HOLIDAYMAKERS believe they spotted Windermere’s mystery creature Bownessie just days after a kayaker caught it on camera.

Brian and June Arton from Hovingham, North Yorkshire, had just arrived at the Beech Hill Hotel off Newby Bridge Road on February 16 when they spotted something unusual in the lake.

Brian said: “We’d just checked into our hotel room at around 4pm when I opened the veranda doors and saw something about 300 yards away in the middle of the lake,”

“I joked to my wife: ‘There’s the Loch Ness monster’ as it had humps but I thought it had to be a pontoon or a very strange shaped buoy.

“It wasn’t until we saw The Westmorland Gazette the next day that we realised that it could have been a sighting of Bownessie.”.

The pair believe the creature they spotted was identical to the black three-humped animal photographed by 24-year-old kayaker Tom Pickles which was published exclusively in The Westmorland Gazette last week.

“We just bought a copy of the local paper as something to do of a night time.

We thought we’d seen something really weird but dismissed it thinking it must be a permanant feature of the lake.

"After seeing that picture we’re pretty convinced what we saw was exactly the same animal,” he said.

This is believed to be the ninth sighting of a strange humped-back creature on Windermere in five years.

The first report was in 2006 when journalism lecturer Steve Burnip described seeing a 30ft snake-like beast with humps from the shores of Wray Castle.

Mr and Mrs Arton said they watched it for a while but then carried on with their unpacking.

But when they went back out onto their balcony a few minutes later it had gone.

“If it was a log or a buoy it wouldn’t have disappeared like that out of sight,” said Brian.

“I know people are cynical but what I saw was very clear undulating shapes against the background of the water,”

While past eye-witness accounts have described the creature swimming, the Arton’s said the animal they saw was perfectly still ‘as if coming up for air’.

Mr Arton said he was aware of peoples’ cynicism surrounding Bownessie but is convinced he and his wife saw something ‘extremely weird’.

* Such is Bownessie's growing popularity that she has now popped up on Twitter. To follow Bownessie visit!/bownessie