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10 Things To Do In Bowness and Windermere

PUBLISHED: 20:02 22 August 2012 | UPDATED: 23:34 23 October 2015

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Bowness and Windermere may be separate places with different personalities but their proximity to each other means there are plenty of things for people to see and do here.

Blackwell Arts and Crafts
This is one of Britain’s finest houses, surviving from the turn of the last century with almost all of its original decorative features intact. Blackwell’s period rooms have been furnished with a blend of Arts and Crafts furniture and early country made pieces made by many of the Arts and Crafts designers and studios. There’s also a beautiful garden layed out by Thomas Mawson which visitors can discover or sit on the terrace and enjoy.

Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere, LA23 3JT, 015394 46139

The Old Laundry Theatre
There’s always a lively season of music, theatre, comedy and film at The Old Laundry Theatre. Launched with the support of friend and playwright Alan Ayckbourn. Over the years they have attracted many stars, including some who have gone on to become patrons including Victoria Wood, Griff Rhys-Jones and Alan Rickman.

The Old Laundry Theatre, Crag Brow, Bowness-on-Windermere, LA23 3BX, 08445 040604

The World of Beatrix Potter
You can’t come to Bowness and not pay a visit to this museum. The area around Lake Windermere is full of Potter connections and here you can see her children’s tales come to life in a magical indoor recreation of the Lakeland countryside complete with sights, sounds and smells. You can even meet Peter Rabbit and have tea with him at organised events.

The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on-Windermere, LA23 3BX, 015394 88444

Take a lake cruise
Windermere Lake Cruises is one of the most popular days out in the region. Cruises on England’s largest lake can be from 45 minutes to three hours depending on where you want to go. Cruises start from Ambleside, Bowness and Lakeside and see you cruising past stunning mountain scenery, secluded bays and wooded islands as well as the many spectacular hotels, which were once homes to the wealthy Lancashire cotton mill owners.

Windermere Lake Cruises, 015394 43360

Afternoon Tea at Miller Howe
There are lots of nice hotels, cafes and coffee shops offering delicious afternoon teas in the Lake District, but for a real treat book yourself in at Miller Howe. The quintessential afternoon tea includes freshly cut sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and a selection of mouthwatering pastries, which can be enjoyed while enjoying the stunning scenery over Lake Windermere.
Miller Howe, Rayrigg Road, Windermere, LA23 1EY, 015394 42536

Brockhole
Stop off at Brockhole, The Lake District Visitor Centre and you won’t be disappointed. Visitors can take in the scenic views and gardens which stretch down to the shores of the lake, browse round the shop or look around the free exhibitions. There’s a soft play area for the children and a new aerial woodland adventure, Treetop Trek and wildlife experience Predator Park, so plenty for everyone young or old to see and do.

Brockhole – The Lake District Visitor Centre, Windermere, LA23, 1LJ, 015394 46601

Go shopping
Bowness is a great place to pick up souvenirs or presents with a mix of shops many of which offer local produce. There’s also plenty of places for walkers to stock up on everything they need as well as plenty of cafes, restaurants and coffee shops to rest your feet and shopping bags after a morning’s extravagance! Neighbouring Windermere has a totally different feel for shoppers, with good selection of independent boutiques offering everything from clothes to gifts.

Make the most of the view
Orrest Head, above Windermere is considered by many to be the best viewpoint over Lake Windermere as on a clear day the fell offers a 360 degree view taking in the Langdales and Troutbeck Valley. It was Alfred Wainwright’s first climb and the view today remains just how he would have seen it.

Pamper yourself
With views out onto Lake Windermere the spa at the Macdonald Old England in Bowness is a must-visit, if you want the ultimate in relaxation. The swimming pool has an open air patio where spa guests can sit and relax and take in the view before and after their treatments, which includes a signature Elemis Pine Herbal Body Wrap, exclusive to the spa here.

Macdonald Old England Hotel and Spa, Bowness, 0844 879 9144

Dine out in style
After a day out, there’s plenty of places to quench your thirst and satisfy your appetite in both Bowness and Windermere including the Fayrer Garden House Hotel which was highly commended in the Lake District Hotel of the Year category in Lancashire Life’s Food and Drink awards 2011.

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