15 Best Things To Do In Windermere, England

15 Best Things To Do In Windermere, England

By will

As the largest natural lake in England, Windermere is a popular destination for visitors looking to experience the beauty of the English countryside.

From breathtaking hikes to charming shops, there’s something for everyone in Windermere.

Here, I’ll be taking you through the 15 best things to do in Windermere, England.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or a relaxing day, I’ve got you covered.

So let’s get started!

Take a Boat Ride on Lake Windermere

Yachts on Lake Windermere
Photo by Malc McDonald

You’ll love taking a boat ride on Lake Windermere – the views are simply amazing!

Surrounded by lush green hills, the lake is the largest in England’s Lake District, and is about 10.5 miles long and 0.75 miles wide.

With its crystal-clear waters, it’s a perfect way to get close to nature and spend some quality time outdoors.

Boats are available for hire from various locations, and you can even bring your own if you prefer.

Many boat trips also offer a delicious afternoon tea during the ride, so you can really make the most of the experience.

You can stop off at various spots around the lake to explore the stunning landscape and take in the views.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or just some quality time with your family, a boat ride on Lake Windermere is sure to leave you with lasting memories.

Explore the Wray Castle

Wray Castle
Photo by Oscar Taylor

Exploring Wray Castle is an adventure fit for a royal, with its sprawling grounds and breathtaking views of Lake Windermere.

Built in 1840, the castle is a three-story Victorian-style building surrounded by stunning gardens and a picturesque lake. Inside, the castle boasts a number of unique features, including a grand library and an impressive collection of antiques and artifacts.

Visitors can take a tour of the castle, or explore the grounds on their own.

The grounds surrounding the castle feature an array of activities, from fishing in the lake to a woodland walk. Other attractions include a maze, a boathouse, and a butterfly garden.

There’s also a playground, a café, and an ice cream parlor for visitors to enjoy.

The castle is open year-round, so visitors can experience the castle and its grounds all year long. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a fun day out, the Wray Castle is a great place to explore.

Soak Up the Views from Orrest Head

View North from Orrest Head
Photo by Chris Heaton

Take in the stunning views from Orrest Head, and soak up the beauty of England’s Lake District. Perched atop a hill on the outskirts of Windermere, Orrest Head is a popular tourist spot.

From here, you can look out over the magnificent Lake District and get a panoramic view of the surrounding area. The view from Orrest Head is said to be one of the most stunning in the whole of England.

You don’t have to be an outdoors enthusiast to appreciate the beauty of Orrest Head. Even if you’re just looking to enjoy the scenery, the sight of rolling hills and lush green fields will take your breath away.

With its easy access and stunning views, Orrest Head is a great spot to spend a few hours. So take some time to explore this beautiful area and soak up the views from Orrest Head.

Take a Hike in Claife Viewing Station

Admire the stunning landscape of Windermere while taking a hike at Claife Viewing Station. Located on the eastern shore of Windermere Lake, Claife Viewing Station is one of the best spots to take a leisurely stroll and take in the stunning views of the surrounding area.

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The area offers an abundance of lush greenery, as well as stunning views of the lake and the surrounding hills. It’s also an ideal spot to observe the local wildlife, with a variety of birds, deer, and other animals often spotted here.

The station itself is an old country house, built in the 1800s and now owned and managed by the National Trust. The building is filled with interesting artifacts and memorabilia, making it an interesting spot for history buffs.

The station also has a café and gift shop, where you can buy souvenirs and snacks. And of course, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore, with routes ranging from easy to challenging.

So why not take a hike and soak up the beauty of Windermere?

Visit the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction

Step back in time and explore the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction for an unforgettable experience. Located in the town of Bowness-on-Windermere, this attraction is dedicated to the beloved author and illustrator Beatrix Potter.

Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the world of her characters like Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and Jemima Puddle-Duck. The attraction has a variety of interactive exhibits, including a walk-through recreation of Potter’s beloved Hill Top Farm. There are also interactive displays, a theatre, a play area, and a gift shop.

Visitors of all ages are sure to have a wonderful time exploring the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. Kids will especially love the interactive exhibits, the theatre, and the play area. There are also educational activities available for those interested in learning more about Beatrix Potter and her work.

The attraction also offers special events throughout the year, such as puppet shows, workshops, and storytelling sessions. No matter how you choose to spend your time here, a visit to the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Stroll Through the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

After admiring the life of Beatrix Potter through the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, my next stop was the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. It’s a perfect activity for families, couples, and groups of friends.

The railway offers a scenic, 12-mile round trip, which takes you through the breathtaking Lake District countryside, along the southern shore of Lake Windermere.

The journey starts at Haverthwaite station, where you can explore the station and its museum. Then, you board one of the vintage steam or diesel engines. As you make your way along the lakeside, you can admire the views of the hills, woods, and of course, the lake.

You’ll also pass through some of the area’s most charming villages, giving you plenty of opportunities to take memorable photos. Once you reach the end of the line, you can then take the ferry back to Lakeside and explore the bustling harbor.

Enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Langdale Chase Hotel

Indulge in an unforgettable afternoon tea experience at the Langdale Chase Hotel situated in the heart of the Lake District.

The Langdale Chase Hotel is a luxurious 4-star hotel and spa surrounded by breathtaking views of Lake Windermere.

Afternoon tea at the hotel is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As you enter the lobby, you’re welcomed by a grand piano and a roaring fireplace.

The staff is friendly and accommodating, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting.

Enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, freshly-baked scones, and a variety of pastries and cakes.

All of the food is made from locally-sourced ingredients and is guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.

Pair your afternoon tea with a selection of teas and coffees and relax in the elegant ambience of the Langdale Chase Hotel.

Enjoy a truly unique afternoon tea experience and make memories to last a lifetime.

Marvel at the Windermere Jetty Museum

Explore the fascinating Windermere Jetty Museum and be captivated by its unique collection of boats, models, and artifacts.

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The museum is located in the heart of Windermere and showcases the rich maritime history of the lake district.

Marvel at the variety of boats and vessels on display, ranging from rowing boats and canoes to steamers and yachts.

Learn about the history of the area, from the early settlers and fishermen to the present day.

Discover the stories behind how the boats were used and how they shaped the lives of the local people.

Get to know the distinct personalities of the vessels and the unique stories behind each one.

The museum also has a collection of model boats and artifacts, giving you an insight into the lives of the people who have lived and worked on the lake.

The museum also has an interactive exhibit, allowing you to explore the designs and details of the vessels and learn more about the history of the lake district.

Take a journey through time and come away with a newfound appreciation for the wonderful history of Windermere.

Take a Tour of the Hill Top House

Take a tour of the Hill Top House and discover the childhood home of Beatrix Potter, one of England’s best-loved authors.

This 17th century house is located in the heart of the Lake District, and is an ideal place to explore the life and work of this famous author.

The house is full of character and charm, with its small rooms, hidden nooks, and original furniture.

You can wander through the rooms and imagine what it must have been like for Beatrix Potter to live here as a young girl.

The house also has a beautiful garden, featuring a variety of plants and flowers, which was one of Beatrix Potter’s favorite places to spend time.

Visit the Hill Top House and get a glimpse into the life of one of England’s most beloved authors.

Shop at the Bowness-on-Windermere

After taking a tour of the Hill Top House, one of the best things to do in Windermere is to visit Bowness-on-Windermere for some retail therapy. Located only a few miles away from the Hill Top House, this charming village is full of quaint shops and boutiques, so you’re sure to find something special to bring home as a souvenir.

From unique artisan crafts to high-end fashion, you can find a variety of items to purchase at Bowness-on-Windermere. Whether you’re looking for a new piece of jewelry, a hand-crafted wooden toy, or an outfit to wear for a night out, you can find it all here.

Not to mention, the village also houses some of the best restaurants in the area, so you can easily make a day of it. Make sure to take the time to explore the shops and treat yourself to something special – you deserve it!

Relax at the Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel

Situated in the heart of the English Lake District, the Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel is the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway.

The luxurious hotel overlooks the stunning Windermere and offers a variety of amenities and activities to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

From spa treatments to gourmet cuisine, this hotel has something for everyone.

The rooms and suites are decorated in a traditional English style, with amenities like flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and tea and coffee makers.

The grounds of the hotel offer a variety of activities to keep everyone entertained.

Guests can enjoy a round of golf on the nine-hole golf course or take a leisurely stroll through the gardens.

The hotel also offers a variety of outdoor activities such as fly fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

For those looking for a more relaxing experience, the hotel’s library provides a quiet place to relax and read.

The hotel also has a swimming pool and hot tub, perfect for taking a dip after a long day of sightseeing.

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With so much to offer, the Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel is the perfect place to stay during your next visit to Windermere.

Go Birdwatching at Troutbeck

For a truly unique experience, come birdwatching at Troutbeck, located just a few miles away from Windermere.

The area is home to an array of birds, from the majestic Golden Eagle to the colorful Kingfisher.

The best way to experience this is to go out with a qualified guide who can point out the birds and teach you all about them.

With the guide’s help, you can spot lesser known species such as the curlew, lapwing, and snipe.

Troutbeck also offers plenty of activities for non-birders.

Enjoy the breathtaking scenery, take a stroll along the lake, or take a boat out on the water.

There’s something for everyone, from the avid birder to the casual observer.

The area is also great for picnicking and relaxing, so you can make a day out of the experience.

Go Shopping in Ambleside

Take a shopping trip to Ambleside and explore the town’s delightful range of independent boutiques and shops!
From small, family-run stores, to luxurious boutiques, there’s something to suit every taste and budget.
Enjoy browsing the unique offerings of local artisans, or pick up a souvenir from one of the many gift shops.
Ambleside also boasts a range of antique stores, perfect for finding a special item to take home with you.

On top of the independent stores, Ambleside also offers a selection of big-name brands, so you can find everything from fashion to homeware.
Perfect for a day out, you can enjoy lunch or a snack in one of the many cafes and restaurants dotted around the town.
With its charming atmosphere and plenty of opportunities for shopping, Ambleside is a great destination for a day trip.

Learn About the History at the Blackwell Arts and Crafts House

Immerse yourself in a piece of history at Blackwell Arts and Crafts House – a stunning Grade II listed building located in Windermere, England.

Built in 1900 by Sir Edward Holt, the house was designed by the famous Arts and Crafts architect M.H. Baillie Scott.

The house is now open to the public and provides an insight into the lifestyle of the early 20th century, with its many original features, furniture, and fittings.

The house is situated in an idyllic location, surrounded by woodland and gardens. The grounds also feature a rose garden, a wildflower meadow, and a tranquil pond.

Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the house and its grounds, as well as take part in a range of activities including photography, pottery, and art classes.

There’s also a café, serving light refreshments and snacks, which is open during the summer months.

So, why not spend an afternoon in a truly unique setting and learn about the history of the Blackwell Arts and Crafts House?

Explore the Town of Grasmere

Discover the charming town of Grasmere, nestled in the beautiful Lake District of England, and experience its unique culture and heritage.

This picturesque village has been home to many famous personalities, including William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.

Take a stroll through the town and admire the traditional stone houses, cobbled alleyways, and stunning views of the surrounding hills.

Enjoy an afternoon browsing through the local antique shops, enjoy a bite to eat at one of the charming cafes, or take a leisurely boat ride across the lake.

Grasmere is also home to a number of interesting historic sites. One of them is Dove Cottage where Wordsworth once lived. Another is the 12th-century St Oswald’s Church, which is particularly unique as it houses an impressive collection of 18th-century wooden carvings and stained glass windows.

The town also has a bustling market with plenty of fresh produce and locally made crafts to pick up.

With so much to explore, Grasmere is an ideal destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Windermere.


I’ve had a fantastic time exploring Windermere and its surrounding areas. From the boat rides on Lake Windermere to the shops in Ambleside, there’s something here for everyone.

I’ve enjoyed learning the history of the region, exploring the World of Beatrix Potter, and taking in the stunning views from Orrest Head.

I highly recommend anyone visiting the area to take the time to explore and experience all that Windermere has to offer. It’s an unforgettable place that offers something for everyone – from nature lovers to history enthusiasts.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.

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