Windermere west shore walk

Walking trail

This is a wonderful linear low-level lakeshore walk, through woodland and parkland. It features great views of the islands of Windermere, interesting woodland archaeology and the Victorian Gothic Wray Castle.

'Wonderful family picnic spots are to be found at Harrowslack and High Wray Bay, just south of Wray Castle. Take some time to explore the grounds and parkland around Wray Castle; some of the impressive exotic trees in the grounds are county and national champions'. - Paul Farrington, National Trust Ranger.

A family walks along the shore of Windermere at Wray Castle


Map route for Windermere west shore walk


Harrowslack National Trust car park, grid ref: SD388959


Turn left as you exit the National Trust Harrowslack car park and follow the tarmac road through the farm land, with the lake on your right. After ½ mile (800m), cross a cattle grid and continue along the gravel track, past Strawberry Gardens caravan site. You will reach a wicket gate at a junction with a walled bridleway; turn left here (signed to Sawrey) through woodland and pasture. The track divides with a stony track to Hawkshead, marked with white-topped posts. Follow this, veering right at the ridge top.


Continue straight ahead along the track through the woodland, eventually passing Bark Barn (built in the 19th century for storing oak bark before being transported to local tanneries for use in the leather industry) on your right and then Belle Grange House on your left. Continue along the gravel track until you reach the tarmac road, with Red Nab car park just to the right.


Bear right through the car park and continue along the lakeshore, passing a low wooden barrier. Continue along this track, passing two small boathouses on the way, until you come to two field gates crossing the track - one with a stone squeeze-through stile next to it, the second with a footpath gate.

Read more


Just after the second gate, turn right through the footpath gate in the wall and walk through the parkland, past the third boathouse in High Wray Bay, keeping the lake on your right.


Follow the lakeshore path through the parkland towards Wray Castle. After the short steep section of path, turn right at the brow of the hill and head towards the metal gate into Watbarrow Wood.

Read more


Keeping the lake on your right, follow the path through the wood until you reach a large boathouse. At this point you can follow the path by the railings up to the castle, or along to the wooden jetty at the second large Gothic boathouse. At the junction turn right, walking along the road signed to Wray Castle and Ambleside, through the village of High Wray. Pass the village hall and after about 100yd (90m) the road veers left. Turn right here and follow the footpath to the lake, after about 10yd (9m) go through the squeeze stile and little gate in the wall, down some steps and walk down the field keeping the wall to your left. Go through another wicket gate and follow the field edge down to a step stile in front of a boathouse on the lakeshore. Between Easter and 31 October you can collect the Windermere Lake Cruises Launch to Brockhole and Waterhead, where there are bus connections back to Windermere and Bowness. *2021 update - Please note Windermere Lake Cruises are not currently running a service from Wray Castle. Check their website for latest timetables.* Alternatively retrace your steps back along the lakeshore to Harrowslack car park.

Read more


Harrowslack National Trust car park, grid ref: SD388959

You made it

Following this trail on mobile or tablet? Share your experience.

Windermere west shore walk


This linear walk includes some short, steep sections and follows a combination of tarmac, gravel and stony track and includes some grassy parkland near Wray Castle.

Dogs are welcome on leads.

Windermere west shore walk

Contact us

Windermere west shore walk

How to get here

Windermere, Cumbria
By train

Windermere Station linked to Oxenholme Station on main west coast line. Bus connection to Bowness Bay, Stagecoach 505/506.

By road

M6 J36, A590 west then A591 to Plumgarths roundabout, B5284 to Bowness B5285, then Windermere car ferry. Or via Hawkshead B5285.

By ferry

Windermere car ferry operates all year (except in high winds). Cross Lakes Shuttle (Windermere Lake Cruises) from Bowness Bay Pier 3 (pedestrian and cyclist ferry, operates Easter to Oct).

By bus

Stagecoach in Cumbria 505/506, from Kendal to Bowness.

By bicycle

Kendal - Keswick cycle route passes through Windermere village, 5 miles (8km) visit National Cycle Network

Windermere west shore walk

Facilities and access

  • Toilets at Ferry Landing (and at Wray Castle)
  • Dogs are welcome on leads