A long weekend in Windermere: Our Top 10 things to do

We thought we’d share some local knowledge for a family looking to plan an action-packed few days in the Lake District so here are our Top 10 Things to do if you're spending a weekend in and around Windermere.

Day 1 

1. A morning Lake cruise

It’s all about the Lake and the amazing views so no trip to Windermere is complete without some time spent on the water so why not start your day with a gentle cruise?  We suggest parking your car at Ferry Nab, grab yourself a bacon butty at Dan’s Shack then follow the lovely walk along the shore of Windermere around to Glebe Road which will take you to Bowness Pier where you can take a boat with Windermere Lake Cruises over to Brockhole.  

2. An adventure in the high trees! 

We might be biased but no weekend would be complete without a visit to Treetops so why not come and Trek the trees at Treetop Trek or bounce on our amazing new nets at Treetop Nets? Both activities are brilliant fun for the whole family and a really rewarding experience. We do recommend pre-booking as we can be busy during weekends and school holidays. We’re set on the shores of Windermere at Brockhole which is home to the Lake District Visitor Centre  and you can do a whole host of activities there, along with a playground, café and restaurant. 

When you’re done, head back to Bowness by boat. 

3. Ice Cream Stop with Kimi

On your way back to your car, make sure you stop at Kimi’s Gelato on Glebe Road. His homemade ice cream is nothing short of wonderful and he frequently adds new and exciting flavours to his delicious collection.

4. Afternoon Tea with difference at The Wild Boar Inn 

There are lots of amazing Afternoon Tea options in the Lake District but one of our favourites is the Wild Boar Inn, which is just a short drive from Bowness. You will be stuffed like little piggies after this afternoon tea with a curly tailed twist where you can feast on Pigs in Blankets, Scotch Eggs, Mini Fish‘n’Chips, Scones and Grasmere Gingerbread and lots more. 

For more info please visit: https://englishlakes.co.uk/the-wild-boar/dining-bars/wild-boar-alternative-afternoon-tea/  £24pp and includes a trio of 1/3 pint of real ales or a glass of Prosecco 

5. Step back in time with a trip to the Royalty Cinema in Bowness

After your action-packed day, you are probably ready to rest so why not head back into Bowness and catch a film in this lovely retro cinema? It is like stepping back in time with an at seat ice cream service and original features. 



Day 2

6.Start your day with a healthy breakfast 

We absolutely love Homeground in Windermere so much so that we’re almost scared to put it in this blog in case we can’t get a table next time we want to go! They do a lovely breakfast menu. 

7. Walk a Wainwright

We absolutely insist that a visit to the Lakes must involve conquering at least one Wainwright so a nice easy one for little legs is Gummer’s How and it’s a short hop from Fell Foot. Remember to wear suitable clothing and footwear and take refreshments. 


8. Paddle and relax by the lake at Fell Foot

A short hop from Gummer’s How is Fell Foot park.  This National Trust spot is home to extensive grounds, a lovely beach, Café, playground and National Trust shop.  You can take a picnic and relax while the children go for a paddle or if you’re still feeling adventurous, why hire a rowing boat or paddle board and get out on the water?


Day 3 

9. Wray Castle Bike Ride 

If you’ve manged to get your bikes in the car along with your children, luggage, teddies, dog and the kitchen sink,  then our top tip for your final day is to park at Ferry Nab and take the Hawkshead Ferry (currently closed so please check) across to the Western shore and then follow the mostly off-road route to Wray Castle.  The Lakeside trail is 4 miles each way and though there are a couple of hills that might leave you huffing and puffing, or even walking, it’s suitable for children who can confidently ride a bike. You can reward your final climb with lunch or ice creams and explore the big castle or enjoy the beautiful grounds which take you down to the Lake where you’ll find another beach area that is perfect for paddling.  

10. Chippy Tea 

Why not end your trip with a good old-fashioned chippy tea? Vinegar Jones in Bowness dishes up a tasty supper which you can eat in or enjoy at Bowness Pier overlooking the lake.