Earlier in August, I had the pleasure of spending a week-long vacation in Windermere. With group of friends we’ve enjoyed time off, exploring this area of Lake District. It was a relaxing break and an opportunity to visit some new places.
Access to Lake District from London is relatively easy. We took the Avanti West Coast train from London Euston towards Glasgow and then changed at Oxenholme Lake District to another train that took us directly to Windermere. The journey took us around four hours in total.
Our base was at Windermere, a small town in Cumbria, about 1 km east of the lake Windermere. Our group of 8 stayed there in an Airbnb house.
The trip was organized by my friends, so this time I was just hanging around enjoying the places and activities we planned.
The centre of the town offers a small but good selection of food options. I’ve seen dozen of cafes and restaurants around the Main Road. On our first day we had a great dinner at Brown Sugar.
For groceries, there are few options like Sainsbury’s Local or Windermere Co-op Food, but for larger shopping I highly recommend Booths, Windermere - a well stocked supermarket next to the train station.
After a short stroll around the town, I learned that Windermere Library is a house for The Lake District Holocaust Project. It’s a project commemorating Holocaust. “From Auschwitz to Ambleside” exhibition tells the story of the 300 child Holocaust survivors who came to the Lake District for recuperation after liberation in 1945 from the horrors of the Nazi regime.
Cruise on Windermere Lake
The Windermere lake was the main attraction. The Windermere town actually isn’t located directly on lake’s side, you need to take 15 minutes walk down the road to nearby Bowness-on-Windermere. There are also local buses available.
According to Wikipedia, the lake is the largest lake in England by length, area, and volume (but considerably smaller than the largest Scottish lochs and Northern Irish loughs).
We got round trip cruise tickets from Bowness-on-Windermere, allowing us to stop by at Brockhole on Windermere, Ambleside and return back.
The views from the deck were amazing. The weather was nice and we enjoyed looking at the scenery.
Brockhole on Windermere
Brockhole on Windermere is an estate located between Windermere and Ambleside. It has finely designed gardens and hosts variety of activities like archery sessions, treetop treks, mini golf and probably much more.
The viewpoint from terraced gardens offers great perspective over lake and some peaks in the distance.
I mostly enjoyed walking through the green gardens, enjoying variety of flowers and plants and a hidden bird watching spot.
After Brockhole we continued our cruise through stop at Ambleside and back to Bowness.
Orrest Head and Elleray Wood walk
Another day was dedicated to spend on a gentle walk around nearby nearby hill and forest.
This was relatively easy and straightforward hike that lead us through present shade of Elleray Wood, some fields and pastures and up to the Orrest Head hill (238m) where we could admire some nice views over the Windermere lake.
We took slightly longer version of the path, that allowed us to experience little bit more and immerse into the nature that surrounded us.
As we emerged from the woods and ascended further, the views that unfolded behind us were fantastic.
The viewpoint at Orrest Head offered great, panoramic views over the Windermere lake and the peaks in the distance.
We also couldn’t miss dipping our toes in the lake itself and spend some time at the nearby beach Millerground.
The water was bit cold, but we enjoyed few hours chilling at the waterfront, with a litle bit of paddle boarding and kayaking fun.
The area of Bowness-on-Windermere at Bowness bay was usually quite busy. We did spend a bit of time at Bowness, trying food local eateries and tasting Windemere Ice Cream.
But to escape the busy harbour you can go for a short walk. Only a few minutes outside you can find Cockshott Point, an open fields and small rocky beaches offering views onto the Belle Isle and some marine traffic at Parson Wyke bay.
I tried to play around with flying the drone, but the wind got quite strong so not much good results. I’m still very early at learning that.
From the Cockshott Point you can continue walking around the shore and then return back to Bowness through the fields and further via Rectory Road.
Overall, our stay in Windermere was delightful. The beautiful surroundings and relaxing atmosphere made it a trip to remember.