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Things to do in Windermere and Bowness

The linked towns of Windermere and Bowness are at the very heart of the Lake District, with beautiful Lake Windermere, England’s longest lake, right on their doorstep and breathtaking scenery wherever you look.

Windermere grew around the railway station, about a mile and a half from the lake, and Bowness is Cumbria’s most popular destination, boasting a cosmopolitan mix of shops and restaurants, and a large choice of accommodation to suit all pockets. The countryside around Windermere and Bowness, including the Lyth and Bowness-in-Windermere PierWinster valleys, is rich in gourmet pubs and country house hotels offering fine dining second-to-none.

There are things to do in  and arund Windermere and Bowness whatever the season. Come to explore Lake Windermere, host of the Great North Swim, for sailing and watersports, or just to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the area. You can take a lake cruise all year round. Ghyll scrambling, rock climbing and paragliding are all close at hand. You can walk along the lakeside and enjoy panoramic views of the lake and mountains from several viewpoints. A short walk from Windermere takes you to Orrest Head, an outstanding viewpoint and the first summit in Lakeland visited by Alfred Wainwright.

There is plenty to see and do in Windermere and Bowness, with attractions from The World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness to Blackwell, overlooking the lake, one of the finest Arts and Crafts houses in the country.

Windermere & Bowness... Did you know?

In 1895, Windermere became ice-bound for 6 weeks, making it possible to walk across from one side to the other. Other ‘big freeze’ years were 1864, 1946 and 1963.

The two towns of Windermere and Bowness were the second area in England to have electric street lighting - supplied from a hydro-electric plant at Troutbeck Bridge.

Charles Dickens is said to have frequented the New Hall Inn in Bowness.

Find out more about Windermere

Official Guide to Windermere & Bowness Windermere Lake Cruises 
Windermere Town Council What's On in Windermere & Bowness?
A Sense of Windermere & Bowness