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

  • Coniston
    Prices from
    £35
    Per person B&B
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 318 reviews
    Rating from 318 reviews
    4 star Coniston Inn offering bed and breakfast accommodation with 12 comfortable ensuite rooms. Close To Coniston Lake. (Mid week breaks available 2-5 days)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 318 reviews
    Rating from 318 reviews
  • Prices from
    £99
    Per Room Per Night B&B (2 Sharing)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 228 reviews
    Rating from 228 reviews
    Special Offer
    5% off all bookings through iknow
    Award-winning luxury boutique guest house in Windermere with free use of local spa leisure club, five stunning bedrooms, free WiFi, off street parking and locally sourced food.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 228 reviews
    Rating from 228 reviews
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  • Torver
    Sleeps 6
    Prices from
    £470
    per week (seasonal)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 23 reviews
    Rating from 23 reviews
    Four star traditional holiday cottage in Torver near Coniston. Rated four stars. Free Wi-Fi and parking. Ample bike and boat storage. Spacious lawned garden. Short walk to the pub.
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  • Great Langdale
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £364
    per week (seasonal) Sleeps 2-4
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 214 reviews
    Rating from 214 reviews
    Unique mid-terrace cottage in the Langdale Valley, just a short walk from Chapel Stile with spectacular views, parking adjacent and dogs welcome. Great for walkers/ cyclists.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 214 reviews
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  • Nr Coniston
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £567
    Per week (seasonal)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 214 reviews
    Rating from 214 reviews
    Newly refurbished two bedroom Coniston cottage with private hot tub, small garden, log burner, parking for two cars & all year round short breaks. Dog friendly by arrangement.
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 214 reviews
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  • Coniston
    Sleeps 5
    Prices from
    £504
    Per week (seasonal)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 214 reviews
    Rating from 214 reviews
    Delightful single storey three bedroom holiday cottage in Coniston with lawn garden, ramp access, parking for three cars & a bathroom with shower. Short breaks. Pet friendly.
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  • Prices from
    £760
    Per week (seasonal) sleeps 8
     
    Historical holiday cottage in the Lake District. Dating back to the 1900s. Sleeps eight. Five bedrooms. Free parking. Families and groups welcome. Ideal for walkers and cyclists.
     
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  • Coniston
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £480
    Per week (seasonal), sleeps 4
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 214 reviews
    Rating from 214 reviews
    Stylish mid-terrace cottage in Coniston, peacefully situated close to amenities with parking, WiFi and pets welcome. Family facilities and log burner. Front garden and rear patio.
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  • Coniston
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £441
    Per week (seasonal)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 214 reviews
    Rating from 214 reviews
    This charming two bedroom cottage offers beautiful views over Coniston Water, garden, family amenities, dishwasher, washer/ dryer & bike storage. Short breaks. Dog friendly.
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  • Coniston
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    £441
    Per week (seasonal)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 214 reviews
    Rating from 214 reviews
    Well appointed two bedroom Coniston cottage with parking, dishwasher, washer/ dryer, gardens & fell views. Dog friendly by arrangement. Short breaks welcome.
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    Rating from 214 reviews
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