Historical Windermere

Since the late 19th century, Lake Windermere has been one of the most popular destinations for tourism in the UK. As the most famous lake in the Lake District National Park, and the largest natural lake in England, Windermere has inspired millions of people in the past 150 years and will continue to do so for decades to come. The lake is what is known as a ribbon lake and stretches over 11 miles through the heart of the Lake District. Its distinctive shape, and generous shoreline mean that there are many Windermere hotels for tourists to choose from and plenty for tourists to see.

Windermere

Windermere

Storrs Hall Luxury hotel

Storrs Hall Luxury hotel

Windermere houses 18 islands, the largest of which is Belle Isle which is privately owned and inhabited. In fact, the island has been inhabited since ancient times when the Roman Governor of Ambleside made his home on the 40 acre plot. Since then the Lord of the Manor and the Royalist support of the English Civil War have called the island home. The inspirational lake, described by poet William Wordsworth as “like a vast river, stretching in the sun”, has been the site of many eccentric feats over the years, many for a good cause, with the most recent being the 11 mile swim completed by a woman from Surrey who has an acute fear of depths. Windermere is also the home of the Great North Swim, a charity event which attracted over 10,000 entrants in 2011.

Houses by the lake

Houses by the lake

Due to its size and natural beauty, Windermere has always been a popular spot for boaters, from the individual dinghy to the huge British Rail boats Tern (launched in 1891), Teal (1936) and Swan (1938) which are all operational today. None of that impressive fleet can match the speed of the Miss England II which smashed the world water speed record in 1930, traversing the lake at 98mph (the lake now has a 12mph speed limit). While the Lake District is filled with historical sites and curious wonderment, there is nowhere more steeped in history than the largest lake of all, Windermere. It seems fitting that the last words on the lake should go to Wordsworth: “A universe of Nature’s fairest forms, proudly revealed with instantaneous burst, magnificent, and beautiful.”

Boats in Windermere

Boats in Windermere

Windermere photos: eVo, Izzy Smart, martin.roberts32

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Categories: What to See

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