Introducing Windermere & Bowness
Of all England's lakes, none carries the cachet of Windermere. Stretching for 10.5 silvery miles from Ambleside to Newby Bridge, it's one of the classic Lake District vistas, and has been a centre for tourism since the first steam trains chugged into town in 1847.
The town itself is split between Windermere, 1.5 miles uphill from the lake, and bustling Bowness-on-Windermere (usually shortened to Bowness), with its touristy collection of teashops, ice-cream stalls and cruise boats. On summer days it can feel uncomfortably crowded, but even then it's usually possibly to find some serenity: either by venturing out on the lake itself, or drinking in the views form the surrounding hills.
The two areas of town are linked by Lake Road, lined with hotels and B&Bs. The train and bus stations are both in Windermere town.