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Bowness on Windermere.jpg
Bowness-on-Windermere Town Centre
Grid reference: SD403969
Location: 54°21’52"N, 2°55’5"W
Population: 3,814
Post town: Windermere
Postcode: LA23
Dialling code: 015394
Local Government
Council: South Lakeland
Westmorland and Lonsdale

Bowness-on-Windermere is a town in Westmorland, on the eastern shore of Windermere in the heart of the Lake District. Its position on Windermere has made the town a tourist honeypot.

Although their mutual growth has caused them to become one large village, the town is distinct from the village of Windermere as the two still have distinguishable town centres. In 2012, Bowness was one of the official stop-off points for the Olympic torch before it made its way to the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Stratford, Essex.[1]

Parish church

The town's ancient parish church of St Martin was built in 1483 but of an older foundation. The former rectory is said to have been built in 1415.[2]


Windermere railway station offers train and bus connections to the surrounding areas, Manchester, Manchester Airport, and the West Coast Main Line, and is about a mile and a half from the lake shore. There are frequent connecting buses from Bowness Pier and on to Ambleside and Grasmere deeper into the county's fells.

The Windermere Ferry, a car carrying cable ferry, connects Bowness at Ferry Nab on the eastern side of the lake with Ferry House in Far Sawrey, Lancashire on the western side of the lake, a trip of about 10 minutes.

Bowness in literature and popular culture

Readers of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series of books will recognise Bowness as the lakeside town of 'Rio'. The collection at the Windermere Steamboat Museum[3] on Rayrigg Road includes TSSY Esperance, 1869; one of the iron steamboats on which Ransome modelled Captain Flint's houseboat.

Bowness-on-Windermere is also home to the Beatrix Potter attraction.

View of Windermere from Bowness-on-Windermere

Outside links