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Lake District Walk
Orrest Head & Allen Knott from Windermere

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Lesser Fells

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 4.4 miles / 7.2 km    Ascent - 600 feet / 182 metres

Time - 2 hours 50 minutes    Grade - easy

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Orrest Head & Allen Knott from Windermere
Click image to see photo description.

This Lake District walk from Windermere first visits the superb viewpoint of Orrest Head, which inspired Alfred Wainwright to investigate Lakeland in greater detail, and continues north past Allen Knott before turning south via Howe Hill and Elleray Bank to return to the start.

The start is the Tourist Office by Windermere Railway station (grid ref. SD413987). Cross the A591 and turn left towards Ambleside. Turn right into Tuchwud (just before the green metal railings) and bear left to reach a 'Footpath to Orrest Head' sign with an arrow pointing the way. The sign suggests 20 minutes to the summit, which for some is very optimistic! Follow the lane up through trees to pass a farm. Shortly after take the right-hand path (with wall on your right) and continue to a cross wall. Turn right into a fenced lane and after 200 metres turn left through a kissing gate which gives access via steps to the summit of Orrest Head.

There is a topograph showing the main points on interest and it is worth spending some time here to enjoy the magnificent panorama. Personally, it was wonderful to see many of the fells I had climbed on previous walks and also to see how the topography fitted together. To continue, head north on a twisting descending path to a wall junction (grid ref. SD414995). Continue straight ahead, ignoring the path to the left. Maintain direction for 600 metres on a distinct path which roughly parallels the wall to your left. This path leads to a metal gate and a lane (grid ref. SD417000).

Turn right along the lane and continue to the first footpath on the left signed to 'Far Orrest'. Cross the stile and follow the path which curves around Near Orrest Farm on your right. The path then heads to the right-hand end of a bank of trees before heading straight across a field. Continue for 200 metres with the wall on your right before crossing another field aiming for the trees on the other side. Continue through the next field with the wall on your left to reach a track with Far Orrest Farm on your left (grid ref. NY414007). Keep the farm buildings on your left, ignore the path left and keep ahead to join a walled track. This leads north passing Allen Knott on your right. The route continues north through a gate and across a field to reach Moorhouse Road (grid ref. NY414013).

Turn left along Moorhouse Road. Ahead you have views to Lake Windermere. Where the road forks, take the smaller lane to the left (Dodd's Lane). The lane descends quite steeply. Turn left onto a driveway just before a green salt hopper (waymark on the wall to your left). Continue past some houses on your left and where the driveway forks, bear left. Follow the drive to reach Far Orrest Farm. Follow the waymarks through the farm and head following a farm track alongside a wall on your left. This track is easy to follow and after 800 metres you reach a lane by Crosses Farm (grid ref. NY411000).

Turn left and you soon reach a kissing gate and footpath sign on the right. Take this path into the woods. On leaving the woods bears left alongside a wall (on your left) to reach a wall. From here proceed half right across the field to the far-right hand corner where you join a track at Elleray Bank (grid ref. SD412993). Take the right-hand track and continue to a T-junction. Turn left and follow the lane back to the start.


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