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Just imagine, you can swap Manchester’s busy streets or the bustle of Glasgow for Windermere’s mountain and lakeside and scenery in almost no time at all. It will only take you around 1 hour 40 minutes by train from Manchester, while Scotland’s biggest city is just 2 hours 45 minutes away from all that from poetry-inducing landscape. You have to admit it’s appealing.
For onward bus travel from Windermere station visit Stagecoach, Traveline or call 0871 200 2233. Plusbus is also available as an add on fare to your train ticket – £7.00 daily (£4.60 with a Railcard). Taxis are also available right outside the station. You can also hire a bike at the station and for information on car hire go to www.lakeshire.co.uk.
There’s plenty for both children and adults at The World of Beatrix Potter. Visit the Peter Rabbit garden that won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. The Blackwell Arts And Crafts House is a wonderful example of elegant architecture designed by Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott in the 19th Century. There are also furniture and art exhibitions for your viewing pleasure. Brantwood was home to artist John Ruskin and is now an award-winning museum.
Why not have a brilliant brunch or an evening meal at sunset with the unique Sail'n’Dine? Glide along Windermere and enjoy a wonderful meal to remember. The Watermill is a multi-award-winning real ale pub that serves meals from midday to 9pm every day, and it’s dog-friendly too. The Samling isn’t the cheapest, but with a Michelin star and amazing views over Windermere you certainly get your money’s worth.
With beds starting at £10 a night, amazing views of Windermere and also bell tents available, it’s well worth checking out YHA Windermere. Just a 10-minute taxi ride from the station is The Queens Head in Troutbeck. This 17th century former coaching inn offers sumptuous rooms with amazing views. Bristling with awards and recommendations, the Cedar Manor Hotel is a hugely popular boutique hotel a very short walk from the station.
If you’re at Windermere then you should really be thinking about getting out and about. We’ve put together a guide to 5 station walks. These include:
A 5.5-mile walk around Oxenholme's quaint village.
This 8-mile walk takes you beside three of South Lakeland's lovely rivers – the Kent, the Mint and the Sprint.
Enjoy Cunswick Scar on an 8-mile walk overlooking Burnside and Kendal.
This 7.5-mile walk passes through the gentle rolling countryside, south of Staveley.
A popular 5-mile walk from Windermere, the heart of the Lake District.
Experienced anglers and complete novices are welcome at the Hawkshead Trout Farm – they'll even give you tuition if you need it. Finally, you have to go on a Windermere Lake Cruise, it’s almost the law and it’s certainly fun.
Lakeland started its life here in Windermere so it makes sense to wander the company’s huge flagship store, not least because it’s right by the station. Take a cruise up to Ambleside and check out Hawkshead Outdoor Limited, where you’ll find all the gear you’ll need to get out and about. If you get the bus over to Hawkshead, make sure you visit Hawkshead Relish Company where you’ll be in condiment heaven.
For more ideas on what to do in Windermere, see Visit Cumbria.