Windermere in the Lake District is probably the most well known and at ten and half miles long and 219 feet deep it is England’s largest natural lake. It snakes through the heart of the Lake District National Park, fed by numerous rivers and was formed 13,000 years ago during the last major ice age. Its name comes from the Scandinavian for 'lake of a man called Vinandr'.
With such a long shoreline surrounded by fells on all sides it makes Windermere an ideal place to find dramatic views of the central Lake District. There are walks for all abilities taking you through rambling woodland paths, meadows, over bubbling streams, up on to the craggier peaks and offering spectacular views along the way.
We’ve put together a few of our favourite walks that provide great views of Windermere.
A walk starting in Ambleside that goes via Wansfell Pike on the way back. The return route is more challenging, but offers resplendent views over the surrounding fells and down to the lake, making the climb worth the extra effort. You’ll pass near the Mortal Man Inn if you’re in need of refreshments before tackling Wansfell.
Is a pleasant circular ‘Miles Without Stiles’ route that takes you along the busy waterfront area of Bowness to the quieter shoreline around Cockshott Point where you can look out to Belle Island and watch the boats.
This walks is a great one to do for families with children as it has just the right mix of distance (1.5miles) with pretty woodland, slopes for scambling up and and perfect picnic spots, with magnificent views of Windermere, Morecambe Bay and the Coniston and central Fells.
Enjoy the expansive views looking across the lake to Bowness and further north to the Troutbeck hills from the lakeside on this ‘Miles without Stiles’ route which is designed for all users with a mix of tarmac road and smooth stone path. The western shore route provides a wooded shoreline and pebble beaches. There are plenty of delightful spots to rest and picnic.
This walk is a short walk from the town centre of Windermere to the summit for remarkable views across the lake. Orrest Head is often described as ‘mountain in miniature’ and it’s must-see viewpoint. It inspired a young Alfred Wainwright, who went on write the famous pictorial walking guides of the Lake District.
The path has changed since Wainwright’s first steps back in 1930, having been asphalted in places so that those in wheelchairs or buggies can reach certain vantage points peering down on Lake Windermere.
This is a short but steep climb with plenty of places to pause for picnics which starts at St Martin's Place and continues up to Brantfell where you can enjoy 360 degree views.