The BIG Lake and it's big charm
"Something For Everyone"
Most people who head to the lakes have been to Windermere at some time or other. It's the biggest lake in the Lake District national park, has arguably the most visitor attractions, the most hotels, bed & breakfasts and guest houses.
There are many walks from here both simple and difficult and suprisingly some of the best Lakeland views in a very short time such as Orrest Head and the lake it's self. You can swim in the lake or take a boat under your own steam or under someone elses.
Thers are shops galore selling everything for the tourist, the walker, the rambler and even the locals!
If your planning your first visit to the Lakes then this is a perfect starting place but don't forget there is a whole lot more out there waiting to be discovered. A lifetime will not allow you to see all the beauty the lakes has to offer but this is often the best place to begin without getting a big culture shock.
"Little House on The BIG Lake"
Lots of walkers and ramblers will tell you to steer clear of Bowness on Windermere because it can get a little busy especially in the summer when it's a nightmare in a car and you can have a battle royal to get a seat in a pub for your lunch.
It's the kind of place built for tourists and isn't a true reflection of the beauty that the lakes has to offer but I don't think this is true or fair. It is after all the home of many Cumbrians and was my home too for a short while. There are lots of hidden gems on the shores of the great lake and the more you come here the more you get to see but for lot's of people of course it will simply be their base for a week or two.
There are plenty of places to stay from holiday lets to grand hotels and a multitude of pubs, restaurants, cafe's and watering holes so you never need to go to the same place twice but you'll probably find a favourite.
The days can be spent shopping for local goods and gifts, walking gear and clothing being some of the best bargains to be had. You can take a coach tour from here to many places of interest or you can board one of the lake steamers to Ambleside or other destinations on the lake.
A night the place comes alive in a different way with many of the pubs offering live music and entertainment. There are a few nightclubs in Bowness but these are on a local scale, there is also a lovely cinema which I often go to when over there. Otherwise you can just go for a quiet walk under the stars then have an early night.
"Fun and Fudge!"
So what do I do when I come to Windermere?
Well I used to go to Birketts bakery for a lovely meringue but that was before Greggs (Local to Newcastle) bought them out and closed the shop. Damn, I loved those meringues.... Oh well, I spend a little time round the shops and usually pick up a new hat or shoes. I go down to the lake edge and feed the ducks, swans and other birds. They must be the best fed birds in the whole land by now, and I always go to the fudge shop by the lake and spend more money than is natural on chocolates, fudge and Kendal Mint cake. I have been known to spend my whole weeks wage in this shop when I lived here. Part of the reason for this is because it's nice and part is because My uncle lived above a fudge shop in St. Ives, Cornwall. White Hart House it was and this fudge had to be the best in britain I kid you not!
After the fudge shop what better place to eat it than out in the middle of the lake so it's down to the pier to hire a chuggingly slow motor boat. These are always getting overtaken by the rowing boats but you don't have to row - simple as that and they are often cheaper to hire. You can have as little as half an hour or as much as a whole day in these. Just you and the lake at peace, NOT LIKELY. I always get into some kind of trouble when I'm out in these things but they're a great way to spend the day.
Check out my tips for some other fab things to do while your here.