THERE IS SO MUCH WE COULD SAY ABOUT THIS FANTASTIC PART OF THE WORLD. IT HAS THE HISTORY, IT HAS THE SCENERY, IT HAS THE CULTURE. COME FOR THE LANDSCAPE, THE WILDLIFE, THE WALKS, THE WATER, THE CRAFTS, THE MUSIC, THE FESTIVALS, THE FOOD, THE DRIVES, THE CYCLES, THE RIDES, THE FRIENDLY HOSPITALITY, THE CHARACTERS, THE PEACE AND THE TRANQUILITY, THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE. HERE ARE JUST A FEW HIGHLIGHTS STARTING WITH OUR TWO NEAREST TOWNS WINDERMERE AND BOWNESS.
Bowness is small but perfectly formed. Its 4 miles away, has everything a visitor to the area could need in terms of amenities and “things to do”. Along with enjoying the lake frontage, perusing the local shops, wiling away time in the cafes and dining out in the many excellent restaurants, there are plenty of attractions and things to see and do in Bowness and the surrounding area.
SHOPPING & SERVICES
Booths is the North Wests answer to Waitrose and M&S, though better. Sourcing much of its fresh produce from local suppliers and growers, it stocks some of the best food, all the treats along with all the necessities under one roof. The deli is well stocked and you can spend hours reading your way through the aisles of gins, local beers and wine. Open 8 til late.
Plumgarths Lakeland Food Park is a little gem and largely only known by locals. If you can take the time to drop in. You’ll find the Lovingly Artisan Bakers in a converted barn, its the place to go for bread made with Northern soul. Opens early doors. They have a whole range of sourdough bread that tastes amazing. Opposite you’ll find the Gingers Bakers with their array of cakes and bakes made using locally sourced ingredients and always free range eggs. Its naughty but oh so very nice. For a takeaway coffee Rinaldo’s is round the back, the smell is amazing but the coffee is even better. At the entrance of Plumgarths you’ll find a well stocked farm shop and the Two Sisters café with indoor and outdoor seating area.
Lakeland Visitor Centre on the way into Windermere in the village of Ings has an excellent meat counter, all meat sold here is locally sourced.
Banilla Bakery is a new addition to Windermere and is its first vegan Bakery. Opening hours do vary but generally 8am-3pm.
Bowness has a Tesco Express and small Co-op, Windermere has a small Sainsbury’s, Pharmacy and Post Office
Windermere Lake Cruises: steamers and passenger launches come and go from the piers in Bowness Bay, and you can choose to take part in the main cruise route that operates between Ambleside in the north and Lakeside in the south, stopping and re-alighting as you wish to explore, or you may wish to take the 45 minute Islands Cruise, which allows you to see up close the iconic islets and inlets of England’s longest lake.
Bowness Bay Marina: you can hire electrically-powered craft that are easy to handle from the marina.
Windermere Canoe and Kayak: you can choose from a large range of boats and bikes to hire.
Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre Learn: all you need to know about kayaking, windsurfing and sailing with the help of fully qualified instructors. You can also choose to stay ashore and try orienteering, Nordic walking, navigation and or rock climbing.
Brockhole: visitors can take in the scenic views and gardens which stretch down to the shores of the lake or browse round the shop. There’s a soft play area for the children and a new aerial woodland adventure, Treetop Trek and wildlife experience Predator Park, so plenty for everyone young or old to see and do.
Royalty Cinema: this is a very traditional cinema, and a visit here will give you a feeling of going back in time, and yet you can still enjoy the latest releases.
Windermere Jetty Museum: an interactive galleries of boats, steam and stories will take you on a journey. Make your visit to Windermere Jetty unforgettable by booking a Heritage Boat Trip out on the lake on board Osprey, one of the fully-restored Edwardian steam launches. Lovely café with some tasty food and stunning views of the Lake.
Lakes Aquarium: with the largest collection of freshwater fish in the UK on display, the Lakes Aquarium is an award-winning attraction situated at Lakeside.
The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway: historic steam and diesel engines take you on a charming ride through the picturesque Leven Valley.
Holehird Gardens: located at the mouth of the Troutbeck valley, a short distance from Windermere and Bowness, Holehird Gardens are managed by the Lakeland Horticultural Society, and provide a lovely setting for a peaceful stroll.
Blackwell Arts and Crafts: this is one of Britain’s finest houses, surviving from the turn of the last century with almost all of its original decorative features intact. Blackwell’s period rooms have been furnished with a blend of Arts and Crafts furniture and early country made pieces made by many of the Arts and Crafts designers and studios. There’s also a beautiful garden laid out by Thomas Mawson which visitors can discover or sit on the terrace and enjoy.
The Old Laundry Theatre: there’s always a lively season of music, theatre, comedy and film at The Old Laundry Theatre. Launched with the support of friend and playwright Alan Ayckbourn. Over the years they have attracted many stars, including some who have gone on to become patrons including Victoria Wood, Griff Rhys-Jones and Alan Rickman.
Bowness and Winderemre are great places to pick up souvenirs or presents with a mix of shops many of which offer local produce. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and pubs to rest your feet and shopping bags after a morning’s extravagance!
Make the most of the view Orrest Head, above Windermere is considered by many to be the best viewpoint over Lake Windermere as on a clear day the fell offers a 360 degree view taking in the Langdales and Troutbeck Valley. It was Alfred Wainwright’s first climb and the view today remains just how he would have seen it.