Windermere lake cruises

Windermere lake cruises

Whilst we were holidaying in the lake district we took a boat trip with Windermere lake cruises. We combined it with the trip to Wray castle which I blogged about last week and a trip to Brockhole (blog post coming soon).ambleside-pier

Ambleside pier

Windermere lake cruises offer quite a few different boat trips which you can find more information about on their website. The trip we took was the green cruise. This trip starts at Ambleside pier and stops first at Wray castle and then at Brockhole, before returning to Ambleside.Ambleside pier

Lake windermere

Ambleside pier

Ambleside pier

We joined the boat at Ambleside and F was very excited to be going on her first boat trip. The boat was this blue one and only had one level which was a shame as this was the only ride out of the three where it wasn’t raining. F really enjoyed seeing the other boats on the lake and the boat ride in general. We got off at Wray castle and enjoyed a few hours playing and exploring. If you are not familiar with Wray castle make sure you read my post and see why it is one of the most child friendly National trust properties).

wray castle

wray castle

After lunch and we returned to the pier and waited for the second boat. We arrived early and quiet a lot of people had the same idea. Fortunately, everyone managed to get on the boat but only just.

Again we all enjoyed the short ride to Brockhole. I’ll blog more soon about Brockhole as it is another great family friendly destination in the lakes. We made sure we were back at the pier in plenty of time for the boat back to Ambleside.brockhole pier

windermere lake cruises boat



Unlike the previous 2 boats, the boat that we joined at Brockhole had space on the open top, second deck. Unfortunately, though the rain continued so we sat downstairs with E in the covered area. My mum decided she would sit with F on the top deck (they were the only ones up there). Apparently, they had lots of fun singing and watching the lake and shore. F thought it was a real adventure.

The three boats combined takes around 50 minutes. You can stay on or get off at either or both of the two attractions. We did find it a bit much getting on and off the boat 3 times with a 4 month old baby and our 3 year old. Nether the less we had a lovely day exploring lake Windermere.Windermere lake cruises

Our top tips for Windermere lake cruises:

  • Arrive at Ambleside pier early to make sure you get a ticket as boats can fill up quick.
  • Pushchairs and prams are welcome on the boats but they will need to be collapsed and storage is limited. Baby wearing definitely helps on these trips.
  • The green cruise ticket price includes 10% off entry at Wray castle and free entry into Brockhole.
  • You could easily spend a full day at Wray castle or Brockhole so either pick one to visit or be prepared to seem a smaller amount of time at both sites.
  • There are things to do in all weathers at both Wray castle and Brockhole. Wray castle is probably better on wet days and Brockhole on dry.
  • Both Wray castle and Brockhole have cafes and toilet, baby change facilities.
  • There are toilets in the pay and display car park at Ambleside pier, Waterhead.
  • Waterhead coffee shop does the most delicious cakes.
Pin it for laterwindermere lake cruises

Country Kids


  1. March 4, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Ah, this brings back lovely memories of our Windermere trip a few years ago, we also enjoyed a lake cruise, in fact I’m pretty sure it was the pictured ‘Queen of the Lake’ boat we went on! Such a beautiful place.

    • Claire
      March 4, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      It’s a gorgeous part of the country. I can’t wait to go back in October

  2. March 4, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    It wouldn’t be Windermere without the mist and rain, somehow it adds to the atmosphere and makes your photos quite stunning. I think this is a lovely idea for a family day out, everyone loves a boat trip and even I could manage the calm of Windermere! One day will will make it up that way and give it a go.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    • Claire
      March 4, 2017 / 7:05 pm

      So true. There wouldn’t be lakes without rain. We didn’t let it ruin our day.

  3. March 5, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    How exciting for the little people to be getting on and off boats, although I can imagine it is tough and tiring for the parents! #countrykidsfun

    • Claire
      March 6, 2017 / 6:00 am

      That’s exactly how it was.

    • Claire
      March 6, 2017 / 5:59 am

      Thank yo

  4. March 7, 2017 / 12:36 am

    This looks like so much fun, and so beautiful! I can imagine getting on and off the boats was a bit tiring, but I know that my kids would love it! #countrykids

    • Claire
      March 7, 2017 / 6:27 am

      My eldest loved it. It was certainly tiring with a baby and pram. Worth it though.

  5. March 7, 2017 / 11:23 am

    Kids love boat trips, don’t they? Your photos are beautiful.
    We took a boat around Lough Gill, Co Sligo, Ireland, last year, on a rainy day. There was barely anybody on it, so the kids got to drive the boat for a minute or two, under the watchful eye of the super friendly owner. Great adventure!

    • Claire
      March 7, 2017 / 10:29 pm

      That sounds like a great adventure. My eldest did love the boat trip.

  6. March 8, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    Sounds like you had a lovely little adventure and glad that F enjoyed sitting on the top of the boat and singing – that sounds like a wonderful way to travel to me! Nice to be able to get off at each stop and explore too 🙂 #countrykids

  7. March 8, 2017 / 11:49 pm

    Oooo the castle looks good! There’s something special about going for a boat ride when you are little and I wish it’s something we could do more with Monkey. If we ever visit this way for a holiday which are are thinking about doing then I will look these guys up. Thank you #CouhtryKids

  8. March 9, 2017 / 9:21 pm

    What a beautiful place, the boat ride would be such great fun!

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