Bowness: A Cute Little Tourist Town on a Big Lake

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Rain streaked the windows of our Airbus A330, rain pattered down, a sign of the weather on the ground in Manchester England where we landed this morning. We spent a fair amount of time in the non-EU citizens line where a man with a ponytail was being quizzed by immigration officials as we all waited and waited. He was sat down on a bench like a naughty schoolboy, we were glad we got through with just a lot of questions about where we were staying in the North of England.

Yes, everyone who told us it was cold and wet here was right. Our driver told us it had been raining and even snowed a bit over the weekend. “What advice would you give us, Americans who’ve never driven here before?”

“Well, I wouldn’t be too keen on it, [driving in the US]” he said. “But on the roundabouts, just keep to the left.”

We motored up the M6 Motorway, battling jetlag and some confusion over the route. But with some help we found our destination–Laurel Cottage in the town of Bowness-on-Windemere, the England’s largest lake. The winding roads looked out over well tended stone-fenced fields, dotted with sheep. It was green and lovely, and the rain stopped, but it was still chilly. I thanked my stars that I was smart enough to pack these silk longjohns, which always successfully keep the cold at bay.

Bowness’ streets were packed with families on holiday, men with dogs, and many children licking ice cream cones or sitting in cozy pubs sipping tea. We walked down by the lake, where swans approached elderly citizens who threw them crusts of white bread, and white pigeons sat calmly on a fence just inches away from the people.

Big lake cruise boats took people out on the windy, wavy lake, and at another dock little covered motorboats were available to rent. We hope to get out on one of these little boats before we leave this village.