Day 1: Arrive Ambleside
Ambleside is a bustling lakeside town and a great place to be based for a couple of days to enjoy the area. The train from London to Windermere takes approx 2.5hrs and from there the frequent Lakeslink bus runs to Ambleside or alternatively, it is just a 10 minute taxi journey.
Day 2: Ferry to Bowness/Walk to Ambleside - 10 miles
Catch an early ferry from Ambleside to Bowness before setting out from Bowness Bay and walking back to Ambleside.
After walking through Windermere Village on footpaths, you will soon head into the hills on this delightful days’ walking. You will take in some of the most breathtaking views of the Lake District from vantage points such as Orrest Head (described by Wainwright after completing this walk as the ‘introduction to a dream.’ )This walk is actually known as the walk that inspired Wainwright.
Combine this with the high point of the Windermere Way at Wansfell Pike and this really does make for an exhilarating days walking.
Day 3: Walk to Ferry House - 13 miles/Ferry to Bowness
Today’s walk brings you the best of both worlds. Start off with an invigorating climb up Loughrigg Fell where you will be surrounded by stunning lake views. Followed by some gentle walking along the lakeshore from Wray Castle. If you are feeling energetic there is also a high option which will take you over Claife Heights.
When you arrive at Ferry Nab, it is just a short ferry trip over to Bowness for your overnight accommodation.
Bowness is a busy lakeside town with plenty to see and do, and restaurants and pubs galore! It provides an excellent base for your next few nights.
Day 4: Ferry to Ferry House/Walk to Lakeside - 7.5 miles/Ferry to Bowness
It is just a short ferry ride from Bowness Bay across to Ferry House to the start of today’s walk.
Enjoy some gentle walking along the lakeshore, and through tranquil woodlands on this delightful amble towards Lakeside. Keep your eye out for some of the plentiful wildlife including pheasant and other woodland birds.
Day 5: Ferry to Lakeside/Walk to Bowness - 14.5 miles
A fairly challenging day to finish off your jaunt in the Lake District! A steady climb via forest paths and a spruce plantation will bring you to the summit of Gummer How, from where you can take in yet more magnificent views in every direction. From here, and in good weather, you will be able to see the River Leven to the South, Coniston and the Langdales to the west, Helvellyn and Fairfield at the lake head and the Pennines to the East!
Day 6: Onwards Travel
The Windermere Way is generally on well defined paths and tracks, but we do recommend being able to use a map and compass.
The way is on well maintained footpaths, bridleways, across fields and on some minor roads. It does involve a some steep ascents and descents and the ground can be quite rugged underfoot.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4 star B&B’s or guesthouses. Your room will always have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is always included.
If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. Most of your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.
Baggage transfer from Ambleside to Bowness is included in the cost of your holiday. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 25kg per person.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.
Lacet House - Ambleside
A warm welcome awaits you at Lacet House Bed & Breakfast where Catherine & Graham offer 4 star accommodation for you to enjoy and to help you make your visit to Ambleside and the Lake district a memorable one.
Lingwood Lodge- Bowness-On-Windermere
Lingwood Lodge is a contemporary four star B&B located in peacefull surroundings not far from all ammenities.p>
Number 80- Bowness-On-Windermere
Uniquely decorated with stylish modern interiors, number 80 is a bed and breakfast with a difference. Only a short walk away from the shops, restaurants, bars and of course the lake, number 80 is perfectly located at the foot of the beautiful Biskey Howe beauty spot.p>
Getting to Ambleside
Ambleside is easily reached by train via Windermere (approx 3hrs from London, 1hr 30 from Manchester or 2hr from Glasgow.) From Windermere, the Lakeslink 555 bus runs regularly to Ambleside or it is just a 10 minute taxi journey. It is also easily reached by car but secure parking is limited in Ambleside You can find information for travelling to and from the Lake District by visiting the Traveline Website.
Getting back from Bowness
There are regular buses running between Bowness and Windermere, where you can get the train for onwards travel connections. Or alternatively, it would just be a 5 minute short taxi journey. If you have left your car in Ambleside then you can catch either the bus or ferry back to collect your car.
We do not include the tickets for your ferries as this leaves you free to decide what time you would like to catch the ferry. Please refer to the enclosed timetables in your information pack and plan your daily walks carefully so that you do not miss the last ferry.
We recommend giving yourself plenty of time to get to the pier and buy your ticket as the ferries can get very busy during peak season. The approx cost for all the ferries mentioned in your itinerary is £40 per person.
We are often asked the following questions by walkers planning The Windermere Way and I hope that you will find the following information useful.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.
How fit do I need to be?
If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
How far in advance do I need to book?
As far in advance as possible! We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as The Lakes are extremely popular. If booking at short notice we will always try and accommodate your plans.
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.
When is the best time of year?
The Windermere Way is very enjoyable at any time between the beginning of March and the end of November although my personal favourite time of year is the spring or September.
Am I able to take my dog?
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
You can use local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
You can start your Windermere Way walk on any date from March to November, subject to availability. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in. Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
Because every Windermere Way walking holiday we book is unique availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:
- You provisionally book the tour you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
- We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 5 working days).
- If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.
||6 Days & 5 Nights
- Hand picked B&B or guesthouse accommodation in en-suite rooms.
- Baggage transfers from Ambleside to Bowness.
- A detailed info pack, route notes and map for the group leader.
- Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Ferry tickets - please allow approx £40 for all the ferries detailed in your itinerary.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Single room supplement - If you require a single room in your party there is a single room supplement payable for each single room required.