The Western Shore of Windermere

Map for walk on western shore of WindermereThis walk explores part of the western shore of Windermere, starting with a walk through the woods above the lake before returning to our starting point along the lake shore. On the way we pass a series of delightful small tarns, beginning with Moss Eccles Tarn, as well as passing through the small village of Far Sawrey.

Ascent: 992ft/ 300m
Length: 8 miles/ 13km
Map: Explorer 07 English Lakes South Eastern Area
Last Walked: 12 October 2007

This walk starts from the lakeside parking north of the ferry across Windermere. It is also possible to start from the car park close to the ferry, or even to start in Bowness and use the ferry to reach our starting point.

1: SD 387 959
We start this walk from the roadside parking north of the ferry. Head south along the road, with the lake to our left and the trees to our right, in the direction of the main road to the ferry.
2: SD 388 954

The lakeside road soon joins the road to the ferry. We will follow the route of this road for some way, but we only use the road itself for a short distance. Two paths lead off into the trees to the right. Ignore the first one, which leads up quite steeply inside the trees, but take the second path, which heads in the same direction as the road, but runs through the trees.

This path passes through a small car park, continuing past the car park on the same side of the road. It then crosses over the road and follows the left side of the road as it climbs up away from the lake shore. We follow this permissive path alongside the road until it emerges back onto the road at a small junction.

3: SD 383 951

At this small junction we follow the main road, ignoring the minor road that turns off to the left. After a short distance the main road itself begins to curve to the left. At the corner a footpath leaves the road to the right, heading uphill, running to the right of a small piece of woodland. Follow this path.

This path runs straight over a shoulder of the hill (which the road swings around), passing between a series of private houses. At the top of the climb the path passes in front of Sawrey Knotts, before continues on down into Far Sawrey, rejoining the road just before the pub.

4: SD 379 954
Follow the road as it passes the pub. A short distance past the pub, turn right onto Cuckoo Brow Land, and follow this lane as it climbs up out of the village
5: SD 375 959
We follow this lane as it runs past a series of buildings, until we reach a Y-junction. The right Moss Eccles Tarnbranch heads uphill across the field towards another building. Ignore this branch, and instead take the left hand branch. This track crosses a small stream before curving away to the right and climbing. We follow this track for just under a mile and a half, passing a series of small tarns on the way, starting with Moss Ecles Tarn. Although the OS maps shows a number of tracks leaving our route, on the ground it is always obvious which is the main track. Stick to this track all the way to the edge of the woods.
6: SD 373 977
Follow the same track as it enters the woods
7: SD 374 980
Soon after we enter the woods a footpath is signposted heading off to the left. Ignore this and keep to the track, which begins to bend to the right.
8: SD 375 981
Claife Heights WoodsAfter a short distance another track leaves this one to the left, passing through a large gate. Take this path, remembering to shut the gate and follow this track as it runs downhill through the trees.
9: SD 376 982
This track soon leads to a crossroads. Head straight across this junction, and follow the track. If there is a path signposted for High Wray, follow it.
10: SD 378 986
After just over a quarter of a mile, this track merges with another once that joins from the left, before reaching a crossroads. At this junction turn left onto the track that runs along the hillside with trees to the left and more open ground to the right.
11: SD 378 988

We follow this track for just over 800 feet as it curves around the hill, before we reach a path that leaves the track to the right, heading in roughly the same direction. Turn right onto this path and follow it as it runs back into the trees. We follow this path for just over half a mile through the trees, ignoring any track that leaves to the right.

At the edge of the woods we pass a National Trust base camp, used for conservation volunteers. From the base camp follow the road that leads north, heading towards High Wray

12: SD 372 999
At High Wray we meet a road. Turn right onto this road. Almost immediately we reach a junction in the road - take the left hand branch.
13: NY 373 000
Just past this junction the road begins to turn to the left, while a footpath on the right continues on straight ahead towards the lake. Follow this footpath as it runs down to the lake shore.
14: NY 376 003
rmereAt the lake shore turn right and follow the lakeside path as it runs through the trees back to our starting point.


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