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Elleray Wood to Orrest Head - Windermere, Cumbria, England, UK.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Poole/Freeman
N 54° 23.176 W 002° 54.220
30U E 506255 N 6026503
Quick Description: A short hike, with stunning views across Lake Windermere. This walk from Windermere to Orrest Head, was Wainwright's introduction to the Lake District.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/16/2018 10:26:49 AM
Waymark Code: WMZHWY
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member StagsRoar
Views: 0

Long Description:
The 2.7 mile walk starts on the A591 by the large 'Orrest Head' sign and a You Are Here Map and involves modest uphill walking. Time to complete the walk 1hour 30mins - 2hours.

The map shows a longer circular route from this location that passes through Elleray Wood to the view point at Orrest Head. Above the map is a quote by Alfred Wainwright which reads as follows;
"Those few hours on Orrest Head cast a spell that changed my life" Alfred Wainwright(1930)

The walk starts on a tarmac lane.
The lane then winds its way uphill through trees before reaching a farm. The lane here now becomes rougher underfoot. Just past the farm, as the path levels, the path splits into three. Take the right hand path which leads up hill with a wall a few yards over to the right. In this wall there is an interesting metal gate at the entrance to timber yard of Tree Specialist, Will Hicks. (visit link)
Look out for the Gruffalo in the woods at this location. (visit link)

Turn right at the top into a fenced lane. Continue along this level lane past various benches until after a couple of hundred yards a kissing gate is reached on the left.
On either side of this kissing gate are stones with engravings in memory of Arthur Heywood who donated this area to the use of the public forever. (visit link)
Pass through the kissing gate and climb the stone steps up to the summit.
At the summit there are stunning views across Lake Windermere and the Fells. There is a toposcope view finder which points out the various landmarks on the surrounding skyline. There is an excellent all round view, with the coast to the south and looking across Windermere to the West are Swirl How, Wetherlam, Crinkle Crags, Scafell Pike right around to Wansfell Pike, Red Screes, the Kirkstone Pass and Ill Bell to the North. (visit link)
Source: (visit link)

Wainwright said of Orrest Head - "Orrest Head for many of us, is 'where we came in' - our first ascent in Lakeland, our first sight of mountains in tumultuous array across glittering waters, our awakening to beauty. It is a popular walk, deservedly, for here the promised land is seen in all its glory. It is a fitting finale, too, to a life made happy by fellwandering. Dare we hope there will be another Orrest Head over the threshold of the next heaven?"

The area is owned and managed by Windermere Town Council in trust for the enjoyment of the inhabitants and visitors of Windermere.
"Orrest Head and Elleray Wood formed part of the Elleray Estate which was formerly owned by Arthur Henry Heywood. In 1902 his widow and daughter gave Orrest Head in trust to Windermere Council to be held "for public walks or pleasure grounds".
In 1943 most of Elleray Wood was given to the Council under similar terms by other members of the family. A small part at the northern end is owned by South Lakeland District Council but leased to the Town Council and managed as part of the Community Woodland.
The wood covers an area of approximately 18 acres to the north-east of the A591 Church Street, and was probably laid out in the nineteenth century; many of the original pathways and carriage drives are still used and are in relatively good condition.
The Town Council now manage an area of 30 acres of woodland and have, for some years, worked to actively cut back and pollard the over-grown and densely packed woods, with the aim of bringing the woodland floor back to life. This has started to happen - bluebells are back in profusion, there are clear signs of small mammals and birdsong has returned. Recently, the Lake District National Park restored a large part of the old Victorian Carriage Drive, improving access to the less mobile.
In 2012, the Town Council worked with the Wainwright Society to replace the view-finder at the top of Orrest Head. The new view-finder, in local slate, engraved with the Wainwright drawings and script is a fitting enhancement to such a lovely place and a celebrates the memory of Alfred Wainwright, who fell in love with the Lake District on this spot.
The Town Council will continue to enhance and improve this woodland, and make it available for locals and visitors alike to enjoy and be inspired by." SOURCE: (visit link)

Alfred Wainwright MBE (17 January 1907 – 20 January 1991) was a British fellwalker, guidebook author and illustrator. (visit link) (visit link)

Default Picture - View point at Orrest Head.
Picture 1 - Start of the walk in Windermere.
Picture 2 - View of Windermere on the path towards the woods.
Picture 3 - Heywood Memorial, kissing gate and steps to Orrest Head.
Picture location1: N 54° 22.851 W 002° 54.325

Picture Location 2: N 54° 22.877 W 002° 54.270

Picture Location 3: N 54° 23.135 W 002° 54.248

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