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Best Walks From Bowness and Windermere in the Lake District

By Dave Roberts   

on February 20, 2019    No ratings yet.

Best Walks From Bowness and Windermere in the Lake District

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The small town of Windermere takes it’s name from perhaps the most well-known of the Lake District’s lakes. At almost 17km long and 66m at it’s deepest, Windermere is England’s largest lake. Bowness-on-Windermere has become a popular destination for visitors all year round, and has a mix of circular lakeside walks suitable for all the family, or options for the more adventurous to head to nearby hilltops.

What’s In Bowness-on-windermere and Windermere?

With the largest lake in the county at your disposal watersports takes pride of place, with plenty of sailing and windsurfing centres to choose from, as well as a number of adventure activity companies.

This busy tourist town also boasts a good variety of local shops, including the flagship store of the well-known kitchenware retailer Lakeland.

Fans of Peter Rabbit and friends, young and the not so young can enjoy the World of Beatrix Potter.

How Can I Get To Bowness-on-windermere and Windermere?

Arriving by train your nearest station stop would be at Windermere, which links with the mainline at Oxenholm. Arriving by road from the north take junction 39 off the M6 onto B6261 then the A6, then on towards Windermere along the A591. Or from the south you can take junction 36 and follow A590 then A591 for Windermere.

There are good public transport links for Windermere, with buses running to Bowness, Brockhole, Ambleside, Grasmere and further. Travelling the length of England’s largest lake is made possible thanks to the Windermere Lake Cruises.

What Pubs and eateries are there in Bowness-on-windermere and Windermere?

As one of the main hubs in the Lake District you’re spoilt for choice! Highlights include The Albert a Robinsosn brewery pub, and we must include the oldest pub in Bowness-on-Windermere, the Hole in t’Wall, or as it was originally named the New Hall Inn.

There’s also eating to suit all, highlights include the Porto which provides bistro style modern British dining. Or if after something smaller, the Homeground offers coffee and brunch options.

There are a number of walking bases near Windermere which if we included all the routes in this post, it woulds simply be too long! So we’ve linked to the comprehensive articles that we’ve already published that provide the in-depth information you’ll need for all the walking routes from the towns and villages near Windermere.

Walks from Ambleside

Nearby Ambleside is a perfect base for hill walking. You could spend a week walking from the town itself without the need to jump in a car. The highlights would definitely include the walk up Wansfell simply for the view it provides down towards Windermere. One of the nation’s favourite walks, the Coffin Route, takes you through one of the most scenic valleys in all of England while those looking for a classic mountain walk can walk the Fairfield Horseshoe. You can get to Ambleside from Windermere by regular bus, or short drive.

Walks from Grasmere

The chocolate box village of Grasmere isn’t far away, and includes classic walks including Helm Crag, Helvellyn and Rydal Water. It can also be used as a base for the popular Fairfield Horseshoe. Grasmere is on the regular Windermere-Keswick bus routes, or a short drive away.

Walks from Great Langdale

Great Langdale is a short drive from Windermere and provides the best option for those wanting to walk up Scafell Pike from Windermere via the Scafell Pike from Langdale route. There are other classic walks including the Climber’s Traverse up Bowfell and the Langdale Pikes. There are plenty of lower level options with the walk via Little Langdale and the popular Blea Tarn.

Walks from Bowness-on-windermere and Windermere

Here are the walks directly from Bowness-on-windermere and Windermere. Most are easier circular walking routes, but even if not they will have a reasonably straightforward return to the start by ferry or public transport. We’ve also included nearby Troutbeck into the mix – as there are a few good walks from there that we think deserve to be included.

Windermere’s West Shore Walk – Ferry House and Red Nab to Wray Castle

Height Gained – 200 metres ,  Distance – 7.3 km, Time – 2-3 hours 

What better way to start any walk from Windermere but by boat! This walk along the West Shore of Windermere is an absolute classic route and you can use either the seasonal Bowness To Ferry House (Cross Lakes Shuttle) or the all year round Windermere ferry from Bownesss to Ferry House.

Orrest Head Walk

Height Gained – 200 metres ,  Distance – 2.5 km, Time – 1 hour

If you’re looking for a Windermere walk with views then this is it. The walk up Orrest Head from Windermere Railway Station is a classic walk that’s perfect to fill an hour or two on arrival day ad was the summit that inspired Wainwright to walk the Lake District fells.

Easy Walk to Orrest Head from Windermere

Townend and Troutbeck Valley from Brockhole

Height Gained – 200 metres ,  Distance – 6 km, Time – 2 hours 

Brockhole, to the north of Windermere, is the Lake District National Park visitor centre and worth a visit in itself. You can take part in numerous activites from laser clay pigeon shooting to archery, orienteering to kayaking. Of course, you can also go walking; with this easy route taking you to Troutbeck. You can easily extend the walk into the village, have some lunch at the Mortal Man before returning back to Brockhole.

High Street from Troutbeck

Height Gained – 1080 metres ,  Distance – 21 km, Time – 7 hours 

The walk up High Street from Troutbeck is a must do route, especially as it follows the undulating ridge of Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick to the summit of High Street.

Wansfell Pike from Troutbeck

Height Gained – 360 metres ,  Distance – 7 km, Time – 3 hours 

Wansfell Pike and Baystones makes a more modest walk from Troutbeck if the walk up the High Street is a little too demanding. While the highest point may only be 487m high, the views across to the surrounding mountains and across Windermere make it a worth half day’s outing.

Brant Fell Walk

Height Gained – 173 metres ,  Distance – 5.5 km, Time – 1.5 hours 

Brant Fell is Bowness-on-windermere’s own little fell. Providing extensive views to the surrounding countryside and across Windermere, this is a shoo-in if you’ve just arrived after a long journey and need to get the blood flowing back to your legs.

Bowness to Cockshott Point

Height Gained – 0 metres ,  Distance – 2 km, Time –30 minutes 

Our final walk probably ranks as a stroll, and if you arrive too late to walk up Brant Fell then there’s absolutely no excuse not to get your bearings on this walk. At only 30 minutes, you could polish this off before you polish off your full English back at the hotel.

Local Information and Recommended Maps and Guidebooks

Recommended Maps


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Dave Roberts

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