The Best Summer Activities in Windermere

28 June 2024

Things to Do in Windermere From The Old England

A spellbinding natural setting worth experiencing at any time of year, Lake Windermere really comes into its own during the summer season.

Having inspired generations of artists and writers with its alluring beauty, there's plenty to see and do in Windermere and the Lake District that showcase why the national park is so treasured.

With inviting lakeside accommodation at The Old England Hotel & Spa, you can enjoy a front-row seat to gaze upon its glistening waters, only disturbed by the gentle hum of cruise boats.

From paddleboarding on the lake to seeing Beatrix Potter's imaginative world inspired by the region come to life, we've handpicked a variety of top activities and attractions you won't want to miss.

Windermere Lake Cruises

Step outside your accommodation at Old England and you can enjoy swift access to the jetty in Bowness, where you can catch cruise boats that will take you on a scenic tour of England’s largest lake.

Stop off at Ambleside, Brockhole, Bowness & Lakeside in between observing the magnificent mountain landscape, secretive coves and small island that make up this natural treasure of the Cumbrian region.

Cruise on Lake Windermere

Lakes Aquarium

After exploring every corner of Lake Windermere this summer, why not take a closer look at the incredible creatures that inhabit the waters of the Lake District.

Lakes Aquarium showcases not only the local wildlife from the region, but also offers a glimpse into the exotic underwater worlds across the Americas and beyond, with the chance to see clownfish of Finding Nemo fame and captivating piranhas.

Deep Sea World

Beatrix Potter Experience

The enchanting tales of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and many others have been the cornerstone of bedtime reading for children through the generations.

With the inspiring canvas of the Lake District so entwined in these stories - Beatrix Potter having lived in Sawrey village for much of her later life and frequenting Windermere as a child - see it all come to life at The World of Beatrix Potter.

From the award-winning Peter Rabbit Garden to a character-themed café, it’s the perfect family-friendly day trip when staying with us this summer.

Beatrix Potter World

Brockhole on Windermere

A fantastic summertime activity for those looking for an adrenalin-fuelled day can be sought just 10 minutes’ drive away from our hotel.

Brockhole on Windermere offers a great chance to try something different – with archery, treetop trekking and kayaking part of an all-action adventure rounded off with a ‘Brave the Cave’ escapade through Brockhole’s caving tunnels.

Wind down after expelling all that energy with a gentle walk through 30 acres of stunning gardens, before returning to our Lakeview Restaurant for dinner.

Kayaking at Brockhole

Paddleboarding in Bowness

Did you know that you can paddleboard on Lake Windermere without needing a permit?

Whether you wish to bring your own board or hire one during your stay in Bowness, the summer months are the ideal time to either learn how to paddleboard or show off your skills in one of the country’s most picturesque settings.

If you’re looking for some expert guidance on getting the most out of the pursuit, you can also choose from a variety of paddleboard experiences including guided tours – and even the opportunity to paddle the entire length of the lake!


Lakeland Adventures

For an unforgettable journey, glide through the famous waters of Lake Windermere on a yacht, with Lakeland Adventures’ sailing experiences for up to eight people meaning the whole family or large group of friends can enjoy the ride.

With a yacht skipper and host included, you can have a go at helping guide the vessel should you want to – or simply switch off and admire the breathtaking surroundings of the lake, before stopping off in a relaxing bay for a summer picnic.

Boats on Lake Windermere

Kankku Off-Road Driving

An Old England Lake District getaway is not only handy for exploring the national park by foot or on water, but also via more unconventional methods – including going off the beaten track with Kankku 4x4 experiences, available every day during summer.

From intrepid self-drive adventures for those experienced in driving larger vehicles to guided, family-friendly drives with a stunning lake and mountain backdrop for company, discover how to navigate rough terrain while respecting the wider landscape.

Kankku off road experience

Hikes with Waterfalls

It stands to reason that a natural environment famed the world over for its untamed beauty would have several water features that you won’t want to miss during your visit.

Aira Force is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding of searches in the hunt for a picture-perfect waterfall, with thousands of visitors flocking to its location each year to venture through a network of woodland trails suiting all ages and abilities.

Admire Glenridding’s renowned landmark near Ullswater and you’ll be able to tick off one of the most romantic places in the region – so ensure you take your favourite person along for the journey so that you can experience it together.

Aira Force path and rubble

South Lakes Safari Zoo

Take a short car journey south of Lake Windermere and you’ll reach South Lakes Safari Zoo, where you’ll find an exciting family day out featuring over 1,000 animals.

From majestic big cats to roaming kangaroos and gravity defying squirrel monkeys, there's plenty of opportunity to observe rare and endangered species in enclosures carefully designed to suit their specific needs.

Book in advance to join in animal feeding sessions or even practice being a zookeeper during your visit - guaranteed to give the kids memories to last a lifetime.

Tiger, South Lakes Safari Zoo