Take a ferry ride to Bowness on Windermere before embarking on your day's walk which takes in the hills and dales of this beautiful region.
Catch an early ferry from Ambleside to Bowness on Windermere before setting out from Bowness Bay and walking back to Ambleside.
After walking through Bowness on Windermere on footpaths, you will soon head into the hills on this delightful days’ walking. You will take in some of the most breathtaking views of the Lake District from vantage points such as Orrest Head (described by Wainwright after completing this walk as the ‘introduction to a dream.’) This walk is actually known as the walk that inspired Wainwright.
Combine this with the high point of Wansfell Pike and this really does make for an exhilarating days walking.
Much of the route passes through Red Squirrel Conservation Areas so keep your eyes peeled for this elusive little creature.
Check the weather forecast before setting out and listen to advice locals may offer you. When the route follows a road with no footpath remember to walk on the right hand side so you are facing any oncoming traffic.
Along with your usual gear for a day out in the hills remember to pack a wind/waterproof and an extra layer. The weather can change fairly quickly up on the peaks.
Food & Drink
Many places to get lunch in Ambleside and Bowness, also a supermarket at Windermere Station with coffee shop just by the footpath to Orrest Head.
Points of interest
Views from Orrest Head
Orrest Head, above the town of Windermere is considered by many to be the best viewpoint over Lake Windermere. At 784 feet, some excellent views over the surrounding area can be had from its summit. On a clear day, the fell offers a 360° panorama, from the Yorkshire fells to the Langdales and Troutbeck Valley. Even Morecambe Bay is clearly visible. The well known author and walker Alfred Wainwright's first climb was Orrest Head, he walked to the summit of the fell in 1930, and felt greatly inspired by the view from Orrest Head. It remains today just as Wainwright would have seen it. A plaque to his memory stands at the summit.
A spectacular 70 foot waterfall which may be viewed safely from a railed viewpoint. In spring the area under the trees is a carpet of daffodils. Stock Ghyll, a tributary of the River Rothay, tumbles down through a series of waterfalls to the centre of Ambleside. Once there were 12 water mills driven by the power of Stock Ghyll and other local becks, producing bobbins, processed fabrics, paper and ground corn. The mill nearest the road is the Old Corn Mill, on a site occupied by a mill since 1335. This was the old manorial mill, rebuilt in 1680 by the Braithwaite family of Ambleside Hall. The building was restored in the 1970s for use of shops.
Enjoy views along Windermere and beyond to Morecambe Bay as well as panoramic views of surrounding hills and fells. Wansfell has an extensive summit ridge with two tops. The highest point of the fell is called Baystones with a height of 488 m (1,601 ft) while Wansfell Pike, which lies a kilometre to the south west reaches an elevation of 482 m (1,581 ft). Of the two summits Wansfell Pike is regarded as the “true” summit of the fell by many fell walkers because of its superior view, even though it is the lower of the pair.