BOWNESS-ON-WINDERMERE – to give it its full title – spills back from its lakeside piers in a series of terraces lined with guesthouses and hotels. There’s been a village here since the fifteenth century and a ferry service across the lake for almost as long – these days, however, you could be forgiven for thinking that Bowness begins and ends with its best-known attraction, the World of Beatrix Potter. At ten and a half miles long, a mile wide in parts and a shade over 200ft deep, the lake itself – Windermere, incidentally, never “Lake” Windermere – is the heavyweight of Lake District waters. On a busy summer’s day, crowds swirl around the trinket shops, cafés, ice-cream stalls and lakeside seats, but you can easily escape out on to the water or into the hills, and there are attractions around town to fill a rainy day.

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