Bowness, Lakeland’s most popular holiday destination, is the perfect base from which to enjoy the South Lakes at its best – and the South Lakes has it all.
Windermere, England’s largest natural lake is a stones-throw away and offers excellent sailing facilities and pleasure cruises. Coniston Water, made famous by the Campbells in their water speed record attempts, is the home of the Gondola, an elegant Victorian Steam Yacht.
The towns synonymous with the best of the Lake District are all in this vicinity. Ambleside, Grasmere and Hawkshead are all within a short drive and the Lakeland associations of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Ruskin and Beatrix Potter are set in the landscape.
Get your bearings at the Brockhole Visitor Centre before exploring the ‘World of Beatrix Potter’ in Bowness then visiting her former house in Near Sawrey. Or seek out the home and resting place of the Wordsworths in Grasmere, and the daffodils at Dora’s Field in nearby Rydal. Or follow in the steps of John Ruskin at his home, Brantwood or at the dedicated museum , both close to Coniston. Newby Bridge is home to the Aquarium of the Lakes . Here also you can ride the Lakeside and Haverthwaite railway or step back in history in a working mill, Stott Park Bobbin Mill. Carry on to Backbarrow to the Lakeland Motor Museum, and you’ll find a road transport collection of some 30,000 exhibits.
The raw beauty of this area is ever-present in the Langdale valleys. Here the crags offer many varied challenges to climbers and the remoteness of such as Elterwater and Blea Tarn offer unexpected delights for walkers. Photographers can command views at Claife House, Orrest Head or try and capture the majesty of Stock Gyhll Force or the picture-book Tarn Hows.
Shoppers are well catered for in Bowness and a mile away in Windermere is ‘Lakeland’ the home of creative kitchenware. The surrounding area probably offers the best range of ‘outdoor’ shops in the country. The vast choice of dining close by ranges from simple café to Michelin Star.
Golf, water sports, horse riding and sightseeing tours can all be arranged locally.
Should you be planning a cycling holiday in the English Lake District,Cumbria has some of the finest cycling routes in England and you can rest at ease after your days cycling knowing that your bikes are safely locked up in the hotel.
Whether by car, foot or bike, you really can’t get a more central base from which to explore the best of the Lakes!