Windermere from Brant Fell copyright Dave Willis

Southern Windermere Trail

We're working on a new multi-user trail from the southern end of Windermere at Newby Bridge to the YMCA at Lakeside. In the long term we want to link up to the Windermere Ferry, and the Windermere West Shore Way, that currently goes from the ferry crossing to the northern end of the lake. We're aiming to create an accessible route for people to walk, horse ride, cycle or wheel the entire length of England's largest lake, and to visit attractions along the route in a sustainable way.

The new route will follow the lakeshore in some areas, but will also head away from the lake to key visitor attractions. Some of the route already exists as public footpaths. This project will include building new sections as well as upgrading some existing paths.

We're leading the project, working closely with landowners, stakeholders and local parish councils. The work is being funded from the European Structural and Investment Funds and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

A stone path accessible route

We will be building the path using locally sourced stone to create a hard crushed stone surface, to make it as accessible as possible. It will be between 2 and 3 m wide with grass verges on each side where possible. It will have fencing on one or both sides as needed.

We are planning to build a new bridge over the railway, a raised boardwalk over areas that get very wet, and new embankments. We'll be putting in waymarkers and information signs to help people follow the route and learn about the local areas they are passing.

We plan to make the whole route a public right of way, with a few sections having permitted agreements.

Progress on each section of the route

We're working on the route in sections. Each section needs to be looked at carefully to see if we need to make any changes to the planned route to help look after wildlife, like roosting bats, or to be considerate to neighbouring houses. We do this by putting each section through a planning application, so the route may change a little in some places from our original plans.

Section 2: Newby Bridge to Lakeside

Work has started on the ground, our contractors are laying a new path across the field known locally as The Parks, south of Lakeside. This is going to take a few months to complete. In September they'll start on the paths at either end of this trail section, we're trying to avoid the busy summer months when The Swan Hotel and Lakeside will have lots of visitors.

We have an engineer working on the structural design for the new bridge over the railway, hopefully we can show the final design to everyone by the end of September. The bridge will  be built off-site and then put in place by December 2022.

We're hoping to open this first section of the trail to the public around Easter 2023.

Sections 3 to 4 : Lakeside to Great Knott Wood

  • Awaiting to be submitted to planning committee.

Sections 5 to 6: High Stott Park to the YMCA at Lakeside

  • A map showing a route along the South Western shore of Windermere.

    The proposed from Newby Bridge to the YMCA at Lakeside, will be completed in sections.

  • Map showing the first section of path, from Newby Bridge to the Lakeside Hotel and Lakes Aquarium.

    Map showing the first section of path, from Newby Bridge to the Lakeside Hotel and Lakes Aquarium.

  • View across a river with swans on the water and gentle hils on the far side.

    The view across the River Leven from part of the proposed route from Newby Bridge to Lakeside.

A Low-carbon Lake District project

The Southern Windermere Trail is part of Low-carbon Lake District, a partnership approach to reduce carbon in the National Park and mitigate against the effects of climate change on the landscape.

This project is partly funded by:

European Structural and Investment Funds

European Structural and Investment Funds