There’s more than just the fine mountain views to be found on the banks of England’s biggest lake…
Setting the scene, one of the first things you’ll see as you arrive at the station is the delightful Old Codgers Cottage, designed by Augustus Pugin, more notable as the creator of Big Ben.
If you’re feeling fit, you can hire a bike from the Electric Bicycle Network (20% discount for train passengers): the nearest hire point is at Cedar Manor Hotel, a ten-minute stroll from the station. Now follow the Windermere Way up to the Lake District Visitor Centre in Brockhole. From here you can follow their suggested walking routes for some stunning views of the lake and the mountains beyond. Alternatively you can swing through the trees at the fantastic Treetop Trek centre if you have the nerve.
From Brockhole, take a relaxing boat ride to the beautiful town of Bowness, and be sure that you pop into its oldest pub while you’re there. Built in 1612, the Hole in t’Wall is famous for its excellent local ales and some top-notch bar food. From here it’s just a short hop to the delightful World of Beatrix Potter™, where you can meet Peter Rabbit or pay a visit to Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s kitchen.
Next, try the Lakes Aquarium, for a unique look at life beneath the surface of Windermere. There are daily talks, you can see the otters being fed and even handle some creatures yourself.
Travel another few miles down to the village of Cartmel, where you can dine in style at L’Enclume, one of the few restaurants in the country to be awarded two Michelin stars.
Every good day begins with breakfast, so amble down to
Lazy Daisy’s Lakeland Kitchen to set yourself up with a local delicacy. The full English here features an enormous Cumberland sausage, while the Big Boy’s Breakfast Club plate would challenge the belly of even the heartiest eater.
Nicely fed, jump into a 4x4 and take to the muddy track with the Kankku Off Road Driving Adventure. You’ll see the Lake District in a whole new light as you power up hill and down dale in specially prepared vehicles. Those looking for a more sedate afternoon should try the gorgeous cream teas at the quaint and quirky Coffee Bar 7, before heading back to Bowness to hire out a rowing boat or a motor launch from Windermere Lake Cruises.
Before you leave Windermere, await the arrival of your train with a bite to eat or a warming local ale at the cosy Lamplighter Dining Rooms, right by the train station.
With more than 30 independent breweries in Cumbria, there are barrels of local delights to try!
Cumbria’s largest independent brewery, it makes what it describes as “traditional beers with a modern twist”. Of medal-winning note are its Windermere Pale and Lakeland Gold ales.
Bowness Bay Brewing
A new micro brewery
that uses local produce and Lakeland water to hand craft its fresh-tasting beers. Try the fruity Waterbird Wheat or crisp Swan Blonde.
Cumbrian Legendary Ales
If you’re going to call yourself legendary you’d better be good. This brewery’s Loweswater Gold was judged the champion golden ale of Britain in 2011.
This family-run outfit took over a disused brewery in 2006 and its Thirst Run golden pale ale is a marvel.
Visit brewedincumbria.com to find out more about breweries from the region.