Cruising in the Lake District
National Trust's Steam Yacht Gondola
With outdoor activities to suit virtually all ages and abilities, the Lake District is one big outdoor adventure playground. Encompassing England's five tallest mountains and countless beautiful lakes (most of which are actually called 'tarns' and 'meres'), the region offers a fabulous range of things to do.
One is to head out onto one of the lakes for a relaxing cruise and changing views of the surrounding mountain scenery, wooded islands and secluded bays. You can arrange a whole day out, combining a cruise on the lake with stops at some of the famous lakeside attractions, such as the Lakes Aquarium or Lakeland Motor Museum, or head out for a romantic sunset cruise in the early evening.
There are four main bodies of water in the Lake District where you can enjoy a relaxing boat cruise: in the South Lakes there's Windermere and Coniston Water, while in the North Lakes there's Derwentwater and Ullswater.
Plan and Book:
The Lakes and Journeys
Windermere is England's largest lake, in the heart of the Lake District. It has been one of the country's most popular places for holidays and summer homes since the arrival of the Kendal and Windermere Railway's branch line in 1847. Historically forming part of the border between Lancashire and Westmorland, it is now within the county of Cumbria and the Lake District National Park.
Windermere Steamboat Museum is located on Rayrigg Road in Bowness, and includes a collection of vintage steam boats dating back to 1850, five sailing boats (the oldest built in 1780), two dugout canoes, as well as information about Swallows and Amazons and the history of racing boats. The museum has been closed since 2006 for refurbishment.
The Windermere Ferry, a vehicle-carrying cable ferry, runs across the lake from Ferry Nab on the eastern side of the lake to Far Sawrey on the western side of the lake. This service forms part of the B5285. There are also two summer only passenger ferries that cross the lake. One crosses from Lakeside station to Fell Foot Park at the southern end of the lake, whilst the other links Bowness with Far Sawrey.
Windermere Lake Cruises offer cruises from 45 minutes to 3 hours - or you can even spend all day on and around the lake with our fantastic Freedom of the Lake ticket. No matter where you start your journey, be it Bowness, Ambleside or Lakeside the spectacular voyage gives the traveller magnificent views of mountain scenery, secluded bays and the many wooded islands.
Yellow Crise: This beautiful round trip from Bowness can be taken as a 90 minute non-landing cruise. Alternatively you may disembark at either Lakeside or Bowness Pier and return on a later boat. Each cruise includes a fascinating commentary on the history, attractions and points of interest surrounding Windermere.
Red Cruise: Sail from Bowness to Ambleside or vice versa. This beautiful round trip from Bowness can be taken as a 70 minute non-landing cruise.
Alternatively you may disembark at either Ambleside, Brockhole or Bowness Piers and return on a later boat. Each cruise includes a fascinating commentary on the history, attractions and points of interest surrounding Windermere.
Islands Cruise: Take in the islands of Windermere. A 45 minute circular cruise from Bowness, enjoy contrasting scenery of mountains, wooded shorelines and lovely tranquil bays.
Freedom Of The Lake: Enjoy a full day out on Windermere. Explore the whole of Windermere and enjoy a full day out with a Freedom of the Lake ticket. This best value cruise ticket is valid on all scheduled sailings and is valid for 24 hours from time of purchase or when you exchange your online e-voucher for your ticket at our piers.