‘UNRULY’ stag and hen parties have sparked complaints from ‘distressed’ holidaymakers in one of the Lake District’s honeypot towns.

Town councillors in Windermere and Bowness have blamed the local authority for giving out bar licences and said more attention should be given to the cumulative effect of the number of watering holes in one area. 

Adrian Legge, a former mayor, said he was 'concerned' about the increasing number of bars in Bowness.

He said: "A rough calculation is that there is one bar for every fifteen residents. Our impression is that these are too easily granted." 

A Westmorland and Furness Council spokesman said it followed the licensing objectives and can only adopt a special policy on cumulative impact if there is evidence that the number of bars in one area is causing unacceptable levels of crime or disorder. 

Cllr Legge said: "We consider that, quite simply, there are too many bars in Windermere and Bowness, not least because they attract unruly visiting stag and hen parties, often drunk and sometimes belligerent. 

"We have received numerous complaints from distressed holidaymakers."

READ MORE: Illegal BBQs and 17 bin bags of rubbish left at The Glebe in Bowness

Cllr Christine Cook said she had received videos of 'stag parties fighting' and loud music being played until the early morning.

She said she had no issue with there being bars in the area but she wants a cumulative impact assessment that would stop more bars moving in until the next review period three years later. She also wants marshalls in place to help control the crowds late at night. 

She compared the current tourist crowds in Bowness to Blackpool. "In Blackpool there is a long stretch of pubs. In Bowness, it is a small area, people can move very quickly,” she said.

She said the issue was not just affecting locals but tourists who come for a more traditional Lakes experience. Cllr Cook said: "We got an email from a tourist - 'We recently came on holiday to Bowness and I must admit we were disappointed by the number of drunk people. I have been coming for over 20 years.' They don't want to bring their children anymore." 

Cllr Legge also raised the issue of litter and illegal camping in the area.

He said: "Most European resorts do not suffer litter to anything like the same extent. Illegal camping has caused a considerable problem this year, particularly on the lake shore north of Bowness. 

"The shoreline has been left in a disgusting state, with minimal effort to take litter, including nappies, discarded tents and sleeping bags." 

In August, Westmorland and Furness Council officers had to respond to a tent pitched illegally on The Glebe. Days after this the park authority condemned litter left at Cockshott Point. In September, the council threatened legal action after more than 17 bin bags of rubbish left on The Glebe were cleaned up after a busy weekend. 

A council spokesman said: "Westmorland and Furness Council as the licensing authority has a duty to promote the four statutory licensing objectives when considering any licence application - the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety,  the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

"The Licensing Authority can only adopt a special policy on cumulative impact if there is evidence that a significant number of licensed premises concentrated in one area are resulting, or likely to result, in unacceptable levels of crime and disorder or public nuisance.

“We’re working with partners, including the Police, to consider all the options available to us that will both promote the licensing objectives and support the local nighttime economy in Windermere and Bowness.”