South Lakes Accommodation
Book your holiday in Windermere, Bowness, Ambleside, Hawkshead, Coniston, Grasmere, Langdales & Newby Bridge.
Search hotels, inns, bed and breakfast, guesthouses & self catering holiday cottages in the South Lake District >>
South Lakes area: think stunning scenery and plenty of attractions for all ages and interests. Wherever you stay, from budget hostel to luxury hotel, there will be charm, character and a warm welcome as this is the heart of the Lake District National Park.
We think you’ll like ….
South Lakes Quick Guide
The South Lakes area is the most popular part of Cumbria’s Lake District for visitors, due both to its beauty and to its easy access via the M6 motorway.
It contains 2 hugely popular towns, Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside, and the popular villages of Hawkshead, Windermere Village, Coniston and Grasmere as well as England’s largest lake, Windermere, and the smaller lakes of Grasmere, Coniston Water and Rydal Water. This area offers a wealth of water sports and outdoor activities and fantastic walking in the surrounding fells.
Bowness-on-Windermere is a bustling tourist town on the shore of Windermere, about halfway along the 12 mile length of the lake between Ambleside at the North end, and Lakeside at the South end. As well as the many hotels, guest houses, self catering places, and places to eat, its attractions include the World of Beatrix Potter and the Windermere Lake Cruises.
Beatrix Potter, in her later life, moved to Hill Top near Hawkshead . Also in the village is the Beatrix Potter Museum, and the school attended by the poet William Wordsworth . Near to Hawkshead is Wray Castle. Wordsworth’s various homes are nearly all open to the public – Dove Cottage and Allen Bank in Grasmere and Rydal Mount nearby at Rydal.
Ambleside is beautifully situated in the Rothay valley one mile north of the head of Lake Windermere. One of the major centres for climbing and walking, it is a good central point for the ordinary visitor and has routes to most parts of the Lake District. Attractions include the Hayes Garden Centre, well worth a visit. Ambleside has a pier at Waterhead – at the north end of Windermere – and from here you can get vintage steamers around the lake. Again there are plenty of places to stay and the accommodation is of an excellent standard. There are also 2 good hostels in and near Ambleside.
Between Ambleside and Windermere is Brockhole, the Lake District National Park visitor centre.
Grasmere village, best known for the famous Grasmere Gingerbread shop and Wordsworth’s grave in the grounds of Grasmere church, is a very pretty small village where nearly all the properties appear to be holiday accommodation. There’s excellent fell walking from here and the lake is only a short distance away.
Coniston village is where the writer John Ruskin spent the last 30 years of his life, and his home Brantwood is open to visitors. There is also the Ruskin Museum. Coniston Water is famous for Donald Campbell’s world water speed record, which cost him his life. It is also the setting of Arthur Ransome’s story ‘Swallows and Amazons’, currently being re-filmed here by the BBC. There are two motor launches – the Coniston Launch, and the steam yacht Gondola, both offering trips round the lake.