Whinlatter Forest, just west of Keswick, is a fantastic family place to visit. With a good variety of walking trails for every age and ability, the choice is yours… for walks less than a mile to over 5! And for the more adventurous, you can make your own route by following any of the forestry commissions tracks and/or footpaths. A map of all the walking trails and tracks can be purchased from the visitor centre for £1.50.
We chose to do the 3.5 mile circular Seat How Summit trail. It started from the visitor centre, next to the car park at GR 206244 on OS map OL4. It was well signed, all the way round, with coloured wooden posts at each junction point. The kids loved looking for these and checking them on the map. The walk took us 2 and a half hours, with plenty of stops for picnics and to explore the surroundings.
The forest itself is so peaceful. Perhaps we were lucky we got a quiet day, or that not many people chose to do the same trail, but it was calm, quiet and at times really quite dark in amongst the thick tree cover! It felt safe for the kids to explore, and we really enjoyed the magical feeling of the forest.
If you walk the trail in a clockwise direction you get to see the wooden Gruffalo’s Child sculpture after only a few minutes and shortly after that, the Gruffalo one. Always a winner with young kids!
The view from Seat How Summit is glorious, looking out over Keswick and Derwentwater. On a clear day you can also see the top of Skiddaw, but seemingly every time we visit the northern Lake District, Skiddaw is hidden under the clouds!!
As you wind your way back down towards the visitor centre, you can also catch a glimpse of Bassenthwaite Lake to your left.
Whinlatter has walking trails, mountain bike trails (and hire), Go Ape, a fantastic kids adventure play area and a cafe that does awesome salads! Parking is pay on exit and is capped to a maximum of £8 per day. If you’re a regular visitor you can get an annual parking pass for two cars for £45/year.
For more walks like this, stay up to date and “like” our facebook page Family Walks and Pubs in the Lake District