Bowness-on-Windermere and Orrest Head
“…quite suddenly, we emerged from the trees and were on a bare headland, and, as though a curtain had dramatically been torn aside, beheld a truly magnificent view…” – Alfred Wainwright
In my third year of university, I made the best decision to become a fresher’s rep. I met a fantastic group of people – who were all interested in exploring the Lakes!
As an extension of their Fresher’s Week, I planned a trip to Windermere.
Windermere has often been a connecting point as I journey on to elsewhere in the Lakes, but is just as beautiful – if not quite so spectacular as further north.
I had also become interested in Wainwright and his exploration of the Lake District so settled on Orrest Head – the view from which sparked Wainwright’s decision to extensively map out all of the fells.
However, before climbing the fell, we decided to head towards the lakeside and took a shortcut via a number of hidden waterfalls I had found on a previous trip. The footpath is called Sheriff’s Walk and branches from the main road to Bowness-on-Windermere (Lake Road) and takes you down towards Bowness and Lake Windermere.
The walk was beautiful as we wandered through trees and the autumnal colours, with the constant melody of the river. There are a number of waterfalls as Mill Beck travels towards Windermere, with a considerably larger waterfall closer to the lake. We enjoyed skipping across “stepping stones” and throwing stones in the clear water.
Finally, we reached Bowness-on-Windermere, which was busy even in October. We wandered along the lakeside and sat for a while in the park, enjoying the scene.
The weather was turning, however, so we headed back to Windermere in time to climb Orrest Head. With a few spots of rain and the wonderful smell of wood smoke, we easily ascended the small fell.
There are some incredible views from various points along the meandering track, which begins across the road to Windermere station. But it is when you reach the summit that you can really see what ignited Wainwright’s interest. For such a small elevation, you can see far and wide – almost every inch of the fells surrounding the Lake District’s largest lake and beyond.
We picked out Scafell Pike and Crinkle Crags; with the distant behemoth of Great Gable just visible despite the cloud. Definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a quick and easy walk with fantastic views.
View more of my Lake District travels by clicking the Lake District Chronicles above or to the right.