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Windermere

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Owning a central position in the heart of the Lake District National Park, Windermere is a popular spot for mint cake-munching school trips and walkers enjoying the stunning lakeside scenery.

Say ‘Lakes’ and Windermere is one that comes instantly to mind, a ten-mile-long strip of sparkly blue banked on both sides by rolling greenery. At one mile wide and 220-feet deep, this is the largest natural lake in England, and it's no wonder that the waters are full of boating activities, from kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding to canoeing enthusiasts floating for miles. Whether you carry out your activities here or on nearby Coniston Water, the views are unrivalled, and the same can be said from the surrounding peaks, also ever-popular with sporty visitors.

Walking is a key past-time here and the numerous kit shops in town are testament to the area's popularity. Trails and tours cater for most abilities, but take a guide if you're not sure. Orrest Head is the route for a short but hardy ramble, while Brant Fell heads instantly out of town, up dusty tracks to brilliant views. Ambleside, to the north of Windermere, is a popular spot for stop-offs, full of yellow-stone buildings and good eateries; in summer, guests can take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the centre of town as a welcome break from all that walking.

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