If you’re looking for an amazing day out when you’re staying in one of our Matson Ground cottages, then you should definitely take a trip to the Windermere Jetty Museum.
Officially opened in April 2019 by Prince Charles, Windermere Jetty is a relatively new visitor attraction situated on the banks of Lake Windermere. This is your chance to explore over 200 years of boats, boating and boat building in the Lake District.
The museum is owned by Lakeland Arts and houses over forty vessels, including the SL Dolly, thought to be the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world; Beatrix Potter’s tarn boat which she used to take out when she was sketching; and the 50-foot luxuriously-designed Victorian steam launch, Branksome, built in 1896.
Windermere Steamboat Museum
Windermere Jetty Museum sits on the site of the former Windermere Steamboat Museum, which was founded in 1977 by George Pattinson, a local builder and steam enthusiast who had amassed a collection of boats all associated with Windermere.
The new museum is the result of a £20 million development funded by Lakeland Arts working with internationally-renowned architects Carmody Groarke. Right at the heart of the museum is a huge boathouse where boats can be seen in their natural setting – on the water.
Several other buildings complete the museum, including a conservation workshop where you will be able to see skilled team at work, conserving and restoring vessels that might otherwise be lost to history.
Stories of boats and steam
Diving into Windermere’s 200-year-old boat building history will reveal the lake’s boats, builders, owners and sailors through a series of interactive displays and oral histories, not to mention the fascinating collection of boats, equipment and curiosities.
The museum has an extensive programme of activities, and not to be missed are the heritage boat trips. This is your chance to take a cruise on Lake Windermere aboard the Osprey. Built in 1902, the Osprey is a fully restored heritage boat from the Windermere Jetty Museum collection. It can take up to twelve passengers at a time and the trip takes about forty-five minutes. For many this can be the highlight of the visit, learning all about the boat’s past, who might have sailed on it before and how it fell into disrepair before being lovingly restored.
Windermere Jetty Café
Fancy lunch with a view? The Windermere Jetty Café sits right on the lake shore, so whether it’s breakfast, lunch or just a coffee, you can be guaranteed some of the best views in the Lake District. Most dishes are inspired by the Lake District and wherever possible use local ingredients sourced from local farms and businesses. And we have it on very good authority that the Sunday lunch is really special.
Check out our favourite Lake District cafés here.
Opening Times and Prices (at the time of writing)
Windermere Jetty Museum is open from 10am – 5pm (March to October) and 10am – 4pm (November to February). It’s closed on 25 and 26 December.
Adult admission is £9.90, child admission (15 and under) is £4.95, though under 4’s are free. Students admission (with a valid student card) is £7.70.