Today I want to bring you my Windermere travel guide. This town in Cumbria, England is a great place to base yourself on a trip to the Lake District.

Windermere Travel

Windermere Travel Guide

When the TransPennine Express pulls into Windermere train station, the first thing the uninitiated notice is that, despite being in the Lake District, there is no lake.

A mile up the hill from the lake of the same name, Windermere village is a hill town if the Lake District has one.

Fence in Windermere, Cumbria

But it’s no matter. The town is small but pretty, exploding with B&Bs, boutiques, and tearooms. Baskets of flowers overflow with color, standing out against the dark gray stone of the buildings behind them.

Rain clouds threaten, but nobody takes them too seriously. It’s summer in England, after all.

Cottage in Windermere, Cumbria

Windermere Trips

I was five years old last time I visited Windermere. My family took a big road trip through the UK and stayed in the Lake District en route from London to Scotland.

But apart from some vague memories of an indoor water park and the Peter Rabbit tea set that still gathers dust in my mother’s house, I don’t remember much.

House on an island in Windermere, England

Neither does my mother. Which is why, after more than 20 years, we decide to visit the Lake District again.

Well, that and the fact that train tickets are selling for a mere 35 pounds round-trip and we find a great mid-week deal on a hotel. Our Windermere travels are meant to be.

Ferry on Lake Windermere in England


We arrive in the Lake District on a Sunday afternoon after a four-hour train ride from London. Fresh air and a walk are in order, so it’s a good thing we’re in the hiking mecca of the UK.

After checking into Applegarth Villa Hotel and grabbing a quick bowl of soup at a local cafe, we set off down the hill towards Bowness-on-Windermere. The town is the lakeside counterpart of the hill town where we’re staying.

Sailboats on Lake Windermere in the Lake District

Whatever Windermere village has in terms of commercial enterprises, Bowness-on-Windermere has it all and more. Gift shops, cafes, tearooms, pubs, and restaurants line the high street.

The waterfront is packed with every kind of boat, from large passenger ferries to two-person row boats.

Squawking ducks vie for the “noisiest thing on the lake” prize, but are defeated by the blasting music emanating from a giant waterfront carnival.

Bowness-on-Windermere isn’t quite the tranquil lakeside town I expected, but it has its highlights.

Fox at the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere, England

The Lake District was the home of Beatrix Potter and the critters that fill her much-loved children’s stories. As such, our first stop in Bowness has to be The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction.

An enchanting land of make-believe, the exhibits feature a trail that takes visitors through many of Potter’s stories, including The Tale of Tom Kitten, The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and of course, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

It’s adorable. I should know. I’m the oldest kid there.

World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere, England

Still in need of fresh air, we take a walk past Bowness-on-Windermere and find ourselves on a quiet gravel trail.

With the peaceful lake on one side and a rabbit-filled field on the other, we feel like we’ve finally arrived in the land of Romanticism.

Were it not August, I would expect to find a host of golden daffodils around every corner.

Rabbits in a field in Windermere, England

Windermere Village

When our walk is over, we settle in for dinner at Jerichos, a restaurant with rooms down the street from our hotel. The acclaimed kitchen cooks up one of the best meals I’ve had in the UK.

Perfectly creamy cauliflower soup precedes a delicious dish of egg noodles topped with roasted vegetables. The wine pairings are spot on, too.

Dinner at Jerichos restaurant in Windermere in the Lake District

After a great start to the trip, my mother and I fall into bed, exhausted. Unfortunately, I sleep terribly that night and every other night of the trip. The room has no air conditioning or fan, and it’s stiflingly hot.

The bed isn’t very comfortable either, so even when we open the window on the second night, I barely sleep. It’s disappointing for an otherwise good hotel.

Breakfast at a hotel in Windermere, England

Places to Go in the Lake District

Despite being sleep deprived for three days, I have a great time exploring the Lake District with my mother.

In the days that follow, we visit Ambleside, Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, Keswick, Grasmere, Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm, and Hawkshead (more on these in a future post about the Lake District).

Cottages in the Lake District

Windermere Restaurants and Shops

But our time in Windermere village is not without its highlights. We have good meals at the local restaurants and enjoy shopping at the many boutiques along the streets.

Apple in Windermere, England

Windermere Travel

By the time our Windermere travels are over, I’m sad to leave such a beautiful part of Britain after only a few days.

As the TransPennine Express pulls out of Windermere station, I take my last glance at the town, the fields full of fluffy white sheep, and the impossibly green hills.

Train at Windermere station in England

The craggy cliffs and reflecting-pool lakes recede into the background, relegated to the realm of memories where my childhood tea set lies. 

But they don’t have to stay there. As long as it doesn’t take me 20 more years to get back to Windermere, my memories of the Lake District will stay as fresh as the Cumbrian air. I’ll make sure they do.

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Windermere Travel

5 Comments on Lady’s Windermere Travel Guide

  1. What a wonderful blog! Thank you so much! I am making my first trip to the Lake District in May (I live in the U.S.A.). I am staying in Far Sawrey, and I would like to visit Sizergh Castle (Kendal) and see the Castelrigg Stone in Keswick. Do you know is there is bus service available from Windermere to those locations? Thank you again!

    • Hi Rhonda! I’m glad you like the blog! I don’t know about buses in the Lake District, but you can try emailing your hotel to see if they have the information.

  2. Loved reading your blog. The description of your stay in Windermere took me back in time to our visit in 2004. I was visiting with my daughter who lived in London at that point in time. We drove down to Windermere for the weekend and what a beautiful trip that was. The place is so enchanting, the long walks through little bylanes left me awe struck at the sight of peaceful country homes set in idyllic surroundings. The memory still lingers on and knowing that I am never likely to visit again, I dig into the deep recesses of my mind’s eye to relive the moments. Your blog brought back a flood if memories.

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