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Lake Windermere is one of the great beauties of the Lake District, and a highlight for holidaymakers since the tourist trains started arriving in 1847. There are technically two towns making up ‘Windermere’: there’s Windermere Town, which is on the top of a steep hill overlooking the lake, and Bowness-on-Windermere, which actually sits on the lake’s shore. Windermere Town has the train station, a charming high street and majestic rows of Victorian and Edwardian villas, while touristy Bowness has the restaurants, cafes, tea shops, ice cream stalls and souvenir shops.
The best places to stay in Windermere can be found in both Windermere Town and Bowness, but it’s also worth considering the surrounding hills, where there are some very lovely, and very peaceful county house hotels and gastro pubs.
The Best Places to Stay in Windermere Town
- The Windermere Suites are a collection of eight, contemporary B&B rooms in Windermere proper. The rooms are decorated in monochrome, with a romantic feel. And there’s an indoor pool.
The Best Places to Stay in Windermere to Relax
- The Fayrer Garden House Hotel is a sprawling Victorian house with five acres of beautiful gardens offering panoramic views of the lake. There are 28 light, airy rooms and a lovely restaurant.
- Linthwaite House Hotel is a traditional hotel with 30 varied rooms and incredible hilltop views over the lake. There’s great walking right from the door, an excellent restaurant and one of the rooms has a private outdoor hot tub.
The Best Places to Stay in Windermere for Walkers
- For something a bit simpler try the Drunken Duck Inn, arguably Lake Windermere’s most famous gastro pub, but also housing 17 stylish, comfortable rooms. You’re in the heart of the Lake District, and there are some amazing walks, so you’ll appreciate the great food to come back to.
- The Samling Hotel is a beautiful 11 room hotel, close to Ambleside, in the hills surrounding Lake Windermere. The hotel’s views are incredible, but they also have comfortable but sumptuous decor and Michelin standard chefs.
- Slightly further from town is the Holbeck Ghyll Hotel, converted from a hunting lodge into a luxurious, 20 room country house hotel with a fabulous restaurant and a small spa.
- The Eltermere Inn is on the other side of the lake, around Elterwater, but this Georgian beauty is worth considering if you’re looking for somewhere traditional - think roll-top baths and high ceilings. There’s also a great restaurant serving a locally sourced menu.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Windermere for you?
- Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Windermere,
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Best Hotels in Windermere
Applegarth Villa 22 rooms from $182Windermere (Cumbria)
Adults-only, boutique bolthole with high-quality, designer bedrooms, including sumptuous suites with private hot-tubs. Family-run with a relaxed atmosphere and bistro-style restaurant and bar with an expansive collection of whiskeys. A real, spoiling treat in a great location.Romantic Break - Adults only hotel with a cocktail bar, huge rooms and private hot tubsSights nearby - Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth's houses are a short drive awayPrivate Hot Tub - All the seven suites have their own private outdoor hot tub.Sailing - A sailing trip along the iconic Lake Windemere
The Ryebeck 24 rooms from $195Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria
A comfortable country-house hotel in a peaceful setting, with beautiful views of Lake Windermere, yet still close to popular attractions. Relaxed and informal, with comfortable, unfussy bedrooms, it has an excellent restaurant turning out well-crafted Modern British dishes.Great walks - Superb walking either low-level or higher fells such as Langdale Pikes.Sights nearby - Visit Beatrix Potter’s house less than two miles from the hotel.Views - Great views from hotel
Cedar Manor 8 rooms from $202Windermere (Cumbria)
This former vicar's house is a heavenly stay very close to Lake Windermere with impressive views. A hearty menu of gourmet meals is served. Comfortable rooms, some modern some ecclesiastical in theme are decorated with Zoffany fabrics and Lloyd Loom wicker. The coach-house bathroom is palatial.Fishing - From brown trout to salmon there is a huge variety to be caught in Cumbria's lakes and rivers for the DIY fish supper.Sights nearby - The Beatrix Potter House and Museum is a charming afternoon out.Restrictions on children - Children are not permitted at this hotel.Remote - Off the beaten track.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
Hillthwaite 34 rooms from $189Windermere (Windermere)
A contemporary rural property sat perched a-top a hill with far reaching views across the Cumbrian countryside. Smart rooms mix traditional patterns and colouring with contemporary style. An indoor pool and spa provide some serious pampering. A charming spot for a rural escape.Country Escape - Located in the stunning Lake District close to Lake Windermere. Ideal for spending days in the great outdoors.Great walks - Make the most of the miles of hiking trails through some of the UKs finest countryside.Sights nearby - Visit Blackwell house and admire the Arts and Crafts architecture.Sailing - Take a romantic cruise on Lake Windermere.
The Windermere Suites 16 rooms from $234Windermere, Cumbria
Designer B&B with eight lavish and sexy monochrome suites including sultry accents and highlights of silver and uber-modern lights. Bathrooms have TVs and mood lighting - plus it’s always breakfast. Located in the heart of the Lake District it is a chic little retreat amidst traditional surrounds.Romantic Break - Large suites with private hot tubs are made for romanceSights nearby - William Wordsworth’s homes at Dove Cottage and Beatrix Potter's House are close bySailing - Lake cruises on WindermereSwimming Pool - Indoor PoolRecommended by - Johansens
Linthwaite House Hotel 30 rooms from $255Windermere, Cumbria
Slick, stylish designs meet an intimate Edwardian country house offering all round comfort. Award winning dishes and fine wines at the restaurant. From its hilltop location over Lake Windermere and the Fells - explore The Lake District on foot, bike or horseback. Serenity at its finest!Total relaxation - Pamper yourself with in-room beauty treatments and massages, refreshing walks and spoiling four course meals.Romantic Break - Take the stunning views, plush suites, two man tubs and candlelit dinners and you are guaranteed romance.Fishing - Try your hand at Fly fishing on the hotel's lake, a wonderfully peacefull way to spend an afternoon.Great walks - The hotel provides route-finding sheets of all the spectcular local walks, plus a guide if needed.Recommended by - I Escape, Tablet, Good Hotel Guide, Johansens, Kiwi Collection, Sawdays
Gilpin Hotel & Lake House 31 rooms from $280Windermere, Cumbria
Immaculate, country house hotel, with luxurious bedrooms and private suites, plus a Michelin starred restaurant. A separate Lake House with suites, pool, spa and rooms with private Hot Tubs. Set in 40 acres of stunning surroundings with a picturesque lake and lots of activities to offer nearby.Foodies - Chef Hrishikesh Desai knocks it out of the park everytime, he crafts exciting menus using locally sourced wonderful ingrediants.Romantic Break - Six of the incredible suites come with their own private gardens and cedarwood hot tubs, ideal for a romantic getaway!Country Escape - 20-acre gardens filled with magnolia, cherry blossoms and copper beech, not to mention the stunnig private lake.Fishing - Fishing can be organised on site, either on the private lake or a day trip to somewhere nearby.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Johansens, Relais & Chateaux, Sawdays, Michelin Travel
Windermere Boutique Hotel 13 rooms from $287Windermere, Cumbria
A beautiful Edwardian house hotel, near the shores of Lake Windermere. The individually decorated rooms are comfortable and spacious. Downstairs one can enjoy delicious food in the intimate dining room. In the heart for Beatrix Potter country, this is definitely one for the Peter Rabbit lovers.Active Holiday - Lake Windermere is perfect for watersports, and the surrounding parklands provide top notch walking and cycling options.Local exploring - Explore the rolling beauty of the Lake District, surrounding National Parkland and Beatrix Potter country.Sights nearby - Visit Beatrix Potter's Home- Hill Top, less than three miles from the hotel.Great walks - Beautiful walking routes around the shores of Lake Windermere.