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The bridge over Trout Beck was washed away in the storms of December 2015
The bridge over Trout Beck was washed away in the storms of December 2015

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Route No. 627 - Tuesday 28 June 2016
Windermere Station, Orrest Head, Far Orrest,
Town End, Robin Lane, Ambleside Pier - 10km
(linear route) Windermere, English Lake District . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL5 The English Lakes North Eastern area


The bus station next to Windermere railway station
The bus station next to Windermere railway station

This week we are staying with a group of friends in a large holiday cottage on the hillside above the town of Windermere. We are planning to do some gentle walks despite the rather mixed weather forecast, typical Lake District weather. Yesterday we had a fine sunny walk from Patterdale but today the rain is due to get here by the late morning and set in for the rest of the day.

Walking along Church Street, A 591, from the station
Walking along Church Street, A 591, from the station

Our turning off the A592 up to Orrest Head
Our turning off the A592 up to Orrest Head

We walked along the tarmac path by the A591 for about 200m and then turned left off the main road through a wooden farm gate to a walled track at map ref. SD 415 986. There is a permissive path along this track which we followed heading for Orrest Head.

Our walk today starts from the bus station next to the Windermere railway station. From the bus station entrance we turned right on to High Street and after just a few metres we turned right again on to Church Street, the A591, a very busy route.

Looking back along the A592 from our turning to Orrest Head
Looking back along the A592 from our turning to Orrest Head

Permissive path along the track to Orrest Head
Permissive path along the track to Orrest Head

Permissive path along the track to Orrest Head
Permissive path along the track to Orrest Head

Permissive path up the hillside to Orrest Head
Permissive path up the hillside to Orrest Head

Permissive path through Common Wood to Orrest Head
Permissive path through Common Wood to Orrest Head

Permissive path through Common Wood to Orrest Head
Permissive path through Common Wood to Orrest Head

From the edge of Common Wood we climbed the path up the rocky outcrop to the view point at Orrest Head. It's not very high at 238m but it has a commanding view across Windermere with Coniston Old Man and the Langdale Pikes visible on a clear day. Alas today the drizzle had started and all we saw was a the lake and its shoreline through the misty haze. (In 1930 at the age of 23, Alfred Wainwright made his first visit to the Lake District with a walk from Windermere Station up to Orrest Head and was much impressed with the vista of the fells)

We followed the track uphill for about 150m to a gate on the left. We followed the track through the gate and continued on a steeper climb up the edge of the field. Just then two roe deer came bounding towards us, clearly startled by something behind them. Only at the last moment did they notice us and suddenly veered away and disappeared over the hill top. We continued along the permissive path to the corner of Common Wood at map ref. SD 416 990. We followed the permissive path through the wood and emerged from the wood the east of Orrest Head.

Permissive path enering Common Wood
Permissive path entering Common Wood

Waiting for the stragglers in Common Wood
Waiting for the stragglers in Common Wood

Approaching the view point on Orrest Head
Approaching the view point on Orrest Head

The view from Orrest Head - just mist & drizzle today
The view from Orrest Head - just mist & drizzle today

Grassy track heading north from Orrest Head
Grassy track heading north from Orrest Head

Footpath leaving Orrest Head going towards Near Orrest
Footpath leaving Orrest Head going towards Near Orrest

Reaching the road to Near Orrest
Reaching the road to Near Orrest

The rain had started now and did not let up for the rest of the day. At the road we turned right to walk along the road for about 200m Near Orrest farm. Just before we reached the farm we turned left off the road to follow a public footpath across the fields.

We set off down from the Orrest Head view point on a public footpath in a northerly direction along a wide grassy track. The track led down to a stile through the wall and we followed the edge of the field for about 500m to a minor road at map ref. NY 417 000.

Footpath leaving Orrest Head going towards Near Orrest
Footpath leaving Orrest Head going towards Near Orrest

Impressive bull in the field adjoining the path
Impressive bull in the field adjoining the path

Following the road to Near Orrest
Following the road to Near Orrest

Turning off the road at Near Orrest to follow the field path to Far Orrest
Turning off the road at Near Orrest to follow the field path to Far Orrest

Field path leading to Far Orrest
Field path leading to Far Orrest

Lovely display of foxgloves by the path
Lovely display of foxgloves by the path

Crossing Dodd's Lane
Crossing Dodd's Lane

The field path leading to the A592
The field path leading to the A592

The farm access drive took us out to a minor road called Dodd's Lane at map ref. NY 411 011. Here we crossed Dodd's Lane and continued along a footpath across the fields for about 350m to the A592 at map ref. NY 410 015.

After about 700m from Near Orrest and numerous stone stiles we came to Far Orrest farm. We followed the public footpath around the northern side of the farm and continued along the tarmac farm access drive.

Field path leading to Far Orrest
Field path leading to Far Orrest

Path around Far Orrest
Path around Far Orrest

Continuing along the path from Dodd's Lane
Continuing along the path from Dodd's Lane

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A "stumpasaurus" on the hillside below us

Reaching the A592 along the field path
Reaching the A592 along the field path

Following the footpath next to the A592
Following the footpath next to the A592

Following the footpath next to the A592
Following the footpath next to the A592

A notice fastened to the bus stop advised walkers that the bridge over Trout Beck had been washed away in the floods of December 2015. (It would be possible to continue along the main road to Church Bridge and there turn left to walk along a minor road to Low Fold to rejoin our route) We, intrepid walkers that we are, decided to go see the damaged bridge for ourselves.

At this main road we turned right and walked along a footpath on the left hand side of the road. For part of the way the path was screened from the traffic by a hedge and other vegetation. After about 250m we came to a gate to a public footpath on the left, next to bus stop. However there was yellow warning tape on the gate.

Footpath next to the A592
Footpath next to the A592

Warnings about the broken bridge over Trout Beck
Warnings about the broken bridge over Trout Beck

Our first view of the broken bridge over Trout Beck
Our first view of the broken bridge over Trout Beck

The broken bridge over Trout Beck
The broken bridge over Trout Beck

Path from trout Beck up to Town End
Path from trout Beck up to Town End

That is what we did, one at a time with out stretched trekking poles to reach for balance from both sides. We like a bit of adventure. Incidently there does not seem to be any official timetable for the bridge to be repaired. From the bridge we continued up the hillside to the road south of Town End.

So we turned left off the main road and followed the public footpath down to Trout Beck. Well it was true, the bridge was badly damaged. The supporting stone plinths were broken and the bridge structure itself was laying on its side across the damaged plinths. We decide that the large timber beam that formed the bridge deck was safe and wide enough to walk across.

Leaving the broken bridge & Trout Beck behind
Leaving the broken bridge & Trout Beck behind

Last few metres to join the road at Town End
Last few metres to join the road at Town End

Following the road through Town End
Following the road through Town End

Pre-war AA mileage sign
Pre-war AA mileage sign

Looking back down Robin Lane to the cafe in Low Fold
Looking back down Robin Lane to the cafe in Low Fold

Next to the cafe was the junction at the start of Robin Lane. From the cafe door we turned right and set off up Robin Lane. It was quite a steep climb and after several hundred metres we came to a large overhanging tree that provided some shelter from the rain where we stopped got some lunch.

At the road we turned right and walked along the road for about 600m up to Low Fold. We stopped at the cafe in to village at map ref. NY 407 026. It was quite busy with groups of wet steamy walkers and cyclists, but it was a welcome break for a good cup of coffee.

Caring for the new tractor
Caring for the new tractor

Climbing up Robin Lane from Low Fold
Climbing up Robin Lane from Low Fold

Standing lunch stop under a sheltering tree
Standing lunch stop under a sheltering tree

Following Robin Lane from Low Fold
Following Robin Lane from Low Fold

Following the track towards High Skelghyll
Following the track towards High Skelghyll

Freshly sheared Swaledale tupps in the rain
Freshly sheared Swaledale tupps in the rain

We continued along the track past High Skelghyll farm where there was a group of bedraggled freshly sheared Swaledale tupps sheltering against a wall.

After about 1.5km, at map ref. NY 397 024, the walled track continues heading northwards now called Hundreds Road, but our track bears left through a field gate following the field edge around the hillside.

Left hand fork is our route & right hand fork is Hundreds Road
Left hand fork is our route & right hand fork is Hundreds Road

Following the track towards High Skelghyll
Following the track towards High Skelghyll

Track passing High Skelghyll farm
Track passing High Skelghyll farm

Footbridge across Hol Beck about 170m before we reached High Skelghyll farm
Footbridge across Hol Beck about 170m before we reached High Skelghyll farm

Following the track through Skelghyll Wood
Following the track through Skelghyll Wood

Here we turned left off the main track to double back along a narrow path around the hillside for a little way to join a path heading diagonally down the slope towards Ambleside.

Beyond High Skelghyll farm the track entered Skelghyll Wood and continued past the view point at Jenkin Crag (not much to see today!) We followed the track to map ref. NY 380 031.

Following the track through Skelghyll Wood
Following the track through Skelghyll Wood

From here we turned left off the main track to double back through the woods around the hillside
From here we turned left off the main track to double back through the woods around the hillside

Path down through the woodland towards Ambleside
Path down through the woodland towards Ambleside

Path heading down to Ambleside
Path heading down to Ambleside

Paved path down the the A591 at Ambleside Pier
Paved path down the A591 at Ambleside Pier

The bus took us back to the bus station next to Windermere Railway Station and the end of our rather wet day in the Lake District. (Note: Several bus routes go between Ambleside & Windermere and there are details on the Cumbria County Council web site) The whole linear route we walked had been about 10km and including our stops the walk had take me about four and a half hours.

The path emerged from the lower edge of the woodland and crossed the fields before becoming a paved walled path dropping down to some steps on to the A591 just opposite the jetty where the Windermere ferries dock. Within a few metres of the steps there is a bus stop on the A591 where we waited for only about 10 minutes for a bus.

Path down across the fields from the edge of the woodland
Path down across the fields from the edge of the woodland

Path heading down to Ambleside
Path heading down to Ambleside

Steps down to the A591 near the bus stop
Steps down to the A591 near the bus stop

Ambleside Pier seen from the A591<img src=
Ambleside Pier seen from the A591 at our bus stop for the return trip to Windermere Station

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