Let nostalgia take hold in a museum of children’s tales and learn about the history of boats in this pleasant lakeside commune.
Bowness-on-Windermere is a pleasant village on the eastern shore of England’s largest lake. Rent a boat to travel around the 18 islands on the water. Enjoy a picnic with a bottle of wine on a lake cruise.
Nearby is the family setting of the The World of Beatrix Potter™ Attraction, a delight for kids. The rooms and the garden depict memorable scenes from the writer’s tales. Watch a short film about how the children’s author spent time in this region and was influenced by its wildlife and vegetation. Embark on the Virtual Walk, which zooms in on the most scenic parts of the park.
Look around the 15th-century St. Martin’s Church in the heart of the village. Admire the lead-roofed building. Step inside to see murals and 16th-century instructive sayings.
Walk along the pier that enters the water from the main lakeside promenade. It has a boat station as well as bus stops along the road. To the south of the village is Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House. Marvel at the fascinating architecture, furnishings and landscape gardens.
Among the village highlights is the Windermere Jetty, telling the story of steamboats on the lake. Learn about the village’s collection of boats, including how they were made and the traditions they follow. Vessels date from the 13th century until the late 1900s. See how the boats have changed over the centuries and admire the speedboats used in attempts to set world records. Note that this attraction is closed until 2017.
The village is on the eastern side of its namesake lake in the southeastern region of the Lake District National Park. Drive northwest for 5 or 6 hours to reach the area from London. The country town of Carlisle lies 1 hour by car or train to the north.
Arrive in August for the warmest weather and April for the driest. It is otherwise quite wet and mild, with snow flurries in winter. Bowness-on-Windermere is a serene commune with winding streets and enchanting Tudor-style buildings.