Lake Windermere , Cumbria
A short cruise along England's largest lake
(Photos/words © urban75, 1st Sept, 2008)
At around ten and a half miles long and up to one mile wide, Lake Windermere claims the honour of being England's largest lake.
The lake covers an area of 5.7 square miles and reaches a depth of about 220 feet (67 m) near its northern end.
A hugely popular tourist destination, the area around the Lake became popular with holidaymakers after the arrival of the Kendal and Windermere Railway branch line in 1847.
Entirely situated within the Lake District National Park, the lae gets its name from the Old Norse name 'Vinandr' and Old English 'mere', meaning lake.
Up until the nineteenth century, it was known as 'Winander Mere' or 'Winandermere,' but the railway preferred to call it 'Windermere.'
We arrived at Lakeside, at the southern end of Lake Windermere, on a charming steam train on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway and bought a ticket for a lake cruise.
Being a classic British summer, it rained for most of our journey along Lake Windermere, but we still enjoyed it.
Boats have connected with the railway service at Lakeside since 1868, and three of the old railway boats - now owned by Windermere Lake Cruises Ltd - continue to offer Lake cruises.
The three old railway company boats are the MV Tern of 1891, the MV Teal of 1936, and the MV Swan of 1938.
Although described as steamers, they're all actually powered by motor engines. In this picture you can see the MV Teal heading into Lakeside.
Heading into the storm.
Despite the sometimes driving rain, a hardy gang of passengers remained on the outer decks.
Boating house on the east Lake Windermere shore line.
The lake is hugely popular with boating types, with two large boating clubs based around the lake; the Royal Windermere Yacht Club, and the Windermere Cruising Association.
The lake contains 18 islands in total, with the privately-owned Belle Isle the largest. Lying opposite Bowness, the island is about 40 acres lying and around a kilometre in length.
The other islands are called Lady Holme, Bee Holme, Blake Holme, Crow Holme, Fir Holme, Grass Holme, Lilies of the Valley (East, and West), Ling Holme, Hawes Holme, Hen Holme, Maiden Holme, Ramp Holme, Rough Holme, Snake Holme, Thompson Holme, Silver Holme.
The Victorian steamer MV Tern can be seen not far out of Bowness.
A brief break in the weather!
Arriving at Bowness-on-Windermere.
Because of the inclement weather, there weren't many takers for the rowing boats.
Moored boats in the harbour at Bowness-on-Windermere.
Ticket office at Bowness-on-Windermere.
Heading back to Lakeside.
A white sail against the dark sky.
Mooring up for the night.
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