Things to Do in Bowness on Windermere

With its location right on the shores of Lake Windermere, Bowness is one of the most visited tourist towns in the country, with gorgeous panoramic views over the lake.

Its narrow streets and charming atmosphere draw millions of visitors each year and there’s plenty to see and do, aside from the numerous local shops, cafes and, of course, our Craig Walks. Here are some of our favourite things to do in Bowness-on-Windermere.

The World of Beatrix Potter

Discover the wonderful World of Beatrix Potter. With a range of interactive experiences dedicated to the beloved childhood characters, the author and the Lake District. Get up close and personal with Petter Rabbit & Friends.

beatrix potter

Grizedale Forest

Grizedale Forest is a beautiful spot to surround yourself with nature. With walking, biking and horse trails throughout alongside wildlife, sculptures and a Go Ape! obstacle course, there’s something for everyone.

Wray Castle

The stunning National Trust property on the shores of Lake Windermere, Wray Castle offers walking in its grounds and gardens and a chance to explore a historic castle, complete with turrets and towers.

Windermere Lake Cruises

Offering trips up to Ambleside and Lakeside, Windermere Lake Cruises is a hugely popular attraction offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountain scenery, as well as the many islands and bays of the lake.

There’s a whole host of cruises on offer, including night cruises, many of which take in the attractions around the lake too.

windermere lake cruises

The Lake District Visitor Centres

The Lake District’s visitor centre is just outside of Bowness, on the road to Ambleside and is situated right on the edge of the lake at Brockhole. There are two other visitor centres in the area too and each has activities, information and ticket facilities.

Dove Cottage & Wordsworth Museum

The home of Williams Wordsworth transports you back to 1799 to give you an insight into the life of the famous poet. There are gardens and a museum to discover too. It’s truly a wonderful and idyllic spot.

Beatrix Potter’s home at Hill Top

Beatrix Potter’s famous abode at Hill Top Farm is a National Trust property that lets you discover the life of the famous author for yourself. Enter her old home and explore its gardens for yourself.

Windermere Canoe Kayak and Bike Hire

Looking for an adventurous way to explore the Lake District? Why not rent out your own canoe, kayak or bike. With specialised instructors to help get you going, or even come out with you on a guided tour, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never tried it before.

Windermere Jetty Museum

Discover the world of boats at the Windermere Jetty Museum. Learn everything you need to know about boat building or take a trip on a restored heritage boat. There’s a cafe and gift shop too! 

Get your walking shoes on

The Lake District is just waiting to be explored and Bowness-on-Windermere has some excellent walks you can do right from the town. See Windermere from every angle and get yourself out into the wild.

Go Shopping in Bowness

Bowness is also a great place to pick up some local produce to take home as gifts for your friends and family, as well as an abundance of walking shops if you’re planning to do some fellwalking during your stay.

There’s also plenty of lovely cafes and restaurants to take the weight off your feet too, as well as a selection of the usual high street stores.

How can we help?

These are just some of the things to see and do during your stay in Bowness-on-Windermerebut there’s so much more to see in the surrounding towns and villages, such as the adjoining town of Windermere, as well as Ambleside, Kendal, Grizedale, Newby Bridge and more.

Not only that but we can help you plan your whole trip, from bike hire to fishing permits, or add that little extra touch to your room.

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