What better way to spend a beautiful sunny day than with the family to the Lake District – England’s longest lake. The difference in weather makes a huge difference in experience, grey skies vs blue skies, wind or no wind.. just the day before we went it was grey and windy, how lucky were we?!
The Lake District is a large national park in northwest England. It is made up of many lakes and is the largest of the 13 national parks in England and Wales. There are many towns and villages along the lakes, with Bowness-on-Windermere being Cumbria’s most popular destination.
There is much to see and do in the Lake District all year round – rent a bike and explore the area, ride an open-top bus, or enjoy a relaxing stroll where you will find a variety of heritage sites, historic houses, gardens and other attractions. Or if you are on the more adventurous side, go for a hike, go sailing, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing or hop on a cruise.
If you are planning a day trip, give yourself sufficient time as there may be delays in train services. For our trip, we headed to the towns of Windermere and Bowness, which are at the very heart of the Lake District. We took the 599 bus to Bowness pier from Windermere train station located just outside of the supermarket next to the station. Upon arrival, we enjoyed a little picnic by the pier before we began exploring.
Windermere Lake cruises
There are a few different cruises that you can choose from that sets off from Bowness pier that can take you to Ambleside and Lakeside on a 70 or 90 minute cruise. It was a bit too long for us, so we hopped on a 45 minute island sightseeing cruise instead. The circular cruise took us on a journey to enjoy the scenery of mountains, wooded shorelines and lovely tranquil bays. Wrap up, it gets pretty windy and cold! Find out more about the cruises here.
After returning to the pier, we popped by a café to warm up with some hot coffee and yummy carrot cake and browsed around the souvenir shop next to it.
Say hello to the ‘Thor’ the owl, yes, it’s real!
After our coffee, we continued our stroll around the lake. Beautiful right?
Not only is the lake stunning, the area is filled with beautiful typical provincial Victorian and Edwardian commercial and residential architecture in the town centre.
You can also visit the home Of Peter Rabbit and author, Beatrix Potter where she dreamed up the character of Peter Rabbit at the start of the 20th century in the villages and landscape of her beloved Lake District home. If you’ve little time or not a huge fan, you will find in town a lot of Peter Rabbit toys in stores anyway.
I love the beautiful alley ways, walls built from stone and slate, and the fact that the area has so much well preserved historical sites. Here’s an old cinema, sweet shop and police station..
Finally after a long day and some food,we caught the 599 bus outside of Costa Coffee back to the train station to catch our train back home.