Offlist Walk: Whinlatter Forest

16 11 2010
16th November 2010
with Mrs NLW
3.4 miles
Explorer OL4 (The English Lakes (North-western area))
Cloudy

Keswick with the Helvellyn range behind

Feeling a little tired still after Catbells we decided on a short walk in the Whinlatter Forest Park. The walk started badly as the Forestry Commission have just started charging for parking,

Cloud over Causey Pike

I don’t have a problem with this – but I do have a problem with the amount they charge, and the fact they you don’t get a portion rebated if you eat in their tea room.

The walk started from the main visitor centre carpark, walking towards the ‘Go Ape’ set-up, and then turning right into the forest opposite the ‘Go Ape’ booth. The path north quickly winds its way up steep hillside until appearing at an intersection of typical wide Forestry Commission tracks. We cross these and continue up the track that goes north towards Ullister Hill, still climbing – but much more gently.

Towards the top of the hill the trees drop away on the right and we start to be able to see the views across the valley towards Keswick. The track turns west and splits again – we follow it north before leaving the track to head across the shoulder of Ullister Hill. The hill here is delightfully hillocky. We drop a little as we head east, through more trees until suddenly we emerge at Seat How, where the ground drops away to reveal magnificent views – misty clouds brewing and gurgling up from Grisedale and Causey Pikes, Keswick sitting prettily beside Derwent Water, Skiddaw rising imposingly in front of us, with Blencathra just as bold behind it…fantastic!

We continue to descend, steeply at times, crossing one of the mountain bike trails that Whinlatter is most known for. We join another wide logging track and wind our way back downhill to the vistor centre.

Lunch at Siskin’s tea room is not the cheapest (about £7 for a sausage baguette), but it is worth it!

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