things to do in windermere

Last Updated on: 7th May 2024, 11:45 am

Hello and welcome to my guide on the best things to do in Windermere! If you’re planning a trip to the Lake District, then Windermere is a must-visit destination. Located in the heart of the stunning Lake District National Park, Windermere offers a range of exciting activities, stunning landscapes, and cultural attractions to explore. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a culture enthusiast, or simply looking for a place to relax and unwind, Windermere has something for everyone.

Before we start, let me introduce myself. My name is Chris and I am a travel writer who has visited Windermere multiple times. In this guide, I will share my personal recommendations and insider tips to help you make the most of your time in Windermere. So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, I’ve got you covered!

Let’s start with some background information on Windermere and why it’s such a popular destination for visitors.

Things to do in Windermere

Located in the heart of the Lake District, Windermere is a popular destination for visitors seeking stunning scenery, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences. As the largest natural lake in England, there is no shortage of things to do in Windermere, England, UK. Whether you want to explore the lake, discover charming towns like Bowness-on-Windermere, or visit historical landmarks like the Windermere Jetty Museum, there is something for everyone.

things to do in Windermere

In this section, I will provide an overview of Windermere, including its location in England, UK. I will highlight the reasons why Windermere is a popular destination for visitors and mention the stunning scenery that can be found in the Lake District.

1. Exploring Lake Windermere

When in Windermere, one cannot miss out on the main attraction – the stunning Lake Windermere. The lake is a true gem, with a plethora of activities and attractions to enjoy. Visitors can indulge in various water sports such as paddleboarding, kayaking and boating while enjoying the pristine scenery. One can rent a boat and explore the lake at their own pace while taking in the breathtaking vistas.

For those looking for a more relaxed experience, boat tours are available as well. The tours would take you around the lake while a guide provides historical and cultural insights into the region. Bird watching, fishing and swimming are also popular activities around the lake.

While exploring Lake Windermere, visitors can also see notable landmarks such as the Belle Isle and the National Trust’s Claife Viewing Station. These places offer stunning views of the lake and are a photographer’s paradise. The image below captures the essence of the stunning Lake Windermere.

Things to do in Lake Windermere

Exploring Lake Windermere is truly a once in a lifetime experience and one should add it to their bucket list when visiting Windermere.

2. Discovering Bowness-on-Windermere

If you’re looking for an idyllic village with a relaxed pace and plenty of things to do, look no further than Bowness-on-Windermere. Situated on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere, Bowness is a popular tourist destination with a variety of attractions that are sure to appeal to visitors of all ages.

Top Things to Do in Bowness-on-Windermere

Attraction Description
World of Beatrix Potter Attraction Step into the magical world of Beatrix Potter and explore scenes from her famous books.
St Martin’s Church Visit this historic church dating back to the 1480s, with stunning stained glass and a peaceful graveyard.
Holehird Gardens Take a stroll through these delightful gardens that are free to enter and open year-round.

These are just a few of the many things to do in Bowness-on-Windermere. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or just want to soak up the charming atmosphere of the village, there’s something for everyone.

Another popular activity in Bowness is taking a cruise on Lake Windermere. There are several tour operators in the village offering cruises of various lengths, giving visitors a chance to see the stunning scenery from a different perspective. And if you’re looking for places to visit in Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere makes an excellent base from which to explore the wider region.

When it comes to dining, Bowness has plenty of options to suit all tastes and budgets. From cozy cafes to elegant restaurants, you’ll find a great selection of places to eat. And if you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, there are shops selling everything from artisanal crafts to high-end fashion.

Overall, Bowness-on-Windermere is a delightful village that is well worth a visit. So why not add it to your itinerary and discover all that this charming place has to offer?

3. Exploring the Lake District Windermere Region

Located in the heart of the Lake District, Windermere offers visitors a gateway to some of the most stunning scenery in England. From the picturesque village of Ambleside to the historic town of Hawkshead, there is no shortage of things to do in the Lake District Windermere region.

One of the most popular landmarks in Windermere is the beautiful Wray Castle. Built in the Gothic Revival style, this impressive fortress sits on the shores of Lake Windermere and is open to the public for tours and events.

Must-See Places in the Lake District Windermere Region

Place Attraction or Activity
Ambleside Visit the Armitt Museum and Library, hike up to the stunning viewpoint at Loughrigg Fell
Grasmere Visit the grave of William Wordsworth at St. Oswald’s Church, sample the famous Grasmere Gingerbread
Hawkshead Explore the medieval town center, visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery

Tip: Don’t miss the chance for a cruise on Lake Windermere to experience the stunning beauty of the area up close and personally.

things to do in the Lake District Windermere

4. Outdoor Adventures in Windermere

If you’re looking to explore the outdoors and get your blood pumping, Windermere has plenty of options for you. From hiking to cycling, there are a variety of outdoor activities in Windermere that will keep you entertained for days. The Lake District National Park is one of the best places to hike, with trails suitable for all skill levels. Some popular routes include the Old Man of Coniston and the Fairfield Horseshoe.

If you prefer cycling, then you’ll love the scenic trails around Windermere. You can rent a bike and take a leisurely ride while enjoying the beautiful Windermere sightseeing around you. Some popular cycling routes include the Kentmere Circuit and the Windermere West Shore Loop.

Outdoor Adventures in Windermere

Another great way to enjoy the outdoors in Windermere is to take scenic drives around the area. From Bowness-on-Windermere to the surrounding villages, there are plenty of picturesque routes for you to explore. Make sure to stop at some notable viewpoints or picnic spots along the way.

5. Entertainment in Windermere

When it comes to entertainment, Windermere offers a variety of options to keep visitors entertained. Whether you are interested in music, theatre, or art, there’s something for everyone in this charming town.

Live Music Performances

If you are a music enthusiast, you’ll enjoy the live performances that take place in Windermere. The Lake District Music Society hosts regular concerts featuring renowned musicians both from the UK and around the world. These concerts are held at various venues around Windermere, including the beautiful Ambleside Parish Centre.

Theatre Shows

Windermere is also home to several theatre companies that offer a range of shows for all tastes. The Old Laundry Theatre, located in Bowness-on-Windermere, is one of the best venues in the area, showcasing a wide range of plays, musicals, and other performances throughout the year. It’s a great place to catch a show and enjoy a night out.

Art Galleries

If you are an art lover, Windermere has a range of galleries to explore. The Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal is a must-visit destination, with its impressive collection of works by contemporary British artists. Another popular gallery is the Cookhouse Gallery in Bowness, which showcases the works of local artists and photographers.

Popular Events and Festivals in Windermere

Event Date Description
Windermere Christmas Celebration December A festive event that includes Christmas markets, carol singing, and other activities throughout Windermere and Bowness.
Lake District Summer Music Festival July and August A classical music festival that features world-renowned musicians and takes place at various venues throughout the Lake District.
Lakes Alive September A weekend-long event that celebrates the arts, with live music, street performances, and a variety of family-friendly activities in Windermere and other parts of the Lake District.

The Windermere Christmas Celebration is a great way to experience the festive spirit, while the Lakes Alive event showcases a range of artistic talents in a lively and engaging way. Make sure to check out these events and other festivals taking place in the area when planning your visit to Windermere.

6. Historical and Cultural Gems in Windermere

Windermere is home to several unique and fascinating cultural attractions that are worth a visit. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or classic vehicles, there’s something for everyone in this charming town. Here are some of the top attractions that visitors can explore:

Windermere Jetty Museum

The Windermere Jetty Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in boats and maritime history. The museum is home to a fascinating collection of historic boats and steam launches, including some of the oldest and most iconic vessels on Lake Windermere. Visitors can enjoy interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that bring the boats to life, as well as stunning views of the lake from the museum’s beautiful location on the waterfront.

Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House

Blackwell is a stunning example of Arts and Crafts architecture, located just a short distance from Windermere in the town of Bowness. The house was built in 1900 and has been beautifully preserved, with many of its original features still intact. Visitors can explore the house’s many rooms and learn about the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as enjoy stunning views of Lake Windermere from the grounds.

Lakeland Motor Museum

The Lakeland Motor Museum is a must-visit for car enthusiasts, with a collection of over 30,000 exhibits that span over 100 years of motoring history. Visitors can view classic cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and more, as well as interactive exhibits that allow visitors to learn about the history of motoring and try their hand at driving vintage vehicles. The museum is located in Backbarrow, just a short drive from Windermere.

The Armitt Museum and Library

The Armitt Museum and Library is a fascinating cultural institution that houses a collection of art, photographs, and literature related to the Lake District. The museum’s collection includes works by Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin, as well as historical artifacts and objects related to the region’s cultural heritage. Visitors can also enjoy lectures, talks, and special exhibitions throughout the year.

7. Relaxation and Wellness in Windermere

After exploring Windermere’s many attractions and activities, visitors may wish to take some time to unwind and recharge. Luckily, Windermere has plenty of options for relaxation and wellness activities.

Spa Retreats

One of the most popular ways to unwind is by visiting a spa. Windermere is home to several luxurious spas, including the The Spa at Low Wood Bay and the The Spa at The Samling. These spas offer a range of treatments, from massages to facials, and provide a tranquil environment to recharge.

Yoga Classes

For a more active approach to relaxation, visitors can take part in a yoga class. There are many studios in Windermere and Bowness that offer yoga classes for all levels. Some popular options include Yoga Bunnies and Lakes Yoga.

Lakeside Walks

For a more low-key approach, visitors can take a leisurely walk along the lakeside. This is a great way to enjoy the picturesque scenery and breathe in the fresh air. Some popular walking routes include the Windermere to Ambleside Walk and the Bowness-on-Windermere to Claife Heights Walk.

Notable Wellness Centers and Retreats

Wellness Center Location
The Falls Spa Levens, near Windermere
The Spa at The Daffodil Grasmere, near Windermere
The Coniston Spa Coniston, near Windermere

Some of the notable wellness centers and retreats in Windermere and Bowness include The Falls Spa, which offers a pool and a variety of treatments, The Spa at The Daffodil, which features a thermal pool and a sauna, and The Coniston Spa, which offers a range of treatments as well as access to a thermal suite.


As I come to the end of my Windermere adventure, I can confidently say that this beautiful town in England, UK, has something to offer for everyone. From exploring the stunning Lake Windermere to discovering the charming town of Bowness-on-Windermere, there is no shortage of things to see and do.

The Lake District Windermere region is a treasure trove of natural beauty and picture-perfect villages. Whether it’s hiking in the Lake District National Park or cycling along the scenic trails, there are plenty of outdoor activities to indulge in.

For those seeking relaxation and wellness, Windermere has it all. With spa retreats, yoga classes, and leisurely walks along the lakeside, visitors can unwind and rejuvenate amidst beautiful surroundings.

Those interested in history and culture can explore the various museums and attractions, such as the Windermere Jetty Museum, Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, and the Lakeland Motor Museum.

Overall, Windermere is a perfect destination for a memorable Lake District adventure. With its natural beauty, entertainment options, and cultural heritage, it’s no wonder that it attracts visitors from all over the world. I highly recommend adding Windermere to your travel bucket list and experiencing the magic for yourself.


What are some of the top attractions in Windermere?

Some of the top attractions in Windermere include Lake Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere, the World of Beatrix Potter attraction, St Martin’s Church, and Holehird Gardens.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Windermere?

In Windermere, you can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking in the Lake District National Park, cycling along scenic trails, and taking scenic drives to admire the beautiful countryside.

Are there any popular landmarks in Windermere?

Yes, there are several popular landmarks in Windermere, including the Windermere Jetty Museum, Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, and the Lakeland Motor Museum.

What entertainment options are available in Windermere?

In Windermere, you can enjoy live music performances, theater shows, and art galleries. There are also popular events and festivals that take place throughout the year.

Are there any historical and cultural attractions in Windermere?

Yes, Windermere boasts several historical and cultural attractions, such as the Windermere Jetty Museum, Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, and the Lakeland Motor Museum.

How can I relax and indulge in wellness activities in Windermere?

Windermere offers opportunities to relax and indulge in wellness activities, including spa retreats, yoga classes, and leisurely walks along the lakeside. There are also notable wellness centers and retreats in Windermere and Bowness.