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Orrest Head, Windermere

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  • Excellent views from the summit
  • Pleasant woodland walking
  • A easy fell ‘to conquer’


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783′. Many 3 and 4 year olds seem to have toiled through the woods to Orrest Head and claimed their first ‘summit’ and been hooked thereafter. Wainwright was one of these intrepid explorers and there is no-one who was more well and truly ‘hooked’. Certainly the summit area is excellent, a child’s plaything with its plaque laying out the fells in front of you perched high on a rocky knoll and paths leading off in all directions. The views are extensive as well and when I climbed Orrest Head for the first time a few weeks back there was plenty of visitors lounging around the benches which face each direction.

Orrest Head and the land to the north certainly offers the best easy walking for any visitor to Windermere and its use is for inspiring future dreams or satisfying older curiosities than being a genuine climb of great interest…. but there is absolutely nothing amiss with that. The town of Windermere deserves a local walk of distinction and I certainly find the place preferable to the nearby tourist traps of Bowness and Ambleside, places which really have sold out to the local dollar.

Recommend: One curiosity I have on Orrest Head. The signpost which starts the walk says 20 minutes to the summit; if your powers are waning or the 3 year old is messing about in the woods ignore the time, it will take you longer. I have never liked giving a ‘time taken’ measure for precisely this reason!

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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL7 The English Lakes South East Buy Map
Start Point: SD 414987. Windermere station and then cross the main road and a large notice on Orrest Head points to the start of the walk. There is some free parking on the main road above the Windermere hotel but you have to return in 2 hours!
Height to Climb: 129 ms (423 feet)
Terrain: Many routes exist in the woods but the main track zig zags to near the summit. The paths to the north and west are still good and easy to follow.
Eating & Drinking: The walk starts and finishes in Windermere and therefore the choice is endless
Similar Walks Nearby: Discovering Troutbeck Tongue
Fells over Windermere
Gummer’s How
Places to Stay:


Chestnuts GH, WindermereRoman How, nr Windermere


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