Windermere is famous as the largest of The Lakes in the English Lake District, and in England generally. Its also famously a beautiful place, flanked by the high fells of Langdale and pretty villages like Ambleside, celebrated in verse and on canvas by the romantics, and loved by the millions of tourists who have poured in since the Kendal and Windermere railway first brought the lake within reach of the masses.
After several visits to the more northern lakes and fells without ever having been along to Windermere, I thought I better go take a look and see what the fuss was about. So after a trip to Keswick I took the bus down to Ambleside, intending to walk along the shore to Bowness and up the hill to the station.
But it turned out that a walk along the shore wasn’t possible, because Windermere is crap and walking near it is forbidden.
Perhaps I was just grumpy that day, but what could be seen of Windermere from beside the main road in the gaps between the trees and the dense forest of “keep out” signs didn’t impress the way that Ullswater and Derwent Water do.