Activities in the Lake District

If you are looking for an adventure holiday in the UK, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to activities in the Lake District.

The Lake District, also referred to as ‘the Lakes’, is a mountainous region in North West England which boasts stunning scenery and glistening lakes.

The Lake District is also famous for its association with the poetry and writing of William Wordsworth who resided here in the 18th century. It is a very popular holiday destination and is the most visited national park in the UK with 15.8 million annual visitors and more than 23 million annual day visits.

Some of the most popular outdoor activities in the Lake District include:

Cycling

The Lake District is a perfect cycling destination. Whether you prefer road or mountain as a complete novice or expert, there is a route for you.

Mountain bikers should try the routes through Whinlatter Forest and Grizedale Forest with a network of bridleways that will really challenge your skills.

For road bikers, the Lake District has a huge network of lanes with hills and mountains galore for you to explore the scenic views.

You don't have to own a bike as there are many different shops where you can hire a bike for the day. Cycling can make a great day out for a couple or a family.

Walking

The Lake District has been voted the UK Walker’ Favourite destination many times over. With walks for every ability and fitness level there is little wonder people keep coming back. If you are a beginner then you can follow a volunteer on one of the guided activities in the Lake District. Choose from short strolls through to full days out, walking through spectacular landscapes. The really good thing about the guided walks is that they are usually free.

No matter how far you would like to walk and how difficult the route will be, there are many different maps and routes that can be followed.

Adrenaline sports

Different areas of the Lake District currently run kitesurfing, zorbing, mountain boarding, climbing, abseiling, horse riding and kayaking activities.

The Coniston boating centre is the place to go for boat hire and water-sport activities. Also the adventure hub is a great place to get some inspiration for adrenaline activities and to book days out.

The River deep mountain high outdoor adventure and activity centre offer a wide range of activities perfect for adrenaline junkies. Ranging from gorge walking and sailing to canoeing and raft building.

These centres offer activities suitable for all ages and abilities, making it a great action family day out. All the equipment is provided with purchase.

Whatever type of activities in the Lake District you are looking for, you will find a wealth of attractions to choose from. If you are planning to stay for a night or two, why not book into a romantic Windermere cottage to make the most of your stay?

Sightseeing tours in the Lake District

If you are a lover of the great outdoors you will find a host of incredible sightseeing tours in the Lake District.

One of England’s most treasured possessions, the Lake District is known for its natural beauty, its rolling fells, and of course its glistening lakes.

If you are ever planning to visit the Lake District then you must gather details of the top sightseeing tours in the Lakes before you arrive.

The Lake District is the perfect holiday destination for nature lovers as by coming here one can enjoy the beautiful natural scenario amid moderate climate which makes the tourists feel like heaven. In order to get the maximum fun out of your break in the Lakes, why not a rent a luxurious and romantic hot tub holiday cottage in Windermere?

Besides historic sightseeing destinations, visitors can check out amazing museums in the Lakes, including the Windermere Steamboat Museum where the visitors can explore world's best assortment of steamboats.

Visitors can indulge their passion for water sports such as kayaking and canoeing and scuba diving. Kayaking and canoeing are the perfect option available to explore the natural beauty of the river and the rugged streams.

This region is emerging as a popular holiday destination for those craving for outdoor sports as visitors can enjoy here sports such as wind surfing. Visitors can enjoy wind surfing only under professional supervision of an expert wind surfer who is dedicated to make the visitors enjoy wind surfing in a safe manner.

Visitors can choose to eat in their holiday cottages or go out and sample some of the excellent local food in the pubs and restaurants of Bowness and Windermere.

Tourists can enjoy here an extensive range of adventure activities such as rock climbing, canoeing, abseiling, sailing, and mountain biking. So it can be concluded that the Lake District is the perfect place to go on a family holiday and rent a holiday cottage in Windermere.

Top sightseeing tours in the Lake District include:

Dove Cottage, once the home of famous Lake District resident and poet, William Wordsworth, and Hill Top at Sawrey, which was the residence of children´s author, Beatrix Potter. Both houses are open to the public, and Potter´s home has changed little since she died in 1943. Both authors were inspired to write many of their famous books and poems while living in the Lake District, and Beatrix Potter left her house to the National Trust before she died, on the condition that they left it exactly as it was and opened it to the public.

If you enjoy boating but don´t want to exert yourself, buy a ticket for one of the steamers which cross the lakes regularly, and you can hop on and off wherever you choose. Sightseeing excursions and tours of the Lake District can also be arranged from Bowness Bay, and wherever you are staying in the region, you can get from A to B with relative ease.

Top things to do in the Lake District

The Lake District is the most visited national park in England with over 16 million visitors each year.

If you are planning to visit the Lakes, why not stay in a romantic hot tub cottage in Windermere?

The area’s perfect lakes and tarns lay scattered across rugged, emerald green mountains and rolling plains. Those seeking a leisurely yet exciting holiday should look no further. The region, with its stunning beauty, unforgettable scenery and wealth of activities, guarantees that your holiday will be memorable and worthwhile. Here are just five things to do while visiting this wonderful place.

A visit to the National Park is a must-do activity when visiting the region. Located in the idyllic heart, it is the largest National Park in England and the second largest in the UK. The park offers a plethora of activities and recreational options. Visitors can go fishing in the park's pristine lakes and rivers or do some hiking along its countless nature trails while the area's abundance of flora and fauna offers countless opportunities for keen bird and animal watchers. The trails also offer great sightseeing opportunities. From the soaring Scafell Pike to the deep waters of Wastwater Lake, breathtaking beauty and unrivalled scenery is offered at every turn.

With more than 3,500 km to explore, the park is as expansive as it is beautiful and many other activities such as cycling, boating and kayaking are also on offer. The crown jewel of the Lake District, the National Park, is definitely not to be missed. Mountain climbing and hiking are also highly popular. The region offers a wealth of rugged mountains to explore, including the famous Scafell Pike. The area's picturesque landscape, sweeping valleys and furrowed skylines make for the perfect hiking and mountain climbing experience. Catbells and Hayeswater are two especially memorable locations for keen climbers.

Boat trips are a great way to see the many lakes in their true beauty. Boating trips offer breath-taking views of the district's stunning scenery and are an excellent way to relax and enjoy a leisurely day. Windermere, Coniston, Derwent Water and Ullswater lakes all offer boat trips, some with scheduled stops at the pretty lakeside towns. There's no better way to relax and take in the phenomenal landscape than a boat trip on one of the lakes.

Railway tours are yet another great activity in the district. Perfect for leisure travel and sightseeing, they are among the most popular things to do when visiting the area. The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway offers stunning views of Lake Windermere while the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway holds unforgettable views of the district's hills and valleys.

Finally, no holiday in the Lake District is complete without visiting at least a few of its charming villages.

If you are looking for somewhere special to stay in Windermere, book into a romantic Windermere cottage.

Coastal towns in the Lake District, Cumbria

Famous for its stunning lakes, its rolling landscapes and a host of natural attractions, England’s Lake District is also home to coastal towns and villages which are well worth a visit.

Solway Firth

The West coast takes you through many historic towns and villages, and the area is renowned for spectacular sunsets, and peaceful surroundings. Many visitors to the area come to escape the crowds of the busier Lake District resorts, and to enjoy the wildlife, flora and fauna.

Situated on the shores of the Solway Firth, facing southern Galloway, Silloth has a backdrop of fells and open countryside, and is known for its mild climate, and the peace and quiet that surrounds it. The Green is a 36-acre grassy area in the middle of town which attracts many visitors.

The name of Silloth was derived from Cistercian Monks at Holme Cultram Abbey in Abbeytown, Silloth, and was named after the sea lathes in which grain was once stored.

Whitehaven

Whitehaven was planned and built by Sir John Lowther, who was inspired by Christoper Wren´s designs for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666. Streets were designed in a grid pattern, with St. Nicholas Church sitting in the middle. Owing to the shallow waters of the Solway, the prosperity of Whitehaven declined, which limited the size of ships entering the harbour. The deeper water ports at Liverpool and Glasgow prospered at Whitehaven´s expense.

Popular attractions in Whitehaven include: The Rum Story, which is a family-friendly museum, dedicated to the history of rum-making, The Haig Colliery Mining Museum, the last of Cumbria´s deep coal mines, The Beacon, which documents the history and industry of Whitehaven, and Whitehaven Marine Adventures, which includes a 90-minute boat ride to the nature reserves of St.Bees.

Ravenglass

Ravenglass was an important coastal base for the Romans, who occupied this part of the Cumbria for over 300 years. Ravenglass was also a busy port in the middle ages, when goods were imported across the Irish Sea. Ravenglass thrived from 1208, when King John signed a charter to create a market village.

Once home to over 1,000 Roman soldiers, the fort of Glannaventa is one of the biggest remaining Roman buildings of its kind in England. The Roman road from Ravenglass led up to Hard Knott Fort in Upper Eskdale, and on to a third port in Ambleside.

Seascale

Seascale is the only village on the Cumbrian coast, and was once a Roman settlement. The village was once a favourite seaside resort with Victorian visitors, who believed the fresh sea and mountain air would benefit their health. Since the early days of tourists travel to the Lake District, Seascale was accessed by the Furness West Coast Railway Company.

Modern attractions include: golf, bowling, local cricket and a beautiful coastline, offering views over to the Isle of Man.

If you are planning a trip to the Lake District and you want to explore the coastal towns and the lakeside villages, why not base yourself in a luxurious Windermere Cottage with hot tub?

Winter in the Lake District

If you are planning to visit the Lake District and want to avoid the summer crowds, visit in winter when most of the attractions are still open.

The Lake District is one of the most relaxing places in England and whether you are planning to stroll on the fells, relax at a luxurious Windermere spa cottage or embark on a tour of the local stately homes, you will find plenty of places to keep you entertained.

Few things are more enjoyable than a long walk on the fells, fuelled by Kendal mint cake, followed by a pint of real ale in a country pub with roaring fire, or a soak in a hot tub suite in a Windermere spa cottage.

Dramatic scenery, glistening lakes and award-winning attractions see over 16 million visitors come to the Lake District each year.

Stay as much off the beaten track as you can if you want to really explore the hidden gems of the Lakes. Windermere is a great place to lose yourself out of season, and a lakes cruise followed by a walk around the shore come highly recommended.

Nearly every valley in the Lake District has a micro-climate, and contrary to rumour, the sun often shines (although it may not be the Mediterranean variety). Late spring and early autumn can be much warmer than legend has it and if you are feeling adventurous, why not enjoy a dip in Windermere?

The great thing about the Lake District is that you will always find plenty of things to see and do, whatever the weather throws at you. Head to Abbot Hall art gallery in Kendal. This grand Georgian building houses a very good collection of paintings by George Romney, who was a local, and consistently impressive exhibitions.

The Armitt Museum, Ambleside is a unique Library and museum with the emphasis on fun and entertainment. A superb collection of books and manuscripts and objects relating to the Lake District.

The Honister Slate Mines are the last working slate mines in the Lake District and a fully guided tour underground is available throughout the day. Also information about the history and features of this spectacular mine.

The award-winning Rheged Centre was named after Cumbria´s Celtic Kingdom and its attractions include a cinema screen the size of 6 double decker buses. This excellent venue gets very busy when the weather is poor so get there early if you can.

The Puzzling Place was opened in 2001 in Museum Square, Keswick and incorporates a gallery style exhibition which is different to anything experienced in the area before, combining fun, surprise and education. Lots of interactive exhibitions.

Whatever time of year you visit the Lake District, you are sure to find a wide choice of things to do. Book a romantic Windermere Cottage with a hot tub to make the most of your stay!

A Weekend Break in the Lake District, England

The Lake District National Park, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is ideal for a weekend break, and offers romantic Windermere cottages with hot tubs, log burning stoves and spa baths.

Without doubt one of the most scenic locations in Europe, the Lake District is situated in the north-west of England in the county of Cumbria and is a perfect destination for climbers, walkers and hikers who come to enjoy the stunning countryside.

With 16 lakes and 53 tarns with forests, fells, hills and mountains thrown into the mix, the Lake District is a perfect location for lovers of the great outdoors. The highest fell is Scafell Pike, although Helvellyn and Great Gable offer better views.

Windermere offers visitors plenty of attractions, including Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, the Beatrix Potter Attraction, Windermere Lake Cruises and the award-winning Lakes Aquarium. Dove Cottage, the former home of William Wordsworth in Grasmere, just down the road is also worth a visit.

A wide choice of country pubs, restaurants and cafés are situated in Bowness Bay overlooking Windermere, with something to suit all tastes and budgets. Sample the local roast lamb or the Cumberland sausages for a real treat. Locally-caught Borrowdale trout are also delicious.

If you plan to travel around the Lake District during your weekend away, take the small narrow-gauge steam railway between Ravenglass and Eskdale Stations.

If you are only planning to stay a couple of days, Windermere is probably the best place to base yourself, as you will find a range of attractions on the doorstep without having to waste time travelling.

Lake Windermere is long and narrow. A number of rivers feed into it while the River Leven flows out of the southernmost point. Numerous walks can be undertaken through the surrounding foothills. To the north and north-east higher fell country provide stunning views from their peaks.

One great Windermere attraction great is the Great North Swim which takes place each year and draws up to 10,000 participants. The three day event comprises distances of half a mile, a mile and two miles. This spectacular venue is also home to many other swimming and boating events.

The region provides many opportunities for the visitor to experience a range of activities. Canoes, rowing boats and bikes can be hired and the beautifully preserved natural woodlands and forests make hiking a real joy. The views from some of the surrounding hills are stunning.

If you are looking for perfect accommodation for a romantic weekend in the Lakes, why not choose a romantic Windermere cottage with a hot tub, a whirlpool bath for two and a luxurious bathroom?

Lake District attractions and romantic cottages in Windermere

Wherever you stay in the Lake District you find a wide choice of accommodation, including romantic spa cottages in Windermere.

A wide range of attractions in the Lake District include horse racing in Cartmel, rock climbing in Great Langdale, horse riding in Keswick, swimming in Windermere, boating at Ullswater and visiting the Beatrix Potter Attraction and the Lakes Aquarium in Bowness. Whether you fancy a quiet time in the lakes, enjoying the scenery, and the landscapes, or you want to enjoy some real-life adventure, you will find a vast range of attractions to suit all tastes and budgets.

Spa breaks and weekend breaks in the Lake District are popular all year round, and wherever you choose to go in the lakes, you will find a wide choice of accommodation to suit your requirements in Windermere, Bowness, Coniston, Keswick, Kendal, Cockermouth, Penrith or Grasmere. The Lake District is also the perfect location to hold a wedding reception, and if you are planning a wedding or honeymoon in the Lake District, book your hotel in plenty of time, as they get particularly busy in summer.

Windermere is the longest lake in England at 10.5 miles, and you can enjoy plenty of attractions in nearby Bowness Bay. If you are planning your first visit to the Lake District, buy a map of the area, or pick one up from a tourist information centre when you arrive, and plan your trip. The Lake District is easily accessible from Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle Airports, and the M6 enables easy access to visitors from other parts of England.

If you are interested in the history and culture of the Lake District, visit the Honister Slate Mine, which teaches visitors about the slate quarrying industry, which was one of the main industries in the Lake District from the 1700s, or take a trip to the Threlkeld Mining Museum near Keswick, which provides a unique insight into the work and lives of men who worked in the mining industry from the early years.

Wherever you stay in the Lake District, you won´t be far from towns, villages and attractions which appeal to all the family. Museums, stately homes and some of England´s finest gardens are open to the public in the Lake District, and many of the attractions are child-friendly, offering plenty to do for the kids. Excellent public transport links allow visitors to explore the smaller villages, including Grasmere, Ambleside and Bowness, along with regular steamers to transport you across Windermere and Ullswater.

Dove Cottage was once the home of famous Lake District resident and poet, William Wordsworth, and Hill Top at Sawrey was the residence of children´s author, Beatrix Potter. Both houses are open to the public, and Potter´s home has changed little since she died in 1943. Both authors were inspired to write many of their famous books and poems while living in the Lake District, and Beatrix Potter left her house to the National Trust before she died, on the condition that they left it exactly as it was.

If you are planning a romantic weekend in the Lake District why not choose a luxury spa cottage in Windermere.

Greenery, scenery and wildlife in the Lake District

Windermere and the Lake District are not only home to some of the most diverse and stunning landscapes but also host rare and endangered birds and wildlife. Wintering birds such as the Golden Eye or Tufted Duck can be found in the region, plus the widest range of large aquatic plants in the National Park. Underwater plants such as Waterwort and White Water Lily can also be found in Windermere. The region is also home to important lakeshore wetlands, where otters and native white-clawed crayfish thrive. Charr fish can also still be found in the lake, which are usually associated with Arctic Waters.

If you want to explore the scenery and see the stunning Lake District wildlife, why not book into a romantic Windermere cottage to make the most of your stay?

Reed beds offer secure resting places for birds and breeding birds in the spring and summer and reed fringes also help break up wave energy from wind and boat wakes, and slow down the erosion of the shoreline. Although grey squirrels are increasing their populations in South Cumbria, and to a lesser extent North Cumbria, there are still large numbers of red squirrels within northern areas of the National Park. When faced with competition from grey squirrels the reds survive best in large blocks of coniferous woodland. They need a consistent and diverse food supply consisting of tree seeds, nuts, berries, cones, buds, shoots, flowers, lichen, fungi and occasionally insects.

The autumn and winter seed harvest is important for surviving the winter and for breeding successfully the following year. Squirrels do not hibernate, they need to eat all year round to survive. Between April and August the natural food supplies of a red squirrel are at their lowest, consequently as many as 5 out of 6 young red squirrels may die in their first year.

There is a good variety of places to cater for lovers of animals in Cumbria, from the specialist centres for birds of prey and fishes, to Lakeland’s only Zoo at Dalton-in-Furness where tigers and other rare animals can be seen. Top places to visit include the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, about a mile out of Dalton-in-Furness. This the Lake District’s only zoological park, which is recognised as one of Europe’s leading conservation zoos. 17 acres are home to the rarest animals on earth, who are participants in co-ordinated breeding programmes to save them from extinction in the wild.

The Aquarium of the Lakes at Newby Bridge. At Lakeside, on the southern end of Windermere you can discover in over 30 displays the fascinating and often secret world of wildlife and freshwater creatures dwelling in and alongside these magnificent waters. The Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre at Lowtham. Situated 1/4 mile from the entrance to Lowther Castle in the grounds of a walled garden, surrounded by unspoilt parkland. If you are planning a trip to Windermere or the Lake District, why not book into a romantic cottage in Bowness with a hot tub?

Must-visit attractions in the Lake District

If you are looking for something special to do during your visit to the Lakes, why not book into a romantic spa cottage in Bowness, and explore.

Some of the best things to do in the Lake District include:

Hill Top – the former home of Beatrix Potter

Famous childrens´ author, Beatrix Potter left her home to the Lake District National Park when she died in 1943, on the condition that it remained the same and that the public were allowed to visit the house. This 17th Century farmhouse transports visitors back in time to the days when Beatrix Potter found inspiration from local animals to write her books, including the Tale of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway

This amazing scenic railway transports visitors from Ravenglass to Boot Station at Dalegarth, which is a great region to explore on foot, at the bottom of the Scafell Range. Stunning scenery around both stations make this the ideal trip for visitors who want to enjoy the fells, the mountains and the local countryside.

Dove Cottage, former home of William Wordsworth

For fans of William Wordsworth, his former home, Dove Cottage in Grasmere is well worth a visit. The famous poet/author was inspired to write many of his most well known poems while living at Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount (which is also open to the public). Wordsworth lived in the Lake District from 1799 to 1808, and the museum is home to one of the best collections of items related to the Romantic Poets of the time. Visitors can also visit Wordsworth´s grave in the village at St Oswald´s Church.

Windermere Lake Cruises

You can enjoy stunning views of Windermere and the surrounding countryside from a Windermere steamer. Breathtaking scenery and lakeside attractions, including the Lakes Aquarium can be reached by steamer. In summer, visitors can also book sunset cruises and dinner cruises, with guides.

Muncaster Castle

This historic castle appeared in TV programme, The Lakes, and offers visitors 70 acres of landscaped gardens, including a maze and the World Owl Centre. If you dare, book a ghost sitting trip in what is supposedly one of the most haunted places in England.

Blackwell, the arts and crafts house

Blackwell is an internationally famous house, and boasts period rooms and stunning features including arts and crafts furniture. Visitors can look around the whole property and also make the most of the stunning local scenery at Bowness. There is also a tea room, a gift and crafts shop and frequently changing exhibitions held in the house.

Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre

Brockhole is the perfect attraction for a full day out in the Lakes. Beautiful gardens and an adventure playground, plus plenty of things to do on the lake, including rowing boats, kayaks and a mini golf course, keep this attraction top of most peoples´ list when choosing where to go in the Lake District. A great day out for all the family.

The Award-winning Lakes Aquarium

The Lakes Aquarium is situated on the shores of Windermere, and allows visitors to explore underwater worlds from Morecambe Bay to Asia. Visitors can come face to face with amphibians and reptiles in the Tropical Rainforest, and touch the ray fish. Educational and fun, you can embark on a journey from beneath Windermere – very highly recommended.

Honister Slate Mine & The 'Via Ferrata'

Honister is England´s last working slate mine and the ´Via Ferrata´ is an ancient cliffe edge footpath on Fleetwith Pike, formerly used by the miners. The path is safe, but the more adventurous visitors can try the Via Ferrata Xtreme which includes edge exposure, vertical climbs, cliff edge ladders plus a Burma Bridge and Cargo Net crossing.

Why not treat someone special to a romantic break in the Lakes and book into a Windermere cottage with hot tub?

A mini-moon or birthday celebration in Windermere

If you are planning a mini-moon, a birthday celebration or an anniversary get-away, why not book into a romantic cottage in Windermere with hot tub? Windermere is surrounded by beautiful scenery and is of course England’s largest lake. This part of the Lakes is a haven for couples who want to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Lake District. Many older cottages in Windermere have been renovated and offer luxury facilities, including hot tubs, whirlpool baths for two, mood lighting and even spa bathrooms. All a far cry from the cottages of old which once provided basic accommodation for farm workers.

There is so much to see and do in Windermere that if you manage to drag yourself out of your luxury cottage in the Lake District, you can choose from a range of attractions and activities. Windermere Lake Cruises offers trips across the famous lake where you can stop off at points of interest and immerse yourself in the history of Windermere. Windermere pubs also offer fine local ales, delicious Cumbrian food and open fires in the winter. Imagine a long walk on the fells followed by dinner in a local pub and a long, hot soak in your very own hot tub on return to your cottage.

If you are planning a romantic stay, choose a luxury Windermere cottage with perfect facilities for a couple – many properties now offer large bedrooms and stunning bathrooms with open plan lounges and kitchens and log burning stoves. Attractions worth seeing in Windermere include Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, Bowness Bay and the Lakes Aquarium. Choose from a range of dining options from cosy cafes to Michelin starred restaurants. Windermere is also a great place to base yourself if you are planning to explore the lakes. Good transport links and a wide choice of excursions are available from Windermere to all major towns and villages in the Lakes.

Self-catering luxury cottages in Windermere are more popular than ever and provide perfect accommodation for couples looking for an ideal place to celebrate a special occasion.Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House is one of the major attractions near Windermere. Visitors can enjoy stunning views over the lake from the gardens, and soak up the peaceful atmosphere in the house itself, which was built between 1898 and 1900, and designed by M H Baillie Scott. Blackwell was originally built as a holiday home for Sir Edward Holt, owner of the Manchester Brewery. Original features ensure Blackwell retains much of its original charm. Several rooms are used as galleries, and the gardens offer a picturesque terrace bordered by flowers where visitors can enjoy a bite to eat and take in the incredible views. Whatever time of year you decide to celebrate in Windermere, you will find a wide choice of romantic Windermere cottages to choose from.

Mini-moons and honeymoons in Windermere

The natural beauty of the Lake District and Windermere in particular attract many couples who want to spend a mini-moon or honeymoon in style and luxury.

Why not choose a luxury boutique cottage in Windermere with a hot tub, king sized bed and luxurious facilities with log burning stove in?

Honeymoons are a special time for couples, and whether you want to walk along the water´s edge at Windermere, or partake in some more adventurous outdoor activities you will find plenty of things to see and do whatever time of year you visit.

If you are staying at a romantic cottage in Windermere, take a trip across the lake on the Windermere Steamers, and visit villages at the other side of the water, or hop on and off where you choose and visit some great attractions along the way including the Lakes Aquarium.

Romance and the Lake District go hand in hand, and if you want to explore the region, take a trip on board the Settle to Carlisle Railway which whisks you through the magnificent Yorkshire Dales, over the arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct and through the Blea Moor tunnel and on to Carlisle. The scenery is stunning along the route.

Windermere is blessed with some of the finest scenery in Windermere, and if you want to walk in the footsteps of famous former resident, William Wordsworth, there are plenty of quiet trails and routes around the lake.

The region is also blessed with some of the best restaurants in England, many of which are Michelin starred. Try the Gilpin Lodge Country House Hotel in Windermere with 4 dining rooms and a choice of beautifully presented classical English dishes. A little further afield but also worth a visit is L´Enclume at Grange-over-sands, Cartmel with modern cuisine and a range of dishes incorporating local cuisine. Holbeck Ghyll at Ambleside offers excellent cuisine and a wide choice of flavours, using fresh seasonal produce.

If you are lucky enough to enjoy some warm weather in the Lake District, take a picnic down to the water´s edge and make the most of the stunning scenery. Plenty of farmer´s markets are held regularly in and around Windermere, and you can pick up some delicious local cheeses, patés and pickles to enjoy beside the lake.

If you enjoy visiting stately homes, take a trip to Levens Hall which boasts magnificent topiary gardens and dates back to 1694. Said to be the oldest topiary in the world, visitors come to Levens Hall from all over the world to enjoy the hall and the gardens. Well worth a visit.

If you are feeling adventurous, and for a real bird´s eye view of the Lake District, book a hot air balloon flight over Windermere which can be booked in advance when the weather is good.

If you can drag yourself out of your luxurious honeymoon cottage in Windermere, you will find a wealth of attractions and events nearby.

A tour of the Lake District - Ulverston

Ulverston is a market town in the south Lakeland district of Cumbria in north-west England. Once part of Lancashire, the town is situated in the Furness area, close to the Lake District, and just north of Morecambe Bay. The most visible landmark in Ulverston is Hoad Monument, which is a concrete structure, built in 1850 to commemorate the local resident and English statesman, Sir John Barrow, who died in 1848.

If you are staying in a spa cottage in Windermere, Ulverston is within easy driving distance.

Ulverston today is a lively town where visitors can enjoy a range of events and festivals. Specialist shops, cosy country pubs and traditional markets combine to make Ulverston one of the most popular towns in the Lake District. Colourful houses and cobbled streets lead to narrow alleys and quaint shops and cafés. The stunning local scenery of the Furness Peninsula surrounds the town, and the coastline boasts superb views over Morecambe Bay.

Morecambe Bay

The wide mud flats and sand banks of Morecambe Bay are home to a vast range of seafood, including oysters, mussels, whelks and cockles, and in turn are important feeding grounds for migrating birds. The molluscs have been harvested by local fishermen for centuries.

Ulverston Canal

Thought to be the shortest and deepest canal in Britain, Ulverston Canal was an important part of the local economy for over 50 years. The lock gates at Canal Foot have since been replaced by a concrete dam, which seals the canal from the sea and offers a haven for freshwater fish and wildlife. Visitors can enjoy a walk along the towpath from Canal Street to Canal Foot, and take in some of the beautiful scenery along the way.

Sea Wood

Sea Wood is an ancient woodland that once belonged to Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for just 9 days before her execution in 1554. Originally planted with oak to provide timber for shipbuilding, the tree trunks were floated up the estuary during high tides to the shipyard in Ulverston. During springtime, the woodland floor is covered with wild flowers, which provides visitors with one of the most beautiful sights in the lakes.

The Cumbria Coastal Way

The Cumbria Coastal way is only for serious walkers. This long distance route of 182 miles, stretches between Morecambe Way and the Solway Firth, and runs around the coastline of Cumbria. The journey offer walkers many diverse sights along the way, from the Victorian towns of Barrow and Millom, to the Roman town of Carlisle. The walk also takes in the stunning natural landscapes of the Duddon Estuary and the high-tec and controversial, Sellafield site

Sir John Barrow 

Not only was local man, John Barrow a great statesman, but he was also a well known explorer. Born at Dragley Beck, Ulverston, in 1764, Barrow learnt many languages during his travels, including Mandarin Chinese, and he became second secretary of the Admiralty. Barrow promoted and encouraged British naval exploration of West Africa and the Arctic, and in 1830 he became a founder member of the Royal Geographical Society. Barrow died in 1848.

Sir John Barrow's Cottage

Sir John Barrow´s Cottage is open to visitors occasionally, and is a simple, one storey house which originally had a thatched roof and oak framed windows. The property was given to the town by the Barrow family.

Why not make the most of your trip to the Lakes and book into a hot tub cottage in Windermere?

The most beautiful lakes in England’s Lake District

If you are looking for somewhere to chill out, recharge your batteries and make the most of the stunning Lake District countryside, explore some of the most beautiful lakes at your own pace:

Bassenthwaite Lake

The most northerly of the major lakes, Bassenthwaite lies between Keswick and Cockermouth. The best views of Bassenthwaite lake, indeed, one of the best views in the Lake District, can be had by taking the minor road from Braithwaite village that leads up to the Whinlatter Pass. A pull-by part way up the climb provides wonderful views over the lake. On the eastern shore is Mirehouse, a quiet Georgian house with connections to Lord Tennyson and other Victorian literary figures. Close to Bassenthwaite village is a RSPB bird sanctuary.

Coniston Water

Lying roughly parallel to Lake Windermere, Coniston Water is famous as the site of Donald Campbell's successful attempts to break the world speed record. Campbell's final record attempt led to his untimely death, and the story of Campbell's Bluebird is just one of the fascinating bits of local history you will learn about if you take one of the steam gondola trips that leave from Coniston pier. Across the lake from Coniston village is Brantwood, the home of Victorian author John Ruskin. The Brantwood estate is full of opportunities to walk and enjoy the outdoors. Coniston itself caters to those wishing to enjoy outdoor activities as well, and offers a good range of accommodation.

Derwentwater

One of the most 'developed' of the lakes, Derwentwater offers some of the best boating and water sport opportunities, with numerous marinas and boat hire companies serving visitors. The major destination on Derwentwater is  Keswick, at the north end of the lake. On the eastern shore is the Bowder Stone, a fascinating natural site, where a huge boulder is tipped up on one corner in a seemingly precarious state of balance. Take the Watendlath road to reach a viewpoint giving superb views over the lake and surrounding hills. To the south, follow the River Derwent into Borrowdale, a narrow valley with access to some of the best hill walking routes in the region.

Ullswater

The major lake in the north east of the National park, Ullswater is a gateway to the region for visitors departing the A70 (M) at Penrith. Turn left at Rheged and you find yourself on a twisting, winding road that leads past the gates of Dalemain, a lovely Georgian stately home. In a few miles you catch your first glimpse of water, and for the next 10 miles the road hugs the northwestern shore of Ullswater.

There are several parking places with small beaches, but if you carry on to the southern end of the lake you reach Glenridding.

Windermere

The largest Lake in the Lake District, and, indeed, in all of England. The village of Windermere is the tourism capital of the south Lakes, with accommodation and a variety of outdoor activities.

Steamers ply the lake year round, and there are facilities for boating and water sports, museums, gardens, and family attractions.

If you are planning a romantic weekend or midweek break in the Lakes, why not spend a few nights in a romantic Windermere cottage, with its own outdoor hot tub, whirlpool bath for 2, relaxation chairs and log burning stove?

Lake District Attractions and information

The Lake District in Cumbria, north-west England is one of the most scenic places to stay in the UK.

Whether you enjoy the quiet life; walking or hiking in the Fells or you prefer to climb mountains, attend country fairs or music festivals, you will find it all in the Lake District.

With a wider variety of scenery than any other area of its size in Britain, the Lake District is home to 16 major lakes, including England´s largest lake, Windermere. Towering above the lakes are some of England´s highest mountains, including Scafell, Helvellyn, Scafell Pike and Skiddaw.

If you prefer to take it easy on holiday, book into a romantic Windermere cottage with hot tub and make the most of your stay.

The Lake District offers excellent road access, with the M6 motorway passing close to the eastern side of the region, bringing day trips within easy reach of most towns in the Midlands and the north of England.

You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do in the Lakes and whether you want to stay in your cottage or enjoy a pampering session in the spa, you are guaranteed a luxurious stay in one of England´s most beautiful settings. Imagine a romantic weekend, a honeymoon or a special occasion in Windermere, with a private hot tub.

The real beauty of the Lake District is in its rugged and unspoilt countryside, surrounding Windermere, Kendal, Grasmere, Keswick and Coniston, and if you want to get away from it all, there is no better place to visit. For culture vultures and lovers of the great outdoors, you can explore the region on foot, by car or by public transport, and it is well worth checking out the local events and festivals which take place throughout the year.

If you want to sample the finest Cumbrian fare, visit one of the local country inns, dotted temptingly around the region, or enjoy some home baked cakes and pastries in one of the many quaint cafés in Bowness and Windermere. Something of a foodie´s paradise, the Lake District boasts Michelin starred restaurants, gastro pubs and regular farmer´s markets where you can sample the delicious produce before you buy.

Romantic Windermere cottages with hot tubs are among the most popular places to stay in the Lake District.

Interactive exhibitions and attractions are great fun for all the family, and if you want to explore Windermere on foot, the walking routes range from easy to difficult, depending on your levels of fitness. One of the most popular ways to get around Windermere is to take a boat trip on a Windermere steamer across the lake, then hop on and off at places of interest, and walk some of the way around the lake shore.

If you are looking for a romantic cottage in Windermere with hot tub, you will find a choice of wonderful places to stay.

Bowness-on-Solway

Bowness-on-Solway is a small coastal village which combines traditional Cumbrian cottages and a beautiful landscape with the rugged shoreline of the Solway Firth. The path at Hadrian´s Wall ends at the village, and is also situated on the Hadrian´s cycleway. This is also the perfect place for bird watching as the region is a haven for migrating birds.

If you want to explore the Lake District, why not book to stay in a romantic Windermere cottage and make the most of your stay? With only around 100 houses, and a tiny population, the area of Bowness-on-Solway offers visitors one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the Lake District.

In 1869, the Solway Junction Railway opened between Bowness-on-Solway and Annan in Scotland, which also connected with Maryport and Carlisle Railway. The construction of the railway required a 1 mile iron viaduct across the Solway, the remains of which can still be seen today. In 1875 and 1881 the viaduct was damaged by ice, which caused nearby Port Carlisle to get blocked with silt and lose trade. The Port of Carlisle was then abandoned to Carlisle Railway. In 1914 the railway was restricted to carry freight only and in 1921 it was closed completely. In 1934 the viaduct was demolished. According to locals, the viaduct was demolished to prevent Scotsmen crossing into England on Sundays, as the sale of alcohol was banned in Scotland on the Sabbath, and then falling off the viaduct into the Solway.

The 12th century St Michael´s Church was restored in 1891, and is situated on, what is thought to be one of the original sites of Roman fort buildings. The structure is made of stone from Hadrian´s Wall, and the building consists of a wide single chamber, a nave, a south porch and a double bell tower. The east memorial window was presented by Thomas Wilson who his formerly of Thistlewood, in memory of his parents, and the Norman font was dug up in the garden next to the church in 1848.

Although the tower bells are not original ones, which were apparently stolen by the Scots in 1626 and ditched in the Solway, they are said to have been replaced by bells from Scotland´s Middlebie Church in Dumfries which was raided as an act of revenge. The old rectory house was demolished in 1860 and in 1872 the Wesleyan Home Mission Chapel was constructed.

Industry in the area consisted of farming and shallow water fishing.

Bowness-on-Solway information and things to do

Follow a signpost from the village to the Banks, which is a promenade, constructed during Edwardian times in the early 20th century. Offering great views over the Solway Firth, and interpretive panels narrating the history of the village, you can also find information about local bird life from here. A Roman style interpretative mosaic has also been added to show the bird life of the Solway and the Roman water gods from bygone days. Carved seats have been added with poetry depicting the languages of the village and showing its diverse history and culture.

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Places to visit near Grasmere

Just 8 miles from Windermere, Grasmere offers a choice of attractions and stunning places to visit.

If you are planning to visit Grasmere, why not book into a romantic Windermere cottage and make the most of both towns?

Situated in central Cumbria, Grasmere was formerly part of the county of Westmorland, and lies adjacent to the lake of the same name. With many connections to famous poets, including William Wordsworth, Grasmere has evolved into one of the most popular Lake District destinations.

William Wordsworth lived in Grasmere for fourteen years, and described it as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found.”

The famous writer, Thomas de Quincey, moved into Dove Cottage when Wordsworth left, and from the 18th Century onwards, wealthy Victorian tourists flocked to the Lake District to experience the landscapes which inspired the famous poets of the day. Grasmere, Rydal and Ambleside acquired large new hotels to accommodate the tourists, many dating from the late 19th century.

Grasmere gingerbread

First produced in 1870, Grasmere gingerbread can still be bought from the Old Gingerbread Shop next to the church. First made by Sarah Nelson using a secret recipe, the spicy gingerbread is now sold all over the world, and was originally popular with Victorian travellers who came to Grasmere to see Wordsworth´s grave.

Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum

Once home to famous poet, William Wordsworth, between 1799 and 1808, Dove Cottage is a major tourist attraction in Grasmere. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour around the house and see how Wordsworth and his family once lived. The Wordsworth Museum and Art Gallery houses a collection illustrating the life of the poet and his family through art and books. Also hosting a changing programme of exhibitions exploring various themes, this attraction is well worth a visit.

If you are staying in a Windermere cottage, why not take your time to explore your surroundings?

Rydal Mount and Gardens

Described by William Wordsworth as his ´best loved family home´, Rydal Mount attracts visitors from all over the region. Having moved to the house in 1813 with his wife and three children, Wordsworth adapted the building to suit his lifestyle. An extra storey was added to make a study, and some of the poets personal effects are now exhibited, including letters and manuscripts. The four acre landscaped garden, designed by Wordsworth remains virtually unchanged.

Taffy Thomas's Storytelling Garden

The Northern Centre for Storytelling is based at Taffy Thomas´s Storytelling Garden. This is a charitable organisation which is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the art of storytelling.

The Lake District is home to some of the most stunning scenery and amazing attractions in the UK. The lakes are the ideal place to spend a family holiday or a quiet week away from the crowds, with a range of events, attractions and facilities for all the family. Cosy pubs in Coniston, romantic cottages in Windermere, themed hotels in Bowness, guest houses in Grasmere and superb bed and breakfast accommodation in Braithwaite are just some of the excellent accommodation choices in the Lake District.

6 great places to visit in the Lake District

If you are planning a visit to the Lake District and you want to explore the great outdoors, here are 6 great places to visit:

Loughrigg Tarn, north of Windermere

Loughrigg Tarn is a natural lake just north of Windermere and just north of of Skelwith Bridge at the foot of Loughrigg Fell. Loughrigg Tarn is a fantastic spot for walking and picknicking, and is undoubtedly one of the Lake District’s hidden treasures. It offers tremendous views of miles of rolling fells, across to the rugged beauty of the Langdale Pikes. The calm tarn boasts clear blue water, which during the summer months is adorned with colourful water lilies.

Gummer´s How, near Windermere

If you want to enjoy stunning sun sets over Windermere, there is no better place to visit for a picnic than Gummer´s How. Visit in the day time and you can enjoy stunning views which sweep north across Windermere. Particularly beautiful in autumn when the trees are changing colour, this is a fabulous part of the Lake District to photograph, so don´t forget your camera.

If you are planning a trip to Windermere, why not book into a luxurious Windermere cottage with hot tub to make the most of your stay?

Birdoswald Roman Fort

Birdoswald is situated towards the western end of Hadrian´s Wall, and is considered to be one of the most picturesque settings along the entire 73 miles of Hadrian´s Wall. The Roman fort stands high above the River Irthing and can be seen from miles around.

High Dam Tarn, Finsthwaite

High Dam Tarn is a typically stunning Lake District beauty spot. This place was once described by Alfred Wainwright, walker and writer of Lake District guides as ´a much nicer place than the over-populated Tarn Hows´, although both spots are quite beautiful. Views from Finsthwaite are amazing, from Lakeside and Newby Bridge to Gummer´s How and High Dam Tarn. The tarn was once used to turn the water wheels at Stott Park Bobbin Mill.

Ruskin´s View, Kirkby Lonsdale

This incredible view is arguably one of England´s finest, and this stunning spot, looking over the River Lune was commemorated by William Lakin Turner who painted a picture of the famous view. Another famous local resident, John Ruskin, described this spot as ´one of the loveliest scenes in England.´

Orrest Head, Windermere

Orrest Head is only a 20-30 minute walk from the town of Windermere, and offers stunning views over the lake from the top. This is a great outing for all the family, and there are plenty of places to stop for a picnic on your way up.

Wherever you decide to go in the Lake District you will find a host of great places to hike, walk, climb, sail, go horse riding, enjoy a picnic or simply stroll around and enjoy the stunning landscapes. If you are looking for somewhere special to base yourself in the Lakes, why not book into a luxury Windermere cottage and make the most of your stay?

10 amazing facts about Windermere and the Lake District

1.Windermere Slave Trade

Storrs Hall was built by a wealthy shipowner, John Bolton, who dealt in the slavery trade. Slaves were kept in the cellars of Storrs Hall until they were sold.

2.Lighting up Windermere

The towns of Windermere and Bowness were the second region of England to have electric street lights, which were supplied from a hydro-electric plant at Troutbeck Bridge.

3.Frozen Windermere

In 1895 Windermere became ice-bound for 6 weeks, making it possible to walk across from one side to the other. If you are planning a trip to the Lakes, why not book into a romantic Windermere cottage for two?

4.The Drunken Duck at Ambleside

The Drunken Duck Inn received its name after beer accidentally drained into a ditch that the local ducks frequented. The ducks lapped up the alcohol and passed into a lifeless stupor. The landlady, thinking they were dead, set about plucking them ready for the oven but soon realised what had happened. The ducks were reprieved from being roasted and given knitted jerseys and kilts to wear until their feathers grew back.

5.Elephant Shoe at Hawkshead

An elephant shoe known as Haaksid's Girt Clog was specially made for John Waterson, the local mole catcher, who contracted a form of elephantiasis that greatly enlarged his left foot. The shoe, measuring 20 inches (50 cm) long and 16 inches (40 cm) wide, is on view inside the Queen's Head Hotel in Hawkshead.

6.Hawkshead cakes

Hawkshead was well known for two baking specialities: Seed Whigs and Hawkshead Cakes. Seed Whigs were oblong-shaped tea cakes flavoured with caraway seeds. Hawkshead Cakes were pastries filled with currants, sugar and butter.

7.Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire

The counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire once converged at the summit of Wrynose Pass, each county identified by stones marked with a C, W and L. In the centre of the three stones is a vertical monolith to William Field of Cartmel, a staunch Lancastrian, who inscribed one side with ‘Lancashire' and inserted his initials and the date of 1816 on the other.

8.Pubs in Penrith

In 1829, Penrith had 57 pubs for its population of 5,383 - one for every 94 residents. 9.The Giant´s Grave

In St Andrew's churchyard, Penrith, lies the Giant's Grave, possible resting place of Owen, King of Cumbria in the 10th century. It comprises two pre-Norman crosses and four Norse ‘hogback' tombstones. Legend also associates the grave with Sir Owen Caesarius, a mythical giant who supposedly lived in a cave by the river Eamont.

10.The Giant's Thumb

The Giants Thumb, a badly worn Norse cross in St Andrew's churchyard, Penrith, is thought to date from the 10th century.

Wherever you decide to stay in the Lake District you can unearth some quirky, fun facts in most villages and towns during your stay. Why not make the most of your visit and book into a luxury, romantic Windermere cottage?

Windermere Attractions

If you are planning a trip to England’s World Heritage Site, the Lake District National Park, take your time to explore five of the most beautiful lakes in the region:

Grasmere

Grasmere was also home to William Wordsworth when he lived at Dove Cottage, and it was here he was inspired to write some of his most famous poems. When Wordsworth lived here there were no buildings in front of his house and he had clear views to Grasmere Lake. The village is situated in the heart of the lakes and among some of the most stunning countryside in the region. Visitors can hire a rowing boat or enjoy a choice of walks around the lake.

Windermere

Windermere is the largest lake in England at 10.5 miles in length, and it is the most southerly lake in the region. When the railways first opened up the Lake District to tourists in the 19th Century, one of the first stations was at Windermere. The lake hosts the annual Great North Swim at Low Wood Marina, where over 10,000 swimmers take part in the largest open water event of its kind in the UK. Enjoy a trip on board a Windermere Steamer or enjoy the many lakeside pubs and restaurants in Bowness.

If you are planning a trip to Windermere, why not treat someone special to a few nights in a luxurious Windermere spa cottage with outdoor hot tub.

Derwentwater

Known as the ´Queen of the Lakes´ Derwent Water is situated in the north of the Lake District, and enjoys a beautiful setting, surrounded by mountains. It is worth taking a walk along the top of Catbells on the west of the lake and enjoy stunning views to Keswick, Skiddaw and Blencathra. Keswick is situated at the north of the lake, and the Theatre by the Lake is also well worth a visit. Take a trip on a passenger boat around Derwent Water and stop off to stroll around shore.

Ullswater

Ullswater inspired William Wordsworth to write perhaps his most famous poem, Daffodils. Helvellyn towers over the west of Ullswater with Place Fell on the west, and one of the loveliest walks is around the south of the lake from Howtown. Visitors can take a boat from Glenridding to Howtown. The walk takes around 3 hours and the views are stunning. Aira Force, the most stunning waterfalls in the Lakes are also situated by Ullswater.

Wastwater

Wastwater is the deepest and most dramatic of all the Lakes and screes run down one side of the lake into the water. The area attracts many rock climbers. The lake is approximately 3 miles long and one third of a mile wide. The depth of the lake is 258 feet. It is one of the finest examples of a glacially 'over-deepened' valley. The surface of the lake is about 200 feet above sea level, while its bottom is over 50 feet below sea level.

Windermere is a great place to base yourself if you are planning to visit some of the region’s most beautiful lakes. Why not book into a luxurious and romantic Windermere cottage with spa and hot tub for two people?

Hiking and walking in England’s Lake District

England’s Lake District is one of the most stunning places to hike and walk in Europe. The Lake District Fells are famous for their beauty and their lakeside walks, which inspired some of England’s most famous poets, including William Wordsworth.

Walks around villages and over fells vary from easy to challenging. Whether you fancy a leisurely stroll around Lake Windermere, a climb to the summits of England´s highest mountains or a kid-friendly trek in the woods, you can find it all in the Lake District.

If you are planning a trip to the Lake District for a walking holiday, why not make the most of your break and book to stay in a luxury Windermere cottage with hot tub?

The diverse landscape of the Lake District offers visitors a range of rugged and wild terrain, mountains and fells, and of course, magnificent lakes. The lonely tarns and dales make the Lake District a walker´s paradise that it would be hard to surpass anywhere else in England.

Many Lake District walks are concentrated around the central area of the lakes, but you can also find some interesting trails and tracks between Arnside, Morecambe Bay to the south and Silloth on the Solway Firth in the north. If you are staying near Howgills and Appleby-in-Westmorland, you can find plenty of outdoor pursuits for the whole family.

Walking and cycling in the Lakes

If you are interested in walking and cycling in the Lake District, several routes are designed to ensure visitors don´t have to retrace their steps. The routes are in the south of the National Park, around Bowness, Hawkshead, Coniston and Grizedale. If you are planning to stay in any of the areas above, check out the great range of hotels and accommodation in each.

Recommended Lake District walks include:

Walking on Water – this walk is 2 miles in total and can take up to 1 and a half hours, plus a 20 minute boat ride. The walk will take you along the shores of Coniston Water to Torver Pier.

The North Circular Cycle – this cycling route is 4 miles in total and normally takes up to 2 hours plus a 35 minute boat ride on Coniston to Brantwood, the former home of John Ruskin. A perfect ride for all the family.

The Tarn Walk is 5 miles in length and can take up to 3 hours, 30 minutes to complete. The route takes walkers from High Cross to Coniston via Tarn Hows amid some breathtaking scenery.

Windermere Wheeling Cycle is a 5 mile cycling route which takes around 2 hours to get around. This is a great cycle ride for the family which goes along the shores of Windermere and off road through the forest of Claife.

Claife Heights Potter Walk is 6 miles in length and takes around 4 hours. The walk takes in Beatrix Potter´s former home, Hill Top and the Gallery.

Grizedale Getaway Cycle Route is 7 miles long and takes around 3 hours. This is a cycle ride for the more experienced riders, and cyclists can enjoy the delights of Grizedale Forest along the route.

If you are planning to visit the Lake District, why not book to stay in a luxury Windermere cottage with hot tub and make the most of your stay?

5 beautiful Lake District Drives

If you are planning a trip to the Lake District, why not take the time to drive around this stunning countryside and enjoy some of the finest scenery in the UK.

While visiting the Lakes, why not stay in a hot tub luxury cottage in Windermere and make the most of your visit to England’s most beautiful National Park?

Five of the top Lake District drives include:

Coniston to Eskdale via the Duddon Valley

This drive is not for the faint-hearted and includes plenty of challenging mountain roads, but also offers glimpses of some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK. Enjoy stopping off at one of a number of historic attractions, and also find out more about bygone industries in the area. The whole route is 42 miles in length.

Ambleside to Coniston via Windermere

A drive from Ambleside to Coniston via Windermere will take in many local attractions near the great lake, including the Beatrix Potter Attraction and a number of locations associated with the famous children´s author who once resided in the Lake District. The whole trip is just over 37 miles long.

Ambleside to Ullswater via Keswick

The main Lake District route from Ambleside to Keswick is a journey well worth taking. A return via Ullswater and Kirkstone Pass comes highly recommended and you will pass many of the Lake District´s most famous lakes on route. Many of the locations you will pass are linked to famous poet, William Wordsworth who lived most of his life in the lakes, and found inspiration for his most famous poems from the breathtaking scenery. The route is 48 miles long.

Kendal to Windermere

This drive will take you around the south east corner of the Lakes, and takes in some fantastic attractions, and offers some amazing views. If you enjoy walking around historic houses or relaxing in the gardens, visit the stately homes of Bowness and Kendal, also marvel at the Cartmel peninsula and enjoy all of the attractions on the shore of England´s largest lake, Windermere. The drive is just over 48 miles in length.

Keswick to Buttermere via Borrowdale

This beautiful drive takes in the amazing Keswick and Derwent Water, then passes through the breathtaking valley of Borrowdale, up over Honister Pass to Buttermere and through Newlands Valley. The trip is 33 miles in total.

Take your time to explore the Lake District at your own pace and enjoy some of the best countryside and coastal drives in the UK.

Why not treat yourself to a stay in a luxury Windermere cottage with hot tub, whirlpool bath for two, log-burning stove and much more.

Honeymoon, mini-moon and bridal suites in Windermere

The Lake District offers some of the most stunning countryside and lakes in the UK.

If you are planning a wedding, Windermere offers some of the most romantic mini-moon, honeymoon and bridal suites in the Lake District.

The famous Romantic Poets of the 19th Century, including William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey were inspired to write many of their most famous poems while living in the Lake District.

Today thousands of visitors follow in their footsteps and explore the fells around Ullswater where Wordsworth first spotted his ´host of Golden Daffodils´ while out walking with his sister, Dorothy.

Wedding and honeymoon hotels with bridal suites in Windermere are among the most popular places to spend a few days after your big day.

Anyone planning to spend a romantic weekend in Windermere for a mini-moon or honeymoon can take advantage of some incredible attractions and local walks close to Windermere and Bowness. Enjoy boat rides across the famous lake, available with a Lake District National Park Guide throughout summer, or dine out in Bowness where there are a wide choice of excellent restaurants, bistros and country pubs. Boat trips also operate in the evenings during summer. You can even hire a rowing boat or a canoe if you are feeling adventurous!

Choose a Windermere bridal suite with an outdoor hot tub, a whirlpool bath for two and access to full spa facilities. If you can drag yourself out of your Windermere bridal suite near Bowness you will find a vast choice of attractions to choose from nearby.

There is nothing more romantic than taking a trip through the Yorkshire Dales between Settle and Carlisle by train. This incredible journey will take you over the Ribblehead Viaduct, and take you through the longest tunnel on the line at Blea Moor. This is the perfect way to see the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales countryside. The train takes you along the side of Dentdale, through the magnificent hills of the Eden Valley and ends in the historic city of Carlisle.

Windermere is without doubt the most romantic lake in the region, and you can either hire a rowing boat or take a trip across the lake on a steamer from Lakeside, Bowness Bay or Ambleside. If you buy a full day ticket, you can hop on and off the boat at places of interest along the route, or combine a boat ride with a walking tour of the shores of Windermere. There are also plenty of places to stop off for a picnic if you want to make a day of it.

Famous author and walker Alfred Wainwright´s first climb was Orrest Head, he walked to the summit of the fell in 1930, and felt greatly inspired by the view from Orrest Head. It remains today just as Wainwright would have seen it. A plaque to his memory stands at the summit.

If you are lucky enough to visit Windermere when the sun is shining (it does sometimes, honest!), take a picnic down to the lake shore and enjoy the stunning landscapes around Windermere. Choose a bridal suite in Windermere> that offers every luxury for your mini-moon or honeymoon and one which will cater for all your needs.

Lake District golf clubs, Cumbria

Millions of people flock to the Lake District every year to enjoy the scenery, the fabulous attractions and of course, the lakes.

Golf Courses in the Lake District are some of the finest in England. Whether you are a golfing pro or a beginner, there are plenty of courses to choose from.

From challenging 18 hole courses, to 9 hole 3-par pitch and putt clubs, if you are a golfing enthusiast, you won´t be disappointed in Cumbria.

Windermere Golf Club

Windermere Golf Club is situated in the heart of the Lakes. The course offers stunning views over local scenery and the outlook matches that from any golf course in England. Often referred to as a ´mini Gleneagles´ Windermere welcomes members and visitors. Enjoy the scenery during your round of golf, and book a table at the restaurant, which also boasts great views.

Windermere is a great place to base yourself if you are planning to play different courses in the Lake District – all of which are easily accessible from the south Lakes.

Grange-over-Sands Golf Club

Grange-over-Sands Golf Club is a challenging course, which is situated between Morecambe Bay and the Lake District mountains. Just 3 miles from the picturesque village of Cartmel and 13 miles from Kendal, Grange-over-Sands is easily accessible from junction 36 of the M6 motorway.

Several of the holes having been lengthened and the greens are recognised as some of the best in Cumbria and north Lancashire. With clever placement of trees, ponds and natural drainage dykes the course offers something for everyone. Challenging but good fun!

Furness Golf Club

One of the oldest golf clubs in England, Furness is situated on Walney Island in the south west of the Lake District. With stunning views over the Irish Sea and Black Combe to the north, this course attracts golfers from all over England. A real links experience combined with excellent hole-design provides a challenging course for all levels of golfers. However many times you play Furness, every game is a new challenge. Very popular with visitors, early booking of green fees is recommended.

Kendal Golf Club

Kendal Golf Club enjoys an elevated position overlooking the old town of Kendal, and the views from the course are breathtaking. On clear days it is possible to see the Yorkshire Dales from the centre of the course to the east, the Lake District to the north and Morecambe Bay to the south. The golf course was founded over 100 years ago, and offers plenty of challenging holes for golfers of all ability levels.

Sedbergh Golf Club

Sedbergh is one of the best golf courses in Cumbria and the north-west of England.

Professionally designed around natural parkland with tree-lined holes and fairways which cross the River Dee and run alongside the Rawthey River, the emphasis is placed firmly on accuracy as opposed to distance. All of the greens are well guarded and plenty of water features ensure that Sedburgh Golf Club is one of the most popular in the Lakes, and offers a testing challenge for golfers of all abilities. This ´hidden gem´ of a golf course is a ´must play´ for any keen golfers who are visiting or passing through the Lake District.

Appleby Golf Club

Appleby Golf Club opened in 1903, and is renowned throughout the north-west of England for its friendly approach and for the high standard of its greens and fairways.

Appleby is described as a well-drained moorland course which provides links like conditions and is well known for a wide variety of holes and several testing par 4s. The course offers stunning views of the Pennines, Howgills and the Lake District mountains, and offers excellent value for money.

Keswick Golf Club

Keswick Golf Club is situated on Threlkeld Common and is surrounded by lush, open countryside. The course offers stunning panoramic views of the Lakes Hills, including Blencathra, Skiddaw and Clough Head.

To fully enjoy the surroundings, play on a clear day. The 18 parkland holes provide a challenging round of golf for golfers of all abilities, and although the course is only 6,200 yards in length, the par 71 ensures a testing round of golf for most players. The course has numerous hazards, tree-lined fairways and very well protected greens.

If you are planning a trip to the Lake District, why not book into a luxury Windermere cottage with hot tub and make the most of your stay?

Things you probably didn’t know about England’s Lake District

Famous for its lakes, tarns and stunning scenery, England’s Lake District has a fascinating history which most people know little about.

Some of the most interesting legends and facts about the Lake District include:

Richard Woodall´s shop in Waberthwaite

Richard Woodall's shop in Waberthwaite is a must for lovers of Cumberland sausage and local bacon and ham. Eight generations of the same family have ensured its success, and the shop was awarded a Royal Warrant in 1990 to supply the Queen with traditional Cumberland meats.

The Sleepy Elephant in Sedbergh

The Sleepy Elephant Gift Shop in Sedbergh was formerly a chemist shop, and is housed in a medieval building that was featured in the BBC production of ‘The House Detectives'. Bonnie Prince Charlie was said to have hidden in a chimney here during his retreat north in 1745.

Living and Crowing in Dalston

Dalston's motto is ‘Whilst I live, I'll crow.´ This is a reference to the sport of cock-fighting which was once popular in Dalston. An iron sculpture of a black and red cockerel sits on the top of the lamp base in the Village Green.

Earl Mayo in Cockermouth

The marble statue in Main Street, Cockermouth is of Earl Mayo (Richard Southwell Bourke) – who was Cockermouth's MP for 10 years (1857-1867). Bourke was appointed Viceroy to India in 1869, but three years later was stabbed to death in the Andaman Islands (Indian Ocean) by a convict serving time in the penal colony on the Islands.

Reiver Baptisms

Border Reivers were raiders along the Anglo–Scottish border from the late 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. At Reiver Baptisms, the right hand of a male child was deliberately left unchristened so that it might deal a ‘more deadly . . . blow to the enemy'.

Irish Ireby

The name ´Ireby´ means ‘settlement of the Irish'. In the early 19th century the village had its own bank and printed its own bank notes.

Beast Banks, Kendal

Known as the Green on Beast Banks, Kendal, this was where bulls were baited before slaughter, a practice said to ‘improve' the quality of the meat. The butcher shops were situated in Old Shambles but the site was too flat for the blood and offal to drain away, so New Shambles was built in 1803 on sloping ground to improve the drainage of the blood down to the river.

If you want to find out more about the legends, the famous residents and the fascinating history of the Lake District, why not book a few nights away at a luxury cottage in Windermere and enjoy an outdoor hot tub, whirlpool bath for two and much more.

Windermere and the Lake District Wildlife

Windermere may be famous for its stunning lake but it is equally well known for its wildlife, aquatic plants and birds.

Wintering birds such as the Golden Eye or Tufted Duck can be found in the region, plus the widest range of large aquatic plants in the National Park. Underwater plants such as Waterwort and White Water Lily can also be found in Windermere. The region is also home to important lakeshore wetlands, where otters and native white-clawed crayfish thrive. Charr fish can also still be found in the lake, which are usually associated with Arctic Waters.

If you are looking for somewhere special to stay for a romantic weekend in the Lake District, why not book into a luxury Windermere cottage – outdoor hot tub, whirlpool bath for two and much more!

Reed beds offer secure resting places for birds and breeding birds in the Spring and Summer and reed fringes also help break up wave energy from wind and boat wakes, and slow down the erosion of the shoreline.

Although grey squirrels are increasing their populations in South Cumbria, and to a lesser extent North Cumbria, there are still large numbers of red squirrels within northern areas of the National Park. When faced with competition from grey squirrels the reds survive best in large blocks of coniferous woodland. They need a consistent and diverse food supply consisting of tree seeds, nuts, berries, cones, buds, shoots, flowers, lichen, fungi and occasionally insects.

The autumn and winter seed harvest is important for surviving the winter and for breeding successfully the following year. Squirrels do not hibernate, they need to eat all year round to survive. Between April and August the natural food supplies of a red squirrel are at their lowest, consequently as many as 5 out of 6 young red squirrels may die in their first year.

There is a good variety of places to cater for lovers of animals in Cumbria, from the specialist centres for birds of prey and fishes, to Lakeland’s only Zoo at Dalton-in-Furness where tigers and other rare animals can be seen.

Top places to visit include the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, about a mile out of Dalton-in-Furness. This the Lake District’s only zoological park, which is recognised as one of Europe’s leading conservation zoos. 17 acres are home to the rarest animals on earth, who are participants in co-ordinated breeding programmes to save them from extinction in the wild.

The Aquarium of the Lakes at Newby Bridge. At Lakeside, on the southern end of Windermere you can discover in over 30 displays the fascinating and often secret world of wildlife and freshwater creatures dwelling in and alongside these magnificent waters.

If you are planning to visit the Lake District and view the wildlife, why not book into a romantic Windermere cottage with hot tub and make the most of your stay in this beautiful part of England?

Beatrix Potter and the Lake District

The Lake District offers some of the most stunning countryside and lakes in the UK.

Beatrix Potter is one of the Lake District’s most famous former residents. The famous children’s author was born in 1866 and died in 1943, having lived and worked in the Lake District for most of her life.

Some of Potter´s most famous characters included Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Squirrel Nutkin who was said to have sailed on Derwentwater and Hawkshead. The Tale of Johnny Townmouse was also written during her time in the Lake District when Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top Farm.

If you are planning to visit the Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness or her former home, Hill Top at Far Sawrey, why not book luxurious Rose Cottage in Windermere for your stay?

When Beatrix Potter died in 1943 she left over 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust and 14 farms, including her home, Hill Top, on the provision that it remained untouched and was opened to the public.

Beatrix Potter and Hill Top

Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top in 1905 with the proceeds from her first published books, which she wrote at her family home in London. The author visited the Lake District as often as possible, sketching the animals and scenery for her books.

Once she had bought the house she wrote more books at Hill Top and she bought Castle Farm in 1909 which became her main home in the Lakes. Some of her most famous characters were created here, including Tom Kitten and Samuel Whiskers and illustrations in the books were based on her house and garden at the time.

The garden contained many colourful flowers including honeysuckle, foxgloves, peonies and lavender with roses around the front door. The garden was also packed with strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb. The National Trust owned Tower Bank Arms is next to Hill Top, and was featured in the Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck. Visitors to the house can still enjoy a pint and a snack in the pub, which opens every day. As the author became more successful, she bought many more properties and land around Sawrey plus several small farms. In 1913 she married William Heelis in London and moved permanently to the Lake District. They lived at Castle Cottage which larger and more comfortable than Hill Top.

Beatrix Potter and Brockhole

The Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole was once the home of Beatrix´s cousin, Edith who was married to William Gaddum. The author used to write to her young cousins, Molly and Jim at Brockhole, regaling them with tales based on Jeremy Fisher, complete with illustrations. In many ways the author tried out her stories on her young cousins before approaching the publishers.

The Beatrix Potter Attraction, Bowness

If you want to take tea with Peter Rabbit, be chased around the garden by Jemima Puddle duck or enjoy some fun interactive exhibitions, visit the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction at Bowness. Great fun for the kids, this venue also attracts Potter fans of all ages from as far afield as Japan and the USA. Visitors can explore the landscape where the tales were bought to life and buy a book or souvenir from the Beatrix Potter shop.

Book to stay in Rose Cottage you can enjoy amazing facilities, including an outdoor hot tub and whirlpool bath for two.

Windermere through the ages

Windermere was originally Birthwaite and it only started to become popular with tourists in 1847 when a railway link was built from Kendal. Around 1859 the name of the village was changed to Windermere to match that of the great lake itself.

To avoid the steep hill to the actual lakeside at Bowness, the railway terminated in Windermere, and was a major factor in early tourism to the Lakes. Most visitors in those early days arrived from Yorkshire and Lancashire and it was reported that over 125,000 people visited Windermere in the first year of the railway being open. Horse-drawn carriages ferried people from the railway station to the Lake and local hotels arranged excursions around Windermere and Bowness.

Bowness-on-Windermere, before the introduction of the railway was a fishing village and the vast majority of residents earned a living from fishing or agriculture. Other commercial opportunities arose when Victorian visitors began flocking to the lake to enjoy the ´benefits of the country air´ and several hotels and boarding houses sprang up around the lake.

Now you can stay in luxurious and romantic Windermere cottages with hot tubs.

The lake was used to transport stone, charcoal and minerals since the 15th Century when a ferry service operated across the narrowest point, between Bowness and Ferry House. Large rowing boats ferried people, animals and goods across the lake.

Many rich businessmen from Lancashire and Yorkshire bought large country mansions on the Lakeside in the 19th Century – many of which are still standing today. The homes were bought at holiday retreats or as commuter homes, such as Belsfield, which was purchased by Henry Schneider in 1869 and was one of the first Windermere homes to have a jetty at the bottom of the garden. Schneider was an iron magnate who arrived in Barrow-on-Furness in 1839 and would sail to Lakeside in his steamboat, Esperance.

Another famous residence was Storr´s Hall, which was bought by John Bolton in 1804. Bolton was born in Ulverston in 1756, and was one of the wealthiest men in Cumbria. He extended the mansion and created a park. John Bolton was a Cumbrian who made a fortune as a Liverpool slave trader.

Brockhole, which is now the National Park Visitor Centre (since 1969) was built in the late 1880´s by Henry Gaddum a silk merchant from Manchester, and became a convalescent home after he sold it.

Three of the original four Windermere Lake steamers still survive, and include the MV Tern of 1891, the MV Teal of 1936 and the MV Swan of 1938. The MV Swift was of 1900 was broken up at Lakeside in 1998, and although the boats are still described as steamers, they are now motor vessels which converted to diesel in the 1950´s.

If you are looking for somewhere special to stay during your trip to the Lakes, why not book into a luxurious Windermere cottage with hot tub?

Mountain biking in the Lake District

If you are planning to take your bike to the Lake District and enjoy some of the best off-road trails in the UK, why not combine your trip with a stay in a luxury Windermere cottage?

Ambleside and Loughrigg Fell

This route is 17 miles long, and includes a breathtaking descent from Iron Keld, and an optional extension to the route if you want to make it longer. Taking in Loughrigg, Elterwater, Hodge Close and Iron Keld, most of the climbs are on-road, and most of the descents off-road, with some difficult sections.

Grizedale Forest

This route is from Coniston to Lawson Park, and is 8 miles in length, including a long climb into the forest. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy magnificent views over Coniston Water, and a scenic descent past an abandoned farm at Lawson Park. If you like it rough, the other option is to take the ´rough ride´, which is 15 miles long and includes roads and tricky bridleways.

Biking routes from Claife Heights

Popular routes from Claife Heights include those which end in Hawkshead, 13 miles away, Bowness, via the ferry, 10 miles and the slightly longer route to Ambleside which is 16 miles away. Narrow country lanes provide an excellent warm-up for off-road tours of Claife Heights, and if you enjoy a good descent, you will be spoilt for choice here.

Kentmere and Troutbeck riding routes

Kentmere and Troutbeck offer some classic mountain bike adventure trails, including the infamous Garbun Pass, which is not for the faint-hearted. Challenging routes include the foothills of the Eastern Fells. Some routes are high and exposed, so if you are planning to go, make sure you are properly prepared. Another popular, yet challenging route is Staveley to Longsleddale, which is 16 miles, with a moorland crossing and three thrilling descents. Gaburn Pass from Windermere is 16 miles long and Ambleside to Troutbeck is 10.5 miles, with some tough climbs. Staveley to Long Houses is 7 miles long, and most of the off-road riding is downhill.

Borrowdale mountain biking

The Grand Tour of Borrowdale is 18 miles long, and the views are matched by the mountain biking, which can prove particularly challenging on the bridleways. A shorter alternative is the southern part of the route which is 14 miles long and much easier to navigate. This route misses out road sections around the lake. Another trail around Derwent Water is 13 miles, and offers riders some breathtaking scenery en route.

The Old Coach Road at Glenderaterra

The Old Coach Road at Glenderaterra covers 28 miles, and traverses the mountain valley. Keswick Railway Cycle Track provides a great warm up area for riders who are planning to tackle the tough bridleway ride. The route proves fast and enjoyable and is moderate difficulty. The ride ends with a thrilling descent. A shorter version of the route is 17 miles long and starts at Threlkeld.

Why not combine your biking tour with a stay in a luxury Windermere cottage with hot tub? Take a trip around Windermere, Coniston, Torver or Grasmere, and you can find a choice of routes that range from easy to challenging.

The best places to visit in the Lake District, Cumbria

If you are lucky enough to be visiting the Lake District, Cumbria this year, why not take your time to look around and enjoy the stunning scenery and picturesque villages and towns, all within easy reach of each other.

Windermere is a great place to base yourself if you plan to travel around the Lake District. Why not stay in a luxurious cottage for two in Windermere?

Windermere is a beautiful location if you are planning a special celebration or a romantic weekend, and many couples choose to book their wedding or honeymoon close to the lake.

Windermere

Windermere first became known as a ´tourist resort´ when wealthy Victorians began spending weekends and leisure time in the region. They believed that the fresh mountain air was beneficial to their health, and many bought properties in the area – many of which still stand today.

Over the years the small town has merged with Bowness-on-Windermere, even though both places have completely separate centres.

Visitors can catch a train or bus from Windermere Station to most towns in the surrounding area, and the Lakes line connects with Oxenholme, for interchange with the West Coast Main Line.

Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre is situated in Bowness, and offers plenty of attractions for all ages.

The town is also home to a great choice of restaurants, country pubs, serving real ales and home-made Cumbrian cuisine. The famous Windermere Steamers at Bowness Bay operate the full length of Windermere.

A short walk from Windermere is Orrest Head, with its stunning views over the lake. This was the first summit in Lakeland visited by famous walker and local writer, Alfred Wainwright.

Luxurious Windermere cottages can be found close to the lake and all the amenities of Bowness Bay?

Buttermere

The small hamlet of Buttermere is situated between the lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water. Buttermere Lake is owned by the National Trust, and literally means ´the Lake by the dairy pastures.´

The story of the ´Buttermere Beauty´ is legendary in the Lakes. Mary Robinson, the stunning daughter of the Fish Hotel´s landlord, became known as the ´Beauty of Buttermere.´ After turning down many prospective suitors, Mary went on to marry Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Augustus Hope in 1802. Unknown to Mary, he was actually an imposter and a bigamist who was later hanged in Carlisle for forgery.

Grasmere

Grasmere is one of the most visited villages in the Lake District, thanks mainly to Dove Cottage, the former home of William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

The village offers a wide choice of gift shops, restaurants, cafés, tea rooms and pubs, and possibly one of the most famous gingerbread shops in the world, situated at the entrance to St Oswald´s Church.

Most of the houses, shops and hostelries date back to the 19th and early 20th century, and the surrounding farms are even older. The village church dates back to the 13th Century.

William Wordsworth and his much loved sister Dorothy moved into Dove Cottage in 1799 and left in 1808 for larger premises at Allen Bank. They lived here for two years with fellow poet, Samuel Coleridge, moving to the Old Rectory, then Rydal Mount in 1813.

William died in 1850 while out walking, and his simple tombstone can be seen in the churchyard of St Oswald´s Church. A piece of land between the church and the river has also been renovated and turned into a place of peace called the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden, where visitors can purchase a share and have an engraved stone set in the path.

The top 5 ways to travel around the Lake District

Thanks to some of the best transport links in the north west of England and a host of leisure cruises and railways, you can easily explore the Lake District without a car. Take your time and use the boat or train to get around, and you will find yourself within easy reach of all the main Lake District attractions.

Some of the most popular ways to see the Lake District include:

1.Ullswater Steamer trips

Once known as the Dark Lake, Ullswater has been a major influence on the work of famous poets, including William Wordsworth, who lived close by. One of the best ways to see Ullswater is by taking advantage of a steamer trip across the lake, which will run alongside Helvellyn, the third largest mountain in England. You can combine a cruise on the lake with walking trails around the shore of Ullswater.

2. Windermere cruises

Windermere cruises operate every day of the year, and embark from Ambleside, Bowness and Lakeside, (except Christmas Day). The trip takes a total of 3 hours, or you can hop on and off on route, at some of the popular local attractions, including the World of Beatrix Potter at Bowness, the Ambleside Museum and other places of interest. If you are planning a visit to Windermere, why not stay in a luxurious Windermere cottage?

3. The Coniston Launch

The Coniston Launch is a unique ferry which runs a regular service to seven jetties, allowing passengers to disembark where they choose and catch a later boat back. The solar-electric powered ferries offer an environmentally friendly way of being transported around the lake, and an informative crew will tell you all about the local places of interest. The launch runs throughout the year, with restricted sailings in December and January.

4. The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

This unique steam railway runs a daily service from Haverthwaite to Lakeside from March to October. Travelling through the Leven Valley, passengers can enjoy the breath-taking scenery of the region, and also enjoy lunch or a snack at the station restaurant. Tours may also include a visit to the engine sheds, the souvenir shop and picnic area, plus visitors can see the steam and diesel train exhibitions.

5. The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway attracts thousands of visitors every year, and visitors can find cafés and gift shops at each end of the line. If you want to make a day of it, you can hire a bike or enjoy one of the walking trails at the end of your journey. Opening times vary, according to the time of year, but all facilities are open when the trains are running.

If you are planning a short break or a longer stay in the Lake District, why not book into a luxurious Windermere cottage with hot tub?

Best outdoor things to do in the Lake District

If you are a lover of the great outdoors, you will find a wealth of things to see and do in the Lake District and a choice of luxury spa cottages in Windermere.

Covering 885 square miles, the Lake District National Park is the most visited National Park in the UK, and a wide range of activities and events attract visitors from all over the world.

Some of the best things to do in the Lake District include:

Walking and Hiking

The Lake District National Park has walks for age and ability, from gentle lakeside strolls to high ridge walks and rock climbing.

If you are new to the Lake District, why not enjoy a guided walk. You won´t need to worry about navigation and can learn from a knowledgeable local. Pick from short, scenic picnic strolls to full days through spectacular landscape.

Burnmoor Stone Circles

Burnmoor Stone Circles, perched on high moorland, date from around 2000 BC. They all contain at least one burial, marked by a stone cairn. Were they ritual monuments, meeting places or a mark of ownership? Perhaps all three. Nearby are stone banks and other cairns, which may be more recent.

The whole site covers more than 2.5 square kilometres (1 square mile) and is managed by the National Trust. The stone circles can be reached on foot from Boot Village. Parking available at Dalegarth Station.

Cycling

Road cyclists and mountain bikers are spoilt for choice in the Lake District National Park. There are country lanes, permitted cycle-ways and bridleways with some stunning views!

For mountain bikers, Whinlatter Forest and Grizedale Forest are criss-crossed with routes ranging from those suitable for beginners to more challenging levels.

Imagine a day out cycling in Grizedale Forest followed by a long soak in your own hot tub cottage in Windermere?

Gaitscale Farmstead

People lived in Gaitscale Farmstead between 1686 and 1771, but by the early nineteenth century it was a ruin. Today you can make out the farmhouse, barns, sheep pens and old field boundaries. The name has Norse origins. Gait means ‘goat’ and scale means seasonal house. This suggests there was a settlement here long before the seventeenth century. Managed by the National Trust, the farmstead is 7 miles west of Ambleside, between Wrynose Pass and Cockley Beck.

Whatever time of year you decide to visit the Lake District, you will find a wide choice of things to see and do. Why not stay in a luxury Windermere cottage and take your time to explore this special part of England.

Windermere – the perfect place for a UK holiday

Thousands of Brits decide to stay in the UK for their holidays each year and a vast number of them are planning to visit the Lake District. Up to 35% of the population are expected to book holidays on British shores, and Windermere and Bowness are once again high up on their list of places to go.

If you are planning a mini-moon or romantic celebration in the Lakes, why not book into a luxury Windermere cottage with hot tub?

Tourism in the Lake District first began in the Victorian Era, when rich aristocrats would escape the smoke and smog of the cities to breathe the pure, clean mountain air of the Lake District. No longer just the haunt of the rich, the Lake District now attracts on average, 15.5 million visitors per year, with over 30% of those staying more than one day.

Almost 20,000 full time jobs are related directly to tourism in the Lake District, rising to almost 40,000 during the summer months when extra café staff, hotel staff, shop assistants are employed on a seasonal basis. The Lake District economy is estimated to be worth more than £6.5 million per year, and 40% of visitors who stay over, book hotels in advance. Nearly 20% of the revenue is generated by visitors who buy food and drink and spend money on transport, boat trips and sightseeing tours.

Lake Windermere (simply known as Windermere to the locals, as it is actually a mere and not a lake), this vast stretch of water is 10.5 miles in length and around a mile wide. This is the largest and most well-known lake in England, and the deepest part is around 225 feet deep. Water levels in winter can cover the piers and promenade of Bowness Bay.

The lake is also home to 18 islands, the largest being Belle Isle, which is the only one to ever be inhabited. The island is 1km in length and Belle Isle House was built in 1774 to designs by John Plaw. The house is circular and built of brick with three floors.

For visitors who want to explore Windermere, take a trip on board the Windermere Lake Cruises, which depart from Ambleside, Bowness and Lakeside. Island cruises are also available, plus a Freedom of the Lakes Cruise, where users can hop on board any vessel crossing Windermere for a period of 24 hours. Buffet cruises are also available, plus trips to the Lakes Aquarium and the Lakeland Motor Museum.

From the southern-most end of Lake Windermere at Newby Bridge, the first pier you will come to is Lakeside, on the western side of the Lake. This is where the Lakes Aquarium can be found, and is also served by the Haverthwaite Steam Railway, running between Haverthwaite and Lakeside.

Bowness Bay is the busiest pier in the Lake District, and the pier is sheltered by Belle Isle.

Visitors can disembark at Brockhole Visitor Centre where smaller launches pick up and drop off. This pier is on the eastern shoreline. Waterhead is the last stop at the northern end of the lake, and is known as the Ambleside end of Lake Windermere.

If you are planning to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary, why not book into a ,u> romantic cottage in Windermere with hot tub and make the most of this stunning area.

Fish, birds and wildlife in the Lake District, UK

Windermere may be famous for its lakes and fells, but did you know that some of the rarest aquatic plants, fish and birds in the UK can be found in the region.

If you are planning a trip to the Lake District, why not book into a luxurious Windermere cottage with hot tub for two people and make the most of your stay.

Wintering birds such as the Golden Eye or Tufted Duck can be found in the region, plus the widest range of large aquatic plants in the National Park.

Underwater plants such as Waterwort and White Water Lily can also be found in Windermere. The region is also home to important lakeshore wetlands, where otters and native white-clawed crayfish thrive. Charr fish can also still be found in the lake, which are usually associated with Arctic Waters.

Reed beds offer secure resting places for birds and breeding birds in the spring and summer and reed fringes also help break up wave energy from wind and boat wakes, and slow down the erosion of the shoreline.

Although grey squirrels are increasing their populations in South Cumbria, and to a lesser extent North Cumbria, there are still large numbers of red squirrels within northern areas of the National Park.

When faced with competition from grey squirrels the reds survive best in large blocks of coniferous woodland. They need a consistent and diverse food supply consisting of tree seeds, nuts, berries, cones, buds, shoots, flowers, lichen, fungi and occasionally insects. The autumn and winter seed harvest is important for surviving the winter and for breeding successfully the following year. Squirrels do not hibernate, they need to eat all year round to survive. Between April and August the natural food supplies of a red squirrel are at their lowest, consequently as many as 5 out of 6 young red squirrels may die in their first year.

There is a good variety of places to cater for lovers of animals in Cumbria, from the specialist centres for birds of prey and fishes, to Lakeland’s only Zoo at Dalton-in-Furness where tigers and other rare animals can be seen by falconry unspoilt parkland, visitors are able thawkshawks.

The Aquarium of the Lakes at Newby Bridge. At Lakeside, on the southern end of Windermere you can discover in over 30 displays the fascinating and often secret world of wildlife and freshwater creatures dwelling in and alongside these magnificent waters.

If you are planning a stay in the Lakes, why not book into a luxury Windermere cottage> with hot tub?

The Lake District things to do

The Lake District National Park is situated in the county of Cumbria and boasts some of the most stunning landscapes and scenery in the UK.

Owned by the National Trust, the Lake District National Park has 16 major lakes, the largest of which is Windermere at 10.5 miles long. The Lake District is also home to the three highest mountains in England - Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn and Ill Crag, which are all over 3,000 feet high. Some Cumbrian towns are situated on the coast, and visitors flock to the resorts of Maryport, Whitehaven and Ravenglass to combine a beach holiday with the dramatic scenery of the Lake District.

If you are planning a romantic stay in the Lake District, why not book into a romantic and luxurious cottage with hot tub in Windermere?

Wherever you stay in the Lake District you find a wide choice of boutique hotels, spa hotels, romantic hotels and luxury hotels to choose from. If you plan to spend a holiday in the Lake District on a tight budget, check out the hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation in the area. The Lake District is the perfect place for a quiet weekend break, a family holiday or a romantic weekend, and attractions include: boating on Windermere, museums and heritage centres, kid´s attractions, including Go Ape at Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead and in Whinlatter Forest Park at Keswick, which offers an adventure playground high above the forest canopy.

A wide range of attractions in the Lake District include horse racing in Cartmel, rock climbing in Great Langdale, horse riding in Keswick, swimming in Windermere, boating at Ullswater and visiting the Beatrix Potter Attraction and the Lakes Aquarium in Bowness. Whether you fancy a quiet time in the lakes, enjoying the scenery, and the landscapes, or you want to enjoy some real-life adventure, you will find a vast range of attractions to suit all tastes and budgets.

Spa breaks and weekend breaks in the Lake District are popular all year round, and wherever you choose to go in the lakes, you will find a wide choice of accommodation to suit your requirements in Windermere, Bowness, Coniston, Keswick, Kendal, Cockermouth, Penrith or Grasmere. The Lake District is also the perfect location to hold a wedding reception, and if you are planning a wedding or honeymoon in the Lake District, book your hotel in plenty of time, as they get particularly busy in summer.

Windermere is the longest lake in England at 10.5 miles, and you can enjoy plenty of attractions in nearby Bowness Bay. If you are planning your first visit to the Lake District, buy a map of the area, or pick one up from a tourist information centre when you arrive, and plan your trip. The Lake District is easily accessible from Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle Airports, and the M6 enables easy access to visitors from other parts of England.

Lake District events in 2010 include: The Windermere Air Show, Potfest in the Park at Hutton-in-the-Forest, Solfest 2010, a music an arts festival, Westmorland Horticultural Show, Carlisle Fire Show at Bitts Park and the Furness Tradition Festival. Check out the dates and times of the events online, or ask at a tourist information point in the Lake District for a list of annual events.

Make the most of your stay in the Lake District and book into a luxurious Windermere Cottage for two with hot tub.

Happy Easter in Windermere

Looking for somewhere stunning to enjoy a Happy Easter in Windermere? Why not check out our stunning facilities at the luxurious Rose Cottage, including an outdoor hot tub, a whirlpool bath for two, open plan living room and kitchen and a luxurious bedroom.

Easter is a perfect time to visit Windermere as the weather turns warmer, the lambs are in the fields and the greenery and scenery is stunning.

During your break in the Lake District, you will find a wealth of things to see and do. Outdoor pursuits include walking, cycling, horse riding and boating, while you can also find a wide range of museums, children´s attractions, interactive exhibitions and great cafés, bars and restaurants in Windermere.

The Lake District is the most visited National Park in England, and Cumbria offers visitors a wealth of stunning landscapes, beautiful lakes and a wide choice of attractions.

With a wider variety of scenery than any other area of its size in Britain, the Lake District is home to 16 major lakes, including England´s largest lake, Windermere.

Towering above the lakes are some of England´s highest mountains, including Scafell, Helvellyn, Scafell Pike and Skiddaw.

If you prefer to take it easy on holiday, you can take advantage of the full spa facilities on offer at the Aphrodite’s Lodge our sister hotel, or stay in your cottage and enjoy an aqua spa massage bath for two, watch TV on one of the large LCD screens or unwind in the outdoor hot tub.

You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do in the Lakes and whether you want to stay in your suite or enjoy a pampering session in the spa, you are guaranteed a luxurious stay in one of England´s most beautiful settings. Imagine a romantic weekend, a honeymoon or a special occasion in Windermere, with full spa facilities on site and private hot tubs, patios and saunas in your suite.

The real beauty of the Lake District is in its rugged and unspoilt countryside, surrounding Windermere, Kendal, Grasmere, Keswick and Coniston, and if you want to get away from it all, there is no better place to come. For culture vultures and lovers of the great outdoors, you can explore the region on foot, by car or by public transport, and it is well worth checking out the local events and festivals which take place throughout the year.

If you want to sample the finest Cumbrian fare, visit one of the local country inns, dotted temptingly around the region, or enjoy some home baked cakes and pastries in one of the many quaint cafés in Bowness and Windermere. Something of a foodie´s paradise, the Lake District boasts Michelin starred restaurants, gastro pubs and regular farmer´s markets where you can sample the delicious produce before you buy.

There is nothing better, after a hard day´s walking and exploring the lakes, than returning to the hotel to relax in the spa, enjoy a pampering session or soak away your aches and pains in the hot tub at your luxury spa cottage in Windermere.

Windermere – how it all began

Have you ever wondered how Windermere became one of the most popular places to visit in England?

We take a look at how it all began.

Windermere only came to prominence as a tourist resort when the railway link was completed from Kendal in 1847. It was then decided that the name ´Birthwaite´ would be confusing for people wanting to visit the great lake, and around 1859 the name of the village was changed to Windermere.

To avoid the steep hill to the actual lakeside at Bowness, the railway terminated in Windermere, and was a major factor in early tourism to the Lakes. Most visitors in those early days arrived from Yorkshire and Lancashire and it was reported that over 125,000 people visited Windermere in the first year of the railway being open. Horse-drawn carriages ferried people from the railway station to the Lake, and local hotels arranged excursions around Windermere and Bowness.

Bowness-on-Windermere, before the introduction of the railway was a fishing village and the vast majority of residents earned a living from fishing or agriculture. Other commercial opportunities arose when Victorian visitors began flocking to the lake to enjoy the ´benefits of the country air´ and several hotels and boarding houses sprang up around the lake.

The lake was used to transport stone, charcoal and minerals since the 15th Century when a ferry service operated across the narrowest point, between Bowness and Ferry House. Large rowing boats ferried people, animals and goods across the lake.

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway was linked to ferry services from Lakeside in 1869, which turned Bowness into a popular and fashionable destination for day trips.

Many rich businessmen from Lancashire and Yorkshire bought large country mansions on the Lakeside in the 19th Century – many of which are still standing today. The homes were bought at holiday retreats or as commuter homes, such as Belsfield, which was purchased by Henry Schneider in 1869 and was one of the first Windermere homes to have a jetty at the bottom of the garden. Schneider was an iron magnate who arrived in Barrow-on-Furness in 1839 and would sail to Lakeside in his steamboat, Esperance.

Another famous residence was Storr´s Hall, which was bought by John Bolton in 1804. Bolton was born in Ulverston in 1756, and was one of the wealthiest men in Cumbria. He extended the mansion and created a park. John Bolton was a Cumbrian who made a fortune as a Liverpool slave trader. He bought Storrs Hall with some of the proceeds and used the residence to entertain in style, holding regattas on the lake which were attended by Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott among others.

Brockhole, which is now the National Park Visitor Centre (since 1969) was built in the late 1880´s by Henry Gaddum a silk merchant from Manchester, and became a convalescent home after he sold it.

If you are looking for somewhere romantic and luxurious to stay in Windermere, Rose Cottage boasts an outdoor hot tub, access to full spa facilities, a log burning stove and a sumptuous king-sized bedroom.

10 quirky facts you may not have known about the Lake District

Famous for its stunning lakes, its breathtaking scenery and its romantic poets, the Lake District also boasts some quirky facts you may not have heard about.

If you are planning a trip to the Lake District, why not stay in a luxury Windermere spa cottage?

Ten quirky facts about the Lake District include:

Beast Banks, Kendal

Known as the Green on Beast Banks, Kendal, this was where bulls were baited before slaughter, a practice said to ‘improve' the quality of the meat. The butcher shops were situated in Old Shambles but the site was too flat for the blood and offal to drain away, so New Shambles was built in 1803 on sloping ground to improve the drainage of the blood down to the river.

Richard Woodall´s shop in Waberthwaite

Richard Woodall's shop in Waberthwaite is a must for lovers of Cumberland sausage, and local bacon and ham. Eight generations of the same family have ensured its success, and the shop was awarded a Royal Warrant in 1990 to supply the Queen with traditional Cumberland meats.

Winter skiing in Alston

Alston is the highest market town in England at 1043 ft, and if snow conditions are good in winter, there are plenty of great ski runs to try out.

The Sleepy Elephant in Sedbergh

The Sleepy Elephant Gift Shop in Sedbergh was formerly a chemist shop, housed in a medieval building that was featured in the BBC production of ‘The House Detectives'. Bonnie Prince Charlie was said to have hidden in a chimney here during his retreat north in 1745.

The Helm Wind, Appleby-in-Westmorland

The Helm Wind is the only named wind in the UK, and is a strong, cold and roaring wind that starts on the eastern side of the Pennines and blows downwards to create turbulence. The Helm Bar is a white bank of cloud which can also be seen. Locals say that when the Helm Bar is black, rain will soon follow and when it is white a cold wind will follow.

Living and Crowing in Dalston

Dalston's motto is ‘Whilst I live, I'll crow.´ This is a reference to the sport of cock-fighting which was once popular in Dalston. An iron sculpture of a black and red cockerel sits on the top of the lamp base in the Village Green.

Earl Mayo in Cockermouth

The marble statue in Main Street, Cockermouth is of Earl Mayo (Richard Southwell Bourke) – who was Cockermouth's MP for 10 years (1857-1867). Bourke was appointed Viceroy to India in 1869, but three years later was stabbed to death in the Andaman Islands (Indian Ocean) by a convict serving time in the penal colony on the Islands.

St Nicholas´s Church, Whitehaven

St Nicholas's Church is situated on Lowther Street in Whitehaven, and is the resting place of Mildred Warner Washington (grandmother of George Washington, first president of the United States). Mildred died in 1701 shortly after marrying her second husband, George Gale, a tobacco importer based in Whitehaven. The actual site of her burial is not known, but her death is registered in the Parish records.

Reiver Baptisms

Border Reivers were raiders along the Anglo–Scottish border from the late 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. At Reiver Baptisms, the right hand of a male child was deliberately left unchristened so that it might deal a ‘more deadly . . . blow to the enemy'.

Irish Ireby

The name ´Ireby´ means ‘settlement of the Irish'. In the early 19th century the village had its own bank, rooms and printed its own bank notes.

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Holker Hall – a beautiful attraction in the Lakes

Holker Hall is home to Lord and Lady Cavendish, and is one of the most popular attractions in the Lake District.

Situated close to the coastal town of Grange-over-Sands and Morecambe Bay, Holker Hall is surrounded by beautiful countryside, and boasts magnificent gardens. A Norse word, ´Holker´ literally translates as ´a rising in marshy land´, and records show a house stood on the site as far back as the beginning of the 16th Century.

If you are staying at a luxury cottage in Windermere, Holker Hall is just a 16 mile drive from Holker Hall.

The Estate has passed on through inheritance ever since those early days, and the award winning gardens and hall have been attracting visitors from all over the world for many years. Lord and Lady Cavendish both take an active interest in protecting wildlife in the area and in maintaining the surrounding woodlands and parkland. Every generation of owners have left their impression on the hall since the early 16th Century, and the house had to be rebuilt after a fire in 1871, which destroyed the west wing, and wiped out valuable paintings, portraits and books.

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The stunning grounds at Holker Hall include sunken gardens, grottos, and an elaborate slate sundial, and a cascade of water tumbles down from a seventeenth century marble Neptune, making this one of the most immaculate gardens in England. Lord George Cavendish planted the late 18th century ´natural´ parkland, and new features, including the arboretum, a conservatory and a large walled kitchen garden were added in the early 19th century.

One of the most incredible features of the house is the long gallery, and among the furniture are a stunning black octagonal Derbyshire polished limestone table, a regency and mahogany and satinwood desk and a display table, containing a purse belonging to the 5th Duke of Devonshire´s wife, Georgiana. Holker boasts a courtyard café, which is a great place to stop for refreshments, and two great dining rooms, which can be hired for a special occasion or corporate event.

Lord and Lady Cavendish also own nearby Cartmel Racecourse, which provides a great day out for all the family.

Wherever you decide to stay in the Lake District, Holker Hall will be within easy driving distance, or accessible by public transport. Choose from a vast range of luxury cottages with hot tubs in Windermere and take your time to explore this stunning part of the world.

5 top drives in the Lake District

If you are planning a trip to the Lake District, why not take the time to drive around this stunning countryside and enjoy some of the finest scenery in the UK.

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Five of the top Lake District drives include:

Coniston to Eskdale via the Duddon Valley

This drive is not for the faint-hearted and includes plenty of challenging mountain roads, but also offers glimpses of some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK. Enjoy stopping off at one of a number of historic attractions, and also find out more about bygone industries in the area. The whole route is 42 miles long.

Ambleside to Coniston via Windermere

A drive from Ambleside to Coniston via Windermere will take in many local attractions near the great lake, including the Beatrix Potter Attraction and a number of locations associated with the famous children´s author who once resided in the Lake District. The whole trip is just over 37 miles long.

Ambleside to Ullswater via Keswick

The main Lake District route from Ambleside to Keswick is a journey well worth taking. A return via Ullswater and Kirkstone Pass comes highly recommended and you will pass many of the Lake District´s most famous lakes on route. Many of the locations you will pass are linked to famous poet, William Wordsworth who lived most of his life in the lakes, and found inspiration for his most famous poems from the breathtaking scenery. The route is 48 miles long.

Kendal to Windermere

This drive will take you around the south east corner of the Lakes, and takes in some fantastic attractions, and offers some amazing views. If you enjoy walking around historic houses or relaxing in the gardens, visit the stately homes of Bowness and Kendal, also marvel at the Cartmel peninsula and enjoy all of the attractions on the shore of England´s largest lake, Windermere. The drive is just over 48 miles in length.

Keswick to Buttermere via Borrowdale

This beautiful drive takes in the amazing Keswick and Derwent Water, then passes through the breathtaking valley of Borrowdale, up over Honister Pass to Buttermere and through Newlands Valley. The trip is 33 miles in total.

Take your time to explore the Lake District at your own pace and enjoy some of the best countryside and coastal drives in the UK. Why not treat yourself to a stay in a luxury Windermere cottage with hot tub, whirlpool bath for two, log-burning stove and much more.

Bowness on Windermere Cottages

One of the most beautiful natural areas in the UK, Bowness-on-Windermere is largely seen as the jewel in the crown of the Lake District and offers a choice of luxurious self-catering cottages to choose from.

Windermere

This thriving town is situated beside Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England, and offers visitors a wide range of things to see and do. In addition to boasting some of the best boutique hotels and themed hotels in the Lake District, Bowness-on-Windermere is home to hundreds of quirky shops, restaurants, country pubs and some excellent cultural and historical attractions. If you are planning a trip to the Lake District for the first time, or you are looking for a weekend break or a late deal in the region, check out Bowness.

The views from Bowness across Lake Windermere and over to the mountains are some of the best in the Lake District, and the wide range of things to see and do is endless. Choose from a vast range of accommodation in Bowness.

Things to do in Windermere

Outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy golf, walking, hiking, climbing, water-skiing and sailing, or simply cruising down the lake on one of the authentic steam boats. If you prefer to take things a little bit easier, visit the 15th Century church of St Martin´s, which is situated in a beautiful part of the town.

The Windermere Steamboat Centre in Rayrigg Road, houses a unique collection of historic steamboats and motorboats, and special events throughout the season include the British Classic Motorboat, Model Boat and Steamboat Rally.

Bowness Bay

Bowness is popular with all ages as there is so much to do, and the focus is firmly put on the lakeshore of Bowness Bay. Here you can hire a rowing boat, sail on the steamer or enjoy a leisurely stroll around Lake Windermere, which is also the longest (nearly 11 miles) and deepest lake in England at 67 metres.

Elsewhere in Bowness you will find the World of Beatrix Potter, which provides a great day out for the kids. This is a magical recreation of Beatrix Potter´s books, where you can meet Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and all the characters from her famous stories.

Watersports

Bowness is busy most of the year, and is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere. The town is Cumbria´s most popular destination, so if you prefer a quieter time on holiday, it is best to visit out of season. Lake Windermere is the best waterway in the region for water sports, swimming and yachting, and it is the only lake in the Lake District which has no speed restriction for water traffic. Boat builders and fishermen can be seen at work on the shoreline, and there are plenty of cafés to stop at and buy refreshments.

If you are planning a Lake District break, why not book a luxurious Bowness cottage and make the most of your stay in one of England’s most beautiful regions?

All you need to know about the Lake District National Park

Covering an area of around 900 square miles, the Lake District gained National Park Status in 1951, which attracted thousands more visitors, along with improved rail links to Windermere from Manchester. The National Park is protected and promoted widely through the UK and the rest of the world, and boasts some of the best natural attractions in Europe.

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Running from Caldbeck in the north to Lindale in the south and from Ravenglass in the west to Shap in the East, the Lake District is home to coastal towns and rugged countryside, with stunning lake and mountain scenery. Farming and agriculture have historically been the main industry in the region, and Cumbria is also famous for the Herdwick Sheep breed which can survive the harshest environments. Sheep farming is still an important industry, along with tourism.

Cumbria still provides tons of granite and slate, used in the building industry and many local houses were constructed using local materials. Quarrying has left its marks on the landscape, but much of the Lake District remains unscathed. Thirlmere provides water for up to 1 million homes in Manchester, and Windermere is Cumbria´s largest lake at over 10 miles in length.

Famous former residents included poet and author William Wordsworth, who spent much of his life in and around the lakes. He attended school at Hawkshead and lived in Grasmere from 1799-1813, and Rydal Mount from 1813-1850.

Two of the most visited attractions in the Lake District today are Wordworth´s former home, Dove Cottage in Grasmere and Rydal Mount. Beatrix Potter´s former house, Hill Top is also a major attraction and it was left to the National Trust in the author´s will on the condition that nothing in the house was changed and that it was opened up to the public.

Millions of tourists flock to the park to enjoy the mountains and fells, to cruise across the lakes and to feel at one with nature. Hiking, horse riding, walking, swimming and sailing are just some of the most popular attractions in the Lake District, along with a wide range of farmer´s markets and annual festivals and events.

Windermere is the perfect place to base yourself if you are planning to explore the Lake District, and whether you are driving or using public transport, there are plenty of options available to you. The Mountain Goat Tours are particularly popular with visitors who want to leave the car at home, and offer full day excursions and half day trips to some of the Lake District´s most famous locations.

If you are planning a romantic trip to the Lake District or you want to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary, why not book into a luxury hot tub cottage in Windermere and enjoy stunning facilities including a log burning stove and a whirlpool bath for two?

The best places to visit in the Lake District

About the Lake District

Nestled in the northwest corner of England in Cumbria, The Lake District is popular among outdoor enthusiasts due to its postcard prettiness. The region is a 5-hour drive from London and a 2-hour drive from Manchester. The Lake District has so much to offer for culture vultures who visit here for its literary associations. The region is so vast and filled with scenic beauty that we guarantee you will reach for your camera again and again.

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Base yourself on Lake Windermere

Windermere is the largest lake in England. Long, narrow and blue, you could happily spend your holiday on this ribbon lake. Go boating and exploring its famous towns such as Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere and soak up the untouched beauty of this 10.5 mile long and 220 feet deep lake.

Lake District attractions

Lakeland offers some of the Britain’s best hiking trails and there are no shortage of villages, museums, country houses and forests to explore too. You have to plan your itinerary wisely to visit the most spectacular attractions. Some of the best include:

Dove Cottage

This cottage was the first home of William Wordsworth in the Lake District. He lived here with his wife, sister and three small children for almost a decade. The cottage is full of Wordsworth’s belongings containing his passport, a pair of reading glasses, ice skates, portraits of his dogs and many more things to marvel at. At the back of the house, there is a half-wild garden where he used to compose his poetry.

Hill Top

Located in Near Sawrey, here Beatrix Potter created some of her most famous stories. She purchased the house out of the royalties from her first book. You will notice many features from her literary works including Mr MacGregor’s cottage garden and Mrs Tiggywinkle’s kitchen.

Great Langdale

This is the home of some of the Lake District’s most iconic hikes. You would love to hike the Langdale Pikes, a spiky chain of hills on the valley’s northern side but hiking aficionados may attempt the challenging circuit along the Crinkle Crags and Bowfell.

Keswick

This busy market town is worth a visit due to its handsome location beside Derwentwater and is also a great place to buy outdoor gear. There are cruises available throughout the Lake District or hire a rowing boat and explore under your own steam.

Borrowdale , Buttermere and Honister Slate Mine

Green fields, drystone walls, rolling fells and cob cottages make up the dramatic scenery and Lake District landscapes. Neighbouring Buttermere adds to the beauty with its twin lakes, Buttermere and Crummock Water. Honister Slate mine is famous among adventure lovers. It is the home to one of the Lake District’s last working mines.

Wordsworth House

This amazing house provides an insight into the poet’s formative years including William’s own boyhood bedroom, drawing room and the garden.

Tarn Hows

This is among the Lake District’s top tourist spots. This wooden tarn is a man-made creation and is now owned by the National Trust. Its attractive paths are perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll. If you want to make the most of your visit to the Lake District, why not book a hot tub cottage in Windermere?

The top 7 places to go mountain biking in the Lake District

With its open countryside, lakeside trails and woodland routes, there is no better place to enjoy a cycling holiday than the Lake District. Our top 10 places to go mountain biking in the lakes include:

1.Ambleside and Loughrigg Fell

Loughrigg, Elterwater, Hodge Close, Iron Keld is 17 miles long, and includes bridleways, including a hair raising descent from Iron Keld, and an optional extension which continues along the mountain road from Iron Keld. Another route is the Loughrigg Circuit, which is 8 miles in length. Most of the climbing is on tarmac, while most of the descents are off-road with some tricky sections.

2.Grizedale Forest

Coniston to Lawson Park route is 8 miles long, and includes a long, gradual climb into the forest, which is rewarded with magnificent views over Coniston Water, and a scenic descent past an abandoned farm at Lawson Park. The Rough Ride is 15 miles long, and consists of smooth-surfaced forest roads, followed by tricky bridleways.

3.Claife Heights

Popular mountain bike routes from Claife Heights include: Hawkshead, 13 miles, Bowness via the ferry, 10 miles and Ambleside, 16 miles. Narrow country lanes provide a great warm up for off-road tours of Claife Heights, and there are some excellent descents.

4.The Old Coach Road

The Old Coach Road at Glenderaterra covers 28 miles, and traverses the deep mountain valley. Keswick Railway Cycle Track offers riders a gentle warm up for the tough bridleway ahead. The route is fast and enjoyable with a moderate level of difficulty, and culminates in a thrilling 300m descent. A shorter version of the route is 17 miles, and starts at Threlkeld instead of Keswick.

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5. Skiddaw

The route from Skiddaw House to Keswick is 18 miles in length, and includes some easy on road cycling before getting tougher on the land track to Skiddaw House. The return to Keswick follows more narrow tracks with plenty of off-road interest. Skiddaw Summit is 12 miles in length, and offers the longest bike descent in England. A surprisingly smooth, furiously fast freefall towards Keswick makes this ride worthwhile, but remember it also includes the longest uphill push!

6. Whinlatter

The Circuit of Barf is 22 miles, and includes mostly pleasant cycling on narrow country lanes and well-graded forest roads. The few bridleway sections are not too tricky, and the route is varied. The excellent Forestry Commission Cycle Trails are 6 miles or 8 miles long, and follow smooth, well graded forest roads. They lack the challenge of rockier Lake District bridleways, but make up for it with pleasant gate-free riding. Great for mountain biking beginners.

7.Coniston and Torver

Coniston and Torver mountain bike routes include: Walna Scar from Coniston, which is 18 miles in length, and includes riding over Walna Scar, country lanes in Duddon Valley and grassy single tracks on the Dunnerdale Fells. Lots of uphills. For a shorter version, try going via Yaud Mire Bridleway, which is 15 miles, and avoids many of the climbs. Kiln Bank Cross is 4 miles in length and offers some fast grassy tracks. Blawith Fells to Torver is 15 miles long, and includes a rambling tour of one of the quieter corners of the Lake District, and a long, grassy descent off Woodland Fell.

If you are planning to spend a few luxurious days in the Lakes, why not book a Windermere cottage with hot tub so you can relax after a hard day’s cycling.

The best attractions in the Lake District

As a tourist destination, the Lake District packs quite a punch – with such an amazing array of beautiful landscapes, and exciting visitor attractions to suit all tastes and ages.

With so much to see and do, it is no easy task to select a list of places to visit – but we've aimed to highlight a good variety of attractions so that you can spot something to suit your tastes..

If you plan to stay for more than a day, why not make the most of your visit and stay in a luxury Windermere Spa Cottage?.

Beatrix Potter's 17th-century farmhouse

Enter into a time capsule of the famous children's author's life at Hill Top, the 17th century farmhouse that has been kept just as it was when she lived there. If you have children, don't miss the lovely kids' garden trail..

Dove Cottage, the Wordsworth Museum & Wordsworth's Grave (Grasmere)

For Wordsworth fans, a visit to 17th century Dove Cottage in Grasmere – the home of poet William Wordsworth from 1799 to 1808 – will top their Lake District itinerary. Enjoy the 20-minute guided tour then wander at your leisure; visit the museum for one of the greatest collections of items relating to British Romanticism; then polish off your visit with some cake in the Dove Cottage tea rooms. While you're in Grasmere, visit Wordsworth's grave in the village at St Oswald's Church..

Muncaster Castle-Ravenglass

An historic castle that is said to be haunted, Muncaster is set in 70 acres of landscaped gardens and is also home to the World Owl Centre and the MeadowVole Maze. Visit with the family during the day, or join a night-time 'Ghost Sit' for a spookier experience..

Blackwell: the arts and crafts house

An internationally-important icon of Arts and Crafts architecture, Blackwell is home to period rooms that are carefully furnished with the blend of Arts and Crafts furniture and early country-made pieces advocated by its architect, Baillie Scott. Visitors can explore the entire property and enjoy stunning views over the Lakeland scenery at Bowness..

Brockhole: the Lake District Visitor Centre

With plenty to get stuck into, Brockhole is an ideal destination for a fun family day out. Explore the gardens and the adventure playground; play mini golf; or embark on lake-based activities such as kayaking, rowing or walking on water inside a giant inflatable ball. .

Windermere Lake Cruises

Enjoy a relaxing cruise on a Windermere Steamer for views of dramatic mountain scenery, sheltered bays, and lush, wooded islands. Create a whole day out by combining a trip on the lake with a stop off at one of the lakeside attractions, such as the Lakeland Motor Museum or the award-winning Lakes Aquarium – or head out in the evening for a romantic sunset cruise..

Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway

The Lakeland's oldest, longest and most scenic railway takes visitors on a seven-mile journey from Ravenglass, the only coastal village in the Lake District National Park, to 'Boot Station' at Dalegarth, the ideal base for walkers, nestled at the foot of the Scafell Range. Head off along one of the many trails to enjoy this spectacularly scenic part of the Lakes..

The Lakes Aquarium

On the shores of Lake Windermere, the Lakes Aquarium lets visitors explore all sorts of underwater worlds, from Morecambe Bay to more exotic continents, as well as coming face-to-face with amphibians and reptiles in the Tropical Rainforest, and embarking on a recreated journey beneath Lake Windermere..

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Exploring the Lake District

A Paradise of breath-taking lakes, soaring mountains, picturesque valleys and even sandy coastlines - the Lake District attracts over 16 million visitors each year.

Some of the most popular and scenic places to explore if you are planning to stay in a Lake District hot tub cottage include:

Coniston water

Coniston is an ideal place to have a great family day out. Sail together on a five mile long and half a mile wide lake with a wonderful view of the mountain of the Old Man of Coniston which makes up the backdrop. Visit the beautiful gardens of John Ruskin’s home and the Ruskin Museum to experience the history of the Lakes.

Windermere

If you are planning to visit Windermere then you might think to extend your trip to a few days more because the lovely walks and marvellous attractions will leave you mesmerized with their picturesque beauty. Some of the must-see attractions are Lake Windermere, the World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on-Windermere, Aquarium of the Lakes and much more.

Luxury Windermere cottages for 2 are among the most sought after accommodation in the Lakes.

Ullswater

The Lake District has a fair share of natural scenery for nature lovers and Ullswater is the perfect spot to spend the day surrounded by stunning mountains, boasting dramatic views. Ullswater, Glenridding, Patterdale, Pooley Bridge, Howtown, Kirkstone Pass, Martindale and Dacre are some of the top attractions in and around Ullswater.

Langdale Valley

If you are an adventure lover, there are countless breath-taking valleys, camping hotspots and numerous walking routes in the Langdale Valley.

The North Lakes

Tucked away in the National Park’s north-west, visit the most peaceful lakes of the Lake District. Explore and experience the unexpected by visiting Crummock Water, Loweswater, Buttermere and Buttermere Village, Honister Pass and Bassenthwaite Lake. Take your time to discover some of the most beautiful scenery in the Lake District.

Derwentwater

The Lake District overwhelms many visitors and its attractions appeal to everyone. No visit is complete without visiting Derwentwater; become immersed in nature by soaking up the views of mountains, amazing valleys and lovely villages. Some of the popular places to visit are the lake of Derwent water, Keswick, Borrowdale, Seatoller, Bassenthwaite and Thirlmere.

Wastwater

Nestled in Wasdale to the west of the National Park, Wastwater is England’s deepest lake. Explore some of the most scenic parts by visiting Wasdale Head, Nether Wasdale, Eskdale, Ravenglass and Ennerdale Water.

If you are looking to explore the Lake District, why not book into a romantic and luxurious Windermere cottage with hot tub and whirlpool bath for two to make the most of your time in this beautiful part of England?

Be ready to get swept away by its Joie de Vivre and experience the wonderland that is the Lake District!

All about the Lake District

Not only does the Lake District attract over 16 million visitors each month but the region is also home to Windermere, England’s longest lake and a choice of romantic Windermere cottages to choose from.

Owned by the National Trust, the Lake District National Park has 16 major lakes and Windermere is 10.5 miles long. The Lake District is also home to the three highest mountains in England - Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn and Ill Crag, which are all over 3,000 feet high. Some Cumbrian towns are situated on the coast, and visitors flock to the resorts of Maryport, Whitehaven and Ravenglass to combine a beach holiday with the dramatic scenery of the Lake District.

The Lake District boasts a wide choice of luxury Windermere cottages to choose from. The Lake District is the perfect place for a quiet weekend break, a family holiday or a romantic weekend, and attractions include: boating on Windermere, museums and heritage centres, kid´s attractions, including Go Ape at Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead and in Whinlatter Forest Park at Keswick, which offers an adventure playground high above the forest canopy.

A wide range of attractions in the Lake District include horse racing in Cartmel, rock climbing in Great Langdale, horse riding in Keswick, swimming in Windermere, boating at Ullswater and visiting the Beatrix Potter Attraction and the Lakes Aquarium in Bowness. Whether you fancy a quiet time in the lakes, enjoying the scenery, and the landscapes, or you want to enjoy some real-life adventure, you will find a vast range of attractions to suit all tastes and budgets.

Weekend cottage breaks in the Lake District are popular all year round, and wherever you choose to go in the lakes, you will find a wide choice of accommodation to suit your requirements in Windermere, Bowness, Coniston, Keswick, Kendal, Cockermouth, Penrith or Grasmere. The Lake District is also the perfect location to hold a wedding reception, and if you are planning a wedding or honeymoon in the Lake District, book your romantic Windermere cottage in plenty of time, as they get particularly busy in summer.

Enjoy plenty of attractions in Bowness Bay. If you are planning your first visit to the Lake District, buy a map of the area, or pick one up from a tourist information centre when you arrive, and plan your trip. The Lake District is easily accessible from Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle Airports, and the M6 enables easy access to visitors from other parts of England.

If you are interested in the history and culture of the Lake District, visit the Honister Slate Mine, which teaches visitors about the slate quarrying industry, which was one of the main industries in the Lake District from the 1700s, or take a trip to the Threlkeld Mining Museum near Keswick, which provides a unique insight into the work and lives of men who worked in the mining industry from the early years.

Windermere honeymoon cottage

If you are looking for a stunning honeymoon cottage in Windermere, check out the luxurious Rose Cottage.

Offering plush, sumptuous facilities with every luxury, including an outdoor hot tub and a whirlpool bath for two, Rose Cottage is perfect for couples in love.

The Lake District lends itself beautifully to honeymoon breaks, romantic weekend breaks and midweek breaks, as the landscapes are stunning and the surrounding countryside is famous for its natural beauty and rugged terrain. One of the most beautiful places in the Lake District to spend a weekend break, is Bowness or Windermere, with the largest lake in England on the doorstep.

Whether you plan to explore Windermere and the Lake District during your honeymoon stay, or you prefer to spend a romantic weekend in, Rose Cottage offers luxurious facilities in every room.

Romantic weekend breaks in the Lake District are very much sought after by newly-weds from all over the UK. Bowness and Windermere are the perfect places to stay if you are planning a dreamy weekend in one of England´s most beautiful national parks.

If you want to pamper yourself during your honeymoon break in the Lake District or during a romantic weekend break, you can enjoy fantastic spa facilities, just a few minutes’ walk from Rose Cottage in our sister hotel, Aphrodite’s Boutique Hotel, Bowness.

Imagine a romantic honeymoon weekend break in the Lake District, with rolling hills, stunning lakeside scenery and some of the most stylish, elegant and attractive accommodation imaginable.

If you intend to spend a weekend in the Lake District walking, hiking or climbing, there is no better way to relax in the evening than by enjoying a soak in an aqua spa massage bath for two people.

Rose Cottage in Bowness, offers every luxury to guests, and if you are looking for a honeymoon hotel in the Lake District, or a unique boutique hotel where you can relax and enjoy luxurious facilities, excellent accommodation and plenty of special treatment, you should look no further.

Windermere and Bowness are excellent places to stay if you intend to explore the Lake District on foot or by car or public transport, and our helpful receptionist at the Aphrodite’s Hotel can assist you if you need help booking restaurants in Bowness or Windermere, or if you want to book activities in Windermere, including boat trips, horse riding, guided walks or climbs.

A wide choice of local pubs and restaurants serve everything from typical hearty Cumbrian cuisine such as Cumberland sausages and local lamb to Michelin star dining and real ales.

Award-winning local attractions make Windermere the ideal spot for a cottage holiday, especially if you are planning a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.

Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, is a great place to visit. With interactive exhibitions, an adventure playground, a café, shop and information centre, plus direct access to the lake from the gardens, this is a great day out for all the family. It is well worth visiting Brockhole just to enjoy the stunning gardens, and the views down to Windermere.

Stunning winter cottage in Bowness-on-Windermere

If you are looking for a stunning and luxurious winter cottage in Bowness-on-Windermere this year, look no further than Rose Cottage.

This thriving town of Bowness is situated beside Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England, and offers visitors a wide range of things to see and do. In addition to boasting some of the best boutique hotels and themed hotels in the Lake District, Bowness-on-Windermere is home to hundreds of quirky shops, restaurants, country pubs and some excellent cultural and historical attractions. If you are planning a trip to the Lake District for the first time, or you are looking for a weekend break or a late deal in the region, check out Bowness.

Rose Cottage offers luxurious accommodation including a whirlpool bath for two, a stunning open plan kitchen and lounge, an outdoor hot tub and a log burning stove, making it the ideal place to stay for a romantic weekend.

The Windermere Steamboat Centre in Rayrigg Road, houses a unique collection of historic steamboats and motorboats, and special events throughout the season include the British Classic Motorboat, Model Boat and Steamboat Rally.

Bowness is popular with all ages as there is so much to do, and the focus is firmly put on the lakeshore of Bowness Bay. Here you can hire a rowing boat, sail on the steamer or enjoy a leisurely stroll around Lake Windermere, which is also the longest (nearly 11 miles) and deepest lake in England at 67 metres.

Elsewhere in Bowness you will find the World of Beatrix Potter, which provides a great day out for the kids. This is a magical recreation of Beatrix Potter´s books, where you can meet Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and all the characters from her famous stories.

Bowness-on-Windermere and William Wordsworth

Well known to the poet, William Wordsworth, Bowness-on-Windermere was frequently visited by several writers and authors. The White Lion pub, which is now the Royal Hotel was a favourite hostelry of Wordsworth´s, and it was mentioned in ´The Prelude.´ The poet also used the ferry to cross Lake Windermere, and mentioned this in some of his most famous works. A car ferry still crosses the lake between Ferry Nab and Ferry House, and provides a convenient approach to the western side of the lake and the villages of Hawkshead and Sawrey.

The history of Bowness-on-Windermere

The Romans and the Vikings once laid claim to Bowness, and it was the Vikings who gave the name ´Bull Ness´ to the town originally. The name changed to Bowness over the years, and it remained a small fishing village until 1847, when the railroad was introduced. Bowness then grew quickly, and hotels began to spring up to accommodate the tourists. Wealthy industrialists built mansions, which later became hotels, and Bowness was planted firmly on the wealthy tourist´s map.

For many years, barges unloaded gravel dredged from the bed of Lake Windermere, where the Steamboat Museum is now situated. Here you can see an impressive collection of Victorian and Edwardian steamboats and motorboats, including the 1850 SL Dolly, which is the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world. The boat lay on the bed of the lake for 67 years before it was salvaged and restored to its former glory.

If you are looking for a luxurious cottage in Bowness, look no further than Rose Cottage, which was built with romance in mind. Stunning facilities for couples and perfect if you are celebrating a special birthday or anniversary.

Romance and the Lake District

If you are looking for aluxurious and romantic winter cottage in Windermere this year, why not book Rose Cottage in Bowness?

Boasting an outdoor hot tub, a whirlpool bath for two, a log burning stove, a fabulous open plan kitchen and lounge and a sumptuous king size bedroom with luxurious facilities throughout, this is one Christmas gift that you will be always be remembered for!

At Rose Cottage the wow factor is guaranteed and comes free! This is the perfect hideaway if you want to get away from it all with someone special and relax in peaceful and picturesque surroundings close to Windermere.

You may also use the full spa facilities at the sister hotel, Aphrodite’s Lodge nearby, if you can drag yourselves out of the cottage.

Bowness offers a vast range of attractions including the Lakes Aquarium, Bowness Bay with its Windermere steamers, a host of country pubs, award-winning restaurants and cafes and Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre.

Whatever you are looking for in Windermere and Bowness you will find it.

Whether you want to hike up the fells, stay warm and cosy in your hot tub cottage, dine out at Michelin starred restaurants or cruise across Windermere to get a lake’s eye view of the shoreline, you will find everything close to Rose Cottage.

If you are looking for great views, walk up to Orrest Head, at the top of Windermere to enjoy stunning panoramic vistas of the lake and the surrounding countryside. The walk should only take about 30-40 minutes but is quite steep.

Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House is one of the major attractions near Windermere. Visitors can enjoy stunning views over the lake from the gardens, and soak up the peaceful atmosphere in the house itself, which was built between 1898 and 1900, and designed by M H Baillie Scott. Blackwell was originally built as a holiday home for Sir Edward Holt, owner of the Manchester Brewery. Original features ensure Blackwell retains much of its original charm. Several rooms are used as galleries, and the gardens offer a picturesque terrace bordered by flowers where visitors can enjoy a bite to eat and take in the incredible views.

The Lake District National Park attracts over 16 million visitors each year, including day trippers and offers a wide range of attractions for all ages.

If you are planning a romantic break there is no better place to stay than Rose Cottage with its stunning location and luxurious facilities throughout. Gift vouchers are available and prove very popular at Christmas.

If you want to travel around the Lake District, book a Mountain Goat Tour which will take you all over the region, stopping off at the best view points and often including lunch. Half day and full day tours are available.

Rose Cottage is ideal for celebrating a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary and is designed for couples. Sumptuous accommodation in a stunning location near Windermere!

Why stay in a luxury cottage in Windermere?

If you are looking for a romantic weekend away or a heavenly midweek break in the Lake District, why not book a luxury cottage in Windermere?

Our romantic cottage in Windermere boasts an outdoor hot tub, a whirlpool bath for two people, a luxurious bathroom, an open plan lounge and kitchen with state of the art furnishings and equipment and heated relaxation spa loungers with water features.

Guests can also pamper themselves in the Aphrodite’s Hotel spa, just a couple of minutes from the cottage, free of charge or pay a little extra for beauty treatments.

Perfect for a romantic weekend or midweek break, Rose Cottage is surrounded by stunning countryside and within easy reach of Bowness Bay with all of its attractions, restaurants, pubs and a tourist information centre.

If you can drag yourself away from your luxurious Windermere cottage, why not take a boat trip on a Windermere steamer across the largest and most spectacular lake in England or book a mountain goat tour to visit some of the Lake’s most stunning natural attractions.

Award-winning pubs and restaurants are plentiful in Windermere and you will find a wide choice of cuisine, real ales, open fires and a warm welcome.

If you fancy exploring the Lakes on foot, pick up a leaflet in the Tourist Information Centre at Bowness and you can choose from a wide range of walks from challenging hikes to gentle lakeside strolls.

Rose Cottage offers a sumptuous bedroom and large LCD TV’s so that you can relax and enjoy your surroundings or have a dip in the hot tub after a long walk in the countryside.

Whether you are celebrating a special birthday or anniversary, looking for a luxurious cottage to chill out or simply want to relax away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Rose Cottage offers every luxury.

Windermere offers quiet places to walk, boat trips across the Lake, a choice of award-winning restaurants and some of the best country pubs in the Lake District.

Whatever you want to do in the Lake District you will be within easy reach of all the attractions in Windermere. Easy road access and a choice of things to do on the doorstep include: Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre and the nearby Lakes Aquarium.

You can even have breakfast at the Aphrodite’s Hotel nearby if you don’t want to cook!

Winter in the Lake District is uncrowded and offers a wealth of museums, stately homes, gardens and shops which open all year round.

Whatever you plan to do in the Lake District, we offer some of the most incredible facilities at Rose Cottage – the perfect, romantic cottage to return to!

Interesting facts about Windermere and the Lake District

Although Windermere and the Lake District are England’s most popular national park, attracting over 16 million visitors each year, you may not know some of the most interesting facts and figures about this stunning region.

Stretching over an area of around 900 square miles, the Lake District gained National Park Status in 1951, which attracted thousands more visitors, along with improved rail links to Windermere from Manchester. The National Park is protected and promoted widely through the UK and the rest of the world, and boasts some of the best natural attractions in Europe.

Luxury spa cottages in Windermere are attracting more guests than the lakeside hotels, and if you are planning a romantic weekend, a cottage break is the perfect choice.

Running from Caldbeck in the north to Lindale in the south and from Ravenglass in the west to Shap in the East, the Lake District is home to coastal towns and rugged countryside, with stunning lake and mountain scenery.

Farming and agriculture have historically been the main industry in the region, and Cumbria is also famous for the Herdwick Sheep breed which can survive the harshest environments. Sheep farming is still an important industry, along with tourism.

Cumbria still provides tons of granite and slate, used in the building industry and many local houses were constructed using local materials. Quarrying has left its marks on the landscape, but much of the Lake District remains unscathed. Thirlmere provides water for up to 1 million homes in Manchester, and Windermere is Cumbria´s largest lake at over 10 miles in length.

Famous former residents included poet and author William Wordsworth, who spent much of his life in and around the lakes. He attended school at Hawkshead and lived in Grasmere from 1799-1813, and Rydal Mount from 1813-1850.

Two of the most visited attractions in the Lake District today are Wordworth´s former home, Dove Cottage in Grasmere and Rydal Mount. Beatrix Potter´s former house, Hill Top is also a major attraction and it was left to the National Trust in the author´s will on the condition that nothing in the house was changed and that it was opened up to the public.

Millions of tourists flock to the park to enjoy the mountains and fells, to cruise across the lakes and to feel at one with nature. Hiking, horse riding, walking, swimming and sailing are just some of the most popular attractions in the Lake District, along with a wide range of farmer´s markets and annual festivals and events.

Windermere is the perfect place to base yourself if you are planning to explore the Lake District, and whether you are driving or using public transport, there are plenty of options available to you. The Mountain Goat Tours are particularly popular with visitors who want to leave the car at home, and offer full day excursions and half day trips to some of the Lake District´s most famous locations.

Wherever you stay in the Lakes you will not be far away from the stunning landscapes which make this part of the world some famous, and Windermere Lake Cruises offers visitors the chance to explore the Lake close up, and hop on and off at different points of interest en route.

Luxury cottages and spa cottages in Windermere book up quickly so if you are looking for a special break in the Lakes, start looking early for your perfect Lake District accommodation.

The best places to explore by car in the Lake District

If you are planning to visit the Lake District and you want to explore by car, you will find a vast choice of stunning drives with spectacular views and a choice of luxurious spa cottages in Windermere.

Some of the best drives in the Lake District include:

Kendal to Windermere

This drive will take you around the south east corner of the Lakes, and takes in some fantastic attractions, and offers some amazing views. If you enjoy walking around historic houses or relaxing in the gardens, visit the stately homes of Bowness and Kendal, also marvel at the Cartmel peninsula and enjoy all of the attractions on the shore of England´s largest lake, Windermere. The drive is just over 48 miles in length. Why not pamper yourself and, after a long drive stay in a luxurious Windermere cottage with hot tub and spa bath?

Coniston to Eskdale via the Duddon Valley

his drive is not for the faint-hearted and includes plenty of challenging mountain roads, but also offers glimpses of some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK. Enjoy stopping off at one of a number of historic attractions, and also find out more about bygone industries in the area. The whole route is 42 miles long.

Penrith to the Middle Eden Valley

A drive around Penrith and the Eden Valley will take you through many picturesque villages and hamlets, and also en route you will see plenty of historic monuments and attractions. The whole route is 48 miles in length.

Ambleside to Coniston via Windermere

A drive from Ambleside to Coniston via Windermere will take in many local attractions near the great lake, including the Beatrix Potter Attraction and a number of locations associated with the famous children´s author who once resided in the Lake District. The whole trip is just over 37 miles long.

Ulverston to the Furness Peninsula via Barrow

If you drive from Ulverston to the Furness Peninsula via Barrow you will see plenty of landmarks which illustrate the bygone age of industry in the Lake District, including steel manufacture and ship building. Also visit Furness Abbey and enjoy amazing coastal views en route. The route is just over 44 miles in total.

Ambleside to Ullswater via Keswick

The main Lake District route from Ambleside to Keswick is a journey well worth taking. A return via Ullswater and Kirkstone Pass comes highly recommended and you will pass many of the Lake District´s most famous lakes en route. Many of the locations you will pass are linked to famous poet, William Wordsworth who lived most of his life in the lakes, and found inspiration for his most famous poems from the breathtaking scenery. The route is 48 miles long.

Keswick to Buttermere via Borrowdale

This beautiful drive takes in the amazing Keswick and Derwent Water, then passes through the breathtaking valley of Borrowdale, up over Honister Pass to Buttermere and through Newlands Valley. The trip is 33 miles in total.

Take your time to explore the Lake District at your own pace and enjoy some of the best countryside and coastal drives in the UK. If you want to combine a trip to one of England’s most beautiful tourist resorts with a stay in a luxurious spa cottage in Windermere, you will be spoilt for choice.

The most stunning gardens in the Lake District

The Lake District may be famous for its stunning scenery, its beautiful lakes and its luxury cottages in Windermere, but you will also find some of the country’s most majestic stately homes and gardens in Cumbria.

Levens Hall

Undoubtedly one of the most stunning topiary gardens in the UK, Levens Hall, situated in Kendal was designed by Guillaume Beaumont, gardener to James II in 1692. The gardens include clipped yew and box hedges and summer bedding plants plus beautifully designed borders. Best time to visit is summer.

Dalemain

Five acres of gardens surround the medieval house of Dalemain in Penrith. From Himalayan Poppies at the beginning of summer to a terraced garden dating back to the 1680´s over 100 types of rose, many varieties of apples and a wild garden thrill visitors. The largest Silver Birch tree also grows here.

Acorn Bank

Situated close to Temple Sowerby this water mill dates back to 1597, and the famous walled garden is known for its colourful spring blooms, including daffodils and wood anemones and a sunken garden. Also a world famous collection of herbs.

Brockhole Gardens

One of the most visited gardens in the Lake District, Brockhole is situated right beside the National Park Visitor Centre in the south of Windermere and is owned by the National Park Authority. The garden was first planted by Thomas Mawson in the early 20th century and includes roses, borders and rock plants.

Graythwaite Hall Garden

Situated in Newby Bridge, Graythwaite is a Victorian garden set in stunning parkland with a combination of flowering shrubs, rhododendrons and a formal rose garden. Visit in spring to enjoy the gardens at their colourful best.

Holehird Gardens

Holehird Gardens in Windermere are run on a volunteer basis by the Lakeland Horticultural Society. This beautiful 4 acre garden offers views over the Troutbeck Valley and a walled kitchen garden, winter flowering shrubs and alpines offer plenty of visitor interest all year round.

Holker Hall Situated in Grange-over-Sands, Holker Hall boasts 200 year old parkland with woodland walks and also formal flower gardens. Rose gardens, azaleas, rhododendrons and spring bulbs all feature.

Muncaster Castle

Muncaster Castle, situated at Ravenglass, with Scafell Pike in the background, England´s tallest peak, has over 75 acres of woodland gardens. If you are spending a day at Muncaster, head out on the wild walk and enjoy a recreation of the Himalayan foothills. The Owl Centre and the Meadow Vole Maze are also well worth a visit.

Sizergh

Sizergh in Kendal is the largest limestone rock garden belonging to the National Trust. Two main lakes lie within the garden and the best place to visit is autumn. The 1,600 acre estate is criss-crossed with footpaths which lead to dramatic viewpoints over the bay and the scenic fells of the Lake District.

Why not combine a trip to the beautiful gardens of the Lake District with a stay in a luxury Windermere spa cottage?

Luxury Cottage Stays - winter in Windermere!

If you are planning a romantic weekend away in Windermere, you will be spoilt for choice with a vast choice of attractions.

If you are looking for somewhere special to visit during winter in the Lake District, why not book into a luxury cottage with hot tub in Windermere?

Contrary to rumour, Windermere is not only a top holiday destination or day tripper´s dream in summer, but winter is also one of the most stunning times of year to visit.

Lovers of the great outdoors can hike, bike and walk the local fells, while most Windermere attractions, including Windermere Lake Cruises operate all year round apart from Christmas Day.

If you are looking to get out and about without the effort of driving or walking, book a trip on a Mountain Goat Tour from Windermere and experience the very best of the Lake District. Enjoy a choice of spectacular tours lasting half a day or a full day, and enjoy some of the most scenic regions of the Lake District.

The Old Laundry Theatre shares a building with theWorld of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness, and a wide choice of productions are staged throughout winter.

Take a stroll down to Bowness Bay and you will find a wide choice of boat hire options. Rent a self-drive electric boat by the hour, the full day or the half day and explore Windermere at your own pace. If you prefer to keep your feet on firm ground, hire a bike and ride down Windermere´s West Shore Cycle Route. The route stretches for 7.7 miles all the way up to Ambleside. You can stop at Wray Castle tearooms and return on the ferry.

If you are planning some Christmas shopping during your break in Windermere, the town is packed with quirky independent craft shops and specialist shops that you won´t find in your average shopping centre. Take your time to browse the smaller shops in the side streets, and you will find a vast range of unique gifts.

Spectacular views and snow-capped fells are a winter bonus in Windermere, and if you are lucky enough for the sun to shine, you can enjoy a vast choice of outdoor activities without the summer crowds. Visit Fell Foot Park at the southern tip of Windermere which offers fabulous mountain views or Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre to enjoy stunning landscapes and a wide choice of things to see and do for all ages.

Imagine a day out on the fells, or exploring the stunning Lake District countryside followed by a soak in your very own hot tub or a relaxing pampering session in the spa.

Windermere´s luxurious spa cottages offer stunning rooms with whirlpool baths for two people, hot tubs, four poster beds, mood lighting, stunning decór and much more.

If you are planning a winter break in Windermere, treat yourself to some pampering beauty treatments during your stay and return home relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for the Christmas rush!

Places to visit in the Lake District

The beautiful Lake District is perfect for a family holiday. With heaps of activities and stunning lakes, you will find plenty of things to see and do. Great weather, green open spaces and spectacular scenery make the Lake District a great destination to visit.

If you are planning to stay in the Lake District, why not check out Windermere spa hotels.

Some of the best things to do in the Lake District include:

Boating on Ullswater

The first thing that you will notice in every part of the Lake District is the stunning lakeside scenery. Sailing in the red-sailed wooden boat is a must do activity for children and adults alike on Ullswater. You can also hire kayaks, take a picnic or just explore the islands at the South end of Ullswater. A day will fly by!

If you are planning to explore the Lake District, why not stay at a luxury hotel in Windermere – a great place to base yourself? Visit Mirehouse, Keswick

Located on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake, this 17th century manor house is home to natural play areas, wooden grounds, walled Bee Garden, rhododendron-lined footpaths, an adventure playground with rope climbers, zip wire and balance bridges crisscross a gushing stream. Come and explore the numerous activities this unique house has to offer. It’s great fun for all ages!

Walk a Wainwright: Loughrigg Fell

It is hard when travelling as a family to keep costs down. But the Lake District offers a wonderful option for walkers to keep the kids amused, all without spending a penny! Climbing up the Loughrigg fell is one of the most adventurous activities in the region. With its easy-to-follow paths and gentle contours, take a tranquil path along the shore of Rydal Water which has enough space to burn off some serious energy. It is lots of fun!

Cruise Derwentwater

Of course you can’t leave the Lake District without cruising on Derwentwater, exploring pebble beaches and lakeside footpaths. The wooden boats cruise all around seven jetties allowing you to hop off at your ease. A perfect starting point is the marina at Nichol End, where the dog friendly café serves the signature pizzas to calm your hunger pangs.

Visit Muncaster Castle to see the Owls

Next to the coastal village of Ravenglass is the wonderful Muncaster Castle, the home of the World Owl Trust. The walled garden cares for more than 49 species of owl including unusual and endangered birds such as the Haitian ashy-faced owl and Ethiopian eagle owl. This Castle is spread across 70 acres of parkland- visit in May to spot bluebells and rhododendrons in dazzling bloom. This is also one of the most haunted buildings in England. Whatever the weather your family will have plenty to do in Muncaster Castle.

Cycling in Whinlatter Forest

Grab your bikes and head for the cycling tracks of the England’s only mountain forest. This 8km Quercus Trail is the safest and scenic trails in the Lake District. If you do not have mountain bikes, rental bikes are also available at Cyclewise- best known for its family mountain-bike skills sessions during school holidays.

Cookery school, Staveley

Another firm favourite is attending a family session at Lucy Cooks to keep the kids entertained. It not only teaches basic cooking skills but also promotes the pleasure of cooking. The whole family can participate and work together to produce a three-course meal. Cook together, eat together! Looking for somewhere to relax and enjoy the lakes? Why not look at a Windermere spa hotel?

The best places to visit in the Lake District

Home to scenic lakes, mystic hills, lush green forests and stunning mountains, the Lake District Rose Cottage is one of the most beautiful places in England.

The Lake District is also home to some of the UK’s most exciting attractions, including: Beatrix Potter Gallery 

Dedicated to the World-famous author who adored the Lake District, this is a 17thcentury house where Beatrix Potter once lived. A unique exhibition also showcases classic gems and presents, diaries, letters, sketches and photos that inspired Beatrix Potter’s work. Potter was an ardent lover of nature and these rarely-seen items give a fascinating insight into her life and her love of the Lakes. You can also pick up all the original Beatrix Potter merchandise and other items from the souvenir shop. 

Village of Grasmere 

Grasmere is a small tranquil village located in the idyllic surroundings of fells, lakes and tarns. It has derived its name from the adjacent lake where the poet William Wordsworth often sat. Walking, hiking, cycling and climbing is available all around the village of Grasmere and the area attracts outdoors lovers from all over the UK. The village is a home to numerous gift shops, cafes and pubs. Wordsworth’s grave is situated at St. Oswald’s church and is one of the most visited shrines in the country.  

Derwentwater Lake Cruise 

Derwentwater, known as the Queen of the English Lakes, is one of the most picturesque spots in the Lake District. Enjoy the 50-minute cruise in the tranquil water, admire the stunning landscapes, stop off at any of the seven lakeshore jetties, join local walks, go canoeing or just relax at the waterfront promenade – a perfect get away for nature lovers. If you are an adventure lover, you can also opt to fish or even swim.

Castlerigg Stone Circle 

Visit one of Britain’s oldest stone circles dating back to the Neolithic period. The Castlerigg Stone Circle sits on an elevated natural plateau with breath-taking scenery as a backdrop. The Circle is a collection of 38 stones some as tall as 10 feet. The Castlerigg Stone Circle is located near Keswick and is owned by the National Trust. Admission is free but there is limited parking at the site. 

Explore the Lake District on foot

Trekking is all about reconnecting yourself with nature and exploring the wonders of the Lake District by walking, trekking and climbing mountains and hills. From low level lakeside strolls to mountain hiking – The Lake District is one of the UK’s favourite destinations for nature lovers. Join one of the guided walking tours to make the experience more enjoyable and informative. If you fancy taking some high routes, this is the best place to be. Conquer England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike and tick it off your bucket list. It might be a difficult journey but it is worth all the effort, if only for the stunning views from the top. 

All about the Lake District

The Lake District in Cumbria attracts over 16 million visitors a year and boasts some of the UK’s most stunning scenery.

Owned by the National Trust, the Lake District National Park has 16 major lakes, the largest of which is Windermere at 10.5 miles long. The Lake District is also home to the three highest mountains in England - Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn and Ill Crag, which are all over 3,000 feet high. Some Cumbrian towns are situated on the coast, and visitors flock to the resorts of Maryport, Whitehaven and Ravenglass to combine a beach holiday with the dramatic scenery of the Lake District.

Wherever you stay in the Lake District you find a wide choice of luxury self-catering cottages, boutique hotels, spa hotels and romantic suites to choose from. If you plan to spend a holiday in the Lake District on a tight budget, check out the hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation in the area. The Lake District is the perfect place for a quiet weekend break, a family holiday or a romantic weekend, and attractions include: boating on Windermere, museums and heritage centres, kid´s attractions, including Go Ape at Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead and in Whinlatter Forest Park at Keswick, which offers an adventure playground high above the forest canopy.

A wide range of attractions in the Lake District include horse racing in Cartmel, rock climbing in Great Langdale, horse riding in Keswick, swimming in Windermere, boating at Ullswater and visiting the Beatrix Potter Attraction and the Lakes Aquarium in Bowness. Whether you fancy a quiet time in the lakes, enjoying the scenery, and the landscapes, or you want to enjoy some real-life adventure, you will find a vast range of attractions to suit all tastes and budgets.

Spa breaks and weekend breaks in the Lake District are popular all year round, and wherever you choose to go in the lakes, you will find a wide choice of accommodation to suit your requirements in Windermere, Bowness, Coniston, Keswick, Kendal, Cockermouth, Penrith or Grasmere. The Lake District is also the perfect location to hold a wedding reception, and if you are planning a wedding or honeymoon in the Lake District, book your hotel in plenty of time, as they get particularly busy in summer.

Windermere is the longest lake in England at 10.5 miles, and you can enjoy plenty of attractions in nearby Bowness Bay. If you are planning your first visit to the Lake District, buy a map of the area, or pick one up from a tourist information centre when you arrive, and plan your trip. The Lake District is easily accessible from Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle Airports, and the M6 enables easy access to visitors from other parts of England.

If you are interested in the history and culture of the Lake District, visit the Honister Slate Mine, which teaches visitors about the slate quarrying industry, which was one of the main industries in the Lake District from the 1700s, or take a trip to the Threlkeld Mining Museum near Keswick, which provides a unique insight into the work and lives of men who worked in the mining industry from the early years.

Whether plan to stay in Windermere, Keswick, Kendal, Cockermouth, Penrith, Coniston, Grasmere or any other part of the Lake District, you won´t fail to be impressed by the incredible choice of luxury cottages, romantic cottages, spa hotels, boutique hotels, gourmet restaurants, country pubs, museums, stately homes and annual events in the area. The Lake District lives up to its name as being the most popular National Park in England.

Beautiful attractions in the Lake District

Besides being the former home of famous English poet William Wordsworth, The Lake District is full of attractions and events to suit everyone.

Offering spectacular boutique spa hotels with the best of beauty treatments, this majestic place welcomes all kinds of travellers. The inherent charm of this mountainous region lays in its famous lakes, forests, mountains and of course the wonderful views that greet you around every bend in the roads. If you are also seeking inspiration for a visit to the Lake District, here are some of the best views on offer:

Wasdale Head from Wastwater: You will fall short of adjectives while describing Wordsworth’s most loved place. This landscape has won the hearts of painters, poets and climbers over the centuries. Wastwater is one of the most touted tourist attractions with England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, lurking in the background. It has been voted Britain’s favourite view in 2007. What more to say? It’s time to visit this stunning place.

Ullswater from the ferry: This perfect stretch of water offers an ever-changing panorama, and the stunning view will floor you with its scenic charm. If you will take the Ullswater ferry around the lake, you can uncover a treasure trove of gorgeous views. Some of the favourites are towards Kirkstone Pass and down to Pooley Bridge.

Bassenthwaite Lake from Dodd Wood: Catch a glimpse of the country’s rarest birds, the Osprey, which have been nesting on the shores of Bassenthwaite for many years. Steeped in beauty, enjoy views of the Osprey catching fish, swirling overhead or nesting above the large stretch of water. This is the perfect spot for nature lovers.

Haystacks from the shores of Buttermere: Pack your bags and head out to the favourite place of the Lake District’s greatest champion, Alfred Wainwright to reboot from the rigours of city life. He even requested his ashes to be scattered all around this paradise. To the right of the lake is Sour Milk Ghyll and you will be amazed to see the red squirrel thriving in this stunning area.

Grasmere from Loughrigg Fell: Bracken strewn slopes, rocky outcrops, hidden grassy enclaves, remote tarns, modest height enveloping a lovely fell makes a perfect place for ramblers- especially those looking for picture perfect background. This place is a real treat for the eyes with panoramic views and one of the more accessible mountains in the Lake District.

Windermere is the perfect place to relax. Book a romantic spa suite offering a hot tub and luxurious facilities and pamper your loved one.

Visit the Lake District, Soak in the calm and quiet and relax!!

A luxury spa cottage in Windermere for the weekend?

A luxury spa cottage in Windermere is the perfect place for a romantic weekend. Choose a cottage with a hot tub, whirlpool bath for 2 and luxurious facililties.

Without doubt one of the most scenic locations in Europe, the Lake District is situated in the north-west of England in the county of Cumbria and is a perfect destination for climbers, walkers and hikers who come to enjoy the stunning countryside.

With 16 lakes and 53 tarns with forests, fells, hills and mountains thrown into the mix, the Lake District is a perfect location for lovers of the great outdoors. The highest fell is Scafell Pike, although Helvellyn and Great Gable offer better views.

Windermere offers visitors plenty of attractions, including Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, the Beatrix Potter Attraction, Windermere Lake Cruises and the award-winning Lakes Aquarium. Dove Cottage, the former home of William Wordsworth in Grasmere, just down the road is also worth a visit.

A wide choice of country pubs, restaurants and cafés are situated in Bowness Bay overlooking Windermere, with something to suit all tastes and budgets. Sample the local roast lamb or the Cumberland sausages for a real treat. Locally-caught Borrowdale trout are also delicious.

If you plan to travel around the Lake District during your weekend away, take the small narrow-gauge steam railway between Ravenglass and Eskdale Stations. If you are only planning to stay a couple of days, Windermere is probably the best place to base yourself, as you will find a range of attractions on the doorstep without having to waste time travelling.

Lake Windermere is long and narrow. A number of rivers feed into it while the River Leven flows out of the southernmost point. Numerous walks can be undertaken through the surrounding foothills. To the north and north-east higher fell country provide stunning views from their peaks.

One great Windermere attraction great is the Great North Swim which takes place each year and draws up to 10,000 participants. The three day event comprises distances of half a mile, a mile and two miles. This spectacular venue is also home to many other swimming and boating events.

The region provides many opportunities for the visitor to experience a range of activities. Canoes, rowing boats and bikes can be hired and the beautifully preserved natural woodlands and forests make hiking a real joy. The views from some of the surrounding hills are stunning.

Windermere is the perfect place to recharge your batteries and enjoy some special ‘us’ time in beautiful surroundings. Whether you prefer to stay in your luxurious Windermere cottage or make the most of the great outdoors, take your time to see as much of the Lake District as you can. From award-winning views to Michelin starred restaurants and country pubs, this part of England is one of the most beautiful.

If you are looking for perfect accommodation for a romantic weekend in the Lakes, why not choose a luxury spa cottage in Windermere and spoil yourselves.

Fun attractions in the Lake District

Situated in the North West of England, there are plenty of things to do in Cumbria; the county is an interesting mix of art, culture, religion, food and more.

Offering stunning scenery and a peaceful atmosphere, the Lake District holds a special place in the hearts of millions. Add a dash of contemporary flavour and you get a place full of fun. Apart from its famous award-winning attractions, relaxing in a hot bath tub in one of the boutique spa hotels in Windermere can be a stunning experience.

Some of the Lake District’s most famous attractions include:

History and heritage: In Cumbria, you are never too far away from a historical building or heritage landscape. Tranquil gardens, majestic historical houses, rich cultural heritage, captivating museums, and serene lakes lure tourists to the county. Make sure you do not miss these –Brantwood, Holker Hall and garden, The Fellsman, Sizergh, Wray Castle and many more.

Museums: Learn more about the history of the Lakes through fascinating museums and exhibitions in the Lake District. Some of the prominent museums are- The Pencil Museum, Lakeland Motor Museum, Heron Corn Mill, The Beacon Museum, Kendal Museum and Laurel and Hardy Museum.

Parks and Gardens: From spectacular compact gardens to grand estates, there are plenty of parks and gardens in Cumbria that are far removed from the hustle bustle of the city. These beautiful gardens have everything to make it a wonderful day out. Some of the most sought after places are-Treetop Trek, Askham Hall, Wray Castle, Holehird Gardens, Dove Cottage and The Wordsworth Museum.

Wildlife and nature: Cumbria, rich in flora and fauna, is world famous for its wildlife parks, forests, farm attractions and aquariums. Few of the most renowned are - The Gincase, Lakes Aquarium, The Lake District Wildlife Park, Predator Experience, Grizedale Forest, Walby Farm Park.

Film and Theatre: Nothing beats the fun of having live entertainment and the county offers some of the world’s best theatre shows and events. Some of the best include: The Old Laundry Theatre, The Rheged Centre, Theatre by the Lake, Zeffirelli’s, Fellini’s and many more.

Adventure: Adventure and Cumbria go hand in hand. You will be welcomed by land, air and water based adventures in this beautiful county. Visit some of the ultimate attractions - Mobile Adventure, Total adventure, Go Ape Grizedale, Honister Slate Mine, Lake District Activities, River Deep Mountain High …. and the list goes on.

Leisure: The Lake District boasts a vast range of shopping centres, fine-dining restaurants, luxurious spa hotels with romantic suites and a fabulous choice of outdoor activities for all ages and fitness levels. Make your stay even more special with a choice of beauty treatments in Windermere boutique spa suites.

William Wordsworth – Romantic Lake District poet

William Wordsworth was born in 1770 and became one of the major English Romantic poets of his time. Wordsworth wrote many of his most famous works while living in the Lake District.

One of five children, William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, Cumbria. His father taught him the poetry of Shakespeare, Milton and Spenser, which gave him an early interest in writing. After the death of his mother in 1778, Wordsworth was sent to Hawkshead Grammar School in Cumbria, while his sister Dorothy (to whom he was close all his life) was sent to Yorkshire to live with relatives.

In November, 1791 Wordsworth travelled to France and fell in love with a French woman, Annette Vallon with whom he had a daughter, Caroline. He returned alone to England when lack of money and Britain´s tensions with France made it almost impossible to stay. He continued to support his daughter in later life although he did not see Annette or Caroline for several years when France and Britain were at war.

In 1798 Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, produced Lyrical Ballads which was an important work in the English Romantic movement. Shortly afterwards Wordsworth moved to Dove Cottage in Grasmere with his sister, Dorothy. Fellow poet, Robert Southey lived nearby, and Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey became known as the ´Lakes Poets.´

In 1802 Wordsworth married a childhood friend, Mary Hutchinson. His sister Dorothy continued to live with the couple and grew close to Mary, who had 5 children, two of whom died before William and Mary.

His 'Daffodils' poem, written in 1804 and beginning “I wandered lonely as a cloud” is the quintessential Lake District poem. Wordsworth moved to Dove Cottage in Grasmere in 1799 and then Rydal Mount in 1813. Both houses are still open to the public and attract visitors from all over the world.

Dove Cottage is situated in the heart of the Lake District and is the place where Wordsworth wrote some of his greatest poetry. His sister Dorothy kept her equally famous ´Grasmere Journal´ at Dove cottage, which is still on display in the museum. William found Dove Cottage by accident as he was out walking with his brother John and fellow poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He moved in with his sister, Dorothy just a few weeks later.

Little has changed in the house since the family lived there, and visitors can still see the dark panelled rooms, coal fires and the family´s belongings which remain intact. The garden is where Wordsworth and his sister planted vegetables and flowers and where he was most inspired to write.

Wordsworth moved to Rydal Mount, between Ambleside and Grasmere, in 1813. The house commands spectacular views of Windermere, Rydal Water and the surrounding fells and it was here that Wordsworth wrote many of his poems and revised many of his earlier works, including the famous ´Daffodils.´

William Wordsworth died of pleurisy in April, 1850 at the age of 80 and was buried at St. Oswald´s Church in Grasmere. His widow Mary published his autobiographical ´poem to Coleridge´ as ´The Prelude´ just a few months after his death. Little did she know at the time, but the poem came to be recognised as a masterpiece in later years.

Windermere – a special place to stay

If you are looking for somewhere special to stay in the Lake District, Windermere offers stunning scenery, a wealth of attractions and of course, the largest and most scenic lake in England.

Windermere and Bowness are home to some of the Lakes’ most sought after cottages and luxury accommodation, including spa cottages in Windermere which offer stunning facilities including outdoor hot tubs and whirlpool baths for two.

Romantic cottages for 2 in Windermere are perfect for relaxing, recharging the batteries and spending some quality time with loved ones or to celebrate a special birthday, anniversary or honeymoon.

If you can drag yourself out of your luxury cottage, Windermere also boasts a wide choice of attractions and things to do including, Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, The Lakes Aquarium, Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House and of course a wealth of pubs, restaurants and cafes in Bowness Bay, beside Lake Windermere.

It is also worth taking a boat trip across the lake, stopping off at points of interest or combining a cruise with a stroll around the lake shore.

For lovers of the great outdoors there is no better place to visit than Windermere. Whether you enjoy walking, hiking, climbing or sitting at the water’s edge watching the world go by, you will be spoilt for choice in Windermere.

Windermere and romance go hand in hand and former resident of the Lake District and poet laureate, William Wordsworth wrote many of his most famous poems while living close to Windermere.

His former home, Dove Cottage is just 12 miles from Windermere in Grasmere and is open to the public. Hawkshead is even closer and visitors can see the grammar school where Wordsworth studied.

William and his sister, Dorothy moved into Dove cottage in 1799. Dorothy became the budding poet´s secretary, and was a major part of his life during his time in the Lake District. William married Mary Hutchinson in 1802. The couple had 5 children.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey moved into Greta Hall in Keswick, and formed strong working and personal bonds with William and his family. Southey was Poet Laureate from 1813-1843, and lived in Keswick for 40 years.

Thomas de Quincey was a permanent guest at Dove Cottage, and the entire family moved to Allan Bank in Grasmere, in 1808 as it was a larger residence. They stayed at Allan House, along with friend and poet, Samuel Coleridge, for two years and then moved to the Old Rectory, which was described by the poet as ´cold and damp.´ Wordsworth´s two youngest children died in the house.

Windermere is the perfect place to base yourself if you are planning to explore the Lake District. Whether you are driving or using public transport, there are plenty of options available to you. The Mountain Goat Tours are particularly popular with visitors who want to leave the car at home, and offer full day excursions and half day trips to some of the Lake District´s most famous locations.

Favourite food and drinks in Cumbria

Whether you are sweet-toothed, a meat eater or a cheese lover, you will find plenty of delicious cuisine in Cumbria to choose from.

Cumberland Sausages

Nobody knows why Cumberland Sausages are coiled instead of in the traditional links, but it is linked (excuse the pun) to the times when German miners were in Cumbria during the reign of Elizabeth I. The sausages were said to have been created to suit their taste and flavoured with spices imported into Cumberland via the major port of the time at Whitehaven.

The curly treats have remained a firm favourite since those early days and are typically served with mash, peas and onion gravy. Damson Gin

Anyone who is lucky enough to be in the Lake District in April should visit the nearby Lyth Valley where the white blossom of the damson trees is a stunning sight. Damsons are used in this part of the world to make jams and the famous local speciality, Damson gin. Most pubs sell the gin if you want to try a glass or two. Interestingly the skins of the damsons are also used to dye textiles.

Kendal Mint Cake

Kendal Mint Cake was created by Joseph Wiper who was trying to make a clear mint at the time. He ended up with a cloudy mint with a thicker consistency and the rest, as they say is history. Mint cake is now produced as white or brown bars or chocolate coated and is carried by many walkers as an energy boost while walking the fells. Sir Edmund Hilary and Sirdar Tensing famously ate the famous Kendal Mint cake on the summit of Everest in 1953.

Grasmere Gingerbread

Not only is Grasmere famous for William Wordsworth´s former house, Dove Cottage but this quaint village also boasts Sarah Nelson´s Grasmere Gingerbread Shop. The shop was built in 1630 and is tucked away in the corner of the churchyard of St Oswald´s Church. Sarah Kemp was a local girl who was born in Bowness in 1815. During her time in Service, Sarah excelled as a cook.

When the local school house closed down in 1850 and the children were sent to a new school, Sarah took over the tenancy of the property and the Sarah Nelson Gingerbread Shop was born. When Sarah died the recipe passed to her great niece, who sold it to Daisy Hotson.

Over the years little has changed in this tiny shop - the school coat pegs are still in place, and so is the cupboard used to house the school slates.

Cumberland Lamb

Herdwick Sheep and lambs graze on the natural herbage of the region which gives their meat a distinct flavour. Cumberland tattie pot is a delicious recipe which includes swede and black pudding and layers of potatoes. Pickled red cabbage is often served as a side dish. A traditional sauce served with lamb or ham is Cumberland sauce made from the juices of oranges and lemons, added to redcurrant jelly, mustard, port and ginger.

The Lake District is heaven for foodies and with regular farmer’s markets taking place throughout Cumbria, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to delicious local produce.

A Weekend Break in the Lake District

The Lake District National Park is ideal for a weekend break, and offers a stunning choice of spa hotels with hot tub rooms to choose from.

Without doubt one of the most scenic locations in Europe, the Lake District is situated in the north-west of England in the county of Cumbria and is a perfect destination for climbers, walkers and hikers who come to enjoy the stunning countryside.

With 16 lakes and 53 tarns with forests, fells, hills and mountains thrown into the mix, the Lake District is a perfect location for lovers of the great outdoors. The highest fell is Scafell Pike, although Helvellyn and Great Gable offer better views.

Windermere offers visitors plenty of attractions, including Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, the Beatrix Potter Attraction, Windermere Lake Cruises and the award-winning Lakes Aquarium. Dove Cottage, the former home of William Wordsworth in Grasmere, just down the road is also worth a visit.

A wide choice of country pubs, restaurants and cafés are situated in Bowness Bay overlooking Windermere, with something to suit all tastes and budgets. Sample the local roast lamb or the Cumberland sausages for a real treat. Locally-caught Borrowdale trout are also delicious.

If you plan to travel around the Lake District during your weekend away, take the small narrow-gauge steam railway between Ravenglass and Eskdale Stations.

If you are only planning to stay a couple of days, Windermere is probably the best place to base yourself, as you will find a range of attractions on the doorstep without having to waste time travelling.

Lake Windermere is long and narrow. A number of rivers feed into it while the River Leven flows out of the southernmost point. Numerous walks can be undertaken through the surrounding foothills. To the north and north-east higher fell country provide stunning views from their peaks.

One great Windermere attraction great is the Great North Swim which takes place each year and draws up to 10,000 participants. The three day event comprises distances of half a mile, a mile and two miles. This spectacular venue is also home to many other swimming and boating events.

The region provides many opportunities for the visitor to experience a range of activities. Canoes, rowing boats and bikes can be hired and the beautifully preserved natural woodlands and forests make hiking a real joy. The views from some of the surrounding hills are stunning.

If you are looking for perfect accommodation for a romantic weekend in the Lakes, why not choose a spa hotel in Windermere, with elegant hot tub suites, whirlpool baths for two, luxurious bathrooms and four poster beds.

Romantic Cottage in Windermere

Rose Cottage is one of the most beautiful cottages in England and provides perfect accommodation for a romantic weekend or a special occasion.

If you are looking for a haven away from the hustle and bustle of city life with heated spa relaxation loungers, a sumptuous king sized bed, an outdoor hot tub, a whirlpool bath for 2 and a log burning stove, Rose Cottage could be the perfect place to stay.

Windermere goes hand in hand with romance ever since former Lakes resident, William Wordsworth waxed lyrical about the Lake District scenery in the 18th century. With majestic mountains, open, green fells and beautiful lakes, Cumbria attracts lovers of the great outdoors.

If you can manage to drag yourself out of your luxury cottage, you will find walks, natural attractions and beautiful scenery on the doorstep. Orrest Head is a steep but short walk in Windermere and offers stunning views from the top over Windermere and the surrounding countryside.

Rose Cottage is the perfect Windermere cottage for celebrating a special birthday, a romantic anniversary or a honeymoon. Where luxury comes as standard, the one bed cottage offers heavenly accommodation in a stunning part of the Lake District, in Bowness.

Guests can also use the spa facilities at Rose Cottage’s sister business, the Aphrodite’s Spa hotel nearby.

Rose Cottage is the ultimate in romantic Windermere accommodation, and allows you to either stay home in luxury or explore the great outdoors. Within easy reach of Bowness Bay, take your time to explore the lake on a Windermere steamer or relax in one of the lakeside restaurants or cafes. Bowness also offers a vast range of attractions from Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre to the Lakes Aquarium and Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House.

Visit the local tourist information office in Bowness and find out about local events taking place during your stay. You can even plan your itinerary before you travel to save time when you get there.

Whether you want to explore the Lake District, chill out and relax or go hiking, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to Lake District attractions.

From country pubs to Michelin starred restaurants and boat cruises to rowing boats, Windermere has it all when it comes to attractions. Whether you are staying a day, a week or more, you find plenty to do close to Rose Cottage.

A romantic cottage break in the Lake District

If you want to ‘get away from it all’, chill out and relax, the Lake District National Park is ideal for a cottage break, and offers a stunning choice of romantic accommodation to choose from.

Without doubt one of the most scenic locations in Europe, the Lake District is situated in the north-west of England in the county of Cumbria and is a perfect destination for climbers, walkers and hikers who come to enjoy the stunning countryside.

With 16 lakes and 53 tarns with forests, fells, hills and mountains thrown into the mix, the Lake District is a perfect location for lovers of the great outdoors. The highest fell is Scafell Pike, although Helvellyn and Great Gable offer better views.

Windermere offers visitors plenty of attractions, including Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, the Beatrix Potter Attraction, Windermere Lake Cruises and the award-winning Lakes Aquarium. Dove Cottage, the former home of William Wordsworth in Grasmere, just down the road is also worth a visit.

A wide choice of country pubs, restaurants and cafés are situated in Bowness Bay overlooking Windermere, with something to suit all tastes and budgets. Sample the local roast lamb or the Cumberland sausages for a real treat. Locally-caught Borrowdale trout are also delicious.

If you plan to travel around the Lake District during your weekend away, take the small narrow-gauge steam railway between Ravenglass and Eskdale Stations.

If you are only planning to stay a couple of days, Windermere is probably the best place to base yourself, as you will find a range of attractions on the doorstep without having to waste time travelling.

Lake Windermere is long and narrow. A number of rivers feed into it while the River Leven flows out of the southernmost point. Numerous walks can be undertaken through the surrounding foothills. To the north and north-east higher fell country provide stunning views from their peaks.

One great Windermere attraction great is the Great North Swim which takes place each year and draws up to 10,000 participants. The three day event comprises distances of half a mile, a mile and two miles. This spectacular venue is also home to many other swimming and boating events.

The region provides many opportunities for the visitor to experience a range of activities. Canoes, rowing boats and bikes can be hired and the beautifully preserved natural woodlands and forests make hiking a real joy. The views from some of the surrounding hills are stunning.

If you are looking for perfect accommodation for a romantic weekend in the Lakes, why not choose a hot tub cottage in Windermere with luxury bathroom, stunning facilities, a whirlpool bath for two and a sumptuous king-sized bed?

10 reasons why to book a romantic cottage holiday in Windermere

If you are thinking of visiting the Lake District and Windermere this year, why not book a romantic cottage holiday?

Windermere is the most popular destination for over 16 million visitors to the Lakes each year. Whether you want to take part in the Great North Swim, visit the Lake District Visitor Centre, Brockhole, sail across the lake or relax in your luxurious Windermere cottage with hot tub, this part of the Lakes provides a wide choice of things to see and do.

Easily accessible from the north or the south of England, Windermere is one of the most naturally beautiful spots in Cumbria and offers visitors some of the most stunning scenery in Cumbria.

The top 10 reasons to book a romantic cottage in Windermere include:

  1. Book a cottage with a hot tub and spa bath so you can unwind and relax with your loved one. Many cottages have luxury bathrooms and state-of-the-art facilities.
  2. Windermere is one of the most romantic of all the lakes, and there are plenty of things to see and do in Bowness and Windermere, including great restaurants, pubs, cinemas and boat trips.
  3. Enjoy the freedom of staying in a cottage as opposed to a hotel room. You can get up when you wish, luxuriate in your own surroundings and enjoy all the delights of Windermere within a ten minute walk.
  4. Some Romantic Windermere cottages have log burning stoves so you can snuggle up on chilly nights.
  5. Windermere is the largest lake in England and offers a host of activities.
  6. By choosing a self-catering property you are not at the beck and call of anyone else and you won’t have to dash back to the hotel for dinner.
  7. Not many hotels can be a home away from home, and it’s not always easy to relax when you know you’re surrounded by other people and families just centimetres away on the other side of the walls.
  8. The privacy and comfort afforded by a cottage or apartment is beyond compare.
  9. Luxurious self-catering accommodation in Windermere usually comes with a DVD player, a garden, and a whole host of tips for things to do right on the doorstep.
  10. A self-catering cottage in Windermere will provide everything you need for a relaxed holiday.

Windermere & Bowness – the Early Days!

Windermere and Bowness are the most popular tourist destination in the Lake District.

Lake Windermere (although officially a ‘mere’ and not a lake) has been a major attraction for visitors since Victorian times when the Kendal and Windermere Railway built a branch line to it. There are plenty of things to see and do in Windermere and Bowness, including water sports, walking, climbing, and visiting some of the best attractions in the Lake District.

Visitors can take a boat trip around the lake on a steamer, or hire a boat, dinghy or cruiser. Open-top buses and steam locomotives are also available for visitors who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, or a range of walking tracks and trails run alongside the water´s edge. Close to the lake are a wide choice of heritage sites, historic houses and beautiful landscaped gardens which attract visitors from all over England.

The MV Tern is the oldest steam boat still operation on Lake Windermere. Originally commissioned in 1891, the Tern was requisitioned during WW2 as a patrol boat on the lake, and used as a base for testing underwater mine laying techniques. The original steam engines have been replaced by diesel engines, and Tern is still in full working order.

Lake Windermere is 10.5 miles long and stretches from Ambleside in the north to Newby Bridge in the South. The deepest part of the lake is at the northern end, and is approximately 220 feet deep.

Bowness was once a small fishing village which fast became a lively tourist destination once the railway came to Windermere in 1847. Now offering a wide range of shops, restaurants, elegant hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfast accommodation, Bowness has evolved into one of the most popular areas in the Lake District. The town of Windermere has a more laid back atmosphere than Bowness, and traditional shops line the streets.

During the 19th Cebtury, horse-drawn carriages would carry passengers to and from the railway station to the lakeside, whilst hotel-based charabancs took guests on local sightseeing excursions. Once the commercial possibilities were realised, a wide range of hotels, villas and boarding houses sprang up in Bowness to accommodate the tourists. In 1869 the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway was built and linked to ferry services from Lakeside, cementing Bowness's position as an up and coming resort for wealthy day trippers from Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Wealthy businessmen from urban areas then began to regard the Lakes as a haven of scenic tranquility, and bought up great chunks of land and grand country houses. Belsfield, which is now a hotel, was bought by the iron magnate, Henry William Schneider in 1869 as a commuter home. Brockhole was built in the 1880s by Henry Gaddum, a wealthy silk merchant from Manchester, which later became the National Park Visitor Centre. Blackwell, now the Arts and Crafts House, was commissioned by Sir Edward Holt, a wealthy brewer from Manchester.

If you are looking for somewhere special to stay in Windermere or Bowness why not book into a spa hotel in Bowness or a romantic cottage in Windermere.

Roman Forts in Cumbria and the Lake District

Aside from its magnificent lakes and majestic scenery, the Lake District is also home to a stunning range of Roman forts and historical monuments.

Historians visiting the Lake District are spoilt for choice when it comes to Roman forts and monuments, which are scattered throughout the region.

Hard Knott Roman Fort

One of the loneliest posts of the Roman Empire, Hard Knott is located high above Eskdale on the western slopes of Hardknott Pass. Established in the 2nd century AD, the foundations form part of a former commandant´s house, barracks, parade ground and bath house. Spectacular scenery surrounds Hardknott Pass.

Ambleside Roman Fort

Ambleside Roman Fort is situated at the head of Lake Windermere, and was built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian in order to guard the road from Ravenglass, south of Penrith. The Roman remains include the commandant´s house and the original granary foundations. This location is also known as Galava Roman Fort.

Birdoswald Fort and Hadrian´s Wall

Birdoswald is one of the best Roman forts along Hadrian´s Wall and is set among the stunning scenery of the North Pennines. The perfect place for a family day out, Birdoswald is well located if you are cycling or walking along Hadrian´s Wall.

Explore the extensive remains and the longest continuous remaining stretch of this amazing World Heritage Site. The site is also a real nature haven and visitors can enjoy the wildlife around the fort.

Hare Hill – Hadrian´s Wall

This is a short section of Hadrian´s Wall, and although there has been some later re-facing carried out, the core of the wall is original, and stands around 9 feet high. Banks Turret, a small fort on the wall is just one mile to the east and medieval Lanercost Priory is less than a mile away.

Harrow´s Scar Milecastle (Hadrian´s Wall)

This Roman milecastle on Hadrian´s Wall is situated on the western side of the River Irthing Gorge and is part of the well preserved section of Hadrian´s Wall. Harrow´s Scar is connected to Birdoswald Roman Fort, one of the most important along the wall.

Ravenglass Roman Bath House

Ravenglass Roman Bath House is associated with the fort of Glannaventa, just across the lane, and plenty of the original buildings remain to be explored. The walls are over 12 feet high, making this one of the tallest surviving Roman sites in northern England. Dating back to the period between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD, the fort was built to guard the harbour at Ravenglass.

Leahill Turret and Piper Sike Turret

These two turrets formed part of the Hadrian´s Wall defences. Leahill was built in 122 AD and later demolished in the early 3rd century. The turret is approximately 13.5 feet by 14.5 feet across and only the foundation walls remain. The turret stands beside the wall as a freestanding structure.

If you are planning to explore the Lake District and its historical monuments, why not book into a romantic Windermere cottage and make the most of this stunning part of England.

Romance and the Lake District

The Lake District and romance go hand in hand. From the days of William Wordsworth who ‘wandered lonely as a cloud’ in the Lakes in the late 18th century, this heavenly part of England has certainly not lost its charm.

Enjoy a romantic ride through the breath-taking Yorkshire Dales between Settle and Carlisle. This trip will take you over the 24 arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct, and then transport you through the longest tunnel on the line at Blea Moor. Once the train emerges beside Dentdale, it makes its way through the rolling hills of the Eden Valley, before ending its journey in the historic city of Carlisle.

Blessed with some of the finest landscapes in Britain, there is no better place to walk than Windermere. Levels of difficulty and time differ with each walk, and it is up to you whether you spend a day hiking on the fells or an hour enjoying a gentle stroll around the shoreline. There are also some great pubs, bars and restaurants around Windermere, so if you want to make a day of it, pack a picnic or make the most of the pub fare, which usually includes some delicious Cumbrian specialities.

If you want to treat someone special to a delicious meal in the Lake District, why not book a table at one of the Michelin star restaurants in the region. Known for its fabulous restaurants, pubs and country inns, the Lake District is famous for its delicious Cumbrian cuisine. Some of the best restaurants in the Lake District with Michelin Stars include:

L´enclume at Cartmel, Sharrow Bay at Ullswater and the Samling at Ambleside, which offer excellent food in stunning locations.

If you enjoy history and culture, combined with some of the most spectacular gardens in the Lake District, take a trip to Levens Hall. The Grade 1 listed garden dates back to 1694, and still retains its original design. The main hall is also open to visitors, and offers a fascinating insight into the early days of the hall, which was owned by the Bellingham family in the 1590s.

Book a romantic cottage in Windermere or Bowness, and enjoy a pampering stay. Whatever time of year you visit, you can enjoy a romantic weekend in your luxury Windermere cottage with log fire, hot tub and state-of-the-art facilities.

The Lake District offers visitors a wide range of things to see and do, and if whether you are visiting for the first time or you are a regular visitor, you will always find plenty of new things to do. From annual events to local festivals, lakeside attractions and adventure parks, the Lake District offers great fun for all ages.

Top 4 lakes in the Lake District

The Lake District offers visitors a wealth of things to see and do, and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK. Whether you want a romantic weekend away, a few days in an environmentally-friendly hotel or a family holiday in a guest house, you will be well catered for in the Lake District. The top lakes to visit during your stay include:

Windermere

Windermere is the most popular tourist destination in the Lake District. Lake Windermere has been a major attraction for visitors since Victorian times when the Kendal and Windermere Railway built a branch line to it. There are plenty of things to see and do in Windermere and Bowness, including water sports, walking, climbing, and visiting some of the best attractions in the Lake District.

Visitors can take a boat trip around the lake in a steamer, or hire a boat, dinghy or cruiser. Open-top buses and steam locomotives are also available for visitors who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, or a range of walking tracks and trails run alongside the water´s edge. Close to the lake are a wide choice of heritage sites, historic houses and beautiful landscaped gardens which attract visitors from all over England.

Lake Windermere is 10.5 miles long and stretches from Ambleside in the north to Newby Bridge in the South. The deepest part of the lake is at the northern end, and is approximately 220 feet deep.

Brotherswater

Situated at the foot of the Kirkstone Pass, Brotherswater is one of the smallest lakes in the Lake District, and its setting is one of the most spectacular. Close to the south of Ullswater, you can find plenty to do and see in the area, plus enjoy a great range of holiday accommodation close by. For the more adventurous outdoor types, take a trip to Glenridding Sailing Centre, walk the fells of Helvellyn, High Street, St Sunday Crag, Dollywaggon Pike and Fairfield, or enjoy a drink and a meal at the Brotherswater Inn, the Kirkstone Pass Inn, the White Lion at Patterdale or the Travellers Rest at Glenridding. Two of the best places to eat in Glenridding also include Greystones Coffee Shop and Fellbites Restaurant. The range of accommodation in and around Brotherswater is wide and varied and you can book a romantic hotel, a holiday cottage or a boutique hotel.

Buttermere

Often understated, Buttermere is a beautiful lake in the north-west of the Lake District. Now owned by the National Trust, Buttermere is situated among green pastures and hillsides which lead down to the lake, and provide the perfect family day out. With several farms, a church and a youth hostel, Buttermere also provides a wide range of accommodation including romantic hotels and themed hotels nearby. Attractions around Buttemere include walks and hikes around Pillar, High Stile and Red Pike, plus Grasmoor and Honister Slate Mine are close by. Enjoy a tranquil stay at Buttermere and take your time to look around the picturesque villages, fens, lakes and landscapes that make up the Lake District.

Coniston

Coniston Water enjoys a tranquil and peaceful setting, and attracts visitors from all over England. Although the lake was made famous by Donald Campbell after he tried, and failed to break the world speed record in 1967, there is much more to Coniston Water than meets the eye. Nearby Brantwood House is well worth a visit, and several boat trips on the water are available including Coniston Launch and the Steam Yacht Gondola. Take a trip to the Ruskin Museum and the Grizedale Foest Park just to the east of Coniston. Great places to eat and drink include The Sun Inn, and one of the most famous fells in Coniston is The Old Man of Coniston. You can book organic hotels and environmentally-friendly hotels near Coniston, Windermere, Ullswater and Bowness. Romantic holiday hotels and themed hotels are situated at some of the most beautiful locations by Coniston Water, Lake Windermere and Bowness, and you will be spoilt for choice with the range of restaurants and bars in the region.

Famous residents of the Lake District – John Ruskin

John Ruskin, who lived at Brantwood in the Lake District in 1871 was born in London in 1819 and was the son of a wealthy sherry importer.

Ruskin was encouraged to take up painting and poetry from a young age. Ruskin was educated at home and at Oxford, where he was influenced by the sciences, and where he first became interested in architecture.

Ruskin married Effie Gray when he was 29, but the marriage ended after 6 years, and was never consummated. To get over the heartbreak of his loveless marriage, the artist buried himself in work, and embarked on a lengthy study of Venice, with particular attention paid to the art and architecture of the famous city. He produced a 3-volume study about Venice.

Ruskin became interested in social justice, and began to influence the shape of society through his writing.

He fell in love with Rose la Touche, who sadly died aged 29, and he carried his feelings for her for the rest of his life. After Ruskin´s father died, the social reformer became a wealthy man. He became Professor or Art at Oxford and was an increasingly radical voice in Victorian Britain.

Aged 59, Ruskin suffered his first of several breakdowns. He died in 1900 at the age of 81, leaving behind him 39 volumes of writings, thousands of drawings and watercolours and a legacy of influence which is still felt today.

Stretching from Frank Lloyd Wright to Mahatma Gandhi, Ruskin spoke up for the welfare state and was a huge influence on the founders of the National Health Service, the opening of public libraries and the National Trust. His influence also reached abroad, and he encouraged women´s education in many under-developed countries, the abolition of child labour and environmental protection. Ruskin was also an artist who never exhibited his work professionally, but used his talent as a form of escapism and to communicate his discoveries.

Collections are permanently on display in his former home, Brantwood, and Lancaster University is home to the world´s largest archive of Ruskin material.

Brantwood

The former home of John Ruskin, Brantwood enjoys one of the most stunning locations in the Lake District – overlooking Coniston Water. The house has great historical importance, and is a lively centre of the arts – with over 30,000 visitors a year.

If you decide to base yourself in Windermere, which offers a wealth of attractions, plus spa hotels, boutique hotels and hot tub hotels, Coniston is just 8 miles away and is easily accessible by public transport or car.

Activities at Brantwood reflect the wealth of cultural associations associated with the Ruskin legacy. The house is filled with paintings, furniture and personal memorabilia from the artist´s life in the Lake District.

Visitors to Brantwood are introduced to Ruskin´s world by an introductory video and can walk around seven historical rooms. Younger visitors are also well catered for with a range of activity sheets and quizzes to keep them entertained.

The Blue Gallery hosts several changing exhibitions.

The beautiful mountainside gardens at Brantwood are set in a 250 acre wood estate with stunning views over the Lake and the local countryside.

The Professor´s Garden was Ruskin´s favourite part of Brantwood, and it represents the low mountain crofter´s plot, and was formerly dedicated to plants which were good for the mind and soul. The Fern Garden is a maze of over 250 different ferns which thrive in the woodland setting of the house.

The Moorland Garden was the site of an experiment to build terraces fashioned from the natural forms of the land and two reservoirs. It is now a garden of questions and is presented as a blank canvas.

Wordsworth’s Windermere

William Wordsworth was one of the major English Romantic poets of his time, and he was inspired to write many of his most famous works while living in the Lake District.

One of five children, William Wordsworth was born in 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumbria. His father taught him the poetry of Shakespeare, Milton and Spenser, which gave him an early interest in writing. After the death of his mother in 1778, Wordsworth was sent to Hawkshead Grammar School in Cumbria, while his sister Dorothy (to whom he was close all his life) was sent to Yorkshire to live with relatives.

Wordsworth published his first work in 1787 – a sonnet in the European Magazine – and the same year he started attending St John´s College, Cambridge. He received his BA degree in 1791 and returned to Hawkshead for his first two summer holidays. He often spent later holidays on walking tours, visiting famous beauty spots in the Lake District.

His 'Daffodils' poem, written in 1804 and beginning “I wandered lonely as a cloud” is the quintessential Lake District poem. Wordsworth moved to Dove Cottage in Grasmere in 1799 and then Rydal Mount in 1813. Both houses are still open to the public and attract visitors from all over the world.

Dove Cottage is situated in the heart of the Lake District and is the place where Wordsworth wrote some of his greatest poetry. His sister Dorothy kept her equally famous ´Grasmere Journal´ at Dove cottage, which is still on display in the museum. William found Dove Cottage by accident as he was out walking with his brother John and fellow poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He moved in with his sister, Dorothy just a few weeks later.

Such was his love of the Lake District that he described it as: "A sort of national property in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy".

William Wordsworth died of pleurisy in April, 1850 at the age of 80 and was buried at St. Oswald´s Church in Grasmere. His widow Mary published his autobiographical ´poem to Coleridge´ as ´The Prelude´ just a few months after his death.

Some of Wordsworth’s most famous quotes include:

“How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold.”

“That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendour in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.”

If you want to explore the Lake District in the footsteps of William Wordsworth, why not book a break in romantic Windermere cottage with hot tub and spa bath.

The Festive Countdown Begins …

As the festive countdown begins, our thoughts will be turning to last minute gifts, cooking the Christmas Lunch and making sure we haven´t missed anyone off the Christmas card list.

We have trawled the web to find inspiring articles and websites which are dedicated to ´all things Christmassy´ and which give useful tips, help and advice about decorations, food and gifts.

  • To get you in the festive spirit, check out Marjan´s blog: ´Christmas 4U´ which features stunning festive photography
  • Check out ´Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive 365´ articles about decorations, gift wrapping and cooking tips
  • Take a look at Jennifer Hayslip´s article: ´My Christmas Home´ for inspiration and decorating ideas
  • For festive ideas from around the world, check out: ´Best Christmas Blogs´
  • ´Best Christmas Things´ includes traditional markets around the world, gift ideas and beautiful photography
  • Check out the excellent food ideas in: ´Scandinavian Christmas´
  • For 75 Christmas Cookie Recipes, see the ´Kid´s Activities Blog´ to keep the younger members of the family busy over the festive period
  • If you are planning a break in January to relax after the festive frenzy of December, why not book a few days at a luxurious holiday spa cottage in Windermere with hot tub, whirlpool bath for two, log burning stove and stunning facilities?

Fantastic Rose Cottage Giveaway Competition

Congratulations to Mrs V Brookes of Linthwaite, West Yorkshire who has won our fantastic 7 night giveaway competition at Rose Cottage!!

Win a FREE week for 2 people in our luxury cottage in Windermere - Just add your Email address in our Newsletter tab at the top of the page.

Do you fancy a free week in one of Windermere’s most luxurious cottages, absolutely free of charge? Then why not enter our Fantastic Rose Cottage Giveaway Competition?

From 1 September, you can enter the most ‘talked about competition’ in the Lake District by simply entering your email address on to our newsletter registration on the Rose Cottage website.

Our superb cottage is a romantic haven away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Boasting state-of-the-art facilities including an outdoor hot tub, a luxurious bathroom with whirlpool bath for two, a sumptuous king sized bed, heated spa relaxation chairs, an open plan living room, a modern, spacious kitchen and a log burning stove, this is one competition prize that everyone wants to win!

Winners can also use the spa facilities at the cottage’s sister hotel, the Aphrodite’s Lodge if they can drag themselves out!

Situated in Bowness this former Smithy cottage for couples has been totally reformed and renovated to offer stunning facilities in a beautiful rural location.

How to Enter and Competition Rules

  • To enter the Rose Cottage Giveaway Competition, please enter your email address in the ‘newsletter’ tab at the top of the home page of the Rose Cottage website. By doing this you will agree to receive newsletters from us for the next 12 months
  • The competition will run from 1 September to 1 December, 2015. The winners will be announced on 2 December, 2015 and informed by email before 12 noon
  • The Prize is one full week for 2 people in Rose Cottage in either December, 2015 or January, 2015 (dates subject to availability)
  • The winner will be chosen at random by our competition system on 2 December, 2015
  • Competition entrants must be over 21 years of age
  • The winners agree to send us a photo after they have been chosen to use on the website and social media, including Facebook and Twitter
  • The booking and date are non-transferable
  • Prize winners agree to give us their full name, address and phone number to confirm booking
  • Good Luck!!

Stately Homes and Gardens in the Lake District

There are plenty of stunning homes and gardens in the Lake District which attract thousands of visitors.

Book a spa hotel in Windermere and explore the local surroundings.

Some of the most popular stately homes and gardens in the Lake District include:

Holehird Gardens Windermere: Featured in many renowned garden magazines, this extensive garden spans around 17 acres and provides a great day out for all seasons. This is one of the finest gardens in England and completely unique as it is maintained entirely by volunteers. This hillside garden offers a great variety of planting, extensive rocks, heather garden, alpine houses, a walled garden and herbaceous borders. It features four national collections -Meconopsis, Daboecia, Astilbe and Polystichum Ferns. The best time to visit the garden is spring or summer.

Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House: A masterpiece of twentieth-century design this house was built by the famous architect MH Baillie Scott as a holiday home for his client Sir Edward Holt. Blackwell invites you to relax and soak up the captivating atmosphere. Give your eyes a real treat by indulging in the stunning views of the surrounding Lake District Scenery. Blackwell still has its real treasures including a rare hessian wall-hanging in the Dining Room, stained glass, curious window catches, leaf-shaped door handles, spectacular plasterwork, and carved wooden panelling by Simpsons of Kendal. The rooms have been decorated by many leading Arts and Crafts designers and studios. Blackwell also holds many exhibitions that explore different Arts and Crafts movements. The credit goes to Arts and Crafts garden designer Thomas Mawson for laying out the original gardens offering majestic views. So immerse in the beauty of the most enchanting historic houses in the Lake District.

Holker Hall: Home of the Cavendish family this is one of the best- loved Stately homes in the region, attracting visitors of all ages. The Building was built in sixteenth century with some alterations in Eighteenth century. The varied tulips and woodland plants offer stunning views between the light and shade of the tree canopy. It is complimented by the 200 acre natural parkland. The family has been continuously making efforts to develop the gardens. Careful craftsmanship of the gardens makes it the perfect place to visit in all seasons. A spectacular display of rhododendrons in the springs is a sight not-to-be-missed.

Dove Cottage and Wordsworth Museum: Dove Cottage was the home of William Wordsworth from 1799 to 1808. The cottage is made of local stone with lime washed walls to save it from any kind of damp. Wordsworth wrote some of his best poetry here and was inspired by the extensive garden and orchard. It is complimented by the award-winning museum built in 1981 featuring some of the greatest collections of manuscripts, paintings and books related to British Romanticism.

Brantwood: This paradise of art and nature offers a wealth of things to see and do for the whole family. The setting encompasses a historic house, museum and a vibrant centre of arts. Get the amazing insight into the world of John Ruskin and his last 28 years spent in the Lake District. Explore the personal treasures, fine paintings and beautiful furniture worth appreciating. Children can also have a fun time with plenty of activities to enjoy. Brantwood has 8 unique gardens and 250 acres of woodland.

Sizergh Castle and Garden: This mesmerizing house offers a pond, a superb limestone rock garden and a national collection of hardy ferns. It has been the home of Strickland family for 750 years. Many tales describes its existence with centuries old portraits and other valuable contents. The Estate spans around 1600 acres.

Levens Hall and Gardens: This stunning Elizabethan house is home to the Levens Deer Park.This house has been in continual family ownership for over 400 years. A surreal living sculpture gallery makes the garden stand out. There are plenty of gardens to marvel including the Topiary Garden, Orchard, Rose garden, herb Garden, the 17th Century Garden and the Garden Gallery.

Swarthmoor Hall: This hidden gem is the birthplace of Quakerism. Participate in the special events held throughout the year. Visit the historic rooms, stroll through the beautiful gardens/grounds and relax for a cup of coffee amid the stunning scenery.

If you are looking for a great place to base yourself in the Lake District, why not book into a spa hotel in Windermere and enjoy being pampered.

Hiking in the Lake District

The Lake District is one of the best places to hike in England and offers a wide choice of stunning locations to start from.

Rich in rivers, fells and wide open landscapes and offering picturesque views, the Lake District is the most popular National Park in England and if you are a regular visitor you will understand that each visit is very different from the last.

If you are planning a break in the Lake District why not book a romantic cottage with hot tub in Windermere?

Our idea was to first camp in the valley before taking a hike up the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike. We walked for a while in the morning before seeing the mountain itself. This happened after mist started clearing before us. I could see patches of snow that had been left on the sides of Scafell. We decided to settle somewhere and one of us spotted a good site in the vicinity. It was a place where I had always dreamt of – quiet, serene and with a good view of the surrounding areas.

We later followed Sty Head that led us up towards Wesdale and Borrowdale. If you want to head to Ennerdale, you have to go left from this point. The path has a rough trail that requires concentration to follow. We went right towards sprinkling tarn which lies about 2000 feet above sea level. To reach it, you have to turn right. From here, we had the option to go to Scafell Pike or head towards the Langdales. We followed the trail towards Scafell Pike. We were happier once heading towards our destination.

The next stretch was easy but still we had to navigate another mile before reaching Scafell Pike. This road is considered one of the roughest in the whole of the Lake District. After sometime, we were at a narrow cove. Here, we were only left with a very steep slope before reaching the Pike. We were soon at the Pike which stands at 978m.

When descending from the Pike, we decided to take a path towards the northwest direction that took us towards the Lingmell Col. the route is leads to Styhead. It is one of the paths that I will never forget as it offered spectacular views of the whole region. There is a road with stone steps on this trail. We walked down until we reached grassland. We later crossed the river before reaching the National Trust campsite which is located near the bottom of the hill. We later stopped at Wasdale for food and drinks.

This route took us over 12 km and an elevation of about 914m. So long as you are fit, you are almost guaranteed to complete this trail. However, it is advisable to start this journey early enough to save time for resting and ascending up and down.

It takes about 5-6 hours to complete this trail but it can take longer if you take more rest or walk very slowly. A lot of water is advised when looking to tackle this trail as you can get dehydrated.

If you are planning a hiking holiday in the Lake District why not book a luxury cottage in Windermere and enjoy a pampering break in the Lakes.

Windermere Attractions

The Glenridding Valley in the Lake District has undergone an amazing transformation to make it one of the top tourist destinations in the region.

If you are looking to spend some time in Windermere before exploring Ullswater, Patterdale and Glenridding, why not book into a romantic Windemere cottage with hot tub?

Glenridding offers a wide range of attractions to visitors of all ages, including:

1. Walking

Walking is considered one of the most popular activities in Patterdale. No matter what your physical abilities are you will find a host of walking trails to suit every level of fitness. For something more challenging why not try to climb Helvellyn?

2. Running

Running is another outdoor activity which enables you to keep fit and enjoy the beautiful local countryside. Events such as the Ullswater running event are there to promote running as a popular local activity.

3. Mountain biking

Enjoy mountain biking around the Lake District countryside. Ride your bike around the Kirkstone Pass for a real thrill or around the Glenridding hills.

4. Climbing

One of the best places to climb near Ullswater is Grisedale where steep rocks are situated adjacent to the valley.

5. Ghyll Scrambling

Cliff jumping, canyoning and a host of other activities form organized adventure packages can be booked directly from Ullswater. These activities are organized by trained professionals to ensure that safety comes first.

6. Skiing

Skiing or snow boarding is another fun activity that visitors to Ullswater can enjoy in the colder months. Snowfall is usually heavy in winter and settles on the Lake District hills. This activity has led to the formation of a lakeside ski club.

7. Sailing activities

Ullswater is the best inland lake for sailing in England. With good winds many sailing competitions have been introduced locally. Sailing schools such as the Glenridding sailing school offer visitors an amazing experience when they seek to engage in outdoor activities.

8. Canoeing

With proper organization and canoes, you can sample one of the most thrilling adventures that Glenridding has to offer. Canoeing enables you to evaluate your physical capabilities as well as enjoy the local environment.

9. Swimming

Swimming events such as triathlons are very popular in this area. You can have a lot of fun on the Red Tarn and Angle Tarn which are two of the best places to engage in outdoor swimming while you are in Glenridding.

10. Wildlife watching

Animals such as foxes, red deers, red squirrels and badgers can be seen in Patterdale. Bird watching is also popular in the area.

If you are looking to explore Ullswater, Patterdale and Glenridding, why not book into a luxury Windermere cottage? There is nothing

better, after a hard day on the fells, than relaxing in your very own hot tub or whirlpool bath.

Windermere Attractions

The Lake District is home to some of England’s most stunning country houses and stately homes.

Each house has its own unique features, and many boast award-winning gardens, which host summer events and attract thousands of people through their doors each year.

Blackwell, the Arts and Craft House, Bowness-on-Windermere

Blackwell is one of the most iconic houses in England.

Many of the details you can see today remain unchanged from 100 years ago when the Holt family first viewed the house. Enjoy stunning views over Windermere from the gardens, and soak up the peaceful atmosphere in the house itself, which was built between 1898 and 1900, and designed by M.H Baillie Scott.

The house was originally built as a holiday home for Sir Edward Holt, owner of the Manchester Brewery. Original features ensure Blackwell retains much of its original charm, and the whole house is open with no roped off areas. Several rooms are used as galleries, and the gardens offer an incredible terrace bordered by flowers where visitors can enjoy a bite to eat.

Levens Hall and Gardens, Levens, Kendal

Levens Hall is world famous for its beautiful Topiary Gardens, which date back to 1694. The gardens change with the seasons, and colourful displays of flora and fauna make these some of the most visited gardens in England. The house itself boasts fine oak panelling from the Elizabethan era, and is also said to be haunted. The Bellingham Buttery serves a range of delicious home-made lunches and teas.

Holker Hall, Cark-in-Cartmel

Step back in time at Holker Hall to the days of a gentler Lake District when tourists were a rarity and the hustle and bustle of modern day living had not yet reached the Cumbrian borders. Holker is the home of the Cavendish family, and visitors can enjoy the incredible library with over 3,000 books, and explore the stunning gardens, where the world famous Holker Lime is situated. It is also worth tasting the delicious local products which come from the 17,000 estate surrounding Holker Hall, including the lamb, sheep´s milk cheeses and some tasty foods served in the café.

Muncaster Castle, Gardens and World Owl Centre, Ravenglass

Muncaster Castle, Gardens and World Owl Centre offers a great family day out. The large gardens boast stunning views and are famous for their colourful rhododendrons, which are at their best from March to June. Muncaster has 77 acres of gardens with miles of winding pathways through woods and also the 12th century Church of St Michael and All Angels within the grounds. The supposedly ´haunted´ castle and The World Owl Centre is home to over 50 species of owls, and a display takes place daily.

Windermere is a great place to base yourself in the Lake District and is within easy reach of Cumbria’s most renowned houses. Why not book a luxury Windermere cottage and enjoy luxurious facilities in the heart of the Lake District?

Historical Henley-on-Thames

The town of Henley-on-Thames dates back to 1179 when King Henry II bought land for the ‘making of buildings.’ The first church was built in 1204 and the town bridge was first mentioned in 1234.

The Thursday market was granted by a charter of King John just before 1269.

Henley is said to have lost 60% of its population in the 14th century when the Black Plagued swept through the town.

By the early 1500’s the town extended along the west bank of the Thames and New Street and Hart Street existed.

King Henry VIII incorporated the town in 1568 when the titles of ‘mayor’ and ‘burgess’ were granted.

King William ll stayed at Fawley Court in 1688 which was designed by Christopher Wren. Its gardens were landscaped by Capability Brown.

Henley became prosperous in the late 17th and 18th centuries when the manufacture of glass and malt began. Henley and the surrounding districts supplied London with most of its timber which was easily transported down the Thames.

The five arched Henley Bridge was opened in 1786 and the tower of St Mary’s Church nearby dates back to the 15th Century. The oldest known building in Henley is the Old Bell pub, built in 1325.

Henley is best known for the annual Henley Royal Regatta which was first established in 1839 by Edmund Gardiner who suggested the Regatta should be held ‘under judicious and respectable management’ and ‘from its peculiar attractions it would also be a source of amusement and gratification to the neighbourhood and the public in general’. The Regatta became ‘Royal’ in 1851.

More recently, Henley has become known as a location for a wide choice of films and TV series, including Midsomer Murders. Tours around the town, visiting the places filmed for Midsomer Murders are popular with visitors and guide books are available for those who prefer to ‘go it alone.’

Famous Henley residents and former residents include: Singer, Dusty Springfield, George Harrison of Beatles fame, poet George Orwell, TV presenter, Philip Schofield, singer, Liam Gallagher and politicians, Boris Johnson and Michael Heseltine.

Henley-on-Thames now combines some of the finest modern attractions, including award-winning restaurants and pubs with historical monuments and prestigious events such as the Henley Royal Regatta. A great place to visit for all the family.

Choose from a wide range of luxury Henley Regatta accommodation rentals close to the main attractions and events in Henley-on-Thames.

The history of Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is the jewel in the crown of the jump racing calendar in the UK, with prize money second only to that of the Grand National. Held in March, often coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day, the Cheltenham Festival attracts many thousands of Irish trainers, owners and spectators.

Grade one races during the 4 day festival include: the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Champion Hurdle and the World Hurdle.

Famous for its incredible atmosphere, the ‘Cheltenham Roar’ refers to the enormous amount of noise that the crowd generates as the starter raises the flag for the first race of the Festival.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup was established in 1924, with the Champion Hurdle being introduced in 1927.

Until 2005 the Cheltenham Festival was held over 3 days but extended to 4, meaning there would be one championship race on each day. The climax of the event is the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the last day.

The Foxhunters’ race is also held on the Friday over the Gold Cup course and is referred to as the ‘amateur’s Gold Cup.’

Most of the horses competing at Cheltenham are Irish or UK trained, although French horses are also known to do well.

Almost 250,000 racegoers and £250 million is gambled during the Cheltenham Festival.

Cheltenham and the Cotswolds are one of the most visited regions in the UK. Aside from the racing visitors will find a wealth of other attractions including stunning countryside, walking trails, excellent restaurants and pubs, parks, stately homes and quirky shops within easy reach of Cheltenham Racecourse.

Whether you are planning a corporate trip or a family get together combined with a trip to the Festival, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to self-catering accommodation in Cheltenham. From Edwardian homes to manor houses in the Cotswolds and Regency apartments in Cheltenham, you will find a wide range of self-catering accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.

If you are planning to book a break in Cheltenham or the Cotswolds, choose from a wide range of luxury Cheltenham Festival accommodation rentals close to the town’s main attractions.

5 top Lakes to visit in Cumbria

The Lake District offers some of the most stunning countryside and lakes in the UK.

Whether you decide to stay in a spa hotel in Windermere or a romantic cottage with hot tub in Bowness, you will be within easy reach of five of the most beautiful lakes in Cumbria: Windermere

Windermere is undoubtedly the pearl of the Lake District, and is the longest lake in England at 10.5 miles. You are spoilt for choice with the vast amount of accommodation available in Windermere, and you can choose from elegant boutique hotels, organic hotels and themed hotels between Windermere and Bowness. Windermere is a magnet for tourists and the surrounding area offers visitors a wide range of attractions and great things to do for the family. You can also find the perfect hotels in Windermere for romantic breaks, and late deals. Take a cruise down Windermere, or visit the house of Beatrix Potter. Brockholes Visitor centre is also worth a visit, along with Bowness, Newby Bridge, Scafell, Ambleside, Grasmere and Forest Park. The Blackwell Arts and Crafts Centre is also within easy reach. Visit the Old Man of Windermere at Dow Crag if you enjoy walking and hiking.

Crummock Water

Crummock Water is situated in the north-west of the Lake District, and there are plenty of things to see and do in the area. Whatever floats your boat you will find it at Crummock Water, and you can enjoy a lakeside walk, a trek around the fells, including Pillar, High Stile and Red Pike to the west and Grasmoor to the north, and Robinson and Dale to the east. Often overlooked by its sister lake, Buttermere, Crummock Water offers unparalleled views from both sides, and is 2.5 miles long and ¾ of a mile wide. This rocky bottomed lake is flanked by steep slate sides. Accomodation around Crummock Water can be found easily online or at the Lake District Tourist Board. If you are looking for organic hotels or themed hotels in the Lake District, check out Windermere, Bowness and the towns around Crummock Water.

Hayeswater

Hayeswater is situated in the dale of Patterdale, and offers visitors a great range of holiday accommodation and hotel breaks in the Lake District. Hayeswater is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in England, and you can hire a mountain bike or walk around the nearby Ullswater Lake. Take a trip to Glenridding and sail down the river on one of the old steamers or book to stay in a themed hotel in Windermere. Hayeswater also offers some great hill walks, and to the left of the town is Place Fell and the old Roman road of High Street. It is also worth taking a trip to Kidsty Pike and Harter Fell where you can enjoy the walks, and pop into some great bars, restaurants and cafes.

Loweswater

Loweswater is one of the smallest lakes in the Lake District, and for that reason doesn´t attract hordes of tourists. The area around Loweswater is picturesque and unspoilt and the area is much quieter than most of the lakes in the area. You can find plenty of things to do in Loweswater if you are taking a break in the Lake District or enjoying a day out. Loweswater Lake is owned by the National Trust, and there is also a lakeside path to walk around. Visit Holme Force, which is a stunning waterfall at Holme Wood, and take a trip to the nearby fells at Pillar, High Stile and Red Pike, plus Grasmoor to the north and Robinson and Dale Head to the east. The Kirkstile Inn in Loweswater Village is well worth a visit, as is Rydal Water, which was such a source of inspiration to the famous poet, and local resident, William Wordsworth.

Ennerdale

Situated in the north-west of the Lake District, Ennerdale is close to the stunning coastal town of Whitehaven. Ennerdale Water is the most westerly of the lakes, and due to its inaccessibility, is also one of the remotest. Traditionally, the village is part of the Coast to Coast long distance walk across England, and a good range of holiday accommodation can be found nearby. Ennerdale is a great place to visit if you want to get away from it all, but if you are staying closer to Windermere or Bowness, check out the local themed hotels and green hotels in the area. Ennerdale is a popular location for walking and cycling, and is within easy reach of the larger lakes if you are planning to tour around the area.

If you are planning a romantic weekend or you want to celebrate a special occasion in style, check out the luxury spa cottages in Windermere and Bowness.

Windermere Attractions

Cheltenham and the Cotswolds are home to some of England’s most stunning stately homes and manor houses.

Snowshill Broadway

Situated just 11 miles from Cheltenham, Snowshill Broadway is a manor house which was extended in Elizabethan times. Toys, musical instruments and clocks and a large collection of Japanese Samurai armour are displayed. The small garden is a perfect place to explore with its ponds and terraces.

Rodmarton Manor

Rodmarton Manor is 15 miles from Cheltenham in Cirencester, and is one of the last country houses to be furnished by hand between 1909 and 1929, using local stone and local craftsmen. The furniture and pottery were hand painted by Alfred and Louise Powell and the wall hangings were designed by Hilda Benjamin. The garden was designed by Ernest Barnsley and includes herbaceous borders, roses, rockery and topiary.

Chavenage House

Situated in Tetbury, 17 miles from Cheltenham, Chavenage House is a Cotswold manor which has not altered in the last 400 years. Best known for its appearance in the popular TV series, Larkrise to Candleford, the house was built in a classic Elizabethan E-shape and is packed with stunning period furniture and fascinating relics from the Cromwellian era. Look out the windows of the manor and you’ll understand why directors chose this property as the setting for the show.

Chastleton House

Chastleton House enjoys a great location in Moreton-in-Marsh, just 19 miles from Cheltenham. This fascinating house is one of England’s finest Jacobean houses and is packed with rare objects, furniture and textiles which have been collected since 1612. In the 20th century the Great Chamber was used for giving Christmas presents to the estate staff. The gardens have a display of fascinating topiary at their heart.

Ragley Hall

Situated just over 20 miles from Cheltenham in Alcester, Ragley Hall was designed in 1680 and is the family home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford. The Great Hall has some of England’s finest baroque plasterwork. The famous mural `The Temptation´ by Graham Rust is in the south staircase hall, and family portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds in the drawing room.

If you are planning to book a break in Cheltenham or the Cotswolds, choose from a wide range of luxury Cheltenham Festival accommodation rentals close to the town’s main attractions.

5 top restaurants near Henley-on-Thames

If you are planning to visit Henley-on-Thames for a break in the Oxfordshire countryside, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants and bars near the town.

The Greyhound Free House & Grill

The Greyhound in Peppard Common is owned by renowned chef, Anthony Worrall Thompson and offers comforting pub grub in a delightful location. Sunday lunch is a speciality and includes roast leg of Welsh Spring Lamb and Roast Sirloin of Aberdeen Angus Beef, complemented by an extensive wine list.

The Crooked Billet

Situated in Stoke Row, the Crooked Billet is a rustic inn offering modern and classic British cuisine. Local produce is used where possible and dishes include: Oxford blue pumpkin risotto cakes with trompette mushrooms and Local pork belly with puy lentils, pickled red cabbage and crispy sage.

The Baskerville

Located in Lower Shiplake, the Baskerville is well known for its fantastic Sunday lunches This classic brick country pub combines contemporary décor with period furnishings Modern British meals and drinks are served in the rustic wood-panelled pub, including the free cooked or continental breakfast. There's also a beer garden with a barbecue.

The Plowden Arms

The Plowden Arms in Shiplake is an award-winning pub, serving traditional British dishes and forgotten cocktails in a beamed inn. Accompanied by a 1920’s soundtrack, the food at the Plowden Arms attracts visitors from wide and far. Much of the cuisine was inspired by Mrs Beeton’s cook books. Food is served on vintage crockery with flickering candles on the tables and open fires during the colder months. Favourite menu items include devilled lamb kidneys and beef cobbler with cheese scones.

The Three Tuns

Situated in Henley-on-Thames, the Three Tuns dates back to the 17th century and offers classic, seasonal dishes in a great location. With a terraced garden for al fresco dining, a bar area and an intimate dining room, the Three Tuns offers dining options for all occasions.

Great British favourites with a twist include bubble and squeak, served with duck egg, pancetta and tomato chutney and hot goat’s cheese soufflé with wild garlic and pesto.

If you are planning to book a break in Henley-on-Thames, choose from a wide range of luxury Henley Regatta accommodation rentals close to the town’s main attractions.

Celebrate a special occasion in a luxury Lake District cottage

If you are planning to celebrate a special occasion in style, why not book a luxury Lake District cottage with hot tub?

Perfect for a romantic weekend, a honeymoon, or to celebrate a special birthday, Rose Cottage in Bowness offers the utmost in comfort and luxury.

Windermere and romance go hand in hand. Thousands of visitors follow in the footsteps of the romantic poets, William Wordsworth and Robert Southey.

Explore the fells around Ullswater where Wordsworth first spotted his ´host of Golden Daffodils´ while out walking with his sister, Dorothy or follow in the footsteps of Wordsworth on the walk around Rydal Mount.

Romantic weekends and midweek breaks, plus weddings and honeymoons in Windermere are popular with couples throughout the year, and Rose Cottage is the perfect place to stay if you have romance in mind.

Boasting state-of-the art facilities plus an outdoor hot tub, a whirlpool bath for 2 and luxury bathroom and bedroom, Rose Cottage is probably the most romantic place to stay in Windermere.

An open plan lounge and kitchen offer luxury and comfort and a log burning stove provides warmth in the winter months.

Anyone planning to stay in Windermere for a romantic weekend can take advantage of some incredible attractions and local walks close to Windermere and Bowness. Enjoy boat rides across the famous lake, available with a Lake District National Park Guide throughout summer, or dine out in Bowness where you will find a wide choice of excellent restaurants, bistros and country pubs. You can even hire a rowing boat or a canoe if you are feeling adventurous!

You will find plenty of attractions around Bowness Bay, including a Tourist Information Centre where you can pick up leaflets and information about bus routes and events etc.

Orrest Head, above Windermere is considered by many to be the best viewpoint over Lake Windermere. At 784 feet, the summit of Orrest Head offers some stunning views.

The well-known author and walker Alfred Wainwright´s first climb was up to Orrest Head. A plaque to his memory stands at the summit.

Rose Cottage is a special place to stay in one of the most sought after areas of the Lakes and if you are looking for somewhere special to spend a birthday or a romantic weekend, you may just have found it!

Imagine a walk on the fells, followed by a soak in your very own hot tub and a luxurious stay at Rose Cottage.

Reasons to visit the Lake District

The Lake District National Park is the most visited park in England with over 16 million visitors each year.

Home to England´s longest lake, Windermere at 10.5 miles, and the highest mountain, Scafell Pike, at 978m the Lake District is the most visited National Park in the UK. All 5 peaks over 900m in England are situated in Cumbria.

With 50 stone circles and Hadrian´s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Lakes offer a vast range of historical and cultural attractions.

There are many towns and villages to explore in the Lake District, whether nestled in valleys, on the side of a lake or along the coastline. So diverse is the landscape in Cumbria, that visitors can enjoy hiking, swimming and beach walking.

From the vibrant city of Carlisle, gateway to Hadrian's Wall, and Keswick in the north to the charming market towns of Ulverston and Kirkby Lonsdale and the maritime town of Barrow-in-Furness in the south; from the historical market town of Cockermouth and the harbour town of Whitehaven along the west coast to the pretty towns of Penrith and Appleby in the Eden Valley to the east. If you are lucky enough to be visiting the central lakes, Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere offer a wealth of attractions and things to do. Each place has its own story to tell and a character to discover.

Whether you want a relaxing, chilled-out holiday in the Lakes ore you prefer something more adventurous, such as: walking, hiking, abseiling, hot air ballooning, swimming or kayaking, you will not be stuck for choice.

Lowther Castle, Penrith

Lowther is a striking castle ruins with 130 acres of historic gardens which date back 350 years. The stunning gardens have been carefully restored, and a former stable courtyard offers a café and shop facilities.

Hutton-in-the-Forest, Penrith

This historic house and stunning gardens with medieval pele towers attract visitors from far and wide. Stroll around the extensive gardens in woodland setting, and enjoy the topiary, woodland walk and lake with cascade.

Levens Hall and Gardens, Kendal

Levens Hall, an Elizabethan mansion is famous for its topiary gardens which were designed by M Beaumont in 1694. Enjoy the fountain garden and the licenced restaurant and gift shop.

Wray Castle, Ambleside

Wray Castle is a Victorian mock-gothic castle on the western shore of Lake Windermere. Visitors can enjoy guided tours, children´s activities and spectacular grounds stretching down to the lake.

Castlerigg, Keswick

Castlerigg is one of the most atmospheric of all British stone circles with the stunning Helvellyn mountain range as a backdrop. Raised in 3,000BC the stones are well worth a visit. One of the best places to base yourself in the Lake District if you want to explore the whole county of Cumbria is Windermere. Check out the fabulous luxury hotels, spa hotels and romantic hotels close to England´s largest lake.

The Lake District in Autumn & Winter

Autumn and winter in the Lake District allow visitors to enjoy quiet roads, uncrowded attractions and spectacular views of snow-capped fells.

The Lake District can guarantee stunning scenery and even the rain does not detract from the natural beauty of the local countryside in winter.

Book a romantic cottage in Windermere, and enjoy the best of both worlds –brisk walks on the fells followed by an indulgent dip in your very own hot tub on return to the cottage. Heaven.

If you are lucky enough to see the wintry sun break through over Windermere, combined with the morning mist, you are in for a real treat. Windermere Lake Cruises operate all year round and it is worth buying a day ticket so you can hop on and off at places of interest. The boats sail from Bowness Bay, where you will find a host of good cafés and restaurants close to the water´s edge.

Enjoy a hearty Cumbrian breakfast at one of the cafés in Windermere which will set you up for the day ahead. Explore the quirky shops in Bowness, enjoy a trip to Grasmere and Dove Cottage, where William Wordsworth once lived, or visit Blackwell, the Arts and Craft House. Don´t forget to sample the real ales in one of Windermere´s old country pubs, where open fires will warm you as the evening winter chill sets in. Enjoy some of the region´s best restaurants serving a wide choice of delicious local dishes and international fare.

Visiting the Royalty Cinema is like going back in time. This 3-screen multiplex in Bowness offers a one-screen traditional auditorium with 400 Pullman seats in stalls and a circle.

Pop into Bowness to see Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and Miss Tiggy-winkle at the award-winning Beatrix Potter Attraction. A great place to take the family.

The Windermere Steamboat Museum offers a unique and historic collection of steam and motor boats, steam launch trips, shops and refreshments. Also check out the ´Swallows and Amazons´ Exhibition, and a model boats pond with regular demonstrations.

If you are planning on travelling around the Lake District in search of different autumn and winter attractions, take a trip to the Puzzling Place at Keswick, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region. First opened to the public in Museum Square, Keswick on the 7th July, 2001 the Puzzling Place is the product of two year´s work by local brothers, whose aim it was to open a gallery-style exhibition which was different to anything else in the region. Education, combined with elements of fun and surprise and interactive attractions prove popular with all ages.

If you want a perfect ‘get away from it all’ break, autumn and winter in the Lake District are great times to visit.

10 of the most scenic lakes in the Lake District, Cumbria

If you are planning a visit to the Lake District this autumn, take your time to explore some of the most famous lakes in England.

Windermere

England´s largest lake, Windermere is just under 13 miles long, and is up to 79m in depth. This is the most southerly of the lakes, and easily the most accessible for visitors who flock to the Lake District from all over Europe. During Victorian times, when railways first made the Lake District more accessible, Windermere was opened up to tourism. Today, visitors can cruise across the lake on Windermere Steamers, or enjoy lakeside walks along the water´s edge. You will find some of the most famous Lake District attractions in and around Windermere, including The Beatrix Potter Attraction, Blackwell the Arts and Crafts House and a great choice of fun and activity centres in Bowness Bay.

Luxury Windermere cottages are popular all year round.

Rydal Water

The favourite lake of famous local writer and poet, William Wordsworth, Rydal Water is one of the most beautiful small lakes in the region. It takes approximately two hours to walk around the lake, taking in Rydal Hall, Rydal Mount and the Rydal Caves en route. The walk starts at White Moss House, which William Wordsworth bought for his son, Willie, and will take you past Rydal Mount, which was Wordsworth´s favourite residence, and where he died in 1850. Rydal Mount can be visited, along with the gardens, and there are plenty of places en route to stop for a drink or something to eat.

Grasmere

Wordsworth also lived at Dove Cottage, Grasmere, where he wrote some of his most famous poems, including ´Daffodils´. The poet enjoyed the peace and tranquility of Grasmere, and there were no other buildings in front of his house which offered magnificent views of the local countryside. Grasmere village lies beside the lake, and visitors can find plenty of pubs, cafés and restaurants nearby.

Coniston Water

Once home to John Ruskin, one of the great intellectuals and artists of the 19th Century, who lived at Brantwood on the shores of the lake, Coniston Water was also the setting for Swallows and Amazons. Known for its still water, Coniston was also the place Donald Campbell chose to attempt his world water speed boat records, and sadly where he died in 1967 when his boat, ´Bluebird´ capsized. If you want a challenging walk, take a hike up Coniston Old Man, which boasts some stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Buttermere

Buttermere is a great place to start a variety of walks, and one of the few flat walks circles the entire lake. Many visitors enjoy the day by picnicking beside the lake or swimming in warm weather. Higher level walks near Buttermere include: Fleetwith Pike, Haystacks or Red Pike. Visit the Fish Inn at Buttermere, which was home to Mary Robinson between 1778 and 1837. Known at the Maid of Buttermere, Mary was known locally for her stunning beauty, lauded by the romantic poets in the lakes. For a short period in it's history, the Fish Hotel, Buttermere, achieved national fame (and possibly notoriety) during the Robinson's tenancy. The innkeeper's daughter, Mary, was about fifteen years old when she was first noticed by a visitor, one Joseph Palmer, who stayed at the inn in 1792, and later wrote in one of the very first guide books, "A Fortnight's Ramble in the Lake District", of his encounter with the fair maid of Buttermere.

If you are planning to travel to the Lake District, and you want to explore the beautiful lakeside scenery, take your time to enjoy the region, why not book a romantic spa cottage in Windermere?

Autumn Colours in the Lake District

Autumn is one of the best times to visit the Lake District. Now the school holidays are over, the roads are quieter and the crowds have subsided. Serene landscapes, golden woodland views and a host of great attractions for visitors of all ages await in the Lake District.

Why not spend a week in Windermere and enjoy boating across the lake, the atmospheric pubs and inns around the town and the wide choice of amazing restaurants in Bowness. Some of the Lake District´s most famous attractions are located in and around the town, including Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre at Bowness.

Just five miles from Windermere is the quaint village of Ambleside, close to Hill Top, the former home of famous childrens´ author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. Jenkins Crag is also worth exploring and boasts stunning views over lake and countryside. Wray Castle is also well worth a visit if you find yourself in Ambleside.

Just a short boat ride from Bowness is the award-winning Lakes Aquarium which offers visitors a wealth of things to see and do, with plenty of informative staff to explain the importance of conservation in the Lake District.

Stop off at one of the many cafés to enjoy a typical plate of Cumbrian cuisine or enjoy home-made cakes and hot chocolate by the lake. Bowness is known for its many restaurants and pubs serving food, and if you are something of a foodie you will find all you want and more from these great eateries.

From Michelin star restaurants to delicious Cumbrian café food, there is something for all tastes and budgets in Windermere and Bowness.

If the weather turns chilly, visitors also have a great choice of indoor attractions to choose from in Windermere, including the Winderemere Steamboat Museum, showing a historic collection of steam and motor boats, the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction at Bowness and the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway.

The Lake District may be able to guarantee stunning scenery and attractions but one thing it can’t guarantee is the weather. Luckily, come rain or shine you will always find plenty of things to see and do. From museums to castles, gourmet restaurants to local cafés and stunning country house gardens to adventure parks and visitor centres, you will never be stuck for something to do in the Lake District.

10 things you probably didn’t know about the Lake District

Famous for its stunning scenery, lakes and mountains, the Lake District in Cumbria is England’s most popular National Park.

Ten things you probably didn’t know about the Lake District include:

1.The family of George Washington

The father, uncle and two half-brothers of the first American president, George Washington, all went to Appleby Grammar School.

2. Piped water in Hilton

The village of Hilton had the first piped water supply in the country. The stone drinking troughs and pumps on the green were installed by the Quaker-owned London Lead Company.

3. Old Corpse Road Ambleside

For many years St Anne's Chapel was Ambleside's only place of worship, but it was not registered to record marriages and deaths. As the chapel was in the parish of Grasmere, the deceased were carried nearly 4 miles along the old ‘corpse road' to St Oswald's Church in Grasmere for burial. Once St Mary's Church was built and consecrated in 1854 this long trek was no longer necessary.

4. The Struggle out of Ambleside

The steep climb out of Ambleside reaches Kirkstone Inn, said to be one of the highest pubs in the UK.

5. Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake is the only body of the water in the Lake District that is officially called a ‘lake' - all the others are ‘waters', ‘meres' or ‘tarns'.

6. The Bishop of Barf

In 1783 the newly appointed Bishop of Derry was on his way to Whitehaven to take a boat to Ireland. He stopped for the night at an inn beside Bassenthwaite Lake and, after consuming several drinks, wagered that he could ride his pony to the top of Barf, a nearby hill. Halfway up the pony stumbled at a large rock and fell, killing both horse and rider. The large rock (known as Bishop Rock) is painted white in remembrance of this futile act, while at the foot of the slope is another white-painted rock known as The Clerk where the bishop and his pony were buried.

7. Bassenthwaite Regatta

The first Cumbrian Regatta was held on Bassenthwaite in 1780. Regattas featuring mock battles, races and decorated boats became a craze which lasted well into the nineteenth century. The best known regattas were those staged by Keswick museum owner and former gunboat commander Captain Peter Crosthwaite and wealthy eccentric Joseph Pocklington on Derwentwater in the late 18th Century.

8. The Buttermere Beauty

Mary Robinson was the daughter of the innkeeper at the Fish Inn (now the Fish Hotel), and she was so famed for her beauty that people came from far and wide to capture her beauty on canvas and in verse. At the age of 18, she caught the eye of the Honourable Alexander Augustus Hope, MP for Linlithgow, who was staying at the inn and, after a brief courtship, they were married at Lorton in 1802.

But, on return from their honeymoon, Hope was exposed as John Hatfield, a notorious swindler and bigamist. Hatfield was arrested and stood trial at Carlisle where he was found guilty, not of bigamy, but for posing as a Member of Parliament for which he was subsequently hanged in 1803. Mary went on to marry farmer Richard Harrison, by whom she had several children. She died in 1834 and is buried in Caldbeck churchyard.

9. The Slave Trade at Storr´s Hall

Storrs Hall, Windermere, was built by John Bolton, a wealthy shipowner who dealt in the slavery trade. It is said that the slaves were kept in the cellars of Storrs Hall until buyers could be found for them.

10. Electric lighting in Windermere

Windermere and Bowness were the second towns in England to have electric street lighting, which was supplied from a hydro-electric plant at Troutbeck Bridge.

Wherever you decide to stay in the Lake District, you will find a wealth of things to see and do in this stunning region. Why not pamper yourself and book a spa hotel in Windermere for a weekend break?

Beatrix Potter and her life in the Lake District

Famous children’s author, Beatrix Potter, was best known for her beautifully-illustrated children’s books. The author was born in 1866 and died in 1943, having spent most of her life working and living in the Lake District.

Some of Potter´s most famous books included Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Squirrel Nutkin who was said to have sailed on Derwentwater and Hawkshead. The Tale of Johnny Townmouse was also written during her time in the Lake District when Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top Farm. Not only did she write about animals, but she also became an expert sheep breeder and the first female president of the Herdwick Sheepbreeders´ Association.

When Beatrix Potter died in 1943 she left over 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust and 14 farms, including her home, Hill Top, on the provision that it remained untouched and was opened to the public.

Beatrix Potter and Hill Top

Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top in 1905 with the proceeds from her first published books, which she wrote at her family home in London. The author visited the Lake District as often as possible, sketching the animals and scenery for her books.

Once she had bought the house she wrote more books at Hill Top and she bought Castle Farm in 1909 which became her main home in the Lakes. Some of her most famous characters were created here, including Tom Kitten and Samuel Whiskers and illustrations in the books were based on her house and garden at the time.

The garden contained many colourful flowers including honeysuckle, foxgloves, peonies and lavender with roses around the front door. The garden was also packed with strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb.

The National Trust owned Tower Bank Arms is next to Hill Top, and was featured in the Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck. Visitors to the house can still enjoy a pint and a snack in the pub, which opens every day.

As the author became more successful, she bought many more properties and land around Sawrey plus several small farms. In 1913 she married William Heelis in London and moved permanently to the Lake District. They lived at Castle Cottage which larger and more comfortable than Hill Top.

Beatrix Potter and Brockhole

The Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole was once the home of Beatrix´s cousin, Edith who was married to William Gaddum. The author used to write to her young cousins, Molly and Jim at Brockhole, regaling them with tales based on Jeremy Fisher, complete with illustrations. In many ways the author tried out her stories on her young cousins before approaching the publishers.

The Beatrix Potter Attraction, Bowness

If you want to take tea with Peter Rabbit, be chased around the garden by Jemima Puddle duck or enjoy some fun interactive exhibitions, visit the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction at Bowness. Great fun for the kids, this venue also attracts Potter fans of all ages from as far afield as Japan and the USA. Visitors can explore the landscape where the tales were bought to life and buy a book or souvenir from the Beatrix Potter shop.

Miss Potter – the film

The film, Miss Potter took place in London, the Isle of Man and also at Loughrigg, Grasmere and Coniston in the Lake District. Starring Oscar winner, Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, the film was a huge hit internationally.

After the film was released the author´s works and her former homes in the Lake District became more popular than ever.

Did you know?

  • Over 20% of visitors to the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction and Hilltop Farm at Sawrey are from Japan? The author is as famous in Japan as she is in the UK, and the vast majority of Japanese children are encouraged to read her books.
  • Beatrix Potter kept a journal … in a complicated code that wasn’t deciphered for years! As a teenager, she wrote almost 200,000 coded journal words.
  • The author´s first publication was not actually Peter Rabbit, but rather a few illustrations in an 1890 children’s book, Happy Pair by Frederic Weatherly.
  • Many of Beatrix Potter’s books, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit, began as story letters to friends’ children. She borrowed them back from the recipients to turn the stories into books.
  • Ten years after she wrote the picture letter, when a black and white version of The Tale of Peter Rabbit had been rejected by every publisher Potter sent it to, this E.L. Jamesian inspiration self-published 250 copies—which sold out within days of its December 1901 publication.

Beatrix Potter is one of many famous former residents of the Lake District, and her children´s books are still popular throughout the world. Potter fans flock to the Lake District to enjoy the stunning scenery which was once her inspiration.

The best things to do in the Lake District

If you are a lover of the great outdoors, there is no better place to visit than the Lake District, Cumbria.

Covering 885 square miles, the Lake District National Park is the most visited National Park in the UK, and a wide range of activities and events attract visitors from all over the world.

Some of the best things to do in the Lake District include:

Walking and Hiking

The Lake District National Park has walks for age and ability, from gentle lakeside strolls to high ridge walks and rock climbing.

If you are new to the Lake District, why not enjoy a guided walk. You won´t need to worry about navigation and can learn from a knowledgeable local. Pick from short, scenic picnic strolls to full days through spectacular landscape.

Burnmoor Stone Circles

Burnmoor Stone Circles, perched on high moorland, date from around 2000 BC. They all contain at least one burial, marked by a stone cairn. Were they ritual monuments, meeting places or a mark of ownership? Perhaps all three. Nearby are stone banks and other cairns, which may be more recent.

The whole site covers more than 2.5 square kilometres (1 square mile) and is managed by the National Trust.

The stone circles can be reached on foot from Boot Village. Parking available at Dalegarth Station.

Cycling

Road cyclists and mountain bikers are spoilt for choice in the Lake District National Park. There are country lanes, permitted cycle-ways and bridleways with some stunning views!

For mountain bikers, Whinlatter Forest and Grizedale Forest are criss-crossed with routes ranging from those suitable for beginners to more challenging levels.

Gaitscale Farmstead

People lived in Gaitscale Farmstead between 1686 and 1771, but by the early nineteenth century it was a ruin. Today you can make out the farmhouse, barns, sheep pens and old field boundaries. The name has Norse origins. Gait means ‘goat’ and scale means seasonal house. This suggests there was a settlement here long before the seventeenth century. Managed by the National Trust, the farmstead is 7 miles west of Ambleside, between Wrynose Pass and Cockley Beck.

Events taking place in the Lake District in August, 2015 include:

  • Wednesday 5 August: Cartmel Show
  • Tuesday 11 August: Lunesdale Show
  • Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 August: Lowther Show
  • Thursday 13 August: Rydal Show
  • Saturday 15 August: Gosforth Show
  • Tuesday 18 August: Hawkshead Show
  • Saturday 19 August: Patterdale Dog Day
  • Monday 24 August: Keswick Agricultural Show
  • Wednesday 26 August Ennerdale Show
  • Thursday 27 August Crosby Ravensworth Show and Vintage Rally
  • Saturday 30 August Dufton Traditional Show
  • Sunday 30 August: Grasmere Lakeland Sports and Show

Whatever time of year you decide to visit the Lake District, you will find a wide choice of things to see and do. Why not stay in a Windermere spa hotel and take your time to explore this special part of England.

Lake District Ghosts & Legends

The Lake District has its fair share of ghosts, according to many of the locals, and a good dose of spooky place names including: Boo Tarn near Coniston, Fangs Brow near Loweswater, Wolf Crags near Ullswater, Hell Gill near Crinkle Crags (another great name) and Ravenglass on the west coast.

Ghostly goings on

Visitors who want to get up close and personal with some local ghosts should explore Styhead Pass, between Wasdale and Borrowdale which is said to be haunted by Bjorn, an outlaw from the thirteenth century. A ghostly galloping horse is said to carry a coffin at Wasdale Head, and St Herbert´s Island, Derwentwater is said to be haunted by St Herbert, a priest who chose the island as a sanctuary.

Long Meg and Her Daughters

Long Meg and Her Daughters at Salkend is a stone circle which allegedly comes to life if you count the stones correctly. One legend is that the stones are petrified of people, so tread carefully.

Muncaster Castle

Muncaster Castle is another haunted home in the Lake District and a glass cup, said to have been given to sir John Pennington from Henry Vl with the assurance ´the family shall prosper so long as they preserve this cup unbroken.´ The cup is said to be unbroken still, but there are plenty of ghostly happenings at Muncaster which can not be explained.

Bonnie Prince Charlie´s Troops

On the evening of Midsummer´s Day 1745, a line of marching troops, cavalry and carriages was seen travelling along the summit ridge for many hours. The next day Souther Fell was climbed and not one footprint was found on the soft ground. This could have been a bizarre reflection of Bonnie Prince Charlie´s army exercising on the Scottish Coast, or it could indeed have had more ghostly connotations.

Calgarth Hall is a sixteenth century manor house owned by Kraster Cook and his wife, Dorothy. Their neighbour was local Justice of the Peace, Myles Philipson who wanted to buy the house but the Cooks did not want to sell. Myles accused the Cooks of theft in order to get the house, and they were later judged and condemned to death. Dorothy, before her death, cursed Calgarth and promised that their screaming skulls would haunt the Hall, both night and day until the Philipsons left.

Two skulls took up residence at Calgarth, and despite many attempts to get rid of them, they kept returning. Myles Philipson sold this land to pay off debts and Calgarth was sold by his son after his death. The skulls never returned and the last member of the Philipson family died in 1705.

The Heights of Claife Monk

On stormy nights the ferrymen at Ferry Nab, many centuries ago, would often hear strange calls for the boat to come across the water but were too scared to go. A young ferryman rowed across in an act of bravado.

Whatever he saw rendered him speechless and he died the next day. Local asked a monk to exorcise the ghost and confine it to the quarry and the woods.

To this day there are still stories of walkers being followed by a hooded figure at dusk on the Heights of Claife. A ghostly white horse roams around the lake side at Windermere when harm is about to come to the area.

Bownessie

Jokingly referred to as Bownessie is the unidentified creature allegedly spotted in Windermere, and resembling the other legendary monster of Loch Ness, Scotland. The jury is out on this one but the humped Bownessie is said to have been spotted in the southern end of the lake.

If you want to explore the Lake District and discover more myths, legends and spooky goings on, why not stay at the romantic Rose Cottage with luxury facilities including outdoor hot tub.

Romantic places to stay in Windermere

The famous Romantic Poets of the 19th Century, including William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey were inspired to write many of their most famous poems while living in the Lake District.

Today thousands of visitors follow in their footsteps and explore the fells around Ullswater where Wordsworth first spotted his ´host of Golden Daffodils´ while out walking with his sister, Dorothy.

Romantic weekends and midweek breaks, plus weddings and honeymoons in Windermere are popular with couples throughout the year, and Rose Cottage is the perfect place to stay if you have romance in mind.

Boasting state-of-the art facilities plus an outdoor hot tub, a whirlpool bath for 2 and luxury bathroom and bedroom, Rose Cottage is probably the most romantic place to stay in Windermere.

An open plan lounge and kitchen offer luxury and comfort and a log burning stove provides warmth in the winter months.

Anyone planning to stay in Windermere for a romantic weekend can take advantage of some incredible attractions and local walks close to Windermere and Bowness. Enjoy boat rides across the famous lake, available with a Lake District National Park Guide throughout summer, or dine out in Bowness where there are a wide choice of excellent restaurants, bistros and country pubs. Boat trips also operate in the evenings during summer.

You can even hire a rowing boat or a canoe if you are feeling adventurous!

Orrest Head, above Windermere is considered by many to be the best viewpoint over Lake Windermere. At 784 feet, some excellent views over the surrounding area can be had from its summit. On a clear day, the fell offers a 360° panorama, from the Yorkshire fells to the Langdales and Troutbeck Valley. Even Morecambe Bay is clearly visible. The well known author and walker Alfred Wainwright´s first climb was Orrest Head, he walked to the summit of the fell in 1930, and felt greatly inspired by the view from Orrest Head. It remains today just as Wainwright would have seen it. A plaque to his memory stands at the summit.

If you are lucky enough to visit Windermere when the sun is shining (it does sometimes, honest!), take a picnic down to the lake shore and enjoy the stunning landscapes around Windermere. There is nothing better than spending a day out on the water followed by a luxurious night or two at Rose Cottage.

Luxury romantic cottages in Windermere provide stunning accommodation in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK.

Bowness on Windermere – the jewel in the crown of the Lake District

One of the most beautiful natural areas in the UK, Bowness-on-Windermere is largely seen as the jewel in the crown of the Lake District.

This thriving town is situated beside Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England, and offers visitors a wide range of things to see and do. In addition to boasting some of the best boutique hotels and themed hotels in the Lake District, Bowness-on-Windermere is home to hundreds of quirky shops, restaurants, country pubs and some excellent cultural and historical attractions. If you are planning a trip to the Lake District for the first time, or you are looking for a weekend break or a late deal in the region, check out Bowness.

The views from Bowness across Lake Windermere and over to the mountains are some of the best in the Lake District, and the wide range of things to see and do is endless.

Outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy golf, walking, hiking, climbing, water-skiing and sailing, or simply cruising down the lake on one of the authentic steam boats. If you prefer to take things a little bit easier, visit the 15th Century church of St Martin´s, which is situated in a beautiful part of the town. The Windermere Steamboat Centre in Rayrigg Road, houses a unique collection of historic steamboats and motorboats, and special events throughout the season include the British Classic Motorboat, Model Boat and Steamboat Rally.

Bowness is popular with all ages as there is so much to do, and the focus is firmly put on the lakeshore of Bowness Bay. Here you can hire a rowing boat, sail on the steamer or enjoy a leisurely stroll around Lake Windermere, which is also the longest (nearly 11 miles) and deepest lake in England at 67 metres.

Elsewhere in Bowness you will find the World of Beatrix Potter, which provides a great day out for the kids. This is a magical recreation of Beatrix Potter´s books, where you can meet Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and all the characters from her famous stories.

Bowness is busy most of the year, and is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere. The town is Cumbria´s most popular destination, so if you prefer a quieter time on holiday, it is best to visit out of season. Lake Windermere is the best waterway in the region for water sports, swimming and yachting, and it is the only lake in the Lake District which has no speed restriction for water traffic. Boat builders and fishermen can be seen at work on the shoreline, and there are plenty of cafés to stop at and buy refreshments.

Bowness-on-Windermere and William Wordsworth

Well known to the poet, William Wordsworth, Bowness-on-Windermere was frequently visited by several writers and authors. The White Lion pub, which is now the Royal Hotel was a favourite hostelry of Wordsworth´s, and it was mentioned in ´The Prelude.´ The poet also used the ferry to cross Lake Windermere, and mentioned this in some of his most famous works. A car ferry still crosses the lake between Ferry Nab and Ferry House, and provides a convenient approach to the western side of the lake and the villages of Hawkshead and Sawrey.

The history of Bowness-on-Windermere

The Romans and the Vikings once laid claim to Bowness, and it was the Vikings who gave the name ´Bull Ness´ to the town originally. The name changed to Bowness over the years, and it remained a small fishing village until 1847, when the railroad was introduced. Bowness then grew quickly, and hotels began to spring up to accommodate the tourists. Wealthy industrialists built mansions, which later became hotels, and Bowness was planted firmly on the wealthy tourist´s map.

For many years, barges unloaded gravel dredged from the bed of Lake Windermere, where the Steamboat Museum is now situated. Here you can see an impressive collection of Victorian and Edwardian steamboats and motorboats, including the 1850 SL Dolly, which is the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world. The boat lay on the bed of the lake for 67 years before it was salvaged and restored to its former glory.

Today boats from Bowness stop at Ambleside and Lakeside and make circle tours of the lake. A steam launch can also be rented for tours of the lake.

Bowness attractions

One of the most popular attractions near Bowness is Blackwell – the Arts and Crafts House. This Grade 1 listed building opened in 2001, and was designed by MH Baillie Scott between 1897 and 1900 as a family home. Overlooking Lake Windermere, the house now serves as a public gallery for craft and applied arts.

Bowness pubs are legendary. Try the New Hall Inn, commonly known as the Hole in t´Wall Pub, which received its nickname after a thirsty blacksmith next door had a hole knocked in the pub wall to facilitate his access to beer while he was working. The old blacksmith´s shop is now part of the pub and the beamed ceilings and slate floors add to the atmosphere of bygone days.

Bowness now offers visitors some of the most stylish and elegant accommodation in the Lake District. Boutique hotels in Bowness-on-Windermere, mix with friendly guesthouse accommodation, holiday cottages and campsites to offer weary travellers comfort and value in one of the UK´s top tourist destinations. If you want to tour the Lake District, Bowness-on- Windermere is the perfect base, so look out for late hotel deals and special prices for weekend breaks.

Mountains and hikes in the Lake District

Describing the Lake District Mountains, former resident and Poet Laureate, William Wordsworth said: "in the combinations which they make, towering above each other, or lifting themselves in ridges like the waves of a tumultuous sea, and in the beauty and variety of their surfaces and colours, they are surpassed by none".

Not only famous for its beautiful lakes, Cumbria is also home to the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike at 3,209 feet.

From easy hikes to difficult climbs, the Lake District Mountains offer plenty of opportunity for visitors of all ages and fitness levels to enjoy a day out in the countryside.

Grasmoor is situated in the north of the Lake District near Keswick and is 2,800 feet high. This is the highest mountain between Buttermere, Braithwaite and Lorton, and towers over Crummock Water.

Skiddaw is situated close to Keswick and is over 2,800ft in height.

The Lake District is the birthplace of rock climbing in England, and is one of the country´s best known locations for taking a course in scaling the heights of some incredible mountains.

Many traditional climbs take place on mountain crags, with dozens of smaller outcrops. The Lake District is easy to get to from most parts of the UK, with excellent transport links to Penrith and Windermere, with the M6 passing closeby.

Climbers can always be assured of stunning views, and many rock climbing courses are offered in the central lakes, making Ambleside or Langdale a perfect base. Keswick, Ullswater and Langdale are also great places to stay if planning a rock climbing excursion, as even if the weather is bad, Cumbria has plenty of sandstone and limestone outcrops ringing the edge of the fells. It is usually possible to get good climbing in, even if the weather is poor.

A wonderful mountain walk is to Great Gable from Wasdale Head. The summit is instantly recognisable and resembles a rounded bun at the top. Mist can quickly descend on the mountain, making it dangerous, and you should save your ascent for one of the sunny days when you can see Lakeland, Lancashire and Yorkshire from the top.

The strong walls in the bottom of the valley were built during the 18th and 19th centuries to enclose the moorland and provide shelter for sheep. Excess stone was gathered into large mounds and can still be seen today.

If you embark on this walk, take your time to go into the small church of St Olaf, which is set in a circle of large trees and at only 12m by 5m is one of the smallest churches in the UK. The building has three windows, one of them a memorial to Queen Victoria.

If you are looking to stay in the Lake District, why not check in to a luxury Windermere spa cottage and make the most of your time in this beautiful part of Engla.

The top 10 scenic spots in the Lake District

England’s Lake District is one of the most stunning regions in the UK, and over 16 million visitors a year flock to Cumbria to make the most of its scenic spots.

The top 10 scenic spots in the Lake District include:

1.Aira Force, Ullswater

1.Aira Force is surrounded by stunning scenery and this is probably the most beautiful waterfall in the Lake District. There are plenty of places around the falls where visitors can enjoy a picnic, and this is a great place to spend a day if you want to walk in the footsteps of William Wordsworth, who wrote the famous poem, ´Daffodils´ after walking along this route.

2.Tarn Hows, near Coniston and Hawkshead

Tarn Hows lies between the quaint villages of Coniston and Hawkshead. This beauty spot is surrounded by thick, enchanting woodland and is overlooked by the dramatic Langdale Pikes and the imposing Helvellyn. Famous childrens´ author, Beatrix Potter bought Tarn Hows in 1929, before selling it onto the National Trust. Visit outside the main summer season to enjoy a haven of tranquility and peace.

3.Loughrigg Tarn, north of Windermere

Loughrigg Tarn is a natural lake just north of Windermere and just north of the village of Skelwith Bridge at the foot of Loughrigg Fell. Loughrigg Tarn is a fantastic spot for walking and picknicking, and is undoubtedly one of the Lake District’s hidden treasures. It offers tremendous views of miles of rolling fells, across to the rugged beauty of the Langdale Pikes.

4.Catbells and Ashness Bridge

Catbells and Ashness Bridge offer stunning views down to Derwentwater, and Catbells is a popular walk for families. The route is not too difficult and the stunning views from the top make it all worthwhile. Autumn is a great time to visit when the trees surrounding Derwentwater turn to gold.

5.Gummer´s How, near Windermere

If you want to enjoy stunning sun sets over Windermere, there is no better place to visit for a picnic than Gummer´s How. Visit in the day time and you can enjoy stunning views which sweep north across Windermere. Particularly beautiful in autumn when the trees are changing colour, this is a fabulous part of the Lake District to photograph, so don´t forget your camera.

6.Birdoswald Roman Fort

Birdoswald is situated towards the western end of Hadrian´s Wall, and is considered to be one of the most picturesque settings along the entire 73 miles of Hadrian´s Wall. The Roman fort stands high above the River Irthing and can be seen from miles around.

7.High Dam Tarn, Finsthwaite

High Dam Tarn is a typically stunning Lake District beauty spot. This place was once described by Alfred Wainwright, walker and writer of Lake District guides as ´a much nicer place than the over-populated Tarn Hows´, although both spots are quite beautiful.

8.Ruskin´s View, Kirkby Lonsdale

This incredible view is arguably one of England´s finest, and this stunning spot, looking over the River Lune was commemorated by William Lakin Turner who painted a picture of the famous view. Another famous local resident, John Ruskin, described this spot as ´one of the loveliest scenes in England.´

9. Talkin Tarn Country Park near Carlisle

Talkin Tarn Country Park is located just a few miles from Carlisle and is made up of 120 acres of parkland and countryside. The Talkin Tarn is at the centre of the park, providing a beautiful walk around the water´s edge. You can also spot red squirrels in the woodlands within the Talkin Tarn Country Park, and this is the perfect place to stop for a picnic.

10.Orrest Head, Windermere

Orrest Head is only a 20-30 minute walk from the town of Windermere, and offers stunning views over the lake from the top. This is a great outing for all the family, and there are plenty of places to stop for a picnic on your way up.

Wherever you decide to go in the Lake District you will find a host of great places to hike, walk, climb, sail, go horse riding, enjoy a picnic or simply stroll around and enjoy the true beauty of this stunning region. Make the most of your stay and book into a spa hotel in Windermere, and make this the base for your adventures.

Exploring the Lake District

The best way to explore the Lake District is by car. Stunning views and magnificent landscapes attract over 16 million visitors to the Lakes each year.

Drive from Ambleside through Keswick to Ullswater for great views over several lakes. Many locations are associated with William Wordsworth, and the 48 mile drive offers plenty of places to stop off and admire the scenery.

The drive from Keswick to Borrowdale to Buttermere takes in Derwent Water and the beautiful Borrowdale Valley. The 33 miles also takes you up and over Honister Pass and a return from Buttermere through the Newlands Valley.

The Ambleside to Windermere to Coniston drive includes Hawkshead, Tarn Hows and Coniston, and many of the attractions en-route are themed around Beatrix Potter. The drive is 37 miles in total.

Coniston to Duddon Valley to Eskdale is not for the faint-hearted and includes some of the Lake District´s most challenging mountain passes. Historical attractions included, the drive is just over 40 miles long.

The Kendal to Grange to Windermere drive takes you around the south east corner of Lakeland and includes some interesting attractions. The popular towns of Kendal and Bowness and their historic houses and Windermere itself included, the drive is 48 miles. The Ulverston to Barrow to Furness Peninsula drive is heavily influenced by the monks of Furness Abbey and later by ship building. The associated attractions are well worth visiting on this 44 mile route.

Drive from Cockermouth to Whitehaven to Maryport and take in the contrasting countryside and seaside of the Lake District. From the rugged beauty of the fells to the industrial heritage of the west coast and its stunning scenery, this drive is 54 miles in total.

Visit Cumbria´s capital city Carlisle and drive to Hadrian´s Wall via Brampton. This drive also takes in the Irthing Valley and plenty of associated attractions, including some of the best-preserved Roman remains in the UK. The drive is 46 miles long.

If you are planning to spend a few days or a week in the Lake District, Windermere is a great place to base yourself. Within easy driving distance of all attractions and with a great choice of spa hotels, romantic hotels and boutique hotels, you will find plenty of high quality accommodation in Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere.

Windermere attractions include the award-winning Lakes Aquarium, Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre and Windermere Cruises, which operate from Bowness Bay and offer trips around Windermere, stopping off at points along the way.

Windermere is also well known for its vast range of pubs and restaurants. From country inns to five star gourmet dining restaurants, a wide choice of eateries suit all tastes and budgets.

Lovers of the great outdoors can enjoy several hiking, biking and walking trails, and for those who enjoy luxury, check out the wide choice of romantic Windermere cottages for rent.

Famous former residents of the Lake District

Some of the world’s greatest poets, writers and walkers were inspired to achieve great things while living and working in the Lake District.

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was the second of five children born to John Wordsworth and Ann Cookson, and was born in 1770 in Cockermouth in the Lake District. Wordsworth lived for most of his life in the Lake District, staying in Grasmere, Keswick and Rydal Mount. He was probably the most famous of the Lake Poets and the area´s connections to him contribute largely to the Lake District´s popularity. Visitors can still go and see Dove Cottage in Grasmere where Wordsworth once lived, and Rydal Mount. The Lake District inspired the famous poet to write some of his most famous works, including Daffodils or ´I wandered lonely as a Cloud ...´ which was written after Wordsworth saw a host of golden daffodils while out walking with his sister, Dorothy in Ullswater.

Wordsworth died on the 23rd April, 1850 and his final resting place is in the Churchyard of St Oswald´s Church, one of the most visited literary shrines in the world.

Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was born in London on the 28th of July 1866, but later lived exclusively in the Lake District. She had a lonely childhood, educated by a governess at home, she hardly had any contact with people outside her immediate family.

Beatrix loved animals from an early age and had numerous pets that she studied and made drawings of all through her childhood. Her parents rented Wray Castle near Ambleside and Beatrix fell in love with the natural beauty of the Lake District right away and spent numerous summer holidays in the Lake District.

As an adult, she lived most of her life in the Lake District, inspiring her to write her books, in particular The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

She also made numerous paintings and sketches of the Lake District’s landscape. After her death in 1943, she left her 14 farms and 4000 acres of land to the National Trust, on the proviso that her favourite home, Hill Top at Sawrey, was opened to the public and left unchanged.

Alfred Wainwright

Alfred Wainwright was born in Blackburn, Lancashire in 1907, and at 23 went to the Lake District for a week’s holiday and immediately fell in love with the natural beauty of the Lakelands.

He is well-known for his seven Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells, which he made while working in the Borough Treasurers Office in Kendal in 1941. His handwritten and hand-drawn works of art have inspired all fellwalkers for the last 40 years. A recreation of the Borough Treasurers Office in Kendal where he worked is exhibited in The Kendal Museum of Natural History. Alfred Wainwright died in 1991.

John Ruskin

John Ruskin was born on the 8th of February 1819, and was a famous poet, artist, critic, social reformer and conservationist. Ruskin fell in love with the Lake District when he was 5 years old on his first visit to Keswick in 1824.

Throughout his life he spent holidays in the Lake District and in 1871 he bought Brantwood near Coniston. After meeting Hardwicke Rawnsley and Octavia Hill, the founders of the National Trust, Ruskin had an enormous interest in the conservation of the Lake District.

John Ruskin was one of the most prominent figures of the Victorian Age.If you are planning to visit the Lake District to explore the lakes, and find out more about the famous past residents of this beautiful region, Windermere is a perfect base.

Top Lake District Locations for Cottage Holidays

The Lake District is the most popular National Park in the UK, with over 16 million visitors exploring its scenic villages and towns each year.

Windermere is a great place to base yourself if you plan to travel around the Lake District, and a wide choice of holiday cottages in Windermere are available to suit all tastes and budgets.

Windermere is a beautiful location if you are planning a special celebration or a ro-mantic weekend, and many couples choose to book their wedding or honeymoon close to the lake.

Windermere

Windermere first became known as a ´tourist resort´ when wealthy Victorians began spending weekends and leisure time in the region. They believed that the fresh mountain air was beneficial to their health, and many bought properties in the area – many of which still stand today.

Over the years the small town has merged with Bowness-on-Windermere even though both places have completely separate centres.

The town is also home to a great choice of restaurants, country pubs, serving real ales and home-made Cumbrian cuisine. The famous Windermere Steamers at Bowness Bay operate the full length of Windermere. A short walk from Windermere is Orrest Head, with its stunning views over the lake. This was the first summit in Lakeland visited by famous walker and local writer, Alfred Wainwright.

Hawkshead

Still the same tiny village which was so loved by local author and poet, William Wordsworth, Hawkshead has changed little since the late 1800´s.

Cars are still banned from the village and visitors have to park on the outskirts. Alt-hough tourism is now the main industry in the village – Hawkshead Grammar was where Wordsworth went to school – the traditional inns, tea rooms and gift shops retain their original charm.

The Old Grammar School was founded in 1585 by the Archbishop of York, Edwin Sandys, and the ground floor classroom still exhibits the original desks from Words-worth´s time there – many of which are covered in carvings by the boys.

The Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead is situated in the former office of solicitor, William Heelis who married Potter in 1913, and remains largely unchanged since then.

Buttermere

The small hamlet of Buttermere is situated between the lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water. Buttermere Lake is owned by the National Trust, and literally means ´the Lake by the dairy pastures.´

The story of the ´Buttermere Beauty´ is legendary in the Lakes. Mary Robinson, the stunning daughter of the Fish Hotel´s landlord, became known as the ´Beauty of But-termere.´ After turning down many prospective suitors, Mary went on to marry Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Augustus Hope in 1802. Unknown to Mary, he was ac-tually an imposter and a bigamist who was later hanged in Carlisle for forgery.

Grasmere

Grasmere is one of the most visited villages in the Lake District, thanks mainly to Dove Cottage, the former home of William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

The village offers a wide choice of gift shops, restaurants, cafés, tea rooms and pubs, and possibly one of the most famous gingerbread shops in the world, situated at the entrance to St Oswald´s Church.

Most of the houses, shops and hostelries date back to the 19th and early 20th century, and the surrounding farms are even older. The village church dates back to the 13th Century.

William Wordsworth and his much loved sister Dorothy moved into Dove Cottage in 1799 and left in 1808 for larger premises at Allen Bank. They lived here for two years with fellow poet, Samuel Coleridge, moving to the Old Rectory, then Rydal Mount in 1813.

William died in 1850 while out walking, and his simple tombstone can be seen in the churchyard of St Oswald´s Church. A piece of land between the church and the river has also been renovated and turned into a place of peace called the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden, where visitors can purchase a share and have an engraved stone set in the path. Romantic Windermere Cottages provide perfect accommodation if you want to cel-ebrate a special occasion with a loved one.

Windermere Attractions

If you are planning a romantic weekend away in Windermere, you will be spoilt for choice with a vast choice of attractions.

Romantic Windermere cottages offer stunning facilities, including hot tubs, luxury bathrooms, stylish living rooms with log burners, fully equipped kitchens and sumptuous bedrooms.

If you can drag yourselves away from your luxury cottage, you will find a wide range of country pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes in Bowness and Windermere, serving everything from Michelin-starred meals to hearty Cumbrian fare.

Some of the best Windermere attractions include:

The Lakes Aquarium

The Lakes Aquarium is a popular attraction for all ages. Situated on the southern shore of Windermere, the award-winning Lakes Aquarium is popular with visitors of all ages, and you can enjoy a re-created trip below Windermere, the Seashore Discovery Zone, the Virtual Dive Bell, the Over Lake Tank and much more.

Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre

Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, is a great place to visit for all the family. With interactive exhibitions, an adventure playground, a café, shop and information centre, plus direct access to the lake from the gardens, this is a great day out for all the family. It is well worth visiting Brockhole just to enjoy the stunning gardens, and the views down to Windermere.

Windermere Lake Cruises

Book yourself onto a steamer with Windermere Lake Cruises at Bowness Bay, which run all year round. You can either cruise directly across the river, or stop off at some of the attractions between Bowness, Ambleside or Lakeside. Enjoy a relaxing sail across Windermere, or buy an all-day ticket which will allow you to hop on and off the boat where you choose. Many trippers take a picnic, and combine a boat trip with a stroll around the shore of England´s biggest lake.

Blackwell, the Arts and Craft House

Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House is one of the major attractions near Windermere. Visitors can enjoy stunning views over the lake from the gardens, and soak up the peaceful atmosphere in the house itself, which was built between 1898 and 1900, and designed by M H Baillie Scott. Blackwell was originally built as a holiday home for Sir Edward Holt, owner of the Manchester Brewery. Original features ensure Blackwell retains much of its original charm. Several rooms are used as galleries, and the gardens offer a picturesque terrace bordered by flowers where visitors can enjoy a bite to eat and take in the incredible views.

Mountain Goat Day Tours

If you are only in the Lake District for a limited time book a Mountain Goat Day Tour and make the most of your time in this beautiful region. There are several tours to choose from, including: Scenic tours, Beatrix Potter tours and a southern Lakes tour. The company has over 40 years´ experience of touring the Lake District, and you can explore some of the most stunning regions while someone else does the driving.

Luxury and romantic cottages in Windermere offer the perfect accommodation for a long weekend or a midweek break in the Lakes.

Windermere – the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion

Thousands of wetsuit-clad swimmers will plunge into the chilly depths of Windermere on the weekend of June 12-14, 2015 to take part in the Great North Swim.

This is the UK´s largest open water swimming event, and it will once again take place at Low Wood Marina, Windermere.

Having taken part in the Great Swim in 2011, I can vouch that the water is cold, very cold, and it is much more of a challenge than it looks from the shore. I managed to complete the course in just under one hour, with the elite swimmers finishing in around 17 minutes.

The elite one mile races feature some of the best swimmers in the world.

The very thought of immersing myself into the icy depths of Windermere filled me with dread.

I live and work on Spain´s Costa del Sol and although swimming is a particular passion of mine, there is a massive difference between leisurely swimming up and down the pool under the Mediterranean sun for 30 lengths, and chucking yourself in Windermere, in what must be probably the coldest water in England.

On the day of the swim it the water was 17º, as the announcer at the event cheerily told us that the water on the day ´was colder than the English Channel.´ Gee thanks for that!

After the initial shock at the coldness of the water and the distance which is deceptive, I ploughed on through. Having reached the finish, and trying to make a dignified exit, my legs had turned to jelly. Boy was I glad to be home!

Over 10,000 people are expected to take to the water at this year’s event.

The swim is the perfect challenge for all abilities, from first-timers to Olympic champions. Participants can choose from half mile, one mile, two mile and five kilometre courses, safe in the knowledge expert safety kayakers are with them every stroke of the way. The course starts and finishes on dry land with a run or walk into the water.

A fun day out for participants and spectators alike, visitors to the Great North swim can enjoy exciting elite races featuring world class athletes and on-site entertainment, all set in the incredible scenery of the Lake District National Park.

Thousands of amateur swimmers take to the water in half hour waves over the one mile course.

Surrounded by some of the nation’s most spectacular natural scenery, the Great North Swim is an inspiring outdoor swim. With a grandstand seating area overlooking the course and large screens around the event site, family and friends can watch all the action.

Many swimmers decide to make a weekend of it in Windermere, and stay an extra few days to enjoy the stunning local scenery, and the fabulous choice of pubs, hotels and luxury cottages in Bowness and Windermere.

Rose Cottage, Windermere – the ultimate in luxury!

Imagine waking up, surrounded by stunning scenery in one of Windermere’s most romantic cottages with its very own hot tub in the garden.

If you are looking for a special place to stay for a romantic weekend or to celebrate a special occasion, Rose Cottage offers the ultimate in luxury. With a king sized bed, a spacious open plan kitchen and lounge, a hot tub, a whirlpool bath for two and heated spa relaxation chairs, this beautiful property offers a peaceful haven for romantic couples.

Windermere is one of the most visited parts of the Lake District. Breath-taking scenery, the largest lake in England and a host of attractions keep visitors flocking back for more.

Rose Cottage was originally an old ‘Smithy Cottage’ which has been totally renovated and refurbished to create one of the Lake District’s most stunning properties.

From the elegant lounge, patio doors lead onto the outside decking area. The lounge boasts a comfortable hand-made 3-seater sofa, a contemporary log burning stove, and a TV with surround-sound and Wifi.

The kitchen is fitted with light oak units, a fitted oven and hob, a fridge-freezer, dishwasher and dining table and chairs. Outdoor features include a luxurious hot tub and a garden table and chairs.

Guests can also make use of the spa facilities at the nearby Aphrodite’s Hotel, just a two minute drive away or enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

There are plenty of attractions and places to visit close to the cottage, if you can drag yourselves away.

Windermere is without doubt the most romantic lake in the region. Hire a rowing boat or take a Windermere Cruise from Lakeside, Bowness Bay or Ambleside. If you buy a full day ticket, you can hop on and off the boat at places of interest along the route, or combine a boat ride with a walking tour of the shores of Windermere. There are also plenty of places to stop off for a picnic if you want to make a day of it.

Levens Hall is an incredible property with Grade 1 listed gardens that date back to 1694. The main hall is open to visitors, and offers a fascinating insight into the early lives of the Bellingham family who lived at the hall in the 1590´s. In addition to the famous topiary gardens, the hall is also home to a gift shop and licensed restaurant.

Exploring Windermere on horseback is one of the best ways to see this beautiful part of the Lake District. You will find a choice of riding centres around the area, many of which offer tuition. Whether you are an experienced rider or a complete novice, there will be trails to suit you, and this is the perfect way to see the countryside.

You can enjoy a bird´s eye view of the Lake District from a hot air balloon. Take your loved one up, up and away over Windermere, and enjoy a bottle of champagne from your hot air balloon. Romantic hot air balloon trips are available from many sites around the Lake District, and this is the best way to see Windermere and the surrounding countryside.

The main attractions of the Lake District

With 16 dazzling lakes, England’s highest mountains, sheltered valleys and coastal towns and villages, the Lake District has a wealth of natural attractions.

Over 16 million people visit the Lakes each year, and there is much more to see than the scenery. Cumbria has inspired famous writers and poets, including William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter and the area is rich in heritage.

A vibrant cultural scene and a good reputation for fine food and drink attracts visitors from all over the UK.

The unique landscape which inspired Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter nurtures a new generation of writers, artists and musicians. Street art and theatre add to a vibrant cultural scene and the area also boasts many historical sites. With stone circles, Roman forts, stately homes and museums, there is something for everyone in this special part of England.

From microbreweries to farmers markets and quirky cafes to Michelin starred dining, the Lake District is a foodie’s paradise. Local Cumbrian delicacies such as Herdwick lamb and Cumberland sausage are well worth a try. Sample locally-produced food prepared by people who are passionate about quality.

Some of the best things to do in the Lakes include:

Relax on a lake cruise with Ullswater Steamers, chill out with a jazz session at Zeffirelli’s Jazz Bar in Ambleside, visit Wordsworth’s home, Dove Cottage or see a show at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. It is also worth checking out the fascinating history of Carlisle and Hadrian’s Wall and watching the sun set over Windermere with Windermere Lake Cruises. The Sculptures at Grizedale Forest are also worth a visit.

Shopaholics are also spoilt for choice in the Lakes. Carlisle is a cosmopolitan city centre with high street stores and quirky boutiques. Visit the market towns of Kirkby Lonsdale and Ulverston if you want to bag a bargain. Craft fairs, workshops and galleries offer everything from designer goods to hand made furniture.

If you are a lover of the great outdoors, enjoy kayaking, canoeing, wind surfing on the Lakes, cycling, walking and hiking. Golf, fishing and horse riding are also popular pastimes.

Live music in pubs and annual festivals light up the Lake District. If you want to save time when you arrive in the Lake District, why not buy your travel passes and tickets before you travel.

Luxury Windermere cottage rentals

When planning a holiday in Windermere you have two basic choices – a hotel or a self-catering cottage. We look at the advantages of booking a romantic Windermere cottage.

Luxury Windermere cottage rentals offer stunning features, private gardens, hot tubs, four poster beds, open plan living areas and space to breathe. Many cottages offer stereo systems, DVD players and a range of hi-tech equipment to ensure your stay is a comfortable one.

Luxury cottages also give you the freedom and flexibility to come and go as you please and the chance to ‘live like a local’ during your trip. You can enjoy staying in a private cottage in Windermere and enjoy the relaxed and gentle pace of life, without having to rush down for breakfast. The beauty of self-catering holidays is that you can do everything in your own time.

Self-catering holidays in the UK are increasing in popularity, and Windermere is the perfect place for a hassle-free break. You won’t have to worry about passports, foreign currency or flight delays if you choose a holiday closer to home.

Choose a luxury Windermere cottage with a fully equipped kitchen and everything you need to prepare delicious meals. You can also save money by bringing food with you or shopping at one of the many markets or delicatessens in and around Windermere.

A wide choice of local pubs and restaurants serve everything from typical hearty Cumbrian cuisine such as Cumberland sausages and local lamb to Michelin star dining and real ales. A wide choice of local attractions make Windermere the ideal spot for a cottage holiday, especially if you are planning a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.

Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, is a great place to visit. With interactive exhibitions, an adventure playground, a café, shop and information centre, plus direct access to the lake from the gardens, this is a great day out for all the family. It is well worth visiting Brockhole just to enjoy the stunning gardens, and the views down to Windermere.

Book yourself onto a steamer from Bowness Bay, which run all year round. You can either cruise directly across the river, or stop off at some of the attractions between Bowness, Ambleside or Lakeside.

Enjoy a relaxing sail across Windermere, or buy an all-day ticket which will allow you to hop on and off the boat where you choose. Many trippers take a picnic, and combine a boat trip with a stroll around the shore of England´s biggest lake.

Whatever time of year you plan to visit the Lake District, cottage holidays in Windermere offer the luxury, freedom and privacy you won’t find in a hotel room.

Windermere – the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion

If you are planning a wedding, an anniversary celebration or a birthday treat, Windermere in England’s stunning Lake District is the perfect place to stay.

Romantic Windermere cottages surrounded by beautiful scenery and of course England’s largest lake, make this part of Cumbria a haven for couples who want to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Lake District.

Many older cottages in Windermere have been renovated and offer luxury facilities, including hot tubs, whirlpool baths for two, mood lighting and even spa bathrooms. All a far cry from the cottages of old which once provided basic accommodation for farm workers.

There is so much to see and do in Windermere that if you manage to drag yourself out of your luxury cottage in the Lake District, you can choose from a range of attractions and activities. Windermere Lake Cruises offers trips across the famous lake where you can stop off at points of interest and immerse yourself in the history of Windermere.

Windermere pubs also offer fine local ales, delicious Cumbrian food and open fires in the winter. Imagine a long walk on the fells followed by dinner in a local pub and a long, hot soak in your very own hot tub on return to your cottage.

If you are planning a romantic stay, choose a luxury Windermere cottage with perfect facilities for a couple – many properties now offer large bedrooms and stunning bathrooms with open plan lounges and kitchens and log burning stoves.

Attractions worth seeing in Windermere include Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, Bowness Bay and the Lakes Aquarium. Choose from a range of dining options from cosy cafes to Michelin starred restaurants.

Windermere is also a great place to base yourself if you are planning to explore the lakes. Good transport links and a wide choice of excursions are available from Windermere to all major towns and villages in the Lakes.

Self-catering luxury cottages in Windermere are more popular than ever and provide perfect accommodation for couples looking for an ideal place to celebrate a special occasion.

Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House is one of the major attractions near Windermere. Visitors can enjoy stunning views over the lake from the gardens, and soak up the peaceful atmosphere in the house itself, which was built between 1898 and 1900, and designed by M H Baillie Scott. Blackwell was originally built as a holiday home for Sir Edward Holt, owner of the Manchester Brewery. Original features ensure Blackwell retains much of its original charm. Several rooms are used as galleries, and the gardens offer a picturesque terrace bordered by flowers where visitors can enjoy a bite to eat and take in the incredible views.

Whatever time of year you decide to celebrate in Windermere, you will find a wide choice of romantic Windermere cottages to choose from.

Romantic Cottages in Windermere

Romantic cottages in Windermere have increased in popularity during the past three years and now more UK holidaymakers than ever choose self-catering accommodation in the Lakes.

The beauty of self-catering cottages is that they allow guests the flexibility and privacy not always found in a hotel. Many romantic cottages in Windermere are now furnished with luxury facilities, including hot tubs, whirlpool baths, large LCD TV’s and super king-sized beds to encourage more people to celebrate special occasions in the Lakes.

Cottage accommodation in Windermere was once quite basic and self-catering was seen as the cheaper option to hotel stays. Nowadays, cottage bookings are booming and private owners are seeing the need to improve facilities to keep up with local competition.

Whether you are looking to celebrate an anniversary, a birthday or a honeymoon, choose a luxury cottage ‘far from the madding crowd’ where you can both enjoy a leisurely break surrounded by stunning scenery.

The Lake District is often described as ‘the most beautiful corner of England’ with Lake Windermere the jewel in the crown. A weekend break in the Lakes promises to be relaxing and private. Home to Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England’s largest National Park and the serene beauty of Windermere, the largest lake, couples looking for a cosy, romantic retreat will not be disappointed.

The beauty of being close to Windermere is that you will be close enough to the attractions, including boat trips, shops, country inns, restaurants and museums, while being far enough away to enjoy tranquillity and privacy.

If you plan to explore the Lakes or arrive by train there is nothing more romantic than taking a trip through the Yorkshire Dales between Settle and Carlisle. This incredible journey will take you over the Ribblehead Viaduct, and take you through the longest tunnel on the line at Blea Moor. This is the perfect way to see the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales countryside. The train takes you along the side of Dentdale, through the magnificent hills of the Eden Valley and ends in the historic city of Carlisle.

Windermere is undoubtedly the most romantic lake in the region, and you can either hire a rowing boat or take a trip across the lake on a steamer from Lakeside, Bowness Bay or Ambleside. If you buy a full day ticket, you can hop on and off the boat at places of interest along the route, or combine a boat ride with a walking tour of the shores of Windermere. There are also plenty of places to stop off for a picnic if you want to make a day of it.

Blessed with incredible scenery and a vast choice of walking routes, Windermere is one of the most beautiful places in the UK to stretch your legs. Levels of difficulty range from easy to difficult, and whether you fancy a gentle stroll around the lake, or a more challenging hill walk, you will find plenty of choice around Windermere.

Luxury romantic cottages in Windermere provide stunning accommodation in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK.

10 reasons why to book a romantic cottage holiday in Windermere

If you are thinking of visiting the Lake District and Windermere this year, why not book a romantic cottage holiday?

Windermere is the most popular destination for over 16 million visitors to the Lakes each year. Whether you want to take part in the Great North Swim, visit the Lake District Visitor Centre, Brockhole, sail across the lake or relax in your luxurious Windermere cottage with hot tub, this part of the Lakes provides a wide choice of things to see and do.

Easily accessible from the north or the south of England, Windermere is one of the most naturally beautiful spots in Cumbria and offers visitors some of the most stunning scenery in Cumbria.

The top 10 reasons to book a romantic cottage in Windermere include:

  1. Book a cottage with a hot tub and spa bath so you can unwind and relax with your loved one. Many cottages have luxury bathrooms and state-of-the-art facilities.
  2. Windermere is one of the most romantic of all the lakes, and there are plenty of things to see and do in Bowness and Windermere, including great restaurants, pubs, cinemas and boat trips.
  3. Enjoy the freedom of staying in a cottage as opposed to a hotel room. You can get up when you wish, luxuriate in your own surroundings and enjoy all the delights of Windermere within a ten minute walk.
  4. Some Romantic Windermere cottages have log burning stoves so you can snuggle up on chilly nights.
  5. Windermere is the largest lake in England and offers a host of activities.
  6. By choosing a self-catering property you are not at the beck and call of anyone else and you won’t have to dash back to the hotel for dinner.
  7. Not many hotels can be a home away from home, and it’s not always easy to relax when you know you’re surrounded by other people and families just centimetres away on the other side of the walls.
  8. The privacy and comfort afforded by a cottage or apartment is beyond compare.
  9. Luxurious self-catering accommodation in Windermere usually comes with a DVD player, a garden, and a whole host of tips for things to do right on the doorstep.
  10. A self-catering cottage in Windermere will provide everything you need for a relaxed holiday.