Windermere Delights!

Posted by on December 30th,2009

“There is nothing- absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

That’s what Ratty said to Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s beloved classic, ” The Wind in the Willows”. It gets even better when the boats are those gorgeous steamers that abide at Lake Windermere.

The railroads arrived at Windermere in the 1840s and with the railroads came the Victorians. Today, Victorian steamers and steam yachts still ply the lake.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, wealthy English industrialists built their summer retreats and vacation homes around Windermere. The lake, 10.5 miles long and about a mile wide, is still surrounded by their substantial homes, many now converted into guest houses and hotels. Victorian steamers still cruise from Lakeside, Bowness or Ambleside and it is possible to cruise in an Edwardian steam launch, like the one pictured here, from the  Lake Windermere Steam Centre and Museum.  In fact Lake Windermere gave its name to the Windermere Kettle, a small hot water tank heated by boiler steam, that was used to generate hot water for tea,  during those leisurely cruises – Capital, what?