Lake Windermere View

Lake Windermere View

Central Lakes Tourist Information

The Central Lake District contains Britain's most visited lake - Windermere and the equally popular Coniston Water and this gentler central area of the Lakes is both William Wordsworth Country around Grasmere and Ambleside, and Beatrix Potter Country around Hawkshead. The birth of the tourist guidebook and tourism in Britain can be traced to this literary heart of the Lake District - find out more at the superb Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere!

The Central Lakes is a hub for specialist shopping and dining centres like Ambleside, Windermere village, Grasmere, Hawkshead and Coniston village, all with a range of fine specialist food shops, gift shops and outdoor clothing shops. Dine in Michelin Star restaurants around Windermere or choose one of the many fine real ale inns, wholefood and organic cafes and world cuisine restaurants all plentiful in bustling holiday favourite area - the Central Lake District.

Art & Literature in the Central Lakes

The Central Lakes is the literary heart of the Lake District containing the two famous historic Lakeland homes of William Wordsworth, Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage both around Grasmere. Explore Beatrix Potter Country in the area and take a tour of the author's historic home Hill Top around Hawkshead. Poet, artists and social commentator John Ruskin also had a home here - beautiful Brantwood withe expensive gardens and pier drop off point sits on the eastern shores of Coniston Water and is open to the public with on-site cafe.

Many famous artists are linked to the Central Lakes area like Arthur Ransome, author of the world famous children's novel 'Swallows and Amazons', inspired by time spent around both Coniston Water and Lake Windermere. See artwork by pioneering 20th century artist Kurt Schwitters on show at the Armitt Museum in Ambleside.

Coniston Water & Lake Windermere

Two of the most popular lakes in the Lake District, Coniston Water and Lake Windermere are in the Central Lakes and both offer a host of water sports, lakeside walks and boat trips. The Central Lakes is also a hotspot for family attractions including The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness and the great value Brockhole Visitor Centre on the shores of Lake Windermere with free on-site outdoor adventure playground.

Specialist Shopping in the Central Lakes

The Central Lakes small towns and villages including Grasmere, Bowness-on-Windermere, Hawkshead village and bustling centre Ambleside offer superb specialist shopping in the Lake District. Top quality outdoor clothing shops, fine deli shops, antiques emporiums, book shops, unique boutiques and Lakeland craft centres are plentiful in all these popular holiday destinations in the Central Lake District.

For Lakeland crafts and gifts, shops in Ambleside and the Central Lake District are a treasure trove for unique craft jewellery, accessories, home furnishings and elegant clothing ranges. All of the main centres in the Central Lakes including Ambleside, Grasmere, Hawkshead village, Coniston village, Bowness-on-Windermere and Windermere town boast a fantastic range of Lake District gift shops, craft centres and independent galleries.

Buy Beatrix Potter gifts and souvenirs in the Central Lakes at the Beatrix Potter gift shop within The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness and in wonderful Peter Rabbit shops in Hawkshead and Bowness-on-Windermere.

Accommodation in the Centre of the Lake District

  • Waterhead
    Sleeps 6
    Prices from
    £450
    Per Week (Sleeps 6)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 75 reviews
    Rating from 75 reviews
    Luxury Waterhead self-catering holiday apartments with an on-site swimming pool and sauna, and communal courtyard with BBQ. Ideal Lake District accommodation. Sleeps 6.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 75 reviews
    Rating from 75 reviews
  • Bowness on Windermere
    Prices from
    £28
    Per person Per Night B&B
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 58 reviews
    Rating from 58 reviews
    Lakeland stone guest house in Bowness on Windermere, just a 10 minute walk from boat trips and shops/ restaurants. Family rooms, WiFi and Parking. Packed lunches on request.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 58 reviews
    Rating from 58 reviews
    star
    star
    star
    no star
    no star
    Guest Accommodation
    Call
  • Prices from
    £70
    Per double room (per night) two sharing
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 312 reviews
    Rating from 312 reviews
    4 Star Silver Award guest house in Windermere, a 10 minute stroll from the Lake. Charming Victorian property close to restaurants & inns. Breakfast Award and six en-suite rooms.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 312 reviews
    Rating from 312 reviews
    star
    star
    star
    star
    no star
    Guest House
    Call
  • Prices from
    £30
    Per person per night B&B
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 201 reviews
    Rating from 201 reviews
    Victorian B&B gem in Ambleside town centre with luxury en-suites, locally sourced breakfasts and free WiFi. 10 minutes' from Lake Windermere. Bike storage and drying facilities.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 201 reviews
    Rating from 201 reviews
    star
    star
    star
    star
    no star
    Guest Accommodation
    Call
  • Ambleside
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £295
    Per Week (seasonal)
     
    Welcoming self catering cottage in Ambleside, offering comfortable accommodation and private parking for one car. Open- plan living, dining and kitchen area. Attractive garden.
     
    Call
  • Prices from
    £40
    Per person per night B&B
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 204 reviews
    Rating from 204 reviews
    Elegant 4 Diamond Ambleside B&B with four poster rooms, superb fell views, drying room for wet outdoor gear, secure bike storage and large private car park.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 204 reviews
    Rating from 204 reviews
    star
    star
    star
    star
    no star
    Guest Accommodation
    Call
  • Ambleside
    Prices from
    £37
    Per person, per night (2 sharing)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 186 reviews
    Rating from 186 reviews
    5 star rated Ambleside B&B, just 5 minutes walk from the centre of the village. Three deluxe en-suite guest rooms, delicious breakfasts, free WiFi and onsite parking.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 186 reviews
    Rating from 186 reviews
    star
    star
    star
    star
    star
    Bed & Breakfast
    Call
  • Prices from
    £28
    Per person per night B&B based on two sharing
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 114 reviews
    Rating from 114 reviews
    Award-winning 4 Star B&B in Coniston village with beautiful views of the surrounding fells. Walker & cyclist friendly. Cumbria Way adjacent. Free WiFi, stunning garden & parking.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 114 reviews
    Rating from 114 reviews
    star
    star
    star
    star
    no star
    Bed & Breakfast
    Call
  • Hawkshead
    Prices from
    £80
    Per Night B&B (Based on two sharing)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 332 reviews
    Rating from 332 reviews
    Beautiful 17th Century Hawkshead Inn with traditional features throughout. Ideal for couples and families with onsite restuarnat and bar. En-suite rooms, free parking and Wi-Fi.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 332 reviews
    Rating from 332 reviews
    star
    star
    star
    star
    no star
    Inn
    Call
  • Bowness On Windermere
    Prices from
    £55
    Deluxe Double per night B&B (2 sharing)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 539 reviews
    Rating from 539 reviews
    Luxury 4* Silver Accommodation in the heart of Bowness with its beautiful lake, restaurants & shops. 4 Poster & Family Rooms. Ask about our free champagne, chocs & 1/2 price rooms!
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 539 reviews
    Rating from 539 reviews
    Call