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Windermere Windermere MV Swan on Windermere

© Trevor Rikard

© Neil Hanson

© Stuart Yeates


About Windermere 

Windermere is situated within the Lake District National Park and is the largest natural lake in England.

It has been one of the country’s most popular places for holidays and summer homes since 1847, when the Kendal and Windermere Railway built a branch line to it.

There are two towns on the lake, Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere with the town of Windermere and its railway station about a fifteen-minute walk from the lakefront.

The lake contains 18 islands, the largest being the privately owned Belle Isle (40 acres (16 ha)) lying opposite Bowness and around a kilometre in length.

Passenger boat services serve the length of the lake, from Lakeside railway station, on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite heritage steam railway at the southern end of the lake, to Waterhead Bay near Ambleside in the north. Intermediate stops are made at Bowness and, by smaller launches only, at Brockholes.

Three of the old railway boats are operated by Windermere Lake Cruises Ltd, along with a fleet of smaller and more modern launches. Although often described as steamers, the former railway boats are all in fact motor vessels, and are the MV Tern of 1891, the MV Teal of 1936, and the MV Swan of 1938.

The Windermere Ferry, a vehicle carrying cable ferry, runs across the lake from Ferry Nab on the eastern side of the lake to Far Sawrey on the western side of the lake.

Windermere Jetty - Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories, is located in Bowness on Rayrigg Road, and includes a collection of vintage steam boats dating back to 1896. 

Walking routes near Windermere


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