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Wray Castle to Blelham Tarn circular walk


An interesting circular walk from Wray Castle, taking in Blelham Tarn and returning via Lake Windermere shoreline. From the Ice Age to the Iron Age, medieval monks to Victorian visionaries, this walk combines tranquil beauty, great views and fascinating stories from the past.

Family walking in Wray Castle grounds, Cumbria
You'll be spoilt for choice with the views on this walk © National Trust Images / Paul Harris


Wray Castle to Blelham Tarn trail map
The Wray Castle to Blelham Tarn circular walk © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


Wray Castle car park, grid ref: NY375010


From the car park make your way to the road in front of the grand castle entrance and set off down the main drive, with the Dower House on the right, to the arched gatehouse/entrance. Next comes a public road with no pavement so, watching out for traffic, turn right along the road and down the hill, passing the entrance to Low Wray Campsite. Cross the bridge over Blelham Beck towards the kissing gate on the left.

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Go through the kissing gate and walk up by the side of the hedge parallel to the road for 300yds. When you come to a metal field gate turn left onto the public bridleway towards Outgate. After about 100yds the path forks; take the left fork, waymarked by a blue arrow, to the left of a knoll.

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The path is grassy and indistinct. After a few yards it appears to divide and a track turns left down to Blelham Tarn. Ignore this turn and continue straight ahead, following the waymarks and keeping the tarn 100yds to your left. After another 100yds go through a gate into a wood.

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Follow the track as it winds through the wood, crossing some marshy ground. Take the stepping stones over the stream and head up onto some more open ground keeping the wall on your right. Continue over a stile by a gate, the tarn is away to your left.


At the far end of the tarn the path forks. Just before the ground rises, a wooden fingerpost points to the left signed as a footpath to High Tock How. Take this path, with the slope (and later a wall to your right); it can be wet underfoot in winter. Go through a gate with a small stream and the edge of the tarn to your left.


Continue with the small stream on your left until you reach a small bridge, cross the footbridge and continue up the track towards a barn. Cross a squeeze-stile beside a gate to the left of the barn. Go past another finger post signed as a public footpath to High Tock How farm then over a step-stile beside another field gate about 30yds away. Continue ahead with the wall on your left. High Tock How farm can be seen over the wall to the left.


Continue to a footpath gate next to a field gate. Go through the gate and continue downhill along the track. This leads to another step-stile beside a field gate and onto a surfaced farm drive. Tock How farm is to the left but turn right to a T-junction and then turn left. The drive drops down towards a white house. Go straight ahead, following a finger post signed to Wray Castle. Head through the gateway past the white house, ignoring the drive to the right and a stony track on the left. The path runs to the right of the white house and farm buildings and leads to a stone step-stile beside a gate. Cross the stile and continue along the track.


Walk down the track, crossing another step-stile next to a gate and descending to a gate next to a little stream. Continue with the stream and hedge to the right and Blelham Tarn away to the left. The path leads to a small oak-covered knoll, bear left around the knoll through pasture and mixed woodland.


Continue through a wicket gate and across a stone-clapper bridge over a stream. Then continue straight ahead making for the brow of the hill. The path follows the line of a hedge and leads onto the road via a gate. Turn left along the road and walk past a large house, Wray vicarage, on the right.

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Before Wray Castle gatehouse and the entrance to St Margaret's church, turn right onto the public bridleway. Continue down the walled track for several hundred yards.

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About 50yds before it ends, at a gate and the lakeshore, turn left through a gate and past a National Trust sign. Continue along the lakeshore through Wray Castle parkland past a boathouse. Keeping the lake on the right head towards the woodland and Watbarrow Point.

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Continue past Watbarrow Point through the wood until you reach the two boathouses at this point turn left by the finger post and follow the path by the railings up to the castle. (If you arrive by boat this is the start of your walk.)

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Wray Castle

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Wray Castle to Blelham Tarn circular walk


Rolling farmland with some low-lying areas which can be boggy in wet weather, rough farm track, minor public road and bridleway. There are some stiles - most are dog-friendly. Dogs are welcome but please keep them on leads as the route goes through fields which may have cattle and sheep.

Wray Castle to Blelham Tarn circular walk

Contact us

Wray Castle to Blelham Tarn circular walk

How to get here

Wray Castle, Low Wray, Ambleside LA22 0JA
By road

From the south and Bowness (via Ferry) take the B5285 through Hawkshead where this becomes the B5286. Continue on this road for 2.5 miles, then take the right-hand turn to Wray Castle. From the north and Ambleside, take the A593 to Clappersgate, then take the B5286 signed to Hawkshead. After 2.5 miles take the left turn, to Wray Castle.

Parking: Pay and display (non-members)

Sat-Nav: Post code LA22 0JA

By foot

From the south, follow the lakeshore track from Ferry House (4 miles). From the north, off road paths exist for the majority of the route, signed Bowness via Ferry, look out for the blue signs.

By ferry

For sailing times from Ambleside or Brockhole telephone 015394 32225 or visit Windermere Lake Cruises.

By bus

Mountain Goat shuttle bus service; Stagecoach from Ambleside to Hawkshead - 1.5 mile (2.4km) walk from drop-off junction on B528

By bicycle

Seasonal bike-carrying boat from Brockhole; lakeside road and bridleway from Ferry House (4 miles). Plus off road cycle path from Ambleside, signed Bowness via Ferry, look out for the blue signs.

Wray Castle to Blelham Tarn circular walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs should be kept under control and on a lead where necessary