Two bathrooms. Bell ringing. William Wordsworth. Hazel Davis does Windermere Marina Village.
A perimenopausal woman, a partner glued to political updates on social media, two lively children and an apartment hotter than Death Valley…what could possibly go wrong?
In hindsight, it maybe wasn’t the best weekend to try and switch off from it all and the accommodation was the hottest place I’ve ever been in my life but, once we worked out how to turn the radiators off, we settled into our Lake District weekend nicely.
We’d nipped up to the shores of Lake Windermere for a winter mini-break and an attempt to turn our backs on the country going to hell in a handcart. It’s fair to say we weren’t much in the mood after a squabbly journey and getting lost and nearly ending up in the ferry terminal.
However, once we’d unpacked (and opened all the windows) we quickly got used to the eerie stillness of the lake and view of the marina from our impressively sized apartment with (*gasp*) TWO SEPARATE BATHROOMS. It’s amazing how much difference not sharing a bathroom with your children can make.
Windermere Marina Village is in a really stunning location. Close to the pretty town of Bowness, its dwellings are a mixture of apartments and cottages nestled next to Lake Windermere (the largest natural lake in England).
The apartments are built using traditional Lakeland materials but with high-quality interiors and (*breathes the sigh of relief of someone who lives with Masterchef*) well-stocked kitchens. We quickly recovered from our moods and got the Howard’s Way gags in full swing.
Bowness itself is a sweet little place and during our stay was all twinkly lights, charity shops and festive spirit. When the restaurant situation proved a tiny bit challenging (oh – make that perimenopausal and vegan), the local Sainsbury’s stepped up and we managed to eat – and drink – without breaking the bank.
One tiny downside about Windermere Marina’s location is that it’s very much car-dependent. We had planned to go by public transport but this would have limited our options, so we cranked up the old banger and hoped for the best. This meant we could easily drive to the boat terminal and get our Swallows and Amazon on. It was right there, in the middle of Windermere, the sky pink and the wind bracing, with my seven-year-old excitedly pointing out the islands and wildlife, that I knew we’d made the right decision and finally started to relax.
There’s obviously loads to do in the Lake District, though, frankly, I’d have been happy charity shopping and drinking lattes. Our stay at the Marina Village earned us a free pass at the nearby Choices spa, with its tiny heated pool and steam room so we spent a very happy morning disrupting the peace of the local members doing bad front crawls in tight spaces.
We headed the nine miles to Grasmere for a day at Allan Bank, the fabulous Grade-II listed dog-and-child-friendly former home of William Wordsworth.
Here we rounded off our brilliant weekend with bell-ringing, painting and red squirrels. When the time came to leave, I’d almost come round to the idea of putting the heating on when we got back.
How to get to Windermere Marina Village without flying
By train: The West Coast mainline trains call at Oxenholme station where you can transfer to get a train to Windermere. From Windermere it’s a taxi or bus journey to Windermere Marina Village.
By car: Windermere Marina Village is located off the M6 from junction 36.