One of the most popular holiday bases in the Lake District, Bowness-on-Windermere is a picture-postcard Victorian town on the eastern shores of Lake Windermere. The town is home to top family attraction The World of Beatrix Potter and contains a wealth of fine specialist shops, traditional inns, great cafes serving locally sourced Lakeland food and a wide choice of luxury B&Bs, hotels and restaurants.
A superb programme of theatre and cinema in Bowness is offered by main venues The Old Laundry Theatre and the historic Royalty Cinema. Boat hire and outdoor activities are widely available on Lake Windermere from a choice of outdoor activity centres located in and around the town at Bowness Bay.
Boat trips on Lake Windermere from Bowness Pier are available from Windermere Lake Cruises running regularly between Bowness, Ambleside and Lakeside. Self drive and rowing boat hire is also available. Windermere Quays Marina is a further hotspot for boat hire, lakeside inns, cafes and restaurants, plus ample boat berthing space for visitors.
Bowness pier, the arrival point for Windermere Lake Cruises is just a 5 minute walk from town centre shops and attraction. Boat trips around the Lake are a great way to explore top tourist centres in the National Park. Stop off points include Lakeside in the south, nearby Ambleside and Brockhole Visitor Centre with on-site cafe, gardens and free outdoor playground.
The Windermere Ferry runs regularly across the lake from Ferry Nab boarding point just south of Bowness-on-Windermere centre. The Ferry is a convenient car ferry service also open to foot passengers, cyclists and horse riders which operates year round across Lake Windermere every 20 minutes. The Windermere Ferry runs to Ferry House on the western shore of Lake Windermere offering easy access to Beatrix Potter Country around Hawkshead and Far Sawry. During the summer season a minibus service also operates direct from Ferry House to Beatrix Potter's historic home Hilltop.
Outdoor activities and water sports around Lake Windermere are available from great outdoor activity centres in the town. Water sports on Lake Windermere include canoeing and kayaking. Many land-based adventure activities like gorge scrambling, orienteering and rock climbing in the Central Lakes are also available, with gentler activities including scenic lakeside walks and trails.