If you decide to base yourself in a Windermere spa hotel, you will find plenty of things to see and do in the Lake District.
The green landscapes and woodlands of the valley of Eskdale are divided by the River Esk, which penetrates deep into the Lakeland fells.
If you enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside, Eskdale offers visitors some of the most stunning scenery in the Lake District. Situated in the heart of the valley is the picturesque village of Boot, which his home to a working corn mill, three real-ale pubs and a micro-brewery.
If you are touring around the area for the first time, take a trip to Muncaster Castle, which was the ancient family seat of the Pennngton family. With colourful spring gardens, a renowned owl centre and plenty of ´ghosts´, the castle is well worth a visit. Nearby Waberthwaite is famous for Richard Woodall´s hams, bacons and Cumberland Sausage, which is regularly despatched to the Queen. The surrounding district is home to Bronze Age Settlements, Roman forts, Anglian crosses, Viking artefacts and other hidden gems that make Ravenglass and Eskdale so rich in history and culture.
The World Owl Centre
Over 100 species of own can be found at the Muncaster Owl Conservation Centre. This is also the headquarters of the World Owl Trust, and the collection of birds is one of the biggest in the world. Species range from the tiny Pygmy Owl to the enormous Eagle Owls. Visitors can also learn about the vital conservation work in the area, while herons can be seen swooping down to eat at the centre every afternoon (3.30pm winter and 4.30pm summer).
Visit Drigg Dunes Nature Reserve
The Drigg Dunes Nature Reserve is situated just west of Ravenglass, and is an area of shingle and salt marsh which provides the perfect environment for flowers and insects, plus the famous Natterjack Toad, which is known to breed in the dune slacks. Cars can be parked at Drigg beach and the reserve can be accessed on foot.
The Japanese Garden
Situated at Eskdale Green, the Japanese Garden is within Giggle Alley Wood. One part of the Gatehouse Estate, the garden was designed on the principle of borrowing the landscape, and using natural features and views to create a beautiful setting. Enhanced by winding pathways, stone steps, rockeries and pools of water, the garden was finished in 1914. After a change of ownership in 1949, the garden rapidly became overgrown and it is now being restored to its former glory. Admission is free and parking is available at Eskdale Green.
Visitors who want to learn more about the history and culture of the area should visit Muncaster Castle, which sits proudly on a natural platform with superb views over Eskdale. The castle developed around a 13th Century tower house which lies on Roman foundations. Muncaster Castle has been occupied continuously since 1208 by the Pennington family, and several rooms are open to the public. The gardens are open daily all year except January, and there is also a café and gift shop onsite.
Windermere is the perfect place to base yourself if you want to explore the Lakes. Why not book into a spa hotel with hot tub suites in Windermere?