PUBLISHED BY Paula
tretching for ten and a half miles, Windermere in the Lake District is England's largest natural lake. One of the country’s most impressive spots of natural beauty, it is the perfect place for a last minute break in the UK thanks to the host of activities and things to do in the area. Although the area has now been commercialised to keep up with the demand from tourists to the area, it is still an area of the Lake District which is known for its unspoilt landscapes, making it the perfect backdrop for your next getaway.
Silke from Happiness and Things loves the region of Lake Windermere: “If you haven’t been to England before, you will find your picture-perfect English countryside right in the Lake District. Exploring the region, you cannot help but think that Hogwarts might be just around the corner. It is also the world of Beatrix Potter, so overall an important piece of English culture and history”.
The land at Lake Windermere suggests evidence of humans as far back as the Neolithic times, particularly at Langdale Lake where there have been suggestions that a stone axe factory once stood there, something that would have been pivotal to the survival of people during that period. However, there are also Bronze Age burial sites both at the Tongue at Troutbeck and on Cunswick and Scout Scars.
The lake has been a holiday hotspot since 1847, with the introduction of the railway in the area creating a new settlement. Whereas before this the area was primarily an area known for farming, with a market located close by, it suddenly became an area of commercialisation. Upon the launch of the train line, which allowed people to visit on day trips to the area, Windermere’s economy became purely based upon tourism. Soon after, leisure attractions began to open, with hotels and lodgings on offer for people who planned to extend their stay past one day.
Lake Windermere is appreciated by many for its gorgeous, sweeping views and tranquil waters. However, perhaps of its most notable admirers was William Wordsworth, who heralded the region in his romantic poetry. After attending university in Cambridge, Wordsworth moved to Dorset for several years before settling in the Lake District, a place that was frequently mentioned in his subsequent work.
Lake Windermere is known as a ribbon mere due to the way that it sits in a glacial trough. It is believed that it was created during the retreat of the British and Irish Ice Sheet, which happened over 17,000 years ago. Due to its size and the way in which it was created, the two ends of the lake contain very different characteristics. The north basin was made from hard, volcanic rock, with the south formed from a softer material.
The beauty of Windermere comes from the contrasting rolling hills with the flat shimmer of the water. The landscape has been formed from a variety of different rocks, from the Skiddaw Group of black muds and sands to the Borrowdale group, a collection of rocks created from hard lava and ashes dating back 450 million years.
“The Lake District is a charming part of England that is perfect for a romantic getaway. The best way to experience the region is probably by driving around to explore the little villages. Maybe even get lost a little bit in the woods and see where fate might take you. Most of all though, it is the perfect place to just slow down and enjoy the moment”, says Silke.
Fortunately, Windermere is the perfect location to visit for a holiday as there is so much for you to see and do. Nestling beside the river after a stroll amongst the luscious trees is a wonderful way to relax, whereas others may be more enticed by the variety of water sports that take place in the area. Although people typically enjoy a walk or two whilst in Windermere, there are also attractions for you to visit that make great afternoon activities. From wandering around the Beatrix Potter Gallery to visiting the fish at the Lakes Aquarium, you can also find things to do in all-weather conditions.
Silke really loves the village of Ambleside. “It’s all narrow lanes and century-old stone houses. There is a little river that flows through town, River Rothay, and it is here that you will find Ambleside’s most curious attraction. The Bridge House sits right on top of the river. Two rooms only and an outside set of stairs, tiny really, and so cute.”
Scattered around Lake Windermere, you can find quaint villages and picturesque towns waiting to be explored. The town of Bowness-on-Windermere has a selection of cafés and restaurants for you to stop at for a bite to eat, and the World of Beatrix Potter allows yourself to step inside her brilliant stories and see her well-loved characters brought to life.
Not only is Lake Windermere a fantastic place to visit if you’re a keen walker, there are a number of different attractions for you to visit. Many of these places make the most of the beautiful landscape, offering adrenaline junkies the chance to try their hand at water sports. However, there is also a range of country homes and castles waiting for you to discover.