5 Things to See and Do On a Day Trip to Windermere

If you’re staying at one of our beautiful holiday parks here at Holgates, you’re only a short drive away from the scenic town of Windermere, which makes for a perfect day out with the family.

Orrest head view

The towns of Windermere and Bowness, as well as the surrounding areas, are packed full of things to see and do, whether it’s a trip out on the lake, a visit to some of the most beautiful gardens in England, or historic sights and landmarks. Here are just five things to try and fit into your day trip to Windermere.

Windermere Lake Cruises

Probably the most popular thing to do on a visit to Windermere is to take a boat trip out on the lake itself. The attraction was also named one of England’s top 10 tourist attractions in 2018.

Windermere is the largest lake in the country and Windermere Lake Cruises offer cruises aboard their traditional boats and steamers, which run the whole length of the lake, with journeys from 45 minutes to three hours available, with stops at Waterhead, Bowness and Lakeside.

It’s a great way to take in the sights of the surrounding fells aboard a classic craft, although do bear in mind, a lake cruise is a popular experience and the boats can get busy during peak times!

If you’d rather take things at your own pace, there’s also a selection of self-drive and rowing boats available for hire too.

Orrest Head

For an alternative view of the lake, take the short walk up from the town centre to Orrest Head, the walk which introduced famed fellwalker and guidebook author Alfred Wainwright to the Lakes.

If you want to get a fantastic view across the Lakes, but are only up for the day, this is the easiest way to see as much as possible with as little effort, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes.

Just like it did with Wainwright, Orrest Head is often the walk that gives many people the bug for fellwalking in the Lakes, and it’ll only take you around an hour and a half!

Holehird Gardens

Overlooking the lake, Holehird Gardens is a stunning demonstration garden set over five acres of hillside.

Home to the Lakeland Horticultural Society, not only can you take in a diverse selection of plants, but the gardens also offer great views over the lake and the surrounding fells.

The gardens are found within the grounds of the Holehird Estate, a 19th-century house which was designed by the architect of Manchester Cathedral. During the summer months, visitors can experience a guided tour of gardens to learn about the history and horticulture on display.


The Lake District visitor centre, Brockhole, is situated within 30 acres of lush green space, just down the road from Windermere on the road to nearby Ambleside.

The centre is home to a number of activities such as the famous treetop trek, boat and kayak hire, rafting, clay shooting, archery and much more, as well as a shop and tea rooms.

The grounds stretch right down to the shore of the lake and offer great views. Plus, you can even arrive by boat with Windermere Lake Cruises if you wish!

Brockhole have really increased the number of things to do at the centre in recent years, with the most recent addition being the new Crazi Bugs off-road driving experience for kids!

The World of Beatrix Potter

One of Windermere’s most popular attractions, especially amongst younger visitors, is the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness.

The attraction showcases modern displays featuring scenes from the children’s books, which have become even more popular following the 2018 Peter Rabbit movie (with a sequel in the works), with regular events and an extensive gift shop and restaurant too.

From Peter Rabbit to Jemima Puddle-Duck, you’ll meet all of your favourite characters, complete with the sights, sounds and even smells of the Cumbria countryside.

It also provides an insight into the life of Beatrix Potter herself, who spent much of her life in the local area (her old home Hill Top is located just on the other side of the lake).

And outside, you’ll find the Peter Rabbit Garden, a perfect recreation of the garden in which Peter Rabbit escaped the clutches of Mr McGregor in the books!

These are just some of the main things to see and do during your day trip to Windermere during a stay at one of our holiday parks in Cumbria and Lancashire, but for some more inspiration, be sure to get in touch!