Windermere itself is the first place you come to when you arrive in the area and it has its own particular identity, lively atmosphere and plenty of individual local shops...butchers, bakers, grocers and plenty of cafés, bars and restaurants as well as the area's main supermarket.
A climb to the top of Orrest Head offers one of the finest views taking in the length of Lake Windermere and the fells to the north and west. Other footpaths in the area take in School Knott and the route up to the Dales Way or over the tops to the pretty Troutbeck Valley and beyond. Windermere is well served by public transport with the railway station and bus services located at the top of the hill.
A mile distant from Windermere you come to Bowness-on-Windermere...this ever popular destination lies half way down the length of England's longest lake, 'Windermere' from which it takes its name. Perfectly set on the west-facing eastern shores and with much to offer the Lake District holidaymaker Bowness on Windermere is always busy and very picturesque. With its character buildings and beautiful lake shore scenery it is easy to see why Bowness is so popular and with its host of interesting shops, lively pubs and cafés along with numerous good restaurants and interesting visitor attractions, you will never be short of things to do. The World of Beatrix Potter welcomes families – a must for children of all ages. Seasonal live theatre is always popular in the Old Laundry and there is a good cinema in the main street.
Lake Cruises start at the pier at Bowness Bay from where you can visit all parts of the lake – Lakeside to the south and Waterhead and Ambleside in the north. If you enjoy sailing there is boat hire available and also rowing boats for hourly hire. Boat owners could take advantage of launching facilities at nearby Ferry Nab. There are many enjoyable walks along the western lake shore – take the little ferry across the lake and ramble along the pathways with your picnic, a lovely day out for the whole family.
Windermere and Bowness make great bases for exploring the whole of the Lake District National Park by car or public transport. There is always something going on and plenty to occupy you in any season.