Hotels in Bowness-on-Windermere, United Kingdom
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Bowness-on-Windermere - The Heart of the Lake District
Bowness-on-Windermere, as its name suggests, is located on the shore of Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park. Bowness is one of the most visited destinations in Cumbria and it’s easy to see why: a picturesque town with lovely shops, hotels and restaurants all surrounded by stunning natural beauty; not surprisingly, outdoor activities and water sports are a key reason why people choose to visit this area. It’s worth noting that while Bowness doesn’t have its own railway station, there is one in the neighbouring town of Windermere.
St. Martin’s Church and the Town Centre
Those arriving by train will find themselves at Windermere railway station, which is about a five-minute taxi ride from Bowness town centre. Here, nestled among various restaurants, shops and a fine selection of hotels, is the splendid St. Martin’s Church, which dates back to the 15th-century. In the graveyard is a designated English Heritage Site of Memory, the grave of Rasselas Belfield, a freed slave from Abyssia. There’s also the grave of John Bolton, a local man who made his wealth from slavery. One of the church’s outstanding features is the East Window, which is said to be the finest stain glass window in the north-west of England; its oldest piece is believed to date from 1260 and as a whole depicts various biblical motifs and even George Washington’s coat of arms. Inside is a selection of antique books and various biblical inscriptions can be seen on the walls.
The Magical World of Beatrix Potter
One of the reasons this part of England is famous far and wide is thanks to the stories of celebrated author Beatrix Potter. The tales of Peter Rabbit and his friends were inspired by the summer holidays she spent here during her childhood; in later years, she moved into a farm in the area, and used her sizeable earnings to purchase large parts of the surrounding countryside. In fact, a quarter of the land that is now part of the Lake District National Park was bequeathed by her to the National Trust. Today, Bowness is home to The World of Beatrix Potter, which is a short walk from St. Martin’s Church on Crag Brow. It’s a great place for the whole family with interactive exhibits featuring Peter Rabbit’s garden, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle’s kitchen and Jeremy Fisher’s lily-pad boat! Further along the road are more hotels and Royalty Cinema, a 1920s Art Deco picture house with a Wurlitzer organ.
Enjoying Lake Windermere
Of course, many of the attractions in Bowness revolve around the stunning Lake Windermere. It’s the largest natural lake in England, having been formed by glaciers during the last ice age. It’s possible to hire boats at the Bowness Bay Marina on Glebe Road and there are companies that offer cruises around the lake. Those seeking some more strenuous activities can partake in water sports such as kayaking and canoeing, and swimming is also a popular pastime. One of the best ways to enjoy the scenery is to take a hike around the lake: about half a mile from Windermere station, where several hotels are located, Orrest Head with its stunning views is a popular destination; another popular short trail is the mile-long walk to Cockshott Point. For a longer hike, catch the car and passenger ferry from Bowness Nab to Far Sawrey on the other side of the lake. A walk along the western shore takes in some lovely scenery.
Blackwell Arts and Crafts
Less than two miles outside the centre of Bowness-on-Windermere is Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House. As the name suggests, it’s built in the Arts and Crafts architectural style which was a movement that favoured traditional crafts and simplicity over modern, industrial techniques. The house, built at the end of the 19th-century, is open to the public and provides a fascinating look into this era. Original furniture by the likes of Stanley Webb Davies and Baillie Scott, the man who designed the house, take pride of place inside along with many other decorative features and furnishings. A four-minute drive from here is Windermere Golf Club, arguably one of the most picturesque courses in the UK. The 18 holes offer water hazards and undulating terrain which provide a challenge for both novice and experienced golfers. There are also several quaint hotels and guesthouses in the vicinity which offer peace and quiet.
Other Attractions in Bowness and the Lake District
If there is still time, a trip to Old Laundry Theatre on Crag Brow is great for evening entertainment. Over the course of a season it shows dramas, classical and folk music acts and thought provoking lectures and films. Outside Bowness-on-Windermere, there are plenty of attractions: Kendal, home to famous Kendal Mint Cake (which is nothing like a cake but more a slab of sugar), is just ten miles away at the edge of the Lake District. Here sights include Kendal Castle, a 12th-century building now in ruins, and Levens Hall with its stunning gardens. Keswick, a 40-minute drive, is another attractive market town to visit with a fantastic selection of boutique hotels and guesthouses and lovely restaurants and cafés. Further afield, around forty miles away, is Scarfell Peak, the highest mountain in England. It provides a challenge for hikers and amazing views which stretch for miles over the Lake District and even as far as Scotland and Wales!