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Looking north east from the track above Blelham Tarn to Wansfell Pike (centre) next to Ambleside on the far side of Windermere
Looking north east from the track above Blelham Tarn to Wansfell Pike (centre) next to Ambleside on the far side of Windermere

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Route No. 521 - Saturday 14 September 2013
Wray Castle, Blelham Tarn, High Tock How Farm,
Watbarrow Point Lake Windermere circuit-6km
English Lake District . . .

Note details of this walk are also available from the National Trust , Wray Castle web site

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL7 The English Lakes South Eastern area


Looking north from Wray Castle across Windermere to the hills above Ambleside
Looking north from Wray Castle across Windermere to the hills above Ambleside

An impressive conifer in the grounds of Wray Castle
An impressive conifer in the grounds of Wray Castle


Ridges of the Fairfield Horseshoe route from Wray Castle

The road heading down towards Low Wray
The road heading down towards Low Wray

There's a church behind the gate house almost completely hidden in the trees. At the road we turned right and walked along this narrow road passing the turning to Low Wray off to the right hand side of the road. After about 300m from the Wray Castle gate house, there was a gate on the left hand side of the road leading to a permissive path following the road safely over the wall inside the fields. After another 200m we came to a public footpath with a gate from the road and we turned left to follow the footpath across the field.

This week my wife and I are staying in a holiday cottage in the tiny village of Near Sawrey near Hawkshead. This morning the weather was warm, bright and sunny showing off the Lakeland scenery in all its glory! We drove to Wray Castle on the edge of Windermere just a few kilometres away. It's a National Trust property and we parked in their car park there at map ref. NY375010. We had a brief look around the grounds where there are some impressive trees and then we set off along the drive from the castle, a Victorian folly, to the road at the gate house.

Another impressive conifer in the grounds of Wray Castle
Another impressive conifer in the grounds of Wray Castle

Cluster of bracket fungi on a tree at Wray Castle
Cluster of bracket fungi on a tree at Wray Castle

Start of the permissive footpath following the road
Start of the permissive footpath following the road

Turning away from the road on a path across the fields
Turning away from the road on a path across the fields

Heading into open woodland en route for Blelham Tarn
Heading into open woodland en route for Blelham Tarn

Ford across a feeder stream to Blelham Tarn
Ford across a feeder stream to Blelham Tarn

From the stream we continued along the track for another 400m to a fork where there was a finger post indicating the village of Outgate straight ahead, reminding us that we had come from the direction of Low Wray and showing that our route lay along the left hand turn to High Tock How.

The path followed a farm access track across the sheep pasture for about 450m to a gate into some open woodland. We continued on the farm track through the woodland for about 500m to a ford and some rough stepping stones across a stream that flowed into Blelham Tarn a few hundred metres to our left.

Path across the fields heading for Blelham Tarn
Path across the fields heading for Blelham Tarn

Heading into open woodland en route for Blelham Tarn
Heading into open woodland en route for Blelham Tarn

Path heading south west above Blelham tarn
Path heading south west above Blelham tarn

Finger post at a fork in the track - we turned left towards High Tock How farm
Finger post at a fork in the track - we turned left towards High Tock How farm

Looking north east across Blelham Tarn
Looking north east across Blelham Tarn

Looking across Blelham Tarn to Wansfell Pike
Looking across Blelham Tarn to Wansfell Pike

Track climbing up to High Tock How farm
Track climbing up to High Tock How farm

This horse was having a good roll in sunshine
This horse was having a good roll in sunshine

Gates at the stone barn on the way up to High Tock How farm
Gates at the stone barn on the way up to High Tock How farm

We continued up the track to pass the entrance to High Tock How farm and reached the road at map ref. SD363998. At the road we turned left and followed the road for about 150m to a junction at a bend in the road.

We followed this path around the end of Blelham Tarn and began climbing up the track towards High Tock How farm. As we climbed the views, particularly away to our left got better and better. We cam to a field gate across the track at a stone barn and from there we had a lovely view over the tarn to the hills above Ambleside on the far side of Lake Windermere.

Track climbing up to High Tock How farm
Track climbing up to High Tock How farm

View of the hills above Ambleside from the track
View of the hills above Ambleside from the track

The road down to Hole House farm
The road down to Hole House farm

Leaving Hole House farm on the track across the fields
Leaving Hole House farm on the track across the fields

Stone slab stile on the path from Hole House farm
Stone slab stile on the path from Hole House farm

Harebells by the path  - such a delicate blue
Harebells by the path - such a delicate blue

After about 650m we came to a road at map ref. NY370004. There had been some wonderful views from this path looking north east across Windermere to the hills above Ambleside.

Here we kept straight on, effectively turning left off the road on to a farm access track passing Hole House farm. Once we were passed the farm the footpath followed a farm access track across the fields.

The hills above Ambleside from the track above Blelham Tarn
The hills above Ambleside from the track above Blelham Tarn



Gate on to the road at map ref. NY370004

About to turn off the road approaching Wray Castle gate house
About to turn off the road approaching Wray Castle gate house

Track down towards the side of Lake Windermere
Track down towards the side of Lake Windermere

Windermere from the lakeside path
Windermere from the lakeside path

We followed the track to within about 50m of the lakeside and there we turned left through a pedestrian gate to join the lakeside path. There were cattle grazing by the water's edge, boats on the lake and people sitting on the grass in the sunshine. It was a lovely scene. We walked along the lake shore for about 400m and then the path began to climb up away from the lakeside to a gate into some woodland.

At the road we turned left and walked along the road for about 300m almost back to the Wray Castle gate House. About 100m before the gate house we turned right off the road on to a track heading down to the side of Lake Windermere. There was a good view of the Wray Castle Church on the left of the track.

St Margaret’s Church behind the gate house to Wray Castle
St Margaret’s Church behind the gate house to Wray Castle

Our turning on to the lakeside path
Our turning on to the lakeside path

Windermere from the lakeside path
Windermere from the lakeside path

Windermere from the lakeside path
Windermere from the lakeside path

National trust permissive path through the woods to Watbarrow Point
National trust permissive path through the woods to Watbarrow Point

Windermere from Watbarrow Point
Windermere from Watbarrow Point

Leaving Watbarrow Point
Leaving Watbarrow Point

Here we turned away from the lake to follow a footpath alongside some iron railings climbing back up to the car park at Wray castle and the end of our walk. The whole route had been 6km and it had taken us about two and a half hours to walk with numerous stops to admire the view and take far too many photographs.

This is a National Trust permissive path leading down through the woods to Watbarrow Point. We stood on this rocky outcrop for a few minutes watching the pleasure boats on the lake. At last we had to leave this lovely spot and continue along the path for another 400m to the corner of Low Wray Bay.

Windermere from Watbarrow Point
Windermere from Watbarrow Point

Path back up to Wray Castle car park
Path back up to Wray Castle car park

Wray Castle (a Victorian folly) seen from the car park
Wray Castle (a Victorian folly) seen from the car park

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