No Rain On Us!

Exploring England #24

It’s often wet and windy in the Lake District but the sky was blue, the sun was shining and a warm breeze was blowing the day we visited Lake Windermere. Of course this meant that many other people were also taking advantage of the glorious weather. Lake Windermere is England’s largest natural lake so there was plenty of room for everyone.

A leisurely cruise is a great way to enjoy the lake and there are several ticket options. We chose a route around the southern half of Lake Windermere with the addition of a vintage steam train ride from Lakeside to Haverthwaite and back. After a short wait on the quay at Bowness-on-Windermere, we boarded the steamer Tern and found a sunny spot on the deck.

Ours wasn’t the only craft on the water – canoes, sail boats and small ferries loaded with tourists all passed by.

The shores of the lake are lined with dense woodland punctuated by small stony bays. Some give respite to weary sailors or shelter to watercraft while others are filled with beautiful homes and boutique hotels.

After 45 minutes of smooth sailing we docked at Lakeside, at the southern end of the lake. Billowing clouds of steam led us to the little train, waiting for us to board for the next leg of the journey. The railway line follows the course of the River Leven through the scenic Leven Valley. Contented sheep grazing in the lush fields hardly looked up as the train clattered past on its way to Haverthwaite Station.

The heritage station dates from the mid 1800s and once serviced the nearby village of Haverthwaite. Today it services modern railway enthusiasts, who enjoy the nostalgic feel of the 19th century platform, complemented by a traditional Punch and Judy show.

Instead of relaxing with the dozens of other tourists, we ventured beyond the platform where we discovered a happy surprise behind the children’s playground.

A winding woodland path led us uphill through the trees to a small lookout, from which the view was anything but small. From our hidden vantage point, a vast expanse of green fields stretched away to the hills in the distance and a lighthouse overlooking Morecambe Bay.

The train whistle beckoned and we climbed aboard once more for the return trip to Lakeside, where the steamer Swan was waiting to sail north.

By the end of the day the breeze had lost its warmth, but the sun was still shining as we arrived back in Bowness. Lucky for us because, true to form, the next day it was raining at Lake Windermere.


24 thoughts on “No Rain On Us!

  1. You were very lucky to have no rain here, Carol. You got some stunning photos. When Mike and I went to Windermere in 1999, it rained the whole time we were there. We never took a cruise or a train ride, so thanks for taking us along with you! 🙂

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    • We prefer to visit Europe/UK in September and October and usually find the weather is pretty good. On this last trip, we were there for five weeks and only had two days when there was heavy rain and even that wasn’t for the whole day.


  2. I always regard Windermere as tame Lake District, Carol, and I prefer it a bit wilder. But if you’ve never seen it before AND you get a sunny day, you’re blessed 🙂 🙂 It’s a long time ago that I rode the Haverthwaite railway.

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  3. You did time your trip here well Carol, last September was the best month of the year and certainly the best September for a long time, it was not only sunny, but warm too! We avoided Windermere on our visit to the Lakes a couple of years ago, preferring the more northern part, but it is all very beautiful as your photos show.

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