Whinlatter Forest

Situated in the North West corner of the Lake District is the Forestry Commission managed, Whinlatter Forest. The Forestry Commission were influential with the Lake District gaining the status of World Heritage Site by combining natural and human activities to create sites such as Whinlatter and Grizedale Forest. With many different activities and attractions, Whinlatter Forest is a beautiful area of the Lake District for you to explore and discover.

Whinlatter Forest is easily accessible for Guests based at Underscar, with plenty of activities and a plethora of stunning natural beauty, England’s only mountainous Forest has something for everyone.

For those of you looking to stretch your legs, Whinlatter has various walking trails that wind across the forest leading to spectacular views of Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake and the surrounding area.

Suitable for a range of abilities, the trails vary in distance and trail surface but are all very easy to follow with the addition of number junctions relating to the map available from the Visitor Centre.

A particularly popular route is the Seat How Trail (3.5 miles) that rewards hikers who climb up to the summit with a fabulous view of local lakes as well as the Skiddaw and Helvellyn mountains.

In keeping with other Forestry Commission areas in the United Kingdom, Whinlatter Forest is home to multiple purpose-built mountain bike trails for you to ride. From a moderate loop of just over two miles to the difficult twelve-mile red grade ‘Altura Trail’ designed for experienced cyclists, there is certainly something for everyone to try. To add an element of competition to your afternoon, you might enjoy the Mountain Bike Orienteering Challenge which uses various forest roads and trails to explore the forest. The object is to get to as many control points as possible in a fixed time and it is a fantastic way to discover the woodland.

Similar to Grizedale, Whinlatter also contains attractions from GoApe! Make your way through the forest canopy on zip lines and rope swings by completing the Tree Top Adventure, a high rope course that will take your breath away.

On the other hand, stay firmly at ground level and explore the Forest with the help of the all-terrain Segways to find the best views that Whinlatter has to offer. With both activities available for ages ten and over, these are definitely family orientated and are fantastic experiences for all.

Whinlatter Forest is home to lots of different wildlife that all make use of the different habitats the Forest has to offer. Roe Deer, Badgers, Foxes and various birds such as Buzzards and Merlin are some of the different species that call Whinlatter their home. We are currently in Osprey Season (April to August) when Osprey couples come to nest in the local area, hunting the fish that live in Bassenthwaite Lake. The best viewing point for them is to visit the viewpoint at Dodd Wood or to see the nest cameras in the Visitor Centre. Whinlatter is also a Red Squirrel Reserve where the species is looked after and can be spotted all over the Forest, so be sure to bring a camera.

Whinlatter Forest is a stunning natural area just waiting to be explored and enjoyed. You can be as active or relaxed as you wish but Whinlatter is definitely a beautiful area of the Lake District.

Article by James Doddrell – Local Outdoor Enthusiast