Our hotels in the Lake District and surrounding areas have hundreds of miles of public footpaths, tracks and trails and hopefully a growing desire to make access easier for those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters or parents with buggies. We all have a right to enjoy the countryside. Here are five short walks which are accessible to all.
1. White Moss Common
- Distance: 1.25 km
- Getting there: By Car take the A591, 4 km north of Ambleside. By Bus the 555 and 599 services Ambleside to Keswick.
- Starting Point: Car Park on A591 between Ambleside and Grasmere, grid ref NY 351065
Follow the path from the car park and cross a wooden footbridge. This brings you to the River Rothay with benches close to the river. Continue along path and through 2 easy opening gates and area of hard standing – a perfect picnic spot. Return the way you came.
2. Blea Tarn
- Distance: 1.5 km
- Getting there: By car, take the B5343 – Langdale Valley, take a sharp left at Old Dungeon Ghyll which starts a steep climb up to Blea Tarn.
- Starting Point: National Trust car park, grid ref NY 295043
Cross the road from the car park and through the gate opposite. Follow the path towards the tarn with spectacular views of the fells on either side. Cross the wooden footbridge over the tarn outflow. Bear uphill and right, into the small woodland of larch, Scots pine and silver birch. The turning point is where the path leaves the woodland as the path after that becomes rough and undulating.
3. Dubwath Silver Meadow
One of English Lakes visitor giving supported projects, this is the Lake District’s first wetlands nature reserve – a wildlife haven for nature lovers and bird watchers. The path is made from recycled plastic bottles – perfect for wheelchair and pushchair access. There are several viewing points and innovative hides along the route.
- Distance: 2.5 km circular
- Getting there: By car, take the A66 and follow signs for Pheasant Inn, By Bus, take the Osprey Service to Bassenthwaite Lake.
- Starting Point: 200 m north of Inn, grid ref. NY 198309
200m north of the Inn turn left through a gate and onto the clearly marked path. Follow the well maintained circular route and take advantage of the many viewing platforms for the unique flora and fauna along the way.
4. Bowness to Cockshott Point
Distance: 2 km circular
Getting there: By Car, take the A592 or A5074 to Bowness, By Bus, take the 599 from Windermere station
Starting point: Glebe Road car park grid ref. SD 398966; there is some roadside parking on Glebe Road which allows free parking for up to 2 hours.
When Glebe Road bears to the left, carry straight on through a gate and into fields. The path emerges from the trees to beautiful lake views across to Belle Isle. Continue to an easy access kissing gate. Turn right to Ferry Nab where there is a kiosk selling snacks. Return past the kissing gate and go straight ahead and back to Glebe Road. Cross the road and head into Rectory Road and past the cemetery. This will bring you out at the Information Centre in Bowness.
5. River Kent, Staveley
- Distance: 1.25 km circular
- Getting there: By Car, take the A591, 5 miles north of Kendal. By Bus, use the 555 Kendal to Windermere, or use the train which is hourly Kendal to Windermere.
- Starting point: Staveley Mill Yard, grid ref: SD 472983
Cross the river at the footbridge just past front of Hawkshead Brewery, or from Main Street, taking the public footpath on the left. Continue past the weir – look out for kingfishers and dippers – until you reach a minor road. Continue along the road to Barley Bridge and turn left and left again to return to the village centre.