Today we started our walk in Town End, near Troutbeck. We parked in the National Trust car park at Town End house (GR 406203), and as we are members parking is free. If you’re not a member there is free roadside parking at GR 405019.
Walking away from Troutbeck on the road, we took the bridleway along Wain Lane down past Middlerigg Tarn and popping out on the A591 just next to Brockhole.
Brockhole is a great family venue with plenty of things to see and do. If you fancy it you can go on the tree top nets (giant trampolines in the trees), the tree top trek, climbing and zip wire, or opt for something a little less adrenaline fuelled and head to the great adventure playground. There are also pony rides, archery, mini golf, water sports, bike hire and other seasonal activities.
And on top of all that there is of course the beautiful lake shore of Windermere with fantastic views over to the Langdales. Bring a picnic or eat in their cafe. Inside the building you’ll find the cafe, a shop, toilets, tourist information and a small indoor soft play area.
The grounds themselves are great for little ones to explore and we found numerous bushes that could be hidden in and trees that could be climbed!
Once we’d finished, we headed back up to the main road, crossed over and joined Mirk Lane to climb back up to Town End.
Both Mirk Lane and Wain Lane used to be passable with a sturdy all terrain pushchair, however the December 2015 flooding has devastated the majority of the track and left it in a sorry state. Do not attempt to take a pushchair on this route.
Total distance approx 3.5 miles and it took us 3 and a half hours, although this included picnic and a good stop at Brockhole for a play. We could’ve spent longer there!
On reflection, we think this walk would be better starting at Brockhole (car park charges apply, max £8 daily rate). This would mean that the walk would end with a downhill, not an uphill on tired legs, and we could’ve stayed and played for as long as the kids would’ve liked at Brockhole once we’d finished the walk. It was a bit of a task asking the children to leave the fun of Brockhole and walk for over a mile uphill to the car!
No pub visit today, but the cafe in the visitor centre did great food.
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