These two communities, with little obvious separation between them these days, are very much focal points for visitors to this part of the Lake District. Between Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere, they offer all that a tourist could ask for in terms of accommodations, places to eat at and shops, and with a railway station and bus station, it makes them the most easily accessible places in Lakeland.
Bowness-on-Windermere is smaller than its neighbour, and sits on the banks of Lake Windermere, whereas the larger town is set a bit further back from the lake. It’s fair to say that the good access to Windermere does make it one of the most touristy towns in Lakeland, and in the height of the season visitors will not find the tranquillity here that may have drawn them to the Lake District in the first place. But there is a positive hustle and bustle about the place, and a wander around the town can be a perfectly pleasant experience. The World of Beatrix Potter is an attraction that will please both young and old. There are galleries and craft shops to enjoy, and for essential outdoor gear, there are plenty of places at which to shop.
Lake Windermere itself is England’s largest lake, and here a host of activities can be enjoyed, including sailing, fishing, cruises and scuba diving. Last, and certainly not least, there are a multitude of walks of all kinds of difficulty around this area, so lovers of the outdoors will be well served. Possibly the best walk from the town itself is the relatively short (approximately 20 minutes) ascent of Orrest Head. It’s a leisurely climb along a path through woods to a limestone hillock, offering fabulous views over the lake and beyond to the central fells.