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.

From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

2. 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.

From Liverpool: Lake District Sightseeing Adventure Day Trip

3. 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.

Half-Day Tour of Beatrix Potter Country and Places

4. Half-Day Tour of Beatrix Potter Country and Places

Your tour starts with a visit to Wray Castle for spectacular scenery and lake views. This is the holiday home where Beatrix first visited and fell in love with the landscape and culture of the Lake District. You then visit Near Sawrey. This village features in many of her "little books" illustrations, the Tower Bank Arms is immediately recognisable as the place where Kep, the collie-dog goes looking for the two fox-hound puppies to rescue Jemima Puddle-duck. You will be amazed when you see it, exactly like it is in the book! Hill Top Farm was bought by Beatrix with the profits from publishing Peter Rabbit. She often visited Hill Top and wrote many more books here which were inspired by the people and the places around her in this beautiful part of England. Entrance to the gardens of Hill Top and the House are included in this tour. William Heelis was a solicitor who advised Beatrix about her land purchases. His offices were in Hawkshead village. Today, these offices house the Beatrix Potter Gallery where many of Beatrix's documents are kept, including the copy she made of her original Peter Rabbit letter. The gallery is not included in the tour. Your guide will take you on a short tour of the most picturesque village in the Lake District. Beatrix bought a lot of land in the Lake District and owned the beautiful spot of Tarn Hows, known as one of the most beautiful places in the Lake District. You have a photo opportunity here and then, after a short scenic drive, Coniston Water comes into view. Coniston Water is the third largest lake in the Lake District and is the straightest. You will have a short stop here to admire the view and see the famous fell of Coniston Old Man towering over the village and the lake - beautiful scenery which Beatrix knew well. Beatrix also owned a lot of farms in the area and as you travel down the Yewdale Valley back to Ambleside, you will see Yew Tree Farm, famous as a location in the film "Miss Potter".

Lake District: Western Lakes Full-Day Tour

5. 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 Manchester: Lake District Sightseeing Day Trip

6. From Manchester: Lake District Sightseeing Day Trip

The tour departs from Manchester Airport and bypasses the city heading 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 have filled up on gingerbread, it is 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 breath-taking views that sprawl across the landscape, which offers some of the most dramatic and diverse scenery in the UK. Throughout the tour there is 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

7. 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.

Ultimate Lake District Tour Visiting 10 Lakes

8. 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.

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.

Scenic Tour of the Lake District in Winter

10. Scenic Tour of the Lake District in Winter

Start your day with a climb up to the Kirkstone Pass Inn, where you will take in the scenic view of Lake Windermere and Ambleside. Then descend into Kirkstone Pass and down to Brothers Water, along the Ullswater shore with a stop for photos. Head north and west towards Castlerigg, where a natural plateau commands a superb 360-degree view over the surrounding fells. A short walk then takes you to the head of Derwentwater for lunch before traveling to 'Surprise View,' one of the most stunning viewpoints in the Lake District. From there, the road rises toward the Honister Slate Mine at the head of the pass. After a brief stop, descend slowly down the path as it twists and turns towards the Vale of Lorton, one of the lushest and prettiest parts of the Northern Lakes. The spectacular scenery continues as we move on to Moss Force Waterfall. The scenery softens and the fells decline into hills as we descend into the Newlands Valley, then head back towards Keswick and start the journey down towards Ambleside. On the way, we will pass Thirlmere and then along the picturesque mountain pass of Dunmail Raise. We will journey past Grasmere village along the shores of Grasmere. The road winds along the shore until we arrive at Rydal Water, the tenth and final lake on our tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Windermere

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What people are saying about Windermere

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 687 reviews

Fantastic tour and took us to amazing places. Great views and our guide Peter was very friendly, helpful & knowledgeable. A full day packed of lovely sites and stories along the way. Worth every penny. People on the tour with us from all over the world.

Clive was a great guide! He shared with us the history of the sights throughout the tour. My friends and I really enjoyed the tour and will definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a short day trip to Lake District! Thank you Clive!

It was amazing experience and Duncan who is much expert taking to you all places as required and this was pretty much amazing with all lakes visit and also you can listen to all the related stories of each lakes with Duncan

A wonderful experience. Driver/guide was excellent. A day to remember. Well done and thank you.

Wonderful, Derry very knowledgeable and helpful guide.