Windermere
composite photo of Windermere at Lakeside
Windermere Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
General Description
Use the drop-down menu above to view STILL photography if available - VIDEO will be shown on each "Site" page if available

Windermere is the longest lake at eleven miles in length and a long history of boating, ferrying and barge working. The lake may have miles of unparalleled shoreline but it is nearly all owned by individuals with no access to the lake side. There are some exceptions, but, with restrictions.

For those with other Interests
A ferry service can take you almost anywhere on this lake. For those into railways, there is the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway Co. Ltd. running steam trains with their own Picnic area, tea room and souvenir shop right next door to the excellent Aquarium of the Lake, which is the award winning home for all those freshwater fish you will meet in the lakes - great for all the family and I personally recommend this for divers too. For those into rabbits take a look also at Peter Rabbit., where the kids will have some fun. If you find yourself at the northern end of Windermere you might want to leave the kids fishing for the big trout at Hawkshead trout farm.

Places to stay
No shortage of places to stay in and around Windermere town and plenty in the south around the Aquarium of the lakes.
Try "Stay.co.uk" or alternatively check some of these links > Hotels and Guest Houses Youth Hostels for Families etc.

How to get here

Using your SatNav
Hate to tell you this, but your trusted Satnav will probably mess up on you - they dont like sending you down "B" rate or lesser roads which is what this area often has, especially when traveling between Coniston and Windermere, so use your eyes and follow the road signs. e.g. if you are at Ambleside and tell the satnav to go to coniston - you'll end up on a 40 mile detour down Windermere's "A 592" then over to the A590, then A5084 then A593 before arriving at Coniston village. When all that was needed was take the B5286 or A593. Yes, an "A" road can take you to Coniston passing Hodge Close but it goes through a twon and Satnav does not like this!!
At least Tomtom doesn't. - Have fun as always :-)

The fastest and most convenient route for divers based at Carlisle or the south of Cumbria is: From the M6, come off at junction 36 and follow the A590 but watch where it actually peels off to the left - do not follow the sign posted "A591 Windermere" road unless you wish to dive Wray Castle (site 2).
Follow the A590 until reaching Newby Bridge. Note that you will notice the Windermere A592 road which you would use if going to Beech wood (dive site no 3). The Newby Bridge road junction is a "T" junction where you are turning right, off the main road. Follow the Windermere ferry signs and the Aquarium Of The Lakes sign. You will come off the A590 and onto a narrow road leading you over a single track bridge. The Swan pub is in front of you as you cross the bridge. There is a small road leading along the river on your left (the river Leven) don't go down this one. Drive up the slight hill and within two miles you'll be at the dive site car park, next to the Aquarium Of The Lakes. This site is correctly known as Lake Side.

For Wray Castle directions head for Windermere if in the south. For those travelling down, north of Penrith, take the A592 for Windermere. From Windermere town you are now just a just a few miles away from Wray Castle. You are looking for the Hawkshead road sign.

Detailed Information for Divers

Main Attraction
Clearer water (photo a & b) compared to other lakes like Ullswater, Grasmere or Derwent. The main attraction here is the diversity of fish in this massive lake. Some of which are quite rare. Rock faces can be traversed at Wray Castle, and old coal carrying barges lie on the bottom at Beech Wood, whilst big predator Pike looking for a fight (not kidding bud) cruise around at night along the Lakeside and Fell Foot Park site.

But before you get into this lake you may want to check on the spooky side first !
New from 2012 check out Wray Castle dive site 2 video interview for more mysterious happenings.

Viewing Freshwater Life
The big pike, trout, perch, eel, and the rarely seen Bull Heads all live side by side in this lake. You can see all these fish during the day, but you'll have to dive during the dead of night to meet the big boys - Pike.

Dive Planning Help
Permission should be sought from the warden for this lake. He/she may be able to warn you of any sailing races or other surface water sports occurring. Kindly note that Permission must also be obtained from the Ferry company when diving near the ferry piers and terminals.
Windermere Warden - Tel:- O15394 42753
click to dive Fell Foot Park click to dive Millerground click to dive Brockhole click to dive Aquarium of the Lakes click to dive Beech Hill click to dive Wray Castle
Map of lake Windermere
This is the longest lake coming in at 11 miles.
Map not to scale.

Individual permission's required at each dive site.

Details on site write-up document.
Max depth 50 mtrs.
A sea level dive.
Who's the nearest for Dive Air?
British Sub Aqua Clubs:
Furness Sub-Aqua Club branch are based in Ulverston.
West Cumbria branch are based at Egremont.
Kendal + Lakes branch are based at Kendal Leisure Centre.
Capernwray Diving Centre is also close to hand for specialist gasses and air.
Scottish Sub-Aqua Clubs:
Solway Sub-Aqua Club: Wigton based. Air compressor at Wigton.
West Lakes Sub-Aqua:Cockermouth based club. Air compressor sited at Cockermouth.
Altitude, Visibility, Temperature, Torches
Altitude and Depth:
Lake altitude at just 61 metres. So a sea level dive with Max depth within reach at 50 metres in this lake at the northern end.
During summer
Temperature is an average of 12 degrees Celsius.
Visibility: 3+ metres.
During winter
Temperature is 4 - 5 degrees above zero.
Visibility improves to 5+ metres.
Torches: Required when under the large ferries and for nosing around behind the ferry terminal's wood cladding at Aquarium by the Lakes, and needed if deeper than 20 metres. Notice: Please read site 1 Regrets!
Thermoclines: no strong effects have been noted so far.
If new to freshwater diving: this is a good introduction to the lakes with descent visibility for a lake and plenty of fish to see.
Communication intel
phone icon Mobile Phones do work in all the dive site areas at time of testing. Do test your mobile for signal strength.
phone icon Public phones: are available at each site. Wray Castle has private phones but no public phone noted.
More useful Information for buddies
For the latest on the weather: "Scuba Weather Report"
For more air details see "Dive Clubs & Air".
Note: The above page's will remain open while you click to gather info.

Nearest toilets: By Lakeside, Beech Hill car park, Brockhole, and Fell Foot PArk, but none at Wray Castle or Millerground noted.

Permission and fees required for powered boats.
For Anglers; contact Angling Association.

Lakes Aquarium Car Park: i sapy and display parking: Toilets are on railway station platform. Plenty of choice for food during the day.
Beech Wood site: car parking i sanother Pay & Display. Toilets in the car park. + Picnic area where the RAF can be seen flying by and eye level!!

Wray Castle site: now a National Trust property. No toilets or picnic area noted but must be some somewhere?
phone icon Reporting thefts or finds - Police: 0845 330 0247

National Park Authority "Visitor centre contact listing"

For any other area under NT ownership you may contact the warden on Tel:- O15394 42753, or for the property manager - contact their HQ at;
The Hollens, Grasmere, Ambleside,
Cumbria, LA22 9SW. Tel: 015394 35599.
Or Email: enquiries(at)ntrust.org.uk
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