Lake Windermere, England, United Kingdom

Also known as:  Windermere, The Lake District

Lake Windermere is the largest natural lake in England, covering more than 3,600 acres (1,476 hectares) in northwest England’s famous Lake District. Called simply Windermere by many, it has enjoyed a wide popularity among travelers for more than 160 years. In 1847, the Kendal and Windermere Railway provided widespread access to the area with its new branch line that runs near the eastern shore of the lake. Since then, it – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Windermere! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Windermere cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Windermere! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Windermere cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere is the largest natural lake in England, covering more than 3,600 acres (1,476 hectares) in northwest England’s famous Lake District. Called simply Windermere by many, it has enjoyed a wide popularity among travelers for more than 160 years. In 1847, the Kendal and Windermere Railway provided widespread access to the area with its new branch line that runs near the eastern shore of the lake. Since then, it has become well-known as a relaxing and beautiful place to take a holiday. It’s accessible via railroad, car and bus line, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Situated within the Lake District National Park, most of Windermere is owned by the National Trust, and most lake planning is decided by the Lake District National Park Authority. The lake’s name is derived from “Vinandr,” a Norse name, and “mere,” Old English for lake. Therefore, “Vinandr’s Lake” evolved over time to “Winander Mere” and “Winandermere.” Finally, during the 19th century, it became Windermere. Windermere and its surrounds are known for luring artists and writers to idyllic waters and picturesque scenery. Samuel Coleridge, William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter are just a few of the celebrated writers who have spent time on Windermere and written about the area.

A variety of lake cruises are available, from one-hour jaunts to all-day excursions. This ribbon lake is perfect for cruising, with extensive shoreline and 18 islands dotting the peaceful waters. Belle Isle is the largest, a 40-acre (16.2-hectare) privately owned island that has been inhabited since the first home, a circular design called Belle Isle House, was built there in 1774. Windermere receives its inflow from Cunsey Beck, Trout Beck, Brathay and Rothay; it empties into River Leven. The lake is 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) long with a maximum depth of 210 feet (64 meters) and an average depth of 70 feet (21.3 meters). Its lake bed is well below sea level.

The towns surrounding Windermere are filled with a sense of history: From the lime-washed white cottages and blue and green slate roofs patterned in diminishing courses, to the many dry stone walls and freestanding lime kilns that hearken back to previous eras, it’s a lovely place for an excursion. It’s also well suited for walking tours, with much of the path being level and easy to stroll. A popular 45-mile (72.4 kilometers) trail is the Windermere Way, a four-part route that takes travelers completely around the lake. This trail runs along the lake in some areas and through wooded areas in others, offering high-elevation vistas and out-of-the-way scenic spots. Travelers can catch a ferry along the route if time runs short. However, in winter and in poor weather ferry service hours are truncated, so it’s best to learn schedules before embarking on this trek.

The Lake District National Park is the largest in England, covering about 885 square miles (2292 square kilometers), more than half of which is available for public use. With open gardens, horse riding, hot-air ballooning, walking, biking or motor travel, this park has something for everyone. It also features several wheelchair-friendly and limited-mobility-accessible paths to allow everyone to enjoy the rural beauty. Dubbed Miles Without Stiles, this system of walkways is perfect for travelers who prefer to sight-see using scooters or wheelchairs, as well as those pushing strollers. The weather in Cumbria County is unpredictable, so travelers are urged to dress in layers regardless of the season. Layers are important for walks from the warmer valleys to the chilly hilltops and back again. A waterproof jacket is an absolute necessity, as rain is frequent due to the area’s proximity to the coast.

The village of Windermere is not on the coast but located one mile (2.2 kilometers) uphill from the lake. At Windermere, shops, restaurants and other attractions can be found. Because they share the name, it’s often the town most closely associated with the lake. However, towns located on the lake are Lakeside (at the lake’s foot) and Ambleside (at the northern end). Waterhead is also on the north, Newby Bridge to the south, and Bowness-on-Windermere to the east. The Windermere Ferry route crosses the lake every 20 minutes most days of the year.

Family attractions in the area include the Lakes Aquarium, featuring displays from around the world, and the World of Beatrix Potter, a tribute to the renowned children’s author whose characters seem to come to life in this quaint and magical attraction. The Windermere Steamboat Museum has an impressive collection of exhibits, with some display items dating to the late 1890s.

Windermere has abundant opportunities for those holiday travelers who enjoy fishing. The annual Cumbria Fishing Festival takes place in May, boasting a week of scheduled activities for experienced anglers, those new to the hobby and everyone in between. Although the festival is countywide, Windermere is a star in the show, with its rich population of pike, brown trout, arctic char, perch, roach, and eels. Sea trout and salmon also make occasional appearances in their travels to spawn. Those planning to fish need a license, which can be obtained from local information centers. When planning ahead, vacationers can visit the Environmental Agency website, which also issues rod licenses online. Because there are concerns about the accidental introduction of non-native species, no live bait is allowed–but that doesn’t stop the fish from biting. The Anglers Association controls fishing in the area, its rules in place to keep the area filled with wildlife and preserve the ecosystem while allowing locals and visitors to enjoy a great deal of freedom in their pursuits. Outdoor activities in the area focus mostly on enjoying the beautiful surroundings and lake views, but power boating and water skiing are also popular. Yachts, ferries and leisure watercraft are common sights on Windermere during the warmer months.

Windermere is considered the gate to the Lake District, and as such it sees its share of travelers. Lucky for them, there are many opportunities to stay in vacation rentals. From studio rentals to maisonettes, the real estate variety is first class. Small apartments, self-catering holiday cottages, and large pine lodges, many of which feature lake views, delight travelers who find essential modern amenities blended with historic buildings and unique touches that make for an unforgettable vacation.

Things to Do at Lake Windermere

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Water Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Park
  • Museum

Fish Species Found at Lake Windermere

  • Brown Trout
  • Char
  • Eel
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Roach
  • Salmon
  • Trout

All About Lake Windermere

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Windermere

The Lake Windermere map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Lake Windermere Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Windermere Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Windermere Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Windermere Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Windermere lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 3,648 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 128 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 124 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 130 feet

Average Depth: 70 feet

Maximum Depth: 210 feet

Water Volume: 251,321 acre-feet

Lake Area-Population: 8,300

Drainage Area: 89 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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More Lake Windermere news from LakeLubbers.com

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Do you have a vacation rental property at Lake Windermere? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

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Looking for the Lake Windermere forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

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Click here to advertise your Lake Windermere vacation rental or local business.

The former Lake Windermere forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lake Windermere photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

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Explore local Lake Windermere vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

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New Lake Windermere photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi