Heart of England
South of England
World-famous Windermere is a wonderful destination for a short break that blends nature and classic English living. There are endless little villages and natural wonders to explore in the wider Lake District, but we’ve collected some of the best attractions close to the town of Windermere. Once you’ve explored the lake shores and surrounding hills to your heart’s content, why not pop into a local museum or enjoy a Cumbrian cream tea?
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Anyone who knows the first thing about England also knows that Windermere is the jewel in the crown of our countryside, and that’s why Lake Windermere is an obvious must-see for a reason. There’s plenty of ways to take in the largest lake in England. Perhaps a leisurely lake cruise complete with an afternoon tea before or after? Or an easy wander along the lake’s edge, gazing at the mountains that stretch up to the clouds on the other shoreline.
Straying away from water, the Windermere area of the Lake District is also famous for its gorgeous hiking trails. Walk one of the eight Greenwood Trails, which stretch from Windermere all the way down to the fire-foliaged Grizedale Forest. Or combine land and lake with a hike from Brockhole Visitor’s Centre to Waterhead, then sail back along Windermere.
Kids and adults alike will adore stepping into the world of Peter Rabbit at Beatrix Potter World. All of your favourite childhood tales are brought to life in this stunning 3D museum, with characters set in a beautiful recreation of the Lake District’s countryside.
The museum incorporates a full sensory experience – smell Mrs. Tiggywinkle’s lovely fresh laundry, or listen to Tom Thumb bouncing about under the nursery floorboards. You can even enjoy a summer tea party with Peter Rabbit!
If you’d rather go a little further back in Windermere’s literary history, make sure to visit Wordsworth Grasmere. The museum holds a dedicated collection to British Romanticism, a movement headed by the great William Wordsworth himself.
Wordsworth lived in the site’s Dove Cottage for five years, taking inspiration from the stunning scenery around him, and now you too can get inspired in return! Peruse Wordsworth’s manuscripts, books, paintings, and of course, the great poetry that forms the backbone of great English literature.
Or if you want a museum catered to the whole family, stop by the Lakes Aquarium to visit the largest collection of freshwater fish in the United Kingdom. Watch local fish like pikes, thornback rays, or pipefish in action. Then marvel at exotic fish – the friendly clownfish, the terrifying piranhas, or the ballooning pufferfish. And the Lakes Aquarium is dedicated to conservation, too!
With a whole host of conservation projects ranging from crayfish to mussels, one of our favourites is the protection of two Small Clawed Otters, a vulnerable species and also the world’s smallest otters!
Windermere has an unexpected wealth of spectacular cuisine. From afternoon teas to fine French bistros, there’s something for every taste and occasion. Even when looking for afternoon teas, there’s plenty of vibes to choose from. We love the luxury Cedar Manor Afternoon Tea, with a local supplier of fresh tea leaves providing endless top-ups while you devour the finger sandwiches, warm scones, and delicious sweet treats on offer.
For a slightly more modern vibe, be sure to book a table at the Windermere Speakeasy. Their afternoon tea combines a wide assortment of savoury snacks and some stylish desserts, all served on a modern pyramid tray. Or maybe you’d prefer to have an evening out? The Windermere Speakeasy transforms at night into a trendy cocktail bar, serving both classic and house cocktails with a colourful flourish.
But don’t forget the restaurants – Windermere has a whole host of beautiful settings proudly serving tantalising fresh food. Francine’s French Bistro is a local legend, with seafood bisque and adventurous escargot as particular customer favourites. Maybe you’ll try the tapas menu at The Smith, a quiet and cosy wine bar? Or enjoy an artisanal craft beer and a fresh burger (with veggie and vegan options!) at Folk as the sun goes down over Windermere.