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Things to do in

Windermere

Our most recommended things to do in Windermere

Lake District: Ten Lakes Full-Day Tour

1. Lake District: Ten Lakes Full-Day Tour

The Lake District is renowned for being the most beautiful corner of England and this full-day tour introduces you to just that; magnificent scenery of mountains, valleys and lakes from the south to the north. From within the circle, get picture-perfect views of some of the Lake District’s highest peaks. Travel over the famous Kirkstone and Honister passes whilst enjoying some spectacular mountain scenery. From beautiful valleys to waterfalls and traditional Lakeland villages, enjoy plenty of stops for admiring the views and taking photographs.  Eat lunch at the market town of Keswick, where you can try a typical pub lunch, or seek out a charming restaurant. Get the chance to stretch your legs at either the magnificent lake of Derwent water or Ullswater, where you can see the tranquility of the Lake.

Lake District: Beatrix Potter Half-Day Tour

2. Lake District: Beatrix Potter Half-Day Tour

Surround yourself with the scenery that inspired Beatrix Potter's enchanting tales during a half-day tour in the Lake District National Park. This tour gives you the chance to visit the author's home, and explore the medieval Hawkshead and scenic Tarn Hows. The tour starts as you make your way to Hill Top, the 17th-century home that Beatrix Potter used as an artistic retreat. Stroll through the colorful garden, home to various flowers, vegetables and herbs. If you would like a tour of the old 17th-century farmhouse, this can be arranged by the local supplier after booking. The house and gardens remain as they were when Beatrix Potter herself lived there. (Hill Top is not open between on Fridays or during the winter months an alternative attraction will be offered). After exploring Miss Potter’s extraordinary house, you will continue to the medieval village of Hawkshead, where you will have some time to explore the fascinating village. You will drive through the renowned beauty spot of Tarn Hows. The afternoon concludes with a cruise down England’s largest lake, Windermere, offering unrivaled views of the mountains.

From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

3. From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

Depart from Manchester in the morning and head straight for the lovely Lake District. Stop first at Bowness, situated on the shores of Lake Windermere. Take some free time to stroll along the lake, opt for a scenic cruise, or wander around the town and admire the sublime views.  Travel around the southern tip of Windermere toward Coniston Water. Take in views of this lake before arriving in the picturesque village of Hawkshead. This is where poet William Wordsworth attended grammar school.  After exploring the quaint village, take the narrow country roads north towards Grasmere, a place Wordsworth described as "the loveliest spot that man hath found."  There's free time to visit Wordsworth's Dove Cottage, taste the legendary gingerbread, or enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy.  We then take in spectacular views of Ullswater Lake as we head along country roads to its southern shores before returning to Manchester in the early evening.

Lake District: Western Lakes Full-Day Tour

4. Lake District: Western Lakes Full-Day Tour

Discover the beautiful sights of the Western Lake District on this adventurous full-day tour. This tour will take you off the beaten track as you discover the magnificent scenery of the Lake District with its beautiful mountains and dramatic lakes. Make your way over the Wrynose and Hardknott passes, the steepest passes in England we drive past the extraordinary remains of Hardknott Roman Fort, 1,000 feet up on the fells. Enjoy lunch at a traditional country inn. In the afternoon you will drive onward to “Britain’s Favorite View” at Wastwater, England’s deepest and most dramatic lake. Your next destination is the splendid 14th Century Muncaster Castle, where you can explore its internationally acclaimed gardens and World Owl Trust. The beautiful scenery of the Coniston Fells and Coniston Water bring an end to this classic tour of the Lake District.

From Liverpool: Lake District Sightseeing Adventure Day Trip

5. From Liverpool: Lake District Sightseeing Adventure Day Trip

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

Ultimate Lake District Tour Visiting 10 Lakes

6. Ultimate Lake District Tour Visiting 10 Lakes

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

From Manchester: Lake District Sightseeing Day Trip

7. From Manchester: Lake District Sightseeing Day Trip

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

Lake District: Half-Day 8 Lakes Afternoon Tour

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

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

Windermere: The Brontes, Wuthering Heights & Jane Eyre Tour

9. Windermere: The Brontes, Wuthering Heights & Jane Eyre Tour

This tour takes you through three counties to the village of Haworth, where the Bronte’s lived, set in the bleak moorland landscape of North Yorkshire. You will drive through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales scenery for a stop in the ageless village of Clapham. See the infamous school attended by the Bronte sisters which became the inspiration for Lowood school in Jane Eyre. Following in the Charlotte Bronte’s footsteps, you can visit the pretty village of Wycoller with its ruinous hall, the model for Ferndean Manor in Jane Eyre. Discover the places the Bronte’s knew and the landscape which inspired them. Following this, explore the Bronte Parsonage, where Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell lived with their father, Reverand Patrick Bronte. See where they sat and wrote Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tennant of Wildfell Hall, and discover how they lived and what their lives were like in industrial Yorkshire where death was constantly on the doorstep and freedom was on the moors. Wander down the high street of Haworth, having hardly changed since the Bronte’s walked here 150 years ago. See the Black Bull Inn where Branwell drank, and the old apothecary where he bought laudanum. Set your imagination free, breathe the chilly moorland air and gaze over the wild, dramatic landscape of Wuthering Heights. Discover the freedoms and restrictions, the successes and failures, the loves and losses endured in the world of Victorian England. This was a place which fashioned the passionate, emotional and tragic lives of the world’s most famous literary family.

Lake District: Langdale Valley and Coniston Half-Day Tour

10. Lake District: Langdale Valley and Coniston Half-Day Tour

Your morning starts with a scenic drive through typical Lakeland countryside to one of the most beautiful places in the Lake District, Tarn Hows. You will have an opportunity to stop here and admire the view looking over to the Coniston Hills and Langdale Pikes, which form the backdrop to this spectacular corner of the Lake District. As you descend back down from the Tarn, the surrounding countryside opens up before you, dropping away from the road down the rolling hills towards the Yewdale Valley. Plunging into a wooded, mossy dell, you emerge back onto the main road at Monk Coniston sitting on the northern tip of Coniston Water. You will pause here, at the very edge of the lake, for you to soak up the atmosphere and tranquillity. You then meander along the shore, climbing up to beautiful Brantwood, the former home of John Ruskin. You linger at Brantwood long enough for you to take in the panoramic vista of the lake, overshadowed by Coniston Old Man opposite. Brantwood is the perfect spot for photos across the lake. Down below the house, a path snakes through a garden to the lakeshore jetty where you can walk out onto the lake for more amazing photo opportunities. Looking across the lake, you will see the village of Coniston crouched at the foot of the fells. This is your next location and on arrival, your guide will take you on a short walking tour around the village pointing out all of the interesting features along the way. You now leave this lowland area and head up into the fells and some staggering, sweeping scenery. Little Langdale is a hamlet of a few scattered stone houses and a pub in the Little Langdale Valley. See spectacular views of the Langdale Pikes, a group of peaks on the northern side of the dale. From below, they appear as a sharp rocky ridge, though they are precipitous only on their southern side; to the north, the land sweeps gently to High Raise, the parent peak of the range. The road now turns as you pass Great Langdale which is known to archaeologists as the source of a particular type of Neolithic polished stone axe head, created on the slopes of the Pike of Stickle and traded all over prehistoric Great Britain and Europe. Great Langdale is a huge U-shaped valley formed by glaciers which opens up to you as you descend back down from the fells.

Other Sightseeing Options in Windermere

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What people are saying about Windermere

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 687 reviews

If you are not able to do a lot of walking, but still wish to see some of the wonderful scenery and lakes in the Lake District then this is the day trip for you. I went with my 21 year old daughter and we both enjoyed every moment of it. Our guide Graham was very friendly and informative as we travelled on the mini bus and gave plenty of time at each stop to take photographs. We met at our meeting point at 09.40, which allowed time for an hearty breakfast. It would have been impossible for us to plan such a well organized day trip to see all the wonderful places that we did and be back at our starting point before 6pm.

We had a wonderful day the driver was very descriptive with his commentary. We had initial hearing difficulties but he worked hard to eliminate them. I think it was very good value for money. There was one disappointment that we were unable to view the Creamery as a bus load had just turned up this was no fault of the organisers though. Thank you for such a well organised trip.

Great driver/guide, the explanations were interesting and the stops great. Lots of lovely picture opportunities. I highly recommend tours in the Lake District, especially if you want to do minimal walking, are short on time, budget conscious, and not a confident driver along narrow, winding and steep routes.

The trip was wonderful. Peter is an incredible tour host, he is very knowledgeable and makes you feel at ease. He is very passionate about lake district and makes you want to prolong your trip. London is busy and experiencing nature is breath of fresh air. Thank you Peter.

A great day out, very informative, Frank a very good driver, gave lots of details , highly recommended