The bay, in which Bowness is situated, commands one of the prettiest views of Lake Windermere. It has a lovely promenade along the shores of the lake and offers views of the islands and across the lake to the wooded hills. The town is still small, although it has expanded from the original fishing village due to the demands of tourism.
Cruise boats run from the water’s edge and there are ferries to Ambleside and to Lakeside. There are always plenty of water birds on the lake here, waiting to be fed by those queuing for boat rides.
The 15th Century church of St Martin stands on the site of a much earlier building. The fine stained glass window at the east of the church was originally from Cartmel Priory, dissolved in 1537. Apparently, the arms displayed in the window are those of an ancestor of George Washington, first president of the United States of America.
Perhaps the most famous daughter of the place was Beatrix Potter. An exhibition, The World of Beatrix Potter, shows videos and other material about the author and her work. For those who have not already met Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggi-Winkle there is plenty of opportunity to get to know them here.
The other main attraction of Bowness is the Windermere Steamboat Museum. As well as displaying various bits and pieces from boats of the last three hundred years, it also houses an Arthur Ransome exhibition, which tells about the particular vessels which inspired “Swallows and Amazons” in addition to holding Ransome’s own boat.