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Taking a trip to Lake Windermere

The Lake District claims a huge amount of what many consider the most beautiful countryside anywhere in the UK. This is an area to explore at leisure, since there are so many out-of-the-way and almost off-the-map spots that the adventurous can discover for themselves. However, if you’re wondering about a good starting point, consider Windermere.

Windermere is the largest lake in the UK, a ‘finger lake’ that stretches north to south for about 18km but has a maximum width of 1.5km. The town called Windermere is about a 15-minute walk away from the actual shore of the lake, but it’s the hub for transport and has become a popular destination in its own right. Its gradual expansion has virtually incorporated the town into neighbouring Bowness, which does border on the lake.

Boating is obviously one of the biggest attractions, and with so much shoreline to explore the options are limitless – however the speed limit imposed since 2005 on all powerboats is 10 knots or 19km/hr at last reports; there is considerable controversy with conservationists on one side and power-boaters on the other. There may or not be a monster; the locals will tell you there is, and its name is ‘Bownessie’, of course.

In and around Windermere at any time of the year you can find a terrific variety of accommodations. There are some wonderful campsites, and a range of cottages, self-catering apartments and B&B’s from basic to ritzy, with prices to match. If your budget can handle it, you’ll find some of the UK’s most beautifully situated and uniquely luxurious hotels on the lake and in nearby towns and countryside.

Because the Lake District is such a popular getaway destination and the trains provide easy access from other UK cities, Windermere and vicinity can get crowded in the summer, so try to book well in advance. Lake ferries also ply between other towns on the eastern side of the water.


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