Orrest Head is the little hill overlooking Windermere. The climb is short but the views over the lake are excellent. The walk is varied by heading back through some mixed woodland.
783ft. Many 3 and 4 year olds must have toiled through the woods to Orrest Head and claimed their first ‘summit’. Hopefully they are hooked. Wainwright was one of these intrepid explorers and there is no-one who was more well and truly ‘hooked’. The summit area is excellent, a child’s plaything with its mountain viewing plaque perched high on a rocky knoll. From here paths head off in every conceivable direction. The views are extensive with benches for those in need of a rest. When I climbed Orrest Head recently they were all full.
Orrest Head and the land to the north certainly offers the best. easy walking for any visitor to Windermere. It could be used as an inspiration for future dreamers or just to satisfy older curiosities. There is absolutely nothing amiss with that. The town of Windermere deserves a local walk of distinction. I certainly find Windermere preferable to the nearby tourist traps of Bowness and Ambleside, places which really have sold out to the local dollar.
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!
Take your map and compass to Orrest Head. Although there is an excellent plaque detailing the mountains in view practice taking bearings yourself of these and matching them to the map.
Taking a bearing involves pointing the compass at the fell in question then twisting the bezel (spinny bit) so the red magnetic north arrow sits above the north arrow in the centre of the bezel. The result is a bearing.
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