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Things to do in
Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

1. From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

You leave manic Manchester behind and head straight for the lovely Lake District. Your first stop of the day is at Bowness that sits on the shores of Windermere. You have time here to take a leisurely cruise upon the lake or wander around the town and admire the sublime views of the landscapes. You travel around the southern tip of Windermere and towards Coniston Water. You enjoy the views of this body of water before arriving in the picturesque conservation village of Hawkshead. This is where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School. After exploring the cosy village, you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, a place Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”. There's free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, taste the legendary gingerbread, or enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. We then take in spectacular views of Ullswater Lake as we head along country roads to its southern shores before returning to Manchester in the early evening.

From Liverpool: Lake District Sightseeing Adventure Day Trip

2. From Liverpool: Lake District Sightseeing Adventure Day Trip

The tour departs from Liverpool and drives out of the city into the luscious surrounding countryside. Admire the views as you travel to the UK’s largest national park, the Lake District, stopping at the underground Rheged Discovery Center along the way. During the partially narrated 2-hour journey to the Lake District, the tour also stops by the famous Castlerigg Neolithic Stone Circle where you can feel ancient mythical energy flowing around you. Continue onto Grasmere Village, which boasts an array of beautiful 19th-century architecture, as well as the grave of well-known poet William Wordsworth. Afterward, let your nose lead the way to Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop, where you can taste a selection of traditional sweet treats. Once you’ve filled up on gingerbread, it’s time to explore the national park and navigate through the Langdales, also known as "Little Switzerland". As you wander around the park, marvel at breathtaking views over the landscape, consisting of some of the most dramatic and diverse scenery in the UK. Throughout the tour, enjoy plenty of stops both on and off the bus to make the most of your trip to the Lake District. One of the highlights of the day includes an amble around Blea Tarn and a stop at Ambleside, where you can get lost in the maze of twisting streets or shop at a selection of picturesque stores.

From Manchester: Lake District Tour

3. From Manchester: Lake District Tour

This tour gives you a day in the Lake District National Park, from Manchester. It’s an ideal way to see the spectacular landscape that makes the National Park so special. Leaving Manchester, the tour heads North via the M6 Motorway, in approximately two hours you will arrive in the Lake District. As you start your Lake District tour, you'll enjoy a heritage steam railway ride from Haverthwaite to Lakeside (1st April - 29th October only) followed by a lake cruise. You can sit back and enjoy the unrivalled views of the lake and the fells beyond! With stops at Wray Castle and Tarn Hows you’ll have ample opportunity to take wonderful pictures and take in the beautiful views. You’ll visit the mediaeval village of Hawkshead, famous for its connection with Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. As your Lake District tour comes to an end, we will then continue our journey back to Manchester. Highlights -Lake Cruise -Wray Castle -Tarn Hows -Hawkshead Please note the heritage railway is only available 1st April - 29th October, during the winter the tour will include a lake cruise only.

From Liverpool: Lake District Tour

4. From Liverpool: Lake District Tour

This fantastic Lake District tour from Liverpool gives you the chance to escape into spectacular landscapes and breathtaking scenery that makes the Lake District National Park such a special and remarkable place. Back in 2017 the national park achieved UNESCO World Heritage Status. This tour will give you a taster of just some of the beauty that makes up the Lake District. The tour starts with a heritage steam railway ride on lakeside & haverthwaite railway (1st April - 29th October only). Travel back in time when you climb aboard the steam train. Following this you will enjoy a lake cruise on England's largest lake, Windermere, to Bowness enjoying the spectacular scenery. (Please note it is the passenger’s responsibility to transfer from lakeside station to the windermere lake cruise vessel, as the driver-guide will not be present. The train ends at lakeside where the Lake Cruise starts) From here, you will enjoy lunch in the bustling village of Bowness which has plenty of shops and cafes for you to explore. Then you shall be collected by your driver guide and head to wray castle. This national trust owned castle stands overlooking the lake. Once a holiday home of a teenage Beatrix Potter and her family, it boasts beautiful grounds, glorious views and makes a fascinating stop on your tour. We’ll head to tarn hows, this truly is a remarkable gem in the lake district, where you can stretch your legs and get plenty of photos. We’ll make our way along the winding country lanes to Hawkhead, a mediaeval chocolate box village bursting with charm and character. The village has plenty of charming shops, cafes and pubs for you to enjoy. After you’ve had a wander around the village, we’ll start our journey back towards Liverpool.

Lake District: Beatrix Potter Half-Day Tour

5. Lake District: Beatrix Potter Half-Day Tour

Surround yourself with the scenery that inspired Beatrix Potter's enchanting tales during a half-day tour of the Lake District National Park. Visit the author's home and explore the medieval Hawkshead and the scenic Tarn Hows. Start by making your way to Hill Top, the 17th-century home that Beatrix Potter used as an artistic retreat. Stroll through the charming garden, home to various flowers and which featured in several of her little stories. ~Please note, Hill Top House is closed on Fridays out of the UK school holidays and from November-February. In this case you will visit the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness, here you will discover more of the authors life and about the characters she created. After exploring Miss Potter’s extraordinary house, continue to the medieval village of Hawkshead, and get some time to explore the fascinating village. Drive through the renowned beauty spot of Tarn Hows. Conclude with a lake cruise offering unrivaled views of the mountains.

From London: Lake District Tour with Cream Tea & Cruise

6. From London: Lake District Tour with Cream Tea & Cruise

Head to London Euston station to enjoy a relaxing train journey to Oxenholme in the spectacular Lake District National Park. On arrival at Oxenholme you will be met by a local guide, who will take you on your tour of the Lake District. This tour is the ideal way to explore the best of the Lake District, which is famous for its Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth connections.  Enter the National Park and travel north alongside Lake Windermere to the medieval village of Hawkshead. Explore this fascinating village where Wordsworth went to school. Visit Hawkshead and Hill Top the famous lakeland home of Beatrix Potter. (The property is not open Fridays outside of the UK school holidays or between November - February). When Hill Top is closed we will visit the World Of Beatrix Potter in Bowness to learn more about the author and the characters she created. Continue on towards the renowned beauty spot of Tarn Hows for a photo stop before driving through Yewdale, passing Yew Tree Tarn, used in the film Miss Potter. Next journey into the famous mountainous valleys of the Langdales, which have been carved by glaciers to form spectacular u-shaped valleys. Arriving at the lakeside village of Waterhead you will join a lake cruise on England’s largest lake, Windermere, and sit back and enjoy the views of the Lakeland Fells (local word for mountains). Arriving at Bowness Bay, enjoy a cream tea at the Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel, once owned by Beatrix Potter. You will then be taken back to Oxenholme Station for the train back to London.

Lake District: Half-Day 8 Lakes Afternoon Tour

7. Lake District: Half-Day 8 Lakes Afternoon Tour

Your afternoon starts with a climb, all the way up to the Kirkstone Inn, the highest inhabited building in the Lake District, for a stop to take in the views back down the valley right the way down to Lake Windermere. This once important coaching inn sits almost at the summit of the Lake District's highest pass that is open to motor traffic. From here the road plunges down into the Kirkstone Pass properly with the valley walls rising up steeply on either side on to the viewpoint for a photo stop of the ribbon of road as it descends down to Brothers Water. The thin strip of road winds past the lake, down to the Ullswater Valley and on to the charming and popular village of Patterdale. The only other village in this valley is Glenridding and it is here that you get your first glimpse of the National Park's second largest lake, Ullswater. You follow the road along the western shore of the vast and sparkling lake. You then head north towards Keswick. Your next stop is at one of the most spectacularly located Neolithic stone circles anywhere, Castlerigg. Castlerigg Stone Circle stands on a superb natural plateau commanding a superb 360 degree view over the surrounding fells. Made up of 38 free standing stones, some up to 3 metres (10 feet) high, it is one of Britain's earliest stone circles dating back to the Neolithic period 4000 to 5000 years ago. A short stop here before you head onwards to the shores of Derwentwater. Your journey now takes you along the eastern shores of Derwentwater. Driving along the woodedshore of the lake, the road suddenly forks off and you climb up a narrow, steep track into the wooded fell side. Suddenly, the trees clear and your next destination, Ashness Bridge appears. Ashness Bridge is the most photographed bridge in the Lake District. You will then be taken further up the fell to another well-known beauty spot, the Surprise View: you have an uninterrupted view across Derwent Water to Bassenthwaite. You head back along the shores of Derwentwater and start to head back down towards Ambleside. On the way you will pass Thirlmere, a man-made reservoir. You then head back along the mountain pass of Dunmail Raise. This is also the name of a large cairn which stands on the top of the pass. Legend has it that Dunmail, the last king of Cumberland, is buried beneath the cairn. Now the road drops steadily down from the fells and before long, you drive along the shores of Grasmere, your seventh lake. The road winds along the shore until you come to Rydal Water, your eighth and final lake.

Lake District: 3-Day Small Group Tour from Manchester

8. Lake District: 3-Day Small Group Tour from Manchester

Day 1: Leaving Manchester, we drive north into Lake District National Park and head to one of the most popular towns in the Lake District, Ambleside, hugged by some of England’s finest scenery. Here you’ll have time to explore and grab a bite to eat. We then drive to Kirkstone Pass for some photos. This is the Lake District’s highest pass that is open to motor traffic, and you’ll just love the views. Next up we journey along the shores of Ullswater. This lake is often described as England’s most beautiful lake, and it’s here we give you the chance to take a forest walk and see the mighty Aira Force waterfall. The final stop of the day is another incredible view as we take you to Friar’s Crag, an amazing promontory that overlooks the lake of Derwentwater. You have a short journey into the lively market town of Keswick where you’re dropped off at your accommodation and free to explore the charming town. Day 2: Your first stop of the day really is one of wonder. The mysterious Castlerigg standing stones were thought to have been built over 5,000 years ago and were once a lively hub of ancient pagan rituals. After exploring the past, you take the narrow country lanes towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as ‘the loveliest spot that man hath found’. There’s free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, taste the legendary gingerbread, or enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. Time for lunch in Bowness-on-Windermere, a town sitting snuggly alongside Lake Windermere. This area is filled with adorable villages and surrounded by beautiful scenery. Enjoy a boat cruise on the lake, a truly wonderful way to take in the sights. That afternoon you continue to explore this wonderful region, including a stop at Langdale Boulders where you might spot some prehistoric rock art. After a stop in the cosy village of Hawkshead, you return to Keswick in the early evening. Day 3: There’s still plenty of adventure to be had today. We pick you up from your accommodation and you journey along winding lanes, past the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere, and towards the Honister Mountain Pass.Stopping amongst the mountains you have the opportunity to see old slate workings, where a small number of Cumbrians continue to make their living. Next up is something that will stop you in your tracks. The enormous Bowder Stone fell 200 metres from the Bowder Crag more than 10,000 years ago. The stone is an estimated 2,000 tonnes, around 9 metres high and 15 metres in diameter. Imagine the sound it would have made upon impact. You head back into Keswick for a nice bite to eat before heading to the lovely shores of Ullswater for a walk. Your last big stop of the day is in the market town of Kendal. Here you have time to explore and enjoy the cobbled streets and heritage to be found. From here you return to Manchester. *

Ultimate Lake District Tour Visiting 10 Lakes

9. Ultimate Lake District Tour Visiting 10 Lakes

Your day starts with a climb, all the way up to the Kirkstone Pass Inn for a stop to take in the views back down the valley right the way down to Lake Windermere and Ambleside. From here the road plunges down into the Kirkstone Pass and descends down to Brothers Water. As you arrive at the village of Glenridding, you join a 1-hour cruise on Ullswater to relax and see the stunning fells as the boat cruises the full length of the lake. You then leave Ullswater and head north and west towards Castlerigg. Castlerigg Stone Circle stands on a superb natural plateau commanding a superb 360 degree view over the surrounding fells. Made up of 38 free standing stones, some up to 3 metres (10 feet) high, it is one of Britain's earliest stone circles dating back to the Neolithic period 4000 to 5000 years ago. Your journey now takes you a short distance to the head of Derwentwater where you stop at Lakeside near Keswick, for lunch. You then travel to 'Surprise View', one of the most stunning viewpoints in the Lake District. The road now rises higher as you climb the fell to the Honister Slate Mine at the head of the pass. You have a brief stop here. You now descend slowly down the steep track as it twists and turns into the Honister Pass and on to Buttermere. Buttermere could not be more of a contrast to the magnificent yet hard scenery of Honister. You are now entering the Vale of Lorton, one of the lushest and prettiest parts of the Northern Lakes. The spectacular scenery continues as you move along the shore of Crummock Water with unparalleled views and also the site of an ancient battle. From here the scenery softens and the fells decline into hills. You now take the road which will bring you into the Whinlatter Pass, your third mountain pass on this tour. The pass winds through Whinlatter Forest. Then on to the Whinlatter Viewpoint where you will stop again to allow you to admire the magnificent views of Bassenthwaite. You now head back towards Keswick and start the journey down towards Ambleside. On the way you will pass Thirlmere, and at the foot of the water, you then head back along your fourth, and last, mountain pass of Dunmail Raise. You pass Grasmere village to drive along the shores of Grasmere, your ninth lake. The road winds along the shore until you come to Rydal Water, your tenth and final lake.

Lake District 3-Day Small Group Tour from Edinburgh

10. Lake District 3-Day Small Group Tour from Edinburgh

Day 1 Depart Edinburgh and head south through the Scottish Borders. Take in the gorgeous rolling expanses of the Galloway Hills and Southern Uplands as you travel to the first stop of the day, the Victorian spa town of Moffat. From Moffat you’ll continue south over the border into England and head to the historic Cumbrian market town of Penrith. Enjoy lunch and explore the imposing ruins of Penrith Castle. After lunch you'll enter the Lake District National Park and travel along the northern shores of Ullswater. Often described as England’s most beautiful lake, it’s here you’ll enjoy a forest walk and see the mighty Aira Force Waterfall. Continue towards Keswick, stopping outside the town to visit the mysterious Castlerigg Standing Stones, thought to have been built over 5,000 years ago and once a hub of ancient pagan rituals. Head into the lively market town of Keswick where you’ll be dropped off at your accommodation, with free time to explore the charming town. Note that in July and early August your accommodation may be in Windermere. Day 2 After breakfast, you take in views of Ullswater Lake as we head along country roads to its southern shores. You continue further south and travel over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass towards the lovely Lake Windermere. Here you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the Lake or eat lunch while enjoying sublime views of the surrounding scenery. After lunch you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water. Your next stop is the picturesque conservation village of Hawkshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School. After exploring the cosy village, you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”. There's free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, taste the legendary gingerbread, or enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. In the late afternoon, you return to Keswick. Day 3 You’ll be picked up at your accommodation and head to the Whinlatter Forest Park and over the Whinlatter Pass into the most dramatic landscapes that the Lake District has to offer. The drive takes you along winding lanes, through the rural village of High Lorton, past the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere and toward the Honister Mountain Pass. Stopping in the mountains, you’ll have the opportunity to visit old slate workings, where a small number of Cumbrians continue to make their living. After refreshments, the drive continues through the forests of Borrowdale, passing Derwent Water, where there will be free time for lunch and shopping. After lunch, you’ll begin the return journey, heading toward Penrith and north to the border. After crossing into Scotland you’ll stop in the town of Biggar, a royal burgh since 1415. From there it’s a leisurely drive through the rolling border hills back to Edinburgh.

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What people are saying about Lake Windermere

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 141 reviews

Loved the tour, Jerry was very informative (he knows his stuff), helpful and funny. we loved that he played Beatrice Potter stories and Wordsworth poetry as well were driving through their homeland. Very good value for money. Loved all the stops, only one slight criticism, we would have liked to see more of Lake Windermere.

We enjoyed our day with Tim, who was friendly and shared interesting information throughout the journey. It was great to have a tour that fit many sights into a single day trip!

Overall the trip was great, our guide Chris was wonderful and knew how to bright up the mood and took good care of everyone

The guide was so friendly and gave us lots of information about travel

Great tours in small groups and comfortable modern buses