Most visitors to the Lake District in North-West England refer to the major town of Bowness-on-Windermere simply as 'Windermere'. Technically this is the name given to the actual lake which is the largest in the Lake District.
Windermere is approximately 12 miles (19 km) long with three major commercial centres - Lakeside at the southern end, Bowness in the middle and Waterhead (Ambleside) at the northern end.
Bowness is Tourist Hub of Windermere
Bowness is the tourism hub of Windermere with a busy Pier Head from which Windermere Lake Cruises runs ferries and boat trips. It has an abundance of large, elegant Victorian hotels, guest houses and B & Bs on the slopes overlooking the water.
The town sprawls along the edge of the lake but getting from one end of town to the other is facilitated by a regular bus service run by Stagecoach. These buses continue on to Ambleside town and Grasmere Village.
Famous Lake District Identities
Bowness is conveniently located for tourists wishing to visit places associated with Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Malcolm Campbell. Beatrix Potter’s home Hill Top on the western side of the lake can be quickly reached by using the Windermere Ferry which carries motor vehicles, cycles, pedestrians and horses!
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here:
Windermere Railway Station is major entry point to the Lakes
The coming of the railway in 1847 led to the development of tourism in the Lake District. Windermere Railway Station is still a major entry point for visitors especially from Manchester. There is a direct link to Manchester Airport.
The railway joins the West Coast Main Line at Oxenhome via Kendal providing a route from London (Euston) to Glasgow. Bowness is also served by regular long distance coach services from London (Victoria).
The town provides all the services expected by a tourist including car hire and excellently priced day tours run by the award-winning Mountain Goat Tours Company.
Visit the Windermere Tourist Information Centres (South Lakeland TICs) either in person or online for everything you need to know. One office is located on the lakeside at Bowness Bay and the other in the centre of Windermere Old Town.
Lake Cruises, Steam Train Rides, Fell Walking
Attractions include cruising the lake, steam train rides on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, wildlife spotting in the lakeshore woods and walking over the spectacular fells.
The popular Windermere Steamboat Museum (Windermere Jetty Collection) is temporarily closed for redevelopment and refurbishment of the collection. For up to date news click on Web: The Windermere Steamboat Project
Contact & Further Information
The article -The Lake District - in this website gives detailed advice on getting to the Lake District area.
- By Rail From Oxenholme rail station on the West Coast Main Line, a rail service passes through Kendal to the terminus at Windemere.
- By Bus Same as The Lake District article in this website. The Cumbria County Council has an excellent bus travel website at Web: Bus Timetables/ Cumbria
- By Car Same as The Lake District article in this website
Google Maps - Windermere