Windermere shown within Cumbria
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Windermere Town|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
|UK Parliament||Westmorland and Lonsdale|
Windermere is a town and civil parish in the South Lakeland District of Cumbria, England. It has a population of 8,245. It lies about half a mile (1 km) away from the lake, Windermere. Although the town Windermere does not touch the lake (it took the name of the lake when the railway line was built in 1847 and the station was called "Windermere"), it has now grown together with the older lakeside town of Bowness-on-Windermere, though the two retain distinguishable town centres. There are a number of museums, but the main attraction for the tourists is the lake itself that touches Bowness at the bottom of the hill (about a twenty minute walk from the top of Windermere town). Here there is a beautiful view of the mountains. Boats from the piers in Bowness sail around the lake, many calling at Ambleside or at Lakeside where there is a restored railway.
Historically a part of Westmorland, Windermere town was known as Birthwaite prior to the arrival of the Kendal and Windermere Railway, which stimulated its development. Windermere station offers train and bus connections to the surrounding area, Manchester, Manchester Airport, and the West Coast Main Line.
The geological formations around the area take their name from the town. They are called the Windermere Group of sedimentary rocks. The town's name is also given to the Rt. Hon. Dr David Clark, Baron Clark of Windermere, who now lives in Windermere.
The word "Windermere" is thought to translate as "Winand or Vinand's lake". "The specific has usually been identified with an Old Swed.[ish] pers.onal n.[ame] 'Vinandr', gen. sing. 'Vinandar', the '-ar' being preserved as '-er-' in the modern name... but this is rather disconcerting since the pers. n. is of very restricted distribution even in Sweden. The other possibility is "for a Continental Germanic pers. n. 'Wīnand'. Since this name could not have been current until the 12th century, the fact that the ON [Old Norse] gen. sing. '-ar-' has been added to it would suggest that ON still survived as a living language at that time." The second element is Old English 'mere', meaning 'lake' or 'pool'.
Windermere was from 1894 to 1974 governed by an urban district council which in 1905 absorbed the former Bowness-on-Windermere UDC although Bowness remained a separate civil parish until 1974. Windermere UDC had slight boundary changes in 1934 and was abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 replacing it with South Lakeland District Council. The Windermere coat of arms was commissioned in 1968 and designed by local schoolgirl, Sheila West.
See also 
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish headcounts : South Lakeland Retrieved 2009-11-22
- Whaley, Diana (2006). A dictionary of Lake District place-names. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society. pp. lx,423 p.374. ISBN 0904889726.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Windermere, Cumbria|
- Cumbria County History Trust: Windermere and Bowness (nb: provisional research only - see Talk page)
- Windermere Online Windermere Online Community Website.
- UKattraction Tourist attractions in Windermere.
- The Cumbria Directory - Windermere
- Windermere Steamboat Project
- The Windermere Way a walk right around the lake, Windermere.
- Windermere St Annes School