Things To Do

There are several picturesque walks available from Ivy Bank.  One of the finest taking you within 30 minutes to see the spectacular view from Orrest Head – considered to be one of the most perfect viewpoints that the Lake District can offer. Other walks will take you to School Knott, Brant Fell, Biskey Howe, tumbling waterfalls at Millerground and Sherrifs Walk and the Lake Shore, all approximately 30 minutes from our door.

For a more leisurely view of the surrounding fells wander down to the Lake and take a cruise on one of the traditional lake steamers. Alternatively, should you wish, we can arrange for the local mini-bus operators to collect you at the door for one of their half or full day tours.

There are no end of things to do during your stay at Ivy Bank, picnics by cascading waterfalls, relaxing cruises on the 4 larger lakes, rugged mountain peaks to conquer, historic haunts from stone circles and Roman Forts to Bobbin Mills and Stately homes, steam trains and slate mines.

We can give you advice on longer walks either from Ivy Bank or from other areas of Cumbria, the Western Dales or Hadrian’s Wall country. In fact the whole of the North West is within easy reach of Windermere.

Apart from the beautiful and varied scenery which would take a lifetime to explore, there are plenty of other interesting things to do:

Close to Windermere village:

Boat trip on Windermere
The best way to see Windermere all year round.
Steam Boat Museum
**Due to reopen in 2016. A unique and historic collection of Steam and Motor Boats.
Blackwell Arts and Crafts Movement House
Designed by M H Baillie Scott. Completed in 1900 at the crossroads of Victorian design and modern architecture. A real gem.
Townend, Yeoman Farmers House
A very fine example of 17th-century Lake District vernacular architecture. contains carved woodwork, books, papers, furniture and fascinating domestic implements.
The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
An indoor re-creation of the Peter Rabbit tales of Beatrix Potter.


Around Lake Windermere:

The Aquarium of the Lakes
More than 30 naturally-themed habitats bring the natural history of the Lake District vividly to life.
Stott Park Bobbin Mill
Fascinating fully functional Mill
Hill Top (Beatrix Potter’s home)
Idyllic old farm house.
Lakeside and Haverthwaite Steam Railway
3½ mile section through contrasting lake and river scenes and the station café at Haverthwaite is wonderful.
Stagshaw Garden
A woodland garden containing a fine collection of shrubs, including many notable rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias.


Within approximately 30mins by road:

Boat trip on Ullswater
Beautiful scenery – combine a cruise and a walk.
Dove Cottage
Home of William Wordsworth from December 1799 to May 1808.
Rydal Mount
Wordsworth and his family lived here from 1813.
Grizedale Forest
High ropes course, 8 waymarked paths, 5 waymarked cycle trails, one all ability trail.
Levens Hall
A homely stately home with topiary gardens and traction engines.
Holker Hall
Magnificent Hall, national award winning gardens and the Lakeland Motor Museum.
Beatrix Potter Gallery
17th-century building once the office of Beatrix Potter’s husband containing exhibition of her original sketches and watercolours.
Sizergh Castle & Gardens
Medieval castle surrounded by gardens including a particularly beautiful rock garden.
Lakeland Miniature Village
Cumbria’s only miniature village – over 140 buildings made from local Coniston slate.
Lakeland Motor Museum
Over 30,000 motoring related exhibits.
Quaker Tapestry
A delightful visual chronicle of Quaker life through the centuries.
Heaton Cooper Art Gallery
Art Gallery and Art Shop in Grasmere


Within 45mins by road:

Boat trip on Derwent Water
Cruises around Derwent Water throughout the year.
Dalemain House
Mediaeval, Tudor and early Georgian house.
John Ruskin’s home and gardens on the shores of Coniston Water.
Ruskin Museum
A celebration of Conistons heritage. Ruskin, the coppermines, slate, geology, lace and Donald Campbell.
Boat trip on Coniston
More Beautiful scenery at a leisurely pace.
Europe’s largest grass covered building and National Mountaineering Exhibition.
Cumberland Pencil Museum
Fascinating – you wouldn’t believe what you didn’t know about pencils.
Aira Force
Dramatic walks and Aira Force waterfalls.
The Puzzling Place
Optical art and illusions.


Within 45mins by road:

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
From the Lake District Coast to the foot of England’s highest mountains, small steam engines haul trains through two of ‘Lakeland’s loveliest valleys’.
Honister slate mine
At the head of the Honister Pass England’s only Slate Mine.
Muncaster Castle
Historic haunted castle.and the World Owl Centre.
Acorn Bank Garden and Watermill
The famous herb garden is the largest collection of medicinal and culinary plants in the North.
Hadrians Wall Walking
The best known frontier in the entire Roman Empire.


Mini-bus tours:

A great way of seeing a lot in a short time. Information on these can be found at:




Restaurants in Windermere:


Restaurants in Bowness:


Country Pubs:






Car Hire:

If you would like to look into hiring a car then try