North York Moors CAM


Thursday 6th September 2001

Weather: Bright, some sunny spells

The Lake District

Windermere - Orrest Head - Allen Knott

( 5 miles )

Today's walk is in the Lake District - a beautiful part of our country where I don't visit half as often as I should...


It begins at Windermere, just near the Windermere Hotel and opposite the Nat West Bank on the main A591 road

A clear sign points you in the direction of Orrest Head, informing you it's a 20 minute walk to the top - that's about right
Keep to the right of the signpost (above right) and follow the track gently uphill and into woodland


As you gain height you'll begin to enjoy the first tantalising glimpses of Windermere lake to the south-west



At the top of the woods, go through a metal kissing-gate and then on up the stone-stepped slope
to the viewpoint indicator near the summit of Orrest Head


It was from this justly famous and splendid viewpoint that, in 1930, Alfred Wainwright, the great fellwalker and
author of superb Lakeland walking books, first set his eyes on, and immediately fell in love with, the lakes and mountains
In his own words - "God was in his heaven that day, and I a humble worshipper."

Among those mountains and fells that can be seen are Coniston Old Man, Wetherlam, Crinkle Crags,
Scafell Pike, Bowfell and the Langdale Pikes - it really is a stunning sight if you've never been up there...

( Click here for a larger panoramic view )


Heading north from Orrest Head, a grassy path leads us down a sloping field
towards the white buildings of Causeway Farm

Lakeland experts forgive if I'm wrong - I believe the fells in the distance include Yoke, Ill Bell and High Street


. .

At the bottom of the slope I was pleasantly surprised to find these attractively coloured flowers growing beside a stream
- new to me, my reference book tells me they are wild 'monkey flowers', first introduced over here from North America



We then follow grassy field paths across farmland, climbing over a wonderful variety of wall and ladder stiles . . .


. . . all the way enjoying wonderful views across green fields and trees, then Windermere, towards the mountains


Eventually, just beyond Far Orrest Farm, we reach the base of some high ground - Allen Knott

There's an earthwork on the summit of Allen Knott, thought to be the site of an Iron Age hillfort
- there's little evidence to see, but given its prominence, it's believed the site was also used by the Romans


Not far past Allen Knott we follow a lane downhill before returning across fields towards Orrest Head,
again enjoying lovely views over to Windermere


Here we look back towards Far Orrest Farm with the rocky outcrop of Allen Knott prominent above


Alongside stone walls, we climb a gentle slope back towards Orrest Head . . .


. . . taking a breather and admiring the views back to Causeway Farm and the fells beyond . . .


. . . before enjoying our last view of the mountain vista across Windermere

It was surprising, but wonderful, to see so many sheep still grazing after the terrible times
suffered recently in Cumbria with foot and mouth disease

From here it was just a matter of retracing our steps through the woodland back to the start of the walk


On reaching the village of Windermere we returned to Denehurst Guest House
and the lovely hospitality of the owners, Jayne and Mike Quinn

location map

( If any photographs fail to download, click the right mouse button on the blank space then choose 'Show Picture' )


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