Nestled close to the shores of Lake Windermere, the town of Windermere itself is one of the most famous in the Lake District, as well as being the idyllic location of The Howbeck.
The area around Windermere is home to an impressive range of visitor attractions â€“ so you need never venture far from our Guest House for a fun-packed day out if you don’t wish to. Here’s our pick of five must-see Windermere attractions to get you started…
1. The World of Beatrix Potter
Just down the road from the Howbeck Guesthouse, this enchanting Beatrix Potter-themed attraction — the only one in Europe — brings all 23 of the author’s tales to life with an indoor recreation of the region’s landscapes, inhabited by famous characters from the books. You can meet Peter Rabbit in Mr McGregor’s garden, visit Mrs Tiggy-winkle in her kitchen, and stumble across Jemima Puddle-duck in a pretty woodland glade and then venture outside to explore the new Peter Rabbit Garden, followed by lunch at the Tailor of Gloucester Tea Rooms.
2. Souvenir Shopping & Afternoon Tea
Bowness-on-Windermere is full of quirky little shops and boutique stores where you can pick up unique gifts and souvenirs. Choose from bags of Lakeland fudge or energy-packed bars of the famous Kendal Mint Cake to keep you charged up on mountain hikes or browse locally-produced artworks and items of pottery or glassware. The town’s streets are lined with fascinating shops, and it would be easy to while away several hours browsing around â€“ perfect if the weather takes a turn for the worst. And don’t forget to enjoy a pit stop or two along the way for afternoon tea at some of the town’s many quaint tea rooms.
3. Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
This leisurely heritage steam railway runs from April to the end of October, taking tourists just three and a half miles from Haverthwaite at the southern end of the line via Newby Bridge to Lakeside Station at the southern tip of Windermere. It passes through some gorgeous scenery along the way, and many of the services conveniently connect with the departure of Steamers from the Lakeside Pier for excursions on Lake Windermere, which sail to Bowness and Ambleside. The pier also boasts a restaurant with panoramic views of the lake, while Lakeside Station is home to the Lakes Aquarium, another of the area’s top attractions.
4. The Lakes Aquarium
At the southern end of Lake Windermere, the Lakes Aquarium is best accessed by boat â€“ giving you the chance to combine a cruise of the lake with a visit to one of the region’s top attractions. Discover the exotic underwater marine life from far-flung destinations such as Asia, Africa and the Americas â€“ then enjoy close encounters with species that live closer to home in the Morecambe Bay section. Visitors can also meet amphibians and reptiles in the Tropical Rainforest area, and go on a recreated journey through a tunnel under Lake Windermere to spot diving ducks and perhaps even an otter.
5. The Blackwell Arts and Crafts House
Sat in a scenic spot overlooking the lake, just south of Bowness-on-Windermere, historic Blackwell is one of Britainâ€™s finest and best-preserved houses dating from the turn of the last century. Today it is a leading Lake District tourist attraction run by the Lakeland Arts Trust, where visitors can take in its original decorative features and explore period rooms that have been beautifully furnished with Arts and Crafts furniture.