Things to do on a short trip to Lake Windermere

The Lake District is filled with beautiful walks, stunning countryside, and many lakes of glistening waters to admire. On a recent visit I was lucky enough to be offered a day out experiencing all you can do with Windermere Lake Cruises and their combined tickets. Below you can read about my trip and find out how to plan your day out in the Lakes.

I started out at Waterhead Pier in Ambleside; I’d arrived a little early so I enjoyed a coffee in the café while I waited for the next boat to arrive. I didn’t have long to wait, they have regular cruises departing from 9.50 am during the summer on their various different boats, if you purchase a Freedom of the Lake ticket you can hop on and off all day. I jumped on the MV Tern steamer boat and enjoyed the leisurely cruise down the lake.

From Ambleside the steamer heads anti clockwise around the lake, scooting around Windermere past Wray Castle on your right and a number of other points of interest, which the crew point out over the loudspeaker along the way. After around half an hour on the boat you cross the lake to dock in Bowness-on-Windermere. Here you can get out to look around the town and pay a visit to The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, which you can read all about in my blog about Beatrix Potter.

Jump back on the next boat and head on the cruise down to Lakeside. Another 40 minutes down the water and you’ll arrive at Lakeside. Here you’ve got a number of options of things to do.

Lakes Aquarium

When you get off at Lakeside Pier, a minute’s walk around the station building you’ll find Lakes Aquarium. Filled with hundreds of variants of sea creatures, from those found in the Lake District to further afield in Asia, the Americas, and Africa. See what it would be like underwater in Lake Windermere with a walk-through tank and hear more from their experts in their daily talks in their Morecambe Bay exhibition.

If you have children in tow I would allow a good 1-2 hours to see everything here and that’s not to mention how long you’ll spend in the gift shop picking out ‘just the right’ souvenir to take home!

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

Take a journey back in time when you step aboard the Lakeside to Haverthwaite traditional steam train. With a regular timetable in the summer you can take the 20 minute journey to Haverthwaite Station while listening out for the driver to pull the horn while watching the Cumbrian countryside roll by! At Haverthwaite you’ll find a restaurant, gift shop and a children’s play area to keep the little ones amused while you wait for the next return train, or if you choose you can stay on the train and head straight back – after all it’s the train ride you’re there to experience!

As with all the other attractions mentioned tickets can be combined with your cruise tickets to grab a massive saving.

Lakeland Motor Museum

Everyone will love a visit to the Lakeland Motor Museum. With a warehouse full of old cars, automobilia from around the world, historical costumes, garage exhibits, as well as old planes, trinkets and so much more, you could spend an entire day trying to see everything on display. The staff are extremely passionate about the museum and during my tour, Chris the manager was so knowledgeable about everything on display – helpful for a car novice like me! It’s so much more than just a motor museum though, so even non-car enthusiasts will love it! The staff are around to ask questions when needed, but the exhibition is yours to wander and enjoy. Again you can combine your tickets with the rest of the attractions.The museum is just a short 5 minute shuttle bus ride from Lakeside Pier.

I’ve been trying to work out a way of fitting everything in to one day, but there’s just too much to see! My recommendation is to spread it all out over two days to get the most of it.

Day one

  • Ambleside
  • The Freedom of the Lake Cruise
  • The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
  • Bowness-on-Windermere

Day two

  • Lakes Aquarium
  • Lakeland Motor Museum
  • Ride on the Lakeside to Haverthwaite Steam Railway

If you are looking for accommodation, why not take a look at our Lake District cottages, I was perfectly placed in one of our Ambleside cottages, which meant it was just a short walk to the pier for the cruise and the drive to Lakeside for my extra visits the next day was just over 30 minutes away.

Posted by Emma on 6th June 2017