Windermere to Townend walk

Windermere railway station, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1AH

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Follow the sign to see one of the most famed views in Windermere © National Trust / CvH

Follow the sign to see one of the most famed views in Windermere

Warm yourself by the fire in Townend farmhouse kitchen © Rob Talbot

Warm yourself by the fire in Townend farmhouse kitchen

The windows by William Morris and Sir Edward Burne-Jones are a highlight © National Trust / CvH

The windows by William Morris and Sir Edward Burne-Jones are a highlight

Stormy weather approaching over Troutbeck Valley © National Trust / CvH

Stormy weather approaching over Troutbeck Valley

Sunlight playing on the fells changes the view all the time © National Trust / CvH

Sunlight playing on the fells changes the view all the time

Route overview

A walk from Windermere railway station to Townend, a traditional 17th century farmhouse in Troutbeck, which provides a fascinating insight into the local area; with the option of taking an alternative (but longer and more strenuous) route back.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Map of walk from Windermere to Townend and optional return route
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Windermere railway station, grid ref: SD414985

  1. From Windermere railway station turn left and take the road opposite the pedestrian lights leading up to Orrest Head. Follow the tarmac road up, which turns into a gravel track. Follow it to the wall and turn right. Go though a stile, turning left and continue up the path to the top of Orrest Head.

    Show/HideOrrest Head

    Orrest Head is one of the great viewpoints in the area, giving amazing views over Windermere and the surrounding fells. It is also popular for being the first climb of famed walker and author Alfred Wainwright.

    Follow the sign to see one of the most famed views in Windermere © National Trust / CvH
  2. From the top of Orrest Head, go down the opposite side to where you came up, aiming for the white farmhouse. When you come to the stile in the wall, don't cross it, but follow the signpost for Causeway Farm. When you reach the road near Causeway Farm, turn left and follow the road to Crosses Farm.

  3. At Crosses Farm, take the footpath marked Troutbeck, and follow this through the fields to Far Orrest Farm. At Far Orrest follow the sign for A592 via Dubbs Road. When you come to the road, cross and take the footpath opposite and follow it through the field to the A592.

  4. Carefully cross the A592 and turn right on the footpath along the road. Turn left at the footpath through the field, crossing the Trout Beck by footbridge. When you reach the road, turn right. Townend is at the crossroads at the top.

    Show/HideTownend

    Townend is a traditional 17th-century farmhouse, tucked away in the quiet Troutbeck village. Inside, the stories of the extraordinary family who lived here come to life through their belongings and amazing library.

    Warm yourself by the fire in Townend farmhouse kitchen © Rob Talbot
  5. For the return journey from Townend, there is the option of a longer and slightly more strenuous route. Exit Townend's garden and turn left. Follow the road through Troutbeck village to the post office. At the post office turn right and follow the lane down to the A592.

    Show/HideJesus Church in Troutbeck

    The church, with stained glass windows by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, is definitely worth a visit.

    The windows by William Morris and Sir Edward Burne-Jones are a highlight © National Trust / CvH
  6. At the A592 turn right and follow the footpath along the road. Carefully cross the road and take the first track / footpath to the left. Follow this up, another track joins from the right and shortly after separates again. When they separate, take the right hand path, continuing up the fell, past a small woodland. When another track joins, take this sharp turn to the right

    Show/HideMetal gates in the walls

    Thirlmere Reservoir near Grasmere provides water for Manchester. Along the route of the pipe that carries the water you will see metal gates in the stone walls, where the pipe crosses the wall underground. Surveyors used to follow the route to check that everything was okay. Near the end of the track there are two of these gates.

    Stormy weather approaching over Troutbeck Valley © National Trust / CvH
  7. Follow this track, the Garburn Road / Dubbs Road between fields and past the reservoir to the tarmacked Moorhowe Road. The long track takes you through some lower fells and past the Dubbs Reservoir.

    Show/HideGarburn Pass

    From the track leading to the Garburn Pass you get great views over Troutbeck Valley and the fells in the surrounding area.

  8. At the Moorhowe road turn left and take the first road to the right. At the crossroads turn right and follow this road past Near Orrest farm to the Causeway Farm.

  9. From the Causeway Farm retrace your steps through the fields up to Orrest Head and down to Windermere railway station.

    Show/HideSpectacular views

    Savour the spectacular views from Far Orrest and all along this walk.

    Sunlight playing on the fells changes the view all the time © National Trust / CvH

End: Townend, grid ref: NY407023, or Windermere railway station, grid ref: SD414985

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 4 miles (6.4km) one way, 10 miles (16.1km) if taking optional longer return route
  • Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • OS Map: Landranger 97
  • Terrain:

    A walk following footpaths and tracks through fields and country lanes. On the return journey there is a steep climb on rocky tracks. Please note that dogs need to be kept on a lead in the fields, as they can scare lifestock.

  • How to get here:

    By bus: Frequent buses from surrounding area to Windermere railway station

    By train: Trains to Windermere from Kendal and Oxenholme connecting to London and Glasgow / Edinburgh

    By car: Parking at Windermere railway station (pay and display) and in Windermere and Bowness

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