Windermere - how to make the most of the Lake District's short break favourite
Over the last few years Windermere has gained the unjust portrayal of being the standard place to go for a short break. This is an outrageous over simplification of one of the finest pieces of nature that the British countryside has to offer. Not only does Windermere have breathtaking views of natural beauty, it also has some of the finest restaurants stocked full of delicious local produce. More than this activity abounds, from the extravagant to the simple.
Windermere is a place that appeals to all budgets. You can have just as much fun for example spending the weekend with the family waterskiing, wake surfing and kayaking on the lake at Low Wood Watersports Centre (£65 per day, discounted by 10 per cent if you stay at the Low Wood Hotel - www.elh.co.uk), as you can pottering around the lake in an hired electric boat (£17 for an hour at Windermere Quays Boat Hire in Glebe Road - www.windermerequays.co.uk).
If you don’t fancy spending your time or money on the lake then Bowness has plenty of walks to offer such as the Brantfell walk, which takes you up to Brantfell Farm. Make sure you take your camera with you as when you reach the top you won’t be able to help yourself taking picture after picture of the stunning views. Also, if you fancy your adventures more in-land then why not contact Kankku, who will take you on a 4x4 off-road journey you will never forget over the hills and rocky terrains of Windermere (£149 or £79 if you want to take your own 4x4. Find them in Victoria Street in Windermere - www.kankku.co.uk). These activities are just a handful of the little secrets Windermere has to offer.
Where to stay
At the end of such a hectic day you will want to rest your tired bodies and, as can be expected, Windermere has abundant places on offer.
At the high end of the budget you have The Waterhead Hotel (off season a double room can cost £106 per night, located in Ambleside - www.elh.co.uk), where you are greeted by the smell of lilies in the lobby and a pleasant welcome from the receptionist. You get modern decor, beautifully laid out rooms with fantastic views across Lake Windermere and delicious Grasmere gingerbread left in the room each day. It is about a mile outside the centre of Ambleside, next to a bus stop, with links to Windermere train station and the rest of the Lakes. The attached restaurant not only offers a spectacular breakfast but also a wonderful evening meal, which even if you are not staying in the hotel is certainly worth spending your evening there.
At the other end of the budget is The Cottage Guest House (£25 per person per night, located in Elleray Road - www.thecottageguesthouse.com). It is family run and each room is decorated uniquely and the whole place offers a cosy atmosphere throughout. The breakfasts are outstanding and will offer great sustenance for those with a busy day ahead.
Places to eat
The Cook House (average £25 per meal for two, located in Victoria Street - www.thecook-house.com) is a nice little refuge in Windermere village where customers enjoy the pleasures of this family-run restaurant.
Americanas (average £60 per meal for two, located in Ash Street - 01539488700) is one of Windermere’s best-kept secrets, offering a selection of American-style food with a twist that you will not regret trying.
And if you fancy something sweet then it has to be Lucy’s On A Plate (average £35 per meal for two, located in Church Street, Ambleside - www.lucysofambleside.co.uk), which not only serves a delicious breakfast and lunch but has a variety of cakes and puddings that will have you asking for more.