By far the best supermarket in the area is Booth's in Windermere (or Kendal centre – slightly less convenient to drive to). If you don’t come from the North you may be unfamiliar with Booths. It is a privately owned chain of high quality super-markets. The Windermere store is right by the station (and also the Lakeland store and HQ). It is a gem.
Staveley has some great artisan stores, including the peerless More? Bakery (by the Brewery). There’s also a butcher, Post Office (for newspapers), chippy, coffee shop that roasts and sells its own coffee, and a convenience store. And of course the Brewery!
In Kendal there’s a large Morrisons, massive Asda (with cheap petrol), and also an Aldi. In the centre there’s an M&S and Booths.
Windermere also has a number of smaller food stores including a Co-Op and Sainsbury’s Local.
Online delivery – Sainsbury and Tesco will deliver. They know our address (1 Long Houses, Kentmere, LA8 9JJ) though occasionally the driver will call for directions.
Kendal is a very pleasant market town. You can park in the centre and have a nose around. On the other side of the M6 is Kirkby Lonsdale which is a lovely little town with small shops and restaurants around a central square. The village of Cartmel is a bit further away south of the Lake District but has nice artisan shops, a racecourse, and a Michelin restaurant. Worth a wander around.
Lakeland, the kitchen store and mail order company is HQ’d in Windermere and is well worth a look at their flagship store, and also very good restaurant and coffee shop. It is right by the station.
More tourist targeted shopping is to be found in Bowness and Windermere. Take the Bowness car ferry over Windermere to Hawkshead and Coniston. Or drive beyond Windermere to Ambleside and Grasmere.
Most of the sites such as Beatrix Potter’s house just over on the other side of Windermere, and Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount have small shops attached.
Other stores worth a look are the Low Sizergh Barn shop, close by Sizergh Castle and the very good Strickland Arms pub. It is just off the A591 on the other side of Kendal. Follow signs for Sizergh Castle. The kids will enjoy looking at the cattle in their 5-star accommodation.
Chesters by the River at Skelwith Bridge, just beyond Ambleside on the road up to Langdale, has a nice artisan shop and excellent restaurant (both dog friendly). But it gets very busy in high season.
Close to home Staveley’s Mill Yard has many small and one large store, the huge bike shop Wheelbase.