A drive around Lake Windermere and Coniston Water

This drive around Lake Windermere and Coniston water takes in some of the most

beautiful scenery of the Lake District National Park. The route is circular taking in

Windermere, Bowness, Newby Bridge, Coniston, Hawkshead and Ambleside. It can

be done in as little as one a half hours, but please allow at least 3 to 4 hours to do the

scenery fair justice!

For the purposes of this article I will start and finish the drive at Windermere, but of

course being a circular route you can start anywhere!

From Windermere heading south you will pass Bowness and make sure where you

can feed the Swans and eat fish and chips by the lake or in the nearby park. Heading

south of the Bowness on Windermere, you will see some of the larger and more

expensive residential buildings in the Lake District. Some of them back onto the lake

and have their own private jetties, while many have been converted into luxury hotels.

As a continuing down the lake shore on the A592 towards Newby Bridge, you might

like to take a detour to Gummer’s How. Driving up the steep road for about 5 min you

will see a car park on your right hand side. Once you ditched the car cross the road

and follow signs follow signs for Gummer’s How. The walk will take about half an

hour and you will get the most amazing views of Lake Windermere from the South

and of course the rest of the Lake District. On a clear day is even possible to see

Blackpool from here!

Newby Bridge has a few nice hotels where you might be tempted to stop and have

lunch or take afternoon tea, or make a short detour to the aquarium of the lakes or the

steam railway at Lakeside. Continuing the drive follow the A590 to Greenodd and

Penny Bridge where you should turn off the main road following signs for Coniston

and the A5084. This road follows the River Crake up to its source at the southern end

of Coniston water.

Passing the village of Torver you will get a delightful view of the Coniston fells

before you reach the village of Coniston which houses the John Ruskin Museum.

After this you take could B5285 to the quintessential Lake District village of

Hawkshead where you can visit the grammar school Museum.

Then take the B5286 North to Ambleside, the heart of the Lake District where there

are enough walks and attractions to keep you busy for a whole day, if not whole week

if you are an avid fell walker! From Ambleside it is a simple 10 min drive back down

the shore of Lake Windermere on the A591 to Windermere itself.

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