Windermere walk

Five walks around Windermere

The small town of Windermere, situated close to the lake, is a popular spot for visitors. If you’re looking to escape the bustle, there are plenty of opportunities to head to the hills and take in the views, or even enjoy a gentle lakeside stroll. Here are some suggested walks for the whole family to enjoy!

1. Orrest Head

This is a significant walk, being the first fell climbed by the famous hillwalker and  guidebook author, Alfred Wainwright. It is fantastic if you are short of time or if low mileage is a priority.

The route is approximately 2.5 miles long and can be completed in just over an hour. Start point is beside the Wimdermere Hotel and takes you up to the summit on a winding lane. You can also pick up a footpath further north along the A591. The walk takes you up through lush, green fields. By following the marked woodland trail, you will eventually emerge at the viewpoint. When the sun is shining, the spectacular sight of Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells certainly do not disappoint! Orrest Head is also the perfect spot to watch the sunset, as the last light produces a glowing silhouette of the rocky skyline.

Brantfell

2. Brant Fell

This is another short, but lovely walk, starting from the centre of Bowness-on-Windermere. If you’re feeling spontaneous, this is a perfect little hike to get you away from the busy town, immediately into refreshing countryside. The Dales Way guides you along dusty tracks up to the view point. A perfectly positioned bench allows you to catch glimpses of the shimmering lake below. Lake District volunteers lead guided walks to Brantfell in August.

Orrest Head

3. School Knott

If you are looking for a circular walk, School Knott may be just what you’re looking for. A good place to begin is on the A591, almost opposite the start point for Orrest Head. Get your train-spotting hats on, as this route takes you over the railway line! Keep following the signs for School Knott and you will soon be clambering up a grassy hillside. If you take a look over your shoulder, the view of Lake Windermere and the Langdale Pikes is one to admire. But it’s not over yet! On reaching the top of the Knott, the path then drops you down beside a peaceful little tarn. The route then follows a stony track that skirts round the base of the fell, which soon returns you to Windermere.

School Knott

If you are eager to explore the west shore of Windermere or are looking for an all day adventure, you can take the short ferry ride to discover these two routes. The ferry goes from Ferry Nab, by Bowness Marina and lands just across the lake at the Ferry House.

4. The Tarns Walk

This walk really captures the essence of the Lake District. At approximately 6.5 miles long, there is a lot of time to take in the rugged landscapes and the thriving wildlife. On leaving the ferry, this route takes you out to Far Sawrey, continuing past the pub until you reach a bridleway on your right hand side. You should be on this path for about an hour, passing Moss Eccles Tarn, where you may see people fishing, as well as Wise Een Tarn; can you spot the boathouse nestled on the bank? When you reach a crossroad in the path, take the right hand trail leading you back to Far Sawrey. On the return leg, you will pass Three Dubs Crags, stopping to take in the view when you reach High Blind How. If you remain on this path, you can head back to the pub at Far Sawrey, where you can treat yourself to some well deserved refreshments!

Tarns walk

5. West Shore Walk

The ferry takes you directly to the start point of this walk, bearing right along the shoreline. The beauty of this route is that you can make it as short or as long as you wish, with the added bonus of no hills, making it a good option for those with limited mobility. You can stop off at Claife Viewing Station with its colourful stained glass, walk all the way to Wray Castle, or even just find a quiet spot for a picnic and listen to the waves lapping. The route produces endless views over the lake, and you may even catch a glimpse of the unmistakeable Fairfield Horseshoe to the north.

Western shore walk

Author   Guest blogger, Andrea Griffiths   photo credit: Andrea Griffiths

About the author
I am 20 years old and am currently studying Outdoor Education at the University of Cumbria. I love living in Ambleside and really enjoy getting out and about in the Lake District. In my spare time you can find me whizzing down a hill on my mountain bike, or in my walking boots, exploring somewhere off the beaten track. When I’m not doing either of these, I am usually armed with my camera, in search of new material for my website. I also have a Facebook page called Wild and Free Media

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