One of the most popular destinations in the Lake District, Windermere can refer to Lake Windermere, the town of Bowness-on-Windermere beside which it sits and the small village of Windermere. Both town and lake have long been a favourite for caravan holidays and you’ll find lots of caravan and holiday parks in the vicinity.
Lake Windermere, at 10.5 miles long, is the largest lake in the Lake District (indeed, the largest natural lake in England). Its beauty and long shoreline provides many an excuse to get on or in the water or, for those who prefer the earth beneath their feet, walks and cycle rides along the shore.
Bowness-on-Windermere is seen as a gateway town to the southern Lake District and has plenty to occupy the time of visitors, including boat hire and the landing stage for Windermere Lake Cruises.
The village of Windermere, however, which all but merges with Bowness, lies a little further away from the lake but has its own village centre and is quieter than Bowness.
Things to do
1.One of the best places to visit in the area is The World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere. It focuses on the books of the local author, but there is so much here to entertain you no matter what your age. Children will love being transported into the worlds of Beatrix Potter’s much loved characters with 3D exhibitions, while the gardens will be appreciated by adults. And you could do a lot worse than ending up in the tasty and award winning New Laundry Café.
2.With views over Lake Windermere, the arts and craft house Blackwell is an idyllic destination on your caravan holiday. View the latest collections and wander around the Thomas Mawson designed garden.
3.Visitors to this beautiful part of the country will surely want to take in its stunning natural surroundings. And this is open to everyone, as 39 routes have been established within the Lake District National Park that can be used by people with limited mobility, including those in wheelchairs, with pushchairs or with young children.
4.Tarn Hows is an iconic Lake District beauty spot that’s only 15 or 20 minutes by car from Windermere. With beautiful woodland, fells and water, it is well worth the trip.
5.Why not get off the beaten track in a 4×4 when on a caravan holiday in and around Windermere? Drive off-road in the Lake District with Kankku and explore the wilds from a new perspective.
The town of Bowness-on-Windermere sits on the A591, the road which links Keswick to the north of Windermere to Kendal, to the south east of the lake. The nearest motorway is the M6 (the A74M from Scotland) which will be how many people will reach Windermere, junctions 36 and 37 serving Kendal – it makes getting to the region both quick and easy.
The roads do become congested, however, especially in the peak holiday season, the A592 which runs along the edge of Lake Windermere a prime candidate. And minor roads can be narrow and twisting, lined with stone walls and lacking in passing places, which means they are not always great for towing caravans. Make sure you check with the campsite you are staying at to establish which are the best roads to use to access the caravan park, especially when you are towing.
Where to stay
You’ll find plenty of campsites and caravan parks within the vicinity of Lake Windermere, some with direct shore access. Practical Caravan’s annual Top 100 Sites Guide lists lots of great campsites within North West England, the Lake District and Cumbria, as voted for by you. One such is Park Cliffe, which offers a range of accommodation and facilities include a shop, bar and restaurant, private bathrooms, playground and modern shower block.
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The natural beauty of Lake Windermere means it's a wonderful destination all year round