Windermere Jetty

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Just over a week ago we headed up to the Lake District to visit the Windermere Jetty steamboat museum that opened last year. Windermere Jetty is part of Lakeland Arts, so we were able to use our Friends membership to gain entry. The collection of boats is housed in a brand new purpose built modern building.

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The museum has a collection of 40 vessels that tell the story of boating on Windermere from 1780 to the present day. There’s a conservation centre, where boats are repaired and renovated, a waterside cafe looking over the lake and mountains and they also run Heritage Boat Trips out on the lake on board Osprey, a restored Edwardian steam launch.

On arrival we booked our place on a boat trip (there’s an extra charge for this) and then had a look around the main exhibition spaces.

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The collection includes examples of steam launches – pleasure boats owned by wealthy families – power boats used for racing and setting speed records on the lakes, and working boats

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Steam launch Branksome, built in 1896.
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An old rowing boat

Th Steam Boat Dolly was built around 1850/60. Originally on Windermere it was transferred to Ullswater where it sank in 1895. It was salvaged in 1962 and then restored.

Steamboat Dolly

And here’s Beatrix Potter’s flat bottomed rowing boat!

Beatrix Potter’s rowing boat
The view from the cafe

We broke our exploration of the collection for our trip on the Osprey, which was built in 1902 in Bowness. Built as a private pleasure boat, from 1948 it was used as a passenger vessel for the Bowness Bay Boating Company.

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It was a perfect morning for a boat trip. The lake was calm, the sun was shining, the air was clear so we had excellent views over the mountains of the Fairfield Horseshoe and the Far Eastern Fells, where the high peaks were capped with snow.

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A Windermere Kettle – used for making a brew on board!

After a good hour on the water the Osprey returned tot he Jetty

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After disembarking, we had a bite to eat in the cafe, enjoying the views through the large windows and then finished our tour of the museum. We had a look at the Conservation workshop

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We had a look at the old boat that was on display outside the workshop. We couldn’t go inside but were able to look through the large windows where we could see a couple of the staff hard at work.

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We then passed through the boat yard, where there were a couple of larger boats on display and then on into the boat house.

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There were more boats from the collection inside the boathouse, together with other privately owned boats that were moored up.

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Jane a very glamorous speedboatt built in 1937
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Two small boats used in the film of Swallows and Amazons

After looking round the boat house we went back into the main gallery for a final look. We’d spent a good 3 hours in the museum and it’s somewhere we’ll certainly be going back to in the future.

21 thoughts on “Windermere Jetty

  1. Not normally a museum person but anything like that is fascinating. Definitely worth a look next time I’m up that way and the weather rules out the higher fells (and probably a boat trip, had my fill of soakings on Lakeland boat trips!)

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