One or two lakes may be more dramatic, a couple of others may pip it for beauty but in terms of size and popularity, Windermere is the clear winner. At more than 10 miles (16km) in length, it is the largest natural stretch of water in England, and the area to which many visitors to Cumbria gravitate.

To the north lies the busy town of Ambleside from where roads lead to poet William Wordsworth’s homeland around Rydal and Grasmere and the walkers’ favourite of the Langdale valleys. On the eastern shore is Bowness-on-Windermere, epicentre of lake activity, its promenade in the season as busy a spot as you’ll find anywhere in the Lake District.

One way from Bowness takes you up to Windermere village and then northwards into the Troutbeck Valley towards Kirkstone Pass and Ullswater. Another way heads into the Lyth and Winster valleys, Cumbria’s famous damson growing area. At the foot of the lake is Newby Bridge and near by is Lakeside, the southern terminus for Windermere Lake Cruises.

The Lake District

The Lake District

The Lake District

The Lake District

The Lake District

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