Windermere Travel Guide

Planning a trip to Windermere? This comprehensive guide covers everything from natural attractions to cultural landmarks to food and drink scene.

The Ultimate Guide to Windermere for Travelers

Situated in the heart of the Lake District National Park, Windermere is a small town known worldwide for its stunning natural scenery, quaint villages, and outdoor activities. Whether you are an adventure junkie, history buff, or simply looking for a peaceful weekend getaway, Windermere has something for everyone. In this guide, we will take you through the best places to visit, things to do, and local culture and customs to help you plan a memorable trip to this idyllic town.

List of Places to Visit in Windermere

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House: Designed by M.H. Baillie Scott, this elegant house built in the early 20th century showcases the Arts and Crafts Movement and offers stunning views of Windermere.
  2. The World of Beatrix Potter: Visit the world-famous museum dedicated to the life and works of Beatrix Potter, author of beloved children’s books such as Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-duck.
  3. Dove Cottage: Take a tour of the former home of poet William Wordsworth, where he composed some of his most famous works, and the museum dedicated to his life and literary career.

Natural Attractions of Windermere: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Lake Windermere: The largest lake in England, stretching over 11 miles, offers a range of activities such as boat tours, canoeing, and water skiing, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
  2. Orrest Head: A short hike to the top of this hill offers spectacular panoramic views of the Lake District.
  3. Treetop Trek: For the adventure enthusiasts, Treetop Trek offers a range of challenging obstacle courses and ziplines set amidst picturesque woodlands.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Windermere

  1. Wansfell Pike: A moderate hike that rewards you with stunning vistas of Lake Windermere, Ambleside, and Troutbeck.
  2. Grizedale Forest: Explore the extensive forest park on foot or bike, with a range of trails suitable for all levels of difficulty.
  3. Rydal Water: One of the most picturesque walks in the Lake District, a loop around Rydal Water offers you views of Rydal Cave, Rydal Mount, and the stunning Rydal waterfall.

Best Things to Do in Windermere: Activities and Tours

  1. Boat tours: Take a relaxing boat tour of Lake Windermere and enjoy the stunning scenery around. You can choose from a range of boats, including traditional steamers and luxury yachts.
  2. The Lakes Distillery: Learn about the art of distilling and sample some of the world-renowned local spirits, including gin, whisky and vodka.
  3. Old Laundry Theatre: Catch a show or performance at the charming Old Laundry Theatre, once owned by Beatrix Potter.

Week-Long Itinerary for Windermere

Day 1: Explore the town of Windermere and visit its local shops, restaurants and cafes, and enjoy the views over the lake.

Day 2: Visit Grizedale Forest and explore the stunning woodland trails, home to a range of unique sculptures and artwork.

Day 3: Take a boat tour of Lake Windermere and relax on the waters.

Day 4: Take a hike up Orrest Head for stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Day 5: Visit the historical town of Ambleside and learn more about the local history and culture.

Day 6: Adventure enthusiasts can try out the obstacle courses and ziplines at Treetop Trek.

Day 7: Take a guided tour of the Lakes Distillery and learn about the art of distilling.

Food and Drink Scene of Windermere

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Cumberland Sausage: A traditional local sausage made with herbs and spices, served with mashed potatoes and gravy.
  2. Westmorland Lamb: A succulent and tender lamb dish, typically served with mint sauce and seasonal vegetables.
  3. Sticky Toffee Pudding: A sweet and indulgent dessert made with dates and served with warm toffee sauce.

Local Beverages

  1. Jennings Brewery: Sample some of the award-winning cask ales and beers produced by this historic family-run brewery based in Cockermouth, Cumbria.
  2. Lakes Distillery: Try out the locally produced gin, whisky, and vodka in the adjoining bar and restaurant.

Where to Stay in Windermere: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  1. The Burnside Hotel & Spa: A luxurious hotel offering a range of rooms and suites, with spa and wellness facilities.
  2. The Samling: A picturesque boutique hotel offering stunning views of Lake Windermere and the surrounding hills.
  3. The Young Hostel: A great budget option for backpackers and travelers on a tight budget.

What to Buy in Windermere: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  1. Beatrix Potter Merchandise: Buy souvenirs inspired by the works of the legendary author, including stuffed toys, books, and stationery.
  2. Local Art: Browse the galleries and shops for locally produced paintings, pottery, and crafts.
  3. Lakeland Tea: Bring home a pack of locally produced tea bags, infused with natural ingredients like ginger, lemon, and mint.

Local Culture and Customs of Windermere

Windermere is a town with a rich history and cultural heritage that is reflected in the local customs and traditions. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and the town is known for its peaceful and laid-back lifestyle.

Best Time to Visit Windermere

The best time to visit Windermere is between April and June, when the weather is mild, and the crowds are fewer. The fall months, from September to November, are also appealing with a good number of tourists left, but the winter months are generally quiet.

Do’s and Don’ts of Windermere


  1. Respect the local customs and traditions.
  2. Take care of the environment by avoiding littering and sticking to designated trails.
  3. Try out the local cuisine and drinks.


  1. Ignore the local bylaws on camping and outdoor activities.
  2. Handle wildlife or pets without taking advice from a professional.
  3. Leave without taking in the beautiful scenery.

Safety and Health

Safety in Windermere

Windermere is generally a safe area for tourists. However, it’s advisable to take normal precautions against petty theft and follow social distancing protocols.

Health in Windermere

Visitors to Windermere should have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical evacuation, in case of a medical emergency. Additionally, travelers with underlying health conditions should take all the necessary precautions and have all necessary medicines and vaccines.

Getting to Windermere: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Windermere

The closest airports to Windermere are Manchester and Liverpool airports, both offering direct flights from most major cities in the UK and Europe.

Bus Stations Near Windermere

Windermere is well-connected by bus with various services operated by National Express, Stagecoach, and Citylink, among others, which stop at Windermere Bus Station.

Other Options

For those preferring to go by car, it is a smooth and picturesque drive along the M6 to J36 and then following the A591 all the way to Windermere. There is a town car park to charge for on-street parking and several larger car parks on the outskirts of town offering reasonable rates.

How to Get Around in Windermere

The town is small enough to explore on foot, while there are plenty of bike rental options available for those who want to venture further afield. Additionally, there are a range of taxi and private hire services for those wanting to travel in comfort.

Where to Go Next from Windermere: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  1. Ambleside: A beautiful town just a few miles away, known for its charming shops, cafes, and restaurants, and hosting a popular market.
  2. Kendal: A historic market town, best known for mint cake and its museums, including the Museum of Lakeland Life and the Kendal Museum.
  3. Coniston Water: A stunning lake surrounded by mountains, which offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as boating, hiking, and cycling.


Windermere is a town that truly encapsulates the charm and splendor of the Lake District. We hope this guide has given you an insight into the best attractions, activities, and local culture, enabling you to plan a memorable trip full of happy memories. Whether you are visiting for a day or a week, Windermere is sure to leave an indelible impression on your heart and soul.