Walkers on Wansfell overlooking Windermere copyright LDNPA

Things to do in Windermere

Windermere, England's largest lake and its surrounding area is packed with loads of things to do, whatever the weather and however active or relaxed you want to be.

Family canoeing on Windermere copyright Windermere Canoe and Kayak

Get on the water

The best way to really enjoy Winderemere is to get on the lake. From cruise boats, to motor boats, rowing, kayaking and canoeing, paddleboards, sailing and swimming, find out how and where to get on the water, and book your boat online.

Boat hire, boat cruises and swimming on Windermere lake

Walkers on Wansfell overlooking Windermere copyright LDNPA

Walking and hiking

The Windermere area has short easy-access walks, to longer routes and some classic Lake District summits with views over the lake.

Walking routes near Windermere

Join one of our guided walks

Cyclists going on Windermere ferry - copyright Charlie Hedley


The western shore of Windermere, and Grizedale forest, are particularly good for family-friendly cycling.

Cycle routes and bike hire

Top places to visit with families around Windermere

  • Fell Foot Park

    This Victorian park, restored to its former glory, offers substantial access to the lakeshore, where there are leisure facilities. Fine picnic areas, a cafe and rowing boat and kayak hire make it an ideal day out for families.

  • Lakes Aquarium

    Go on a journey of discovery! Set on the lakeshore, this award winning attraction has the UK's largest collection of freshwater fish.

  • Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

    Hard working steam locomotives travel three and half miles into the Leven Valley. Take a return journey or combine your trip with a lake cruise or a visit to the Aquarium of the Lakes.

  • World of Beatrix Potter

    All of Beatrix Potter's tales are brought to life in three dimensions. An indoor re-creation of the Lakeland countryside, complete with sights, sounds and even smells.

  • Wray Castle

    Families can explore the activity rooms inside the castle, where there’s plenty of space for creative play. With a natural playground in the grounds and a path to spacious grassy area on the lakeshore, its a great for the whole family whatever the weather.

Windermere attractions gallery:

  • Beatrix Potter's former home Hill Top

  • Claife viewing stations with views over Windermere lake.

  • Sunset over Windermere lake.

  • Wray Castle on the shore of Windermere

  • Take a boat cruise along part of all of Windermere lake.

  • Holehird house and gardens

Historic houses and museums around Windermere

  • Beatrix Potter's Hill Top and Gallery

    Children's author, artist, farmer and conservationist. Find out more about this amazing woman and the real places which so inspired her.

  • Blackwell - The Arts and Crafts House

    Overlooking the lake, this Arts and Crafts housel has fine examples of decorative arts, furniture and objects inspired by nature. There are superb examples of stained glass, carved oak and iron work.

  • Stott Park Bobbin Mill - English Heritage

    A fully working Victorian mill, Stott Park is typical of the many mills which once supplied the spinning and weaving industry.

  • Townend - National Trust

    Typical Lakeland farmer's house from the seventeenth century with all original interiors, woodwork and domestic implements

  • Windermere Jetty

    Hear tales of workers and boat owners, their lives and adventures, and discover the fascinating developments in design and technology that drove boat-building in the Lake District. Stunning views over the lake from the cafe.

Gardens to visit around Windermere

  • Graythwaite Hall Gardens

    Laid out in the late nineteenth century, the Arts and Crafts garden is a delight. In spring the rhododendrons, azaleas and flowering shrubs are in glorious bloom.

  • Holehird Gardens

    Ten acres of a huge variety of alpines, heathers, specimen trees and shrubs maintained by the Lakeland Horticultural Society.

Cinema and theatre around Windermere

  • Old Laundry Theatre

    The only professional in-the-round theatre in Cumbria with an exciting and stimulating programme of performing arts.

  • Zeffirellis cinemas

    Zeffirellis independent cinema in Ambleside has five screens. It plays the latest releases plus live-streamed theatre and opera performances.

  • Royalty Cinema

    In Bowness-on-Windermere, three screens offering the latest releases in comfortable surroundings.

Balloon flights



Pop in to Bowness Bay Information Centre for help and advice

Waterfront at Bowness Bay

We can help you with booking tickets and attractions, ideas for walks places to visit, and we've got a range of guidbooks, maps and gifts. See us on the south side of Bowness Bay, home to Bowness Information Centre.