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At 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) in length, running in a north-south direction, Windermere is the largest of the Lake District’s waterways and a magnet for holidaymakers, especially in summer. Pleasure cruisers, rowboats, passenger ferries and other craft ensure its waters are rarely unruffled, the air humming with outboard motors and jet-skis.

However the lake does have its calmer side, with quiet bays offering superb views of surrounding hills and mountains and numerous sites of historical interest on or near its shoreline.

Besides the twinned towns of Windermere and Bowness, Ambleside, at the northern tip of the lake, is one of the main centers. There you can visit the remains of a Roman fort as well as Rydal Mount, a house inhabited by William Wordsworth for much of his life.

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