Conniston Water, Windermere Steam & Cruise & Bowness
Conniston Water is one of the Lake Districts many lakes, and the fifth largest at five miles long. It provided an important fish source for monks at nearby Furness Abbey. More recently it was used to transport slate and ore from the many mines in the region, and today the breathtaking landscape is owned by the National Trust.
Windermere, at 10.5 miles long, one mile wide and 220 feet deep, is the largest natural lake in England, and is fed by numerous rivers. The Romans built their fort of Galava at its northern end (Waterhead), and it has always been an important waterway for movement of heavy materials. You’ll see the popular boating lake by a circular boat cruise around the lake, and also by a nostalgic trip on the Lakeside and Haverwaite Steam Railway.
After exploring the lake by boat and steam train, you’ll have time to sight-see in Bowness-on-Windermere. The tourist town on the shores of the lake was developed due to the railway and is not one of the most popular visitor destinations, as people come for the watersports and outdoor activities available.
Day at leisure in Kendal
The town of Kendal is a historic town at the southern end of the Lake District. There are many attractions to enjoy, including the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There are plenty of shops from high street names to independent boutiques, restaurants, and the Brewery Arts Centre. Overlooking the town is Kendal Castle, originally built in the 1200s for the Baron of Kendal. It fell into ruin during the Tudor period and has remained that way since. A walk up the hill to explore the castle will be rewarded by the splendid views from the top.
Keswick, Grasmere & Ambleside
Located between the huge Skiddaw and beauty of Derwentwater is Keswick. The pretty market town has become a major centre of tourism for the Lake District, and there are a wide range of attractions for visitors to enjoy. You can do shopping at the market, or pop into one of the many shops or enjoy a visit to the Pencil Museum and the Keswick Museum & Art Gallery.
Grasmere is probably Cumbria’s most popular village, thanks to William Wordsworth (1770-1850) spending much of his life there. Today Grasmere is totally given over to the tourist industry, with plenty of gift shops, and places to eat and stay. Most of the buildings date from the 19th or early 20th Century, though the farms around Grasmere are much older. The Church dates from the 13th Century and it is only a short walk to the lake, which provides superb views.
Ambleside has turned from small sleepy town to a popular tourist resort, with shops and cafés to entice you. The town and surrounding area is a favourite for walkers and climbers too. It is only a short walk to Waterhead Pier at the north end of Windermere, and from here you can feed the ducks and swans or hire a rowing boat. Another point of interest near the town is a spectacular waterfall, Stock Ghyll Forcee, which can be seen from a safe railed viewpoint.