We have recently completed the first phase of a project to improve access to Orrest Head, one of the Lake District’s most iconic viewpoints. This spot was much loved by the famous writer Alfred Wainwright, as it gave him his first-ever view over the Lake District mountains.
Work was carried out on an old carriageway that winds its way up through Elleray Wood and was originally used by horse and cart to take Victorian tourists to near the summit. This carriageway was completely buried by soil and leaf litter so we have cleared it off and have now re-surfaced around 700 metres of the route, and designated it as a footpath. The route has a low gradient – horse and carriages don’t like steep hills - so re-instating it will enable less-able walkers to access Orrest Head by missing out the existing steep and rocky footpath.
The work has been carried out in partnership with Windermere Town Council, South Lakeland District Council, and thanks to the kindness of an agricultural tenant who gave up a piece of his land for the route. Ultimately, we hope to be able to continue the route all the way to the summit which would provide a rare opportunity for less-able users to get to the top of a Lakeland fell. We will continue to work to secure the necessary landowner agreement and funding.
If you wish to donate to help us complete this route you can do so via this link: Donate to Orrest Head and Elleray Wood access improvements project