Four fabulous ways to enjoy Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere is the largest natural lake in the UK, set to the majestic backdrop of the Lake District, surrounded by streams, hills and mountains. Whether you decide to take to the still waters and explore the area or discover what the region has to offer on land, there is plenty to enjoy at and near Lake Windermere.

Fell Foot Park

Overlooking the southern tip of the lake, Fell Foot Park is perfect for taking a picnic or enjoying a stroll along the lakeside, and also offers easy lake access for paddling, swimming and boating. During the peak season you can also hire a rowing boat and enjoy a relaxed morning or afternoon on the water. The park also has a boathouse café, where you can look out onto the lake while enjoying a warming cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway’s classic steam locomotives take you on a gentle train journey overlooking the lakes and head three and a half miles into the Leven Valley. You can either extend your journey by taking a return journey or combine your trip with a lake cruise.

Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House

Built by architect MH Baillie Scott, Blackwell is a fine example of twentieth century architecture, with its interior featuring furniture and decorative objects inspired by nature, such as hessian wall hangings and leaf-shaped door handles. There are also some excellent examples of stained glass, iron work and wood carvings built into the house’s structure. Outside, the garden is a long sweep of lawn overlooking the lake, surrounded by bright flowers and fragrant herbs.


Situated on the western side of Lake Windermere, Graythwaite is a vast 5000 acre estate of lakeside, forest and woodland, with its woods inspiring writers such as Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth to set their poetry and prose there. On site is a fully functioning sawmill, as well as a private 2.5 acre fly fishing lake. The highlight, however, is the gardens, with its colourful rhododendrons, azaleas and flowering shrubs, surrounded by a variety of trees including oaks, beeches, maples and Douglas firs.

Why not end your day with a comfortable and luxurious stay in one of our boutique hotels? Lake District boutique hotels are just one of our specialties here at Chic Retreats, and each of our hand-picked hotels is guaranteed to add that special touch to your Lake District getaway.

Image: Malcolm Wade, available under Creative Commons

Andrew is a firm believer that travelling like a local inevitably leads to the best off-the-beaten-path finds which truly make a destination remarkably more memorable. From traditional Indian festivals in humid Hyderabad to fresh seafood pasta by the Sorrentine Peninsula, he appreciates variety when travelling. He hasn't been everywhere, but it’s on the list.