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The Ribbon Lake

It's one of the most famous bodies of water in England, but do you know how Windermere was formed and why it is a ribbon lake?

First off, Windermere is the largest natural lake in England stretching some 18km in length and reaching 1.5km in width in parts. It is a vast open expanse of water surrounded by mountains.

Windermere in Cumbria

Let's now move on to the ribbon lake and how that happens. Effectively Windermere was created when a glacier moved and came across hard and soft rock, it eroded the soft rock but could not move past the harder rocks, creating a ribbon of water in the subsequent basin that formed the lake.

You can see just how hard that hard rock was when you look over towards the Langdales.

Windermere in Cumbria

The name "Windermere" is derived partly from the word "mere" meaning lake or pool and there are various suggestions as to how the front end of the word came to be joined to make the full title. Swedish, Norwegian, and German influences seem to have been in play over the years.

The mountains on the eastern side of the lake seem a little less harsh and perhaps a little flatter, certainly there seems to be a little more greenery on this part of the shoreline.

Windermere in Cumbria

One of the things I really enjoyed when I visited the Lake District was getting up really early, around 5 am, and sitting by the lake.

Absolute tranquility:

The water is calm and quiet and the boats are all moored up. The low lying cloud and mist start to drift and lift and it becomes such a serene, almost silent spot.

Windermere in Cumbria

Looking into the distance, you can see the reflective qualities of the lake when there are no boats and steamers moving around, quite stunning in reality.

Windermere in Cumbria

But of course, as the day goes on, life takes over and the large volume of pleasure craft and small leisure boats start to leave the shores.

Windermere in Cumbria

It really is a wonderful thing to sail on Windermere, whether that is on one of the larger commercial steamers, or if you are lucky enough to have your own small boat to climb aboard.

The water, the freedom, and the stunning scenery really do make it a magnificent experience.

Windermere in Cumbria

And it's not only boats that start to have some fun on the water either, the local wildlife is never shy to get involved:

Windermere in Cumbria

Windermere lies in the heart of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria in the northwest of England.

If you get the chance to visit, then I would strongly recommend it, and if you get a sunny day like we did, then all the better.


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