The central and south east area is the most highly developed, populated and visited part of the National Park. It has a diverse landscape ranging from the Kent Estuary through well wooded lowlands to valleys, lakes and into the mountainous heart of the National Park. It contains the towns of Windermere, Bowness, Ambleside, Grasmere and Staveley and the villages of Elterwater / Chapel Stile, Troutbeck, and Troutbeck Bridge.
Windermere, lies at the heart of this area. Langdale and Grasmere attract the majority of attention; Kentmere and Longsleddale are less developed and offer greater tranquility. The southern part of the area includes the villages of Crosthwaite, Witherslack, Brigsteer and Lindale. This part of the area is lower lying, with a generally quiet character.