As soon as you get onto the 11 mile long lake at Windermere you leave behind the crowds and enter a whole new world of serenity and peace.
It is beautiful all year round, but especially in the quieter months of spring and autumn. At these times the lake bursts into colour, making Windermere the perfect adventure! It makes up part of our Three Lakes Challenge.
Windermere is one of the best known lakes in the Lake District National Park. Over the years it has influenced many well known authors and poets such as William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and the creator of Postman Pat, to name a few.
It is a popular lake and can get busy. It is used by a variety of different craft from powered boats to sail boats, as well as canoes and kayaks. There are also regular ferry services which travel the length of the lake as well as the cable ferry which crosses the middle section. Make sure you’re always aware of the other water users and the main ferry routes, to avoid collisions.
What to see on Lake Windermere
Along the north western shore you can see Wray Castle from the water. Wray Castle is a Victorian neo-gothic building, built in 1840 and handed over to the National Trust in 1929. Beatrix Potter, aged 16, stayed here in 1882 on a family holiday. This began her long association with the Lake District.
On the eastern shoreline of the southern part of the lake, you will pass Storrs Temple ‘Temple of the Heroes’. This is a garden house built on the edge of the lake in 1804 to commemorate four British Naval Officers. Their names are inscribed in tablets set in the walls (please note this is private shoreline, therefore landing or launching is not permitted).
Also en route you may be lucky enough to see some of the nationally important wildlife found in the area. These include otters, native white-clawed crayfish and a wide range of aquatic plants.
Windermere is known to have its very own lake monster! ‘Tizzie Whizie’ is said to have a hedgehog’s body, the tail of a squirrel and the wings of a bee. A boatman in the 20th century started telling stories of this shy mythical creature. Sightings of Tizzie Whizie are still reported today along the shores of the lake.