Things to do in Bowness and Windermere

Also See our Events and What's On Guide Events in Bowness-on-Windermere

bowness streetThere's plenty to do in Bowness-on-Windermere. It's a bustling, historic little town and taking a walk around the shoreline where boat builders and repairers can be seen at work is a must. Bowness was well known to William Wordsworth and the poet regularly visited The White Lion (now the Royal Hotel) and even mentioned it in 'The Prelude'.

Victorian and Edwardian buildings are evident throughout the Lake District town, with even older buildings occupying little narrow, cobbled streets that offer insights into what Bowness was like prior to the advent of the railway. There are plenty of shops, pubs & cafés, so why not take in the charm of Bowness with a leisurely walk, do some shopping and then enjoy some refreshments?

Close to Bowness is The Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole which promises "something for everyone, whatever the weather". It offers a lakeside setting, free entry, pay and display car park and there is good pushchair and wheelchair access to the centre and most of the grounds.

Children love its adventure playground and interactive exhibitions and it boasts fabulous gardens and a games lawn. The grounds boast stunning views as well as many unusual trees, plants and shrubs. There's thriving wildlife too, which you can check out through its bird hide. Regular events are held at the Lake District Visitor Centre, so do keep an eye on Your Guide 2 the Lake District's Events Guide Events in the Lake District. Admission is Free and so are many of the events that are held there.

Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre
The Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole - something for everyone, whatever the weather

In the centre of Bowness is The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction where the tales of Beatrix Potter are brought to life in a magical indoor recreation of the Lakeland countryside. You can meet Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and their friends in the only Beatrix Potter themed attraction in Europe. It includes all twenty-three tales by Beatrix Potter which are brought to life complete with sights, sounds and even smells. So you can meet Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor’s garden, discover Jemima Puddle-duck in the woodland glade and visit Mrs. Tiggy-winkle in her kitchen.

World of Beatrix Potter Attraction children
The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction is in the centre of Bowness village

There's also a Miss Potter Room which explores the life of the celebrated author with a unique Virtual Walks display, short film presentation and innovative exhibits about Beatrix Potter and her pioneering life. You can pay a visit to their family-friendly tearoom and browse through the Beatrix Potter Emporium with its comprehensive range of Peter Rabbit gifts.

Windermere Lake Cruises
Lake cruises are hugely popular and you can combine your cruise with a trip to a local attraction

So you've had a good stroll around the shoreline at Bowness and walked through the web of narrow streets behind the St.Martin's 15th century church and visited the Lake District Visitor Centre and World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. What else is there to do? Well taking a Windermere Cruise is a must. It really is the best way to enjoy the magnicifent scenery which surrounds England's largest lake at the centre of the Lake District National Park.

Click Here to view timetables and book Windermere cruises. Typically there's at least one steamer and one launch departure per hour, although the frequency varies throughout the day and evening. They operate the full length of the lake and call at Ambleside and Lakeside (Visit Lake Cruises Website).

blackwell arts & crafts house bownessBlackwell Arts and Crafts is just one and a half miles south of Bowness in the heart of the Lake District and it's well worth a visit. The house itself was completed in 1900, designed by Arts and Crafts architect M.H. Baillie Scott as a holiday home for Sir Edward Holt, a brewer and former Lord Mayor from Manchester.

It's said to have significant international importance as Blackwell stands at the crossroads of Victorian design and modern 20th century architecture.

Since 1998, £3.5 million has been raised to restore Blackwell and open it to the public as a high quality Lake District Arts and Crafts collection. Throughout the house, furniture, objects and fine art have been introduced to re-awaken the interiors in sympathy with Baillie Scott's original designs and ideas about the layout and decoration of houses.

Windermere Lake Cruises logo

Windermere Lake Cruises

Enjoy a great Windermere cruise with Windermere Lake Cruises and enjoy spectacular Lakeland views from England's largest lake.
More info

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway Logo

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway

Runs steam trains along the scenic Leven valley, from Haverthwaite Station to Lakeside Pier at the southern end of Windermere in the Lake District.
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Mountain Adventure Lake District

Mountain Adventure Lake District

Offering exciting outdoor activities, mountain challenge events, navigation training courses and skills courses in the Lake District and Cumbria.
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The Old Laundry Theatre

The Old Laundry Theatre

A 270-seat theatre, which is a thriving cultural hub for residents and visitors to the Lake District.
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Lakeland Motor Museum logo

Lakeland Motor Museum

The fascinating Lakeland Motor Museum in the picturesque Leven Valley at Backbarrow hosts a unique road transport collection of some 30,000 exhibits and also features many non-motoring additions.
More info

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