The perfect jumping-off point for explorations in the Lake District—England’s largest and most-visited national park—the town of Windermere also abuts the country’s largest lake. Within easy reach of heritage villages and scenic attractions, Windermere (and the surrounding region) can be seen in just one day. Here’s how.
Morning: Follow in Wordsworth’s Footsteps
Billed as the most popular village in Cumbria, nearby Grasmere boasts riverside scenery, charming cottages, and a tranquil pace of living. But that’s not why it’s famous. Instead, the village is best-known as the former residence of Romantic poet William Wordsworth, who wandered lonely as a cloud and composed his odes to daffodils while living here. Get your morning off to a cultural start when you follow in the poet’s footsteps: You can visit several of his former abodes, and even see his final resting place, in the cemetery at St. Oswald’s Church.
Afternoon: Learn About the Life of Beatrix Potter
Wordsworth wasn’t the only writer who took inspiration from the Lake District’s extraordinary scenery: Beatrix Potter, known for her beloved children’s stories and watercolor illustrations, lived just a hop, skip, and a jump away, at a house called Hill Top in the village of Hawkshead. Pause at a country pub for a hearty lunch (or venture to a traditional tea room) en route to your next stop. Upon arrival at Hill Top, you can tour her rural farmstead, wander the gardens that inspired her work, and see her original artworks displayed in the on-site gallery.
Evening: Cruise on England’s Largest Lake
Wind down your day in Windermere with a particularly magical experience: a cruise on Lake Windermere. The glacier-carved lake is ringed with verdant hills, and sunset is a peaceful time to take in its glory. Alternatively, venture to the bustling market town of Kendal, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Watch the sun go down behind the ruins of 12th-century Kendal Castle, admire its heritage architecture, and dine in one of the rustic local inns.