Festive events on and around Windermere
With so many great events and attractions within a few minutes of our boats, there’s no better time to take a cruise with us.
This festive season, why not ditch the car and hop on a boat to some of the top family events listed below? All of our cruises allow you to hop off and break up the journey, so it’s a great value way to enjoy the best of Windermere’s local attractions.
Click on the links below to find out more about each activity. We've also advised on how best to get there and back by boat.
Visit The Christmas Maze at Hayes Garden World
Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday in November and every day in December until the 23rd
Enjoy a special maze with secret rooms for play and exploration, as children hunt for Santa’s reindeers in the snow before meeting the man himself!
Prices includes entry to the Christmas Maze to search for Santa’s Reindeer, with various games to play along the way, a visit to Santa, a Christmas present, photo and a special book about your visit to share with the family.
The children can even make some reindeer food to take home! More information is here.
Alternatively, try out a hands-on experience and learn how to create your very own Christmas Wreath from the experts at Hayes. More information is here.
Hayes Garden World, Ambleside
Santa Special Sailings Sorry, Sold Out
December 7th, 8th, 14th,15th
Sorry, we have sold out for 2019. Tickets go on sale around September each year. More information >
Regular departures from Bowness Pier
Santa Special Train Ride
November 30/December 1, 7, 8, 14 & 15
Join Father Christmas and his helpers on a magical family journey on board the ‘Santa Express’ over three consecutive weekends. More information is here.
Lakeside & Haverthwaite Steam Railway
⛴️ Lakeside Pier (on the Yellow Cruise) is connected to the Lakeside Railway Station. It's a 1-minute walk from pier to platform.
Once Upon a Woodland...
December 4, 8, 13 & 14
Enjoy the harmonies of four talented local choirs across three dates as they awaken the festive side of the Holt family home this December. Perfect for getting into the spirit of the season. More information is here.
Blackwell, The Arts and Craft House, Bowness
⛴️ Blackwell is a 30 minute walk or 5 minute drive from our Bowness Pier, get there on the Red or Yellow Cruise from Ambleside or Lakeside.
Creative Christmas Workshops (adults only)
Various dates throughout December
Join creative sessions, ideal for beginners and those at an intermediate level, with workshops including printmaking, textiles and festive themed crafts. More information is here.
Brockhole – Lake District Visitor Centre
⛴️ The Red Cruise stops at Brockhole Pier and the main house/exhibition hall is a 5-minute walk away through the gardens. Direct boats to Bowness (via Ambleside) & Ambleside throughout the day.
Windermere Christmas Celebration
Saturday 14 December/Sunday 15 December
Back for the fourth year, with stalls boasting everything from seasonal gifts to hot food, delicious offerings will be available all day along with a soundtrack of live music and on-street entertainment adding to the merry atmosphere. More information is here. Plus, this year there's an ice-rink too. Details here.
Windermere Village Centre
⛴️ A shuttle bus will operate on both days from Bowness Pier to the event itself. Full details here.
Winter BBQ Sessions
Saturday 14 December / Sunday 15 December
Also taking place at Hayes Garden world, let the experts demonstrate how there’s more to barbecuing than just the summer months. Festive demonstrations will be held by top barbecue chefs, with more information here.
Hayes Garden World, Ambleside
⛴️ Hayes Garden World is a 6 minute walk from Ambleside (Waterhead) Pier. There are regular boat services to Bowness from Ambleside (Red Cruise), Brockhole (Red Cruise) or Lakeside (Yellow Cruise).
Tea Parties with Peter Rabbit & Santa at The World of Beatrix Potter
December 14/15, 21/22/23 (Father Christmas) / December 27/28/29/30, January 2/3/4 (Peter Rabbit)
Loads of exciting tea parties with Father Christmas and Peter Rabbit are planned for this Christmas and New Year, with plenty to keep the children occupied. More information is here.
The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Bowness-on-Windermere
⛴️ 5 minutes walk from our Bowness Pier. Get there from Lakeside Pier on a Yellow Cruise or Ambleside and Brockhole on a Red Cruise.
Santa's boat-building workshops at Windermere Jetty
November 30 / December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, 24
A team of eager elves are ready for a busy month of toy boat building in the countdown to Christmas but they need some young recruits to help build and decorate toy boats. Children will see traditional boat making skills in action before making mini versions themselves. More information is here.
Windermere Jetty, Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories