Route type: For many. This walk hugs the wooded shoreline of Windermere to bring you out to the tranquil setting of Wray Castle. - OS Explorer Map OL7
Distance: 5 km, 3.1 miles
Start point: Red Nab car park - grid ref. SD 386994
Turning point: Wray Castle - grid ref. NY 375001
Facilities: Café at Wray Castle – open from Easter to October
Getting there: Boat: Wray Castle is on the Windermere Lake Cruises Green Cruise, with boats running regularly from Easter to October from Brockhole and Ambleside, however the walk up to the Castle is steep and is classed as 'for some'. Bus: there is no direct bus service to Wray Castle, the nearest stop is 2km away at Pullwood, which is served by the 505 Coniston bus.
Car: take the A593 out of Ambleside and then the B5286 to Hawkshead. After 2 km take a lane left signposted Wray and follow to Red Nab car park.
This route has been improved through the GoLakes Travel Programme. It is now possible for accompanied wheelchair users, pushchairs and motorised scooters to get all the way to Wray Castle.
The track heads north out of the car park and runs between the lakeshore and the mixed oak, ash and silver birch trees of Arthur Wood. The views across the northern reaches of Windermere are fantastic with Red Screes and Wansfell prominent. Look out for the white façade of Brockhole on the opposite shore. After 1.5 km you reach an easily opened gate which brings you out into an open grassy area and High Wray Bay. This is a great place for a picnic and a chance to watch the world go by.
The improved track to the left climbs straight on for another 0.5 km to Wray Castle entrance. There are two sections with gradients of less than 1:10 which solo wheelchair users may find difficult. Continue down the tarmac drive to the magnificent setting for Wray Castle and the chance for a rest and refreshment. An alternative route from High Wray Bay is to take the shoreline path on the right that also goes to the castle. This has recently been improved by widening and also putting in a contoured zigzag path (gradient approx 1:8) for the final stretch up to the castle. This would now fall within the criteria of “walk for some” and would be an excellent route for those capable.