Day Trips & Things To Do Near Bowness on Windermere

Situated in the heart of the Lake District, Bowness on Windermere is the perfect hotspot for tourists and locals alike. There’s no shortage of things to do or see, and even if you have lived in the area for years, there will still be places to explore or new activities to try.

If you’re thinking of stopping by for a day out near Bowness on Windermere and need some ideas of where to go and what to see, we’ve got some examples that we know will make your trip to the area extra-special.

Brockhole on Windermere

brockhole on windermere

If you’re looking for an attraction that has a little bit of everything to suit all the family, then Brockhole on Windermere is definitely one for your list.

With a vast garden area to explore which has an incredible view of the Langdale Pikes, boat hire opportunities, tree top adventures for the kids, art exhibitions, walking trails… the list just goes on. It’s easy to see how you could spend the whole day in this Lake District park without even realising it!

There’s even a cafe and restaurant to fill up those hungry bellies during the day – having fun is hungry work! Alternatively, you could always pack a picnic and enjoy it in the beautiful outdoors – just remember to take your rubbish with you!

Dogs are also welcome to enjoy Brockhole on Windermere while on leads in most areas. The only areas that dogs aren’t permitted are the adventure playground, the indoor play room, the Gaddum Restaurant and the Treetop Nets area.

To find out more about opening times, events and other activities, take a look at the Brockhole on Windermere website

Lakes Aquarium

fish in an aquarium

For all you wildlife lovers, we definitely recommend you call in at the Lakes Aquarium while you’re in the Windermere area and don’t mind travelling to the south end of the lake.

With a wide range of creatures for you to get up close and personal with, it’s a great opportunity to see some species of fish, marine mammals and more that you wouldn’t normally get to see, it’s a fun day out for the whole family with an added bit of education, too!

Whether it’s watching the local fish such as pike and thornback rays or the impressive diving ducks, cute otters or even the weirdly amazing axolotl, you’ll be sure to leave impressed!

There are cafes and coffee facilities on site so you can enjoy some refreshments during your visit. There’s also a gift shop where you can buy a souvenir to remember your trip, with items suitable for all ages!

You can travel to the aquarium by train and boat if driving isn’t an option. Boats supplied by Windermere Lake Cruises offer a 40 minute return cruise down the lake from Bowness, and you can buy tickets which will grant you entry to the aquarium at the same time, making your trip more affordable.

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway also provides a steam train service which runs between Lakeside and Haverthwaite via the aquarium, and also have a combined ticket which grants access to the aquarium, as well as covering your transport.

To find out more about the Lakes Aquarium, visit their website.

Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top and World of Beatrix Potter

beatrix potter world

Whether you have young children who enjoy learning about the mischief that the likes of Tom Kitten and Jemima Puddleduck or loved hearing The Tales of Peter Rabbit when you were younger, Beatrix Potter is a name which is synonymous with the Lake District.

Bowness on Windermere held a special place in Potter’s heart, and you can visit the house which she called home up on Hill Top. Visit the gardens which inspired her stories and illustrations, and take a look around the house for a sneak peek into the mind of one of the world’s most-loved children’s authors.

In Bowness on Windermere itself, there’s the official World of Beatrix Potter attraction. Here you can wander around the exhibits which have been created to depict the wonderful world in which she created, with large models of all her characters. Look inside Mrs Tiggywinkle’s kitchen, roam around Peter Rabbit’s garden and head underground to see Mr Tod’s home – all while finding out more about these incredible characters and stories.

At the World of Beatrix Potter, there is a Peter Rabbit themed tea room, where you can rest and refuel after taking in all the exhibits in true Beatrix Potter style. The attraction advises to allow at least 45 minutes to take in everything, but you can take as long as you need.

Find out more about these two attractions at the Hill Top and World of Beatrix Potter websites.

Fell Foot Park

rowing boat on the lake

Fell Foot Park is one of the many lakeside parks in the area which has attractions to help visitors enjoy all parts of their stay. Whether you’re looking to get out on the lake in a boat or kayak, or even head out on a walk, Fell Foot caters for all – and even has an all-terrain wheelchair to hire for those who are unable to explore the park on foot!

Enjoy a relaxing morning or afternoon out on Lake Windermere in a row boat or kayak. You’ll get to see the lake from a different perspective while enjoying the surroundings and fresh air out on the water. You can book the rowboats out for 30 minutes or an hour or hire a kayaks for 1-3 hours at a time, both for very reasonable prices.

For those who love walking, there are two recommended routes to take. Route one is the most accessible and takes you all the way through the parkland and along the shoreline, which has some incredible views of the Fairfield horseshoe to the north, so be sure to have a camera handy! Kids also have the opportunity to enjoy themselves on the playpark.

Route two is a little more demanding, and takes you around the whole park. It’s around 2.5km in length and will get you away from the hustle and bustle of the main park area and out into the wilderness. Visit the wildflower meadow and keep an eye out for some of the local wildlife, too!

For more information and prices of boat and kayak hire, visit the Fell Foot National Trust website


Grizedale Forest and GoApe

forest assault course in the trees

Grizedale Forest is a great place for the whole family, and is especially fun to explore on two wheels. While you can stroll around the forest floor and take in all the incredible views, sights and sounds, they also have an incredible mountain bike trail which is perfect for those who want to add a bit of thrill and adventure to their day out.

The forest floor plays home to some amazing wooden and metal sculptures, the wooden of which have been in place for decades. They’re amazing to look at, and make your walk that little bit more interesting.

There’s also a kid-friendly trail which helps children navigate their way through the forest and complete activities along the way with the help of a character named Zog.

If that’s not adventurous enough for you (or you simply want to go more in Grizedale) there’s always Go Ape to challenge you.

This treetop adventure takes you quite literally to new heights in Grizedale, and you’ll get to explore from a whole new vantage point. There are varying levels to suit all ages and capabilities, and there’s even the opportunity to explore the forest floor by segway if heights really aren’t your thing!

From treetop climbs and obstacles to ziplines – which will you attempt to conquer first?

Find out more about Grizedale Forest and Go Ape on their websites.


Orrest Head Walk

lady walking in the fells

The Lake District is well known for its walks, and was made popular by Alfred Wainwright and his walking guides. One of the walks featured in his introduction to the Lake District is Orrest Head.

With unbeatable views over Windermere which inspired a young Wainwright to create his guides, the Orrest Head walk is easily accessible from Windermere train station. Due to its popularity, the summit can often be quite busy, so just be aware of the busy periods during summer to take extra care

At 4.3km and a 152m ascent, this walk isn’t one for the faint hearted. The guide minimum time it should take to complete is around an hour and 7 minutes, but it’s always advised to take your time to ensure your safety.

Take a look at the Orrest Head walk route here.


Brant Fell

walking boots

Above Bowness on Windermere is Brant Fell, another essential walk for those who love to pull on their walking boots and get hiking. It’s not an easy climb due to the terrain which can get quite muddy and steep in places, but the views at the summit across Bowness and beyond and unmissable.

The start of this walk begins in the heart of Bowness, making it easy to follow right from the off. As you head to the top, the summit can be identified by the old gateway that remains, but be careful not to trip of fall over the metal work on your way.

The talk should take a minimum of an hour, but as mentioned above, it’s best that you take your time when walking up any fells as the terrain tricky, if you rush and misplace your footing.

Pull on your hiking boots and head up to the summit – we promise that you won’t be disappointed!

Take a look at the route for Brant Fell on WalkLakes for more information.


We love Bowness on Windermere and the surrounding area here at Craig Manor Hotel, and we enjoy sharing the beautiful Lake District with our guests. If you are heading to Bowness or need a comfortable, charming base to enjoy your trip, don’t hesitate to take a look at what rooms we have available.

If you need more information or need help with your booking, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We are more than happy to help make your stay with us as stress free as possible.

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