A cruise on Windermere is the quintessential way for visitors to experience the stunning scenery surrounding England’s largest lake, including the famous Lakeland fells, wooded shoreline and rolling countryside. So it’s no surprise Windermere Lake Cruises is England’s sixth most popular ‘paid for’ visitor attraction with almost 1.5million passenger journeys every year.
The company operates 16 vessels, including three historic ‘steamers’ known as MV Tern, MV Swan and MV Teal. Built in 1891, the iconic MV Tern is the lake’s oldest boat and even hosted the Olympic Torch as part of its nationwide relay for the 2012 Olympic Games.
All of the steamers have heated indoor cabins where passengers can make the most of an on-board commentary, telling them more about the lake’s fascinating landscape and heritage. There is also a fleet of traditional wooden launches and modern waterbuses, which run all year round.
In total, there are 100+ daily scheduled sailings on the lake at the height of the summer season. They vary between 30 minutes and 90 minutes in length and can include round trips or one-way sailings from one part of the lake to another. Passengers can sail from an array of lakeside locations including Ambleside (Waterhead), Bowness-on-Windermere and Lakeside, with easy links to a network of easy walking trails and family-friendly cycling routes.