wainwright - orrest head

distance:

3 km

ascent:

210 metre

duration:

45 mins

Although Orrest Head is not listed as a Wainwright Fell, it was the first fell he walked when he visited the Lake District at the age of 23.  He later wrote “Orrest Head cast a spell that changed my life”

It is included as it is an accessible route with amazing views!

You will need to drive to Windermere to enjoy this Wainwright.

The family of Arthur Henry Wood gave Orrest Head and Elleray Wood in trust to Windermere Council to be held “for public walks or pleasure grounds” and it remains so today. Keep an eye out for the stone placed by the inhabitants on Windermere in remembrance of this act of kindness in 1902. 

Orrest Head is where it all started in 1930 when the 23-year-old Alfred Wainwright first visited the Lake District by train from Blackburn and the walk-up Orrest Head prompted the following quote: 

“Quite suddenly, we emerged from the trees and were on a bare headland, and, as though a curtain had dramatically been torn aside, beheld a truly magnificent view” 

There are many obvious paths up and down Orrest Head and this one takes the accessible route ideal for those pushing prams or less mobile.  

Route / description.

Following in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright, this route starts from the train station where there is car parking bus stop. Head north on the A591, taking care crossing the road junction, and cross the main road at the pedestrian crossing and head back on yourself a short distance where you will find the start of the route on your left. 

 

At the start you will see information about the routes and wildlife. 

Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District
Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District

The route is well sign posted and you should be able to make it to the top and back without further assistance from this guide but here goes anyway.  

Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District

There are plenty of places to take a break including benches made by CB Arts in Ulverston who also made the installation at the top.  

Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District
Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District
Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District
Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District

As you reach the top the views start open and you can understand how a first-time visitor (or any visitor) to Orrest Head can become enchanted with the Lake District. On a clear day you can see many iconic Lakeland peaks from here and there is a helpful skyline installation to help identify them. 

Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District

As is becoming common in well visited parts of the Lake District you will also find a fallen tree which is home to many coins, luckily this tree is already dead. This practise apparently began in the 1700s and is believed to bring health and happiness, but clearly not wealth unless you are the owner of the tree. 

Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District

Keep an eye out for the Gruffalo and great den making opportunities. 

Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District
Orrest Head - LangdaleActive things to do in the Lake District

Upon reaching the start of the start and finish point you can retrace your steps to the station or spend some time in Windermere where there are plenty of opportunities for rehydration. Homeground and the Crafty Baa are both very popular the latter particularly with visitors, and other establishments worthy of note are Toast, Brew Room and The Tilly Bar & Kitchen. 

langdale active.

If you’re not already staying at The Langdale Estate or Brimstone Hotel … check us out for your next break in the Lakes.  Or, if you’re in the area call in to Wainwrights’ Inn or Stove for some well-deserved refreshments!