South shores of Windermere

  • Visit the pretty village of Finsthwaite
  • Short woodland sections of great character
  • Stick to the shoreline wherever possible

Walking to the south of Windermere can be a frustrating business unless you know where to go. Large hotels, marinas and private land encase much of the shoreline and not particularly walker friendly. However there is a a pearl to be found in the form of the little village of Finsthwaite and the walk up to High Dam. Popular in the summer but empty whenever I visit; the waters of High Dam used to feed Bobbin Mill in Finsthwaite (now open as a visitor attraction).

The lands around Finsthwaite offer an excellent walk; the woodland of Great Knott Wood and Wintering Park particularly attractive as are the views back to Finsthwaite from the south. The circuit of Finsthwaite can be improved further by joining the Nature Walk from the Swan Hotel; alternatively take the Lakeside and Haversthwaite steam railway which stops just upstream from the Swan (timetable here) or walk away from the shore on a path next to the road under Summer House Knott.

Recommend: Of the 3 alternatives for the shoreline section of this walk I prefer walking the shoreline path but beware – just before Lakeside the path disappears and a little bit of fence climbing is needed to escape on to platform.

Download GPX file

South shores Windermere map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk ©2018

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL7 The English Lakes South East. Buy Map
Start Point: SD 370863. Newby Bridge, parking is available on the side road just to the west of the roundabout.
Height to Climb: 184ms (604 feet)
Terrain: Good paths in woodland tend to become muddy. See above for the shoreline section
Eating & Drinking: The Lakeside area has plenty of choice but I prefer the Swan just to the north of the river at Newby Bridge
Similar Walks Nearby: Whitbarrow near Kendal
Beatrix Potter Country
A stroll up Gummer’s How
Places to Stay: Masons Arms, nr Windermere


  1. Jonathan says:

    Ther land at Landing How is still private. Yes it is possible to get back to the road but it does involve a crossing of the rail line. Best to either take the railway for 1 stop or walk the road. Away from the lake is lovely!

  2. Philippa says:

    Hi Jonathan, is this route still open in 2017 as far as you know (looking at the comment thread)?

  3. Jason says:

    I don’t think anyone should take their comment off this site. We should be able to walk right along the shore of Windermere ,just because the rich have bought most of the land we are not allowed to walk on it rubbish.

  4. Kathy says:

    The route you have suggested goes through private property at Landing How which is not a public footpath. Can I suggest you take off the reference to going through this land and also change the picture of the map route.

  5. Jonathan says:

    There used to be style parallel to the railway leading in to the woods – this has clearly fallen n to disrepair so it is probably best to stick to the road from the Swan Hotel or else grab the train from the station near the Swan!I will check next time I am near.

  6. Pat Read says:

    We tried to walk the recommended shoreline walk from the Swan Hotel’s nature trail to Lakeside. Unfortunately, the trail ends at a barbed wire fence , and to climb over it puts you on the railway line. We failed to see a clear route through.

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