Central Lake District

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.

Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.