It is a ribbon lake formed 13,000 years ago by two glaciers, it is drained by the River Leven at its southern most point. Ambleside and Bowness on Windermere are the only towns on the lake, Windermere (the town) does not touch the lake directly.

The lake is home to 18 islands of which the largest is Belle Isle and is around a 1000m in length, the rest are considerably smaller, the smallest of which is Maiden Holme which is home only to one tree.


There are many travel options for those wishing to explore the lake, such as the Windermere Ferry which carries cars and passengers alike and runs from Ferry Nab to Far Sawrey on the eastern side of the lake or explore by rail using the ‘Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway’ stops are at Lakeside, Haverthwaite and Newby Bridge and services are usually timed to meet the sailings of the excursion or steam vessels on Windermere, sailing from Lakeside to Bowness & Ambleside.

Don’t forget to take in the extraordinary Windermere Steamboat Museum on Rayrigg Road it has an amazing collection of steam driven boats dating back to 1896.

Interesting Facts

On Friday 13 June 1930, the world water speed record was smashed by Sir Henry Segrave in Miss England II at 98.76 miles per hour sadly on the third run the boat capsized and Segrave died from his injuries.

In 2000 the Lake district National Park Authority set a bylaw limiting the speed on the lake to 10 Knots this decision was met with much controversy where some thought it would restore the tranquil nature of the lake others where believed that it would have a negative effect on those businesses and people who worked in areas that this bylaw affected such as water sports and as a result would have a knock on effect to the rest of the area.

On 14 September 2008 the Great North Swim held its inaugural one mile open water swim on Lake Windermere with 2200 swimmers taking part.  It is to be an annual event and in 2009 over 6000 swimmers registered and 4600 recorded a finishing time. The official web site is and the dates for 2010 are the 4th & 5th of September.

Monster below, yes like many bodies of water Lake Windermere has its own LNM (Loch Ness Monster) it’s called Eachy and it apparently looks like a giant eel. Although there appears to be some confusion as to where the Eachy lives as there are some reports that its home is Bassenthwaite Lake!

And finally the area is featured as an arena in Tekken a very popular Sony Playstation game. (not a lot of people know that!)




Coordinates      54°21′30″N 2°56′10″W

Miss England II
The Great North Swim