyone who loves food and wants to get a real sense of what Lake District has on offer.


Fishing in Lake Windermere

Fishing in Lake Windermere offers both seasoned anglers and beginners a peaceful escape amid stunning natural surroundings. As one of the Lake District’s most beloved activities, fishing here combines the joy of the sport with the serene beauty of England’s largest lake.


Types of Fish: Lake Windermere is teeming with a variety of fish, making it a prime location for anglers. Among the most sought-after species are:

  • Pike: These predatory fish are a favourite among sport fishermen, known for their fierce strikes and challenging fights.
  • Perch: Abundant and relatively easy to catch, perch are ideal for both novice and experienced fishers.
  • Brown Trout: A prized catch in these waters, brown trout offer a rewarding challenge with their elusive nature.
  • Roach and Eel: Adding to the diversity, these species are also commonly found and targeted by those fishing in Windermere.


Best Spots for Fishing

The lake’s extensive shoreline and numerous inlets provide ample spots to cast your line. Some of the best areas include:

  • Belle Isle: The waters around this iconic island are rich with fish and provide a picturesque backdrop.
  • Ambleside: Near the northern end of the lake, Ambleside offers excellent fishing conditions and easy access to amenities.
  • Bowness Bay: This popular area not only offers great fishing but also convenient boat hire services for deeper lake excursions.


Licenses and Regulations: To fish in Lake Windermere, you must have a valid Environment Agency rod license. These can be easily purchased online or at local post offices. Additionally, it’s important to adhere to local fishing regulations, such as respecting closed seasons and size limits to help preserve the lake’s ecological balance.


Local Tips: Consider these local tips from seasoned anglers who know the lake’s rhythms and secrets well.

  • Early mornings and late evenings are often the best times for fishing, as many species are more active during these periods.
  • Check the weather before heading out; calm and overcast conditions are typically favourable for fishing.
  • Local guides and fishing charters can provide valuable insights and enhance your fishing experience.


Fishing Community: Lake Windermere has a vibrant fishing community. Whether you’re looking to join a local angling club or simply share stories with fellow fishers, you’ll find a warm and welcoming environment.

Fishing is more than just a pastime; it’s a way to connect with the tranquil beauty of the Lake District. Whether you’re casting a line from the shore or exploring the waters by boat, the experience promises relaxation, and a deep appreciation for this stunning natural landscape.



Lake Windermere is a spot where history, nature’s beauty, and fun activities come together for people of all ages. With things like walks by the lake, water sports, and tasty food from the area on offer, everyone can find something they’ll enjoy. Don’t miss out on top spots such as Windermere Lake Cruises and Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top House. It doesn’t matter if you’re into gentle family hikes or more thrilling adventure sports; Lake Windermere has got it covered and after a rewarding day at the lake, there’s no better way to unwind than by staying at the Swan Hotel. Located just a short distance from the lake, the Swan Hotel offers luxurious accommodations, delectable dining, and serene views, making it the perfect retreat for all. Book your stay at the Swan Hotel and experience the ultimate blend of relaxation and adventure in the heart of the Lake District.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the size of Lake Windermere?

At about 219ft deep, Lake Windermere stands as one of England’s deepest lakes. It also runs a length of roughly 10.5 miles, which is just over 18km. For those who love being on the water, this lake provides ample chances for boating, fishing, and various other activities.


Can you swim in Lake Windermere?

Sure, Lake Windermere is a great spot for swimming. With its sheltered bays, you can have a nice dip in the water. But remember to stay safe and stick to areas meant for swimming. For those who want to chill by the lake, indulgent treatments are waiting for you too.


Can you walk around Lake Windermere?

For sure, taking a walk around Lake Windermere is something many visitors love to do. With the western shore offering easy walks and options like the Fairfield Horseshoe for those looking for more of a challenge. The path is in great shape and provides stunning views of both the lake and the countryside around it. Along your journey, you’ll find stiles that make getting across different parts of the path super simple.


Are there any accommodations available near Lake Windermere?

Yes, there are numerous accommodations available near Lake Windermere, including the renowned Swan Hotel. The Swan Hotel offers luxurious rooms, exquisite dining, and breathtaking views, making it an ideal choice for your stay.