Sizergh’s wonderful wildlife walk

Walking trail

Sizergh Castle is a great starting point for your Lake District holiday. The castle, still lived in by the Strickland family, is surrounded by a traditional agricultural estate with stunning views across the countryside, taking in the coast at Morecambe Bay, the Lakeland Fells and Pennines.

A spectacular wildlife walk in any season

Discover an amazing array of natural history throughout the year in this quiet corner of the South Lakes. Fritillary butterfly species fly effortlessly through the woodland glades in summer, basking and feeding in warm open areas.

Fritillary butterfly on bracken

Map

A map of part of the Sizergh estate

Start:

Sizergh Castle car park, grid ref: SD498878

1

From Sizergh Castle car park, follow the purple way marker arrows labelled 'Sizergh Fell'. You will leave the car park at the southern end, through a footpath gate and into a field at the south end. This field can be very wet and muddy. Walk straight on with the wall on your left. During spring and summer buzzards and pheasants are a common sight along this stretch of footpath, as they nest in the woodland to your left.

Read more

2

Walk through the field keeping the high wall on your left. Go through the next gate into another field (which can also be very muddy). Ignore the gate to your right and keep walking onto Sizergh Fell. Wander uphill, keeping the low wall and fence on your right side. Notice the difference between the two fields either side of the fence boundary, where one has been improved.

3

Continue walking uphill, aiming for a clump of trees on the top. As you continue uphill towards the clump of trees at the top, you pass some hawthorn trees. These are excellent for attracting nesting birds in spring and fieldfare and redwings in winter, when they are plentiful with berries. Once at the top, there is a log bench, providing the perfect spot to stop and admire the view out to Morecambe Bay ahead of you and the Howgills and Pennines behind.

4

From the top, walk past the clump of trees on the right-hand side. Follow the footpath with the telephone lines on your left and the stunning Lake District Fells ahead of you. Continue across the top and then downhill until you reach a gate in the wall.

5

Go through the gate and take an immediate right. There is a flat track through the field of many bumps. Head towards a wall, with a field gate and footpath gate next to each other. The bumps are actually ant hills. During the summer the fell and these fields are filled with magnificent wildflowers, bees and butterflies. You might even be able to spot a green woodpecker feeding on the ants.

Read more

6

Go through the gate and head diagonally on the path towards the left, through the field of ant hills towards the woodland in the distance. Go through the gate into the woodland glade and turn immediately right. This takes you through an area that has recently been cleared to diversify the woodland edge and enhance the butterfly populations. Look out for fritillary species here in the summer.

Read more

7

Before you reach the gate onto the road take a right, so that you stay in the field. Continue walking keeping the hedgerow and the road to your left. As you reach the end of the field turn right and head across the field, through a large field gate.

8

Once through the gate, take a left walking around a large Ash tree, cutting a corner of the field to a small footpath gate in the wall. Walk through the gate and through the next field keeping the wall on your left, aiming for the footpath gate on the other side of the field. This field can be wet so please watch your step.

9

Walk through this gate and up a small slope onto Ashbank Lane and head right, immediately going through a large field gate. Walk along this stone track, keeping the high, historic deer park wall to your right. You will eventually pass a spectacular veteran ash tree on your right side, and not far past this is a large gate hung from impressive limestone stoops.

10

Walk through the gate, onto a narrow track with a hedgerow on your right and a wall to your left. Walk up a slope, and down the other side which will then return you to the Sizergh Castle car park and some well-earned refreshments at the café!

End:

Sizergh Castle car park, grid ref: SD498878

You made it

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

Sizergh’s wonderful wildlife walk

Terrain

This is a 2.5 mile circular loop that should take about an hour and a half. There are some short steep sections and the surface is mainly on grassy paths and tracks. Some of the paths can be wet.

Dogs are welcome on the wider estate at Sizergh.

Sizergh’s wonderful wildlife walk

Contact us

Sizergh’s wonderful wildlife walk

How to get here

Address
Sizergh Castle, near Kendal, Cumbria
By train

Oxenholme station 3 miles (5km).

By road

M6 exit 36 then A590 towards Kendal, take Barrow-in-Furness turning and follow brown signs. From Lake District take A591 south then A590 towards Barrow-in-Furness. Sat Nav: LA8 8DZ.

By foot

Footpaths 530002 and 530003 pass by Sizergh Castle.

By bus

Stagecoach in Cumbria 555 Keswick–Kendal/Lancaster (passing close Lancaster), 552 Kendal–Arnside (passing close Arnside). All pass Kendal.

By bicycle

National Cycle Network Route 6, 1.5 miles. RCR20 passes main gate.

Sizergh’s wonderful wildlife walk

Facilities and access

  • Toilets, café, tea-room, shop and baby-changing facilities at Sizergh Castle
  • Dogs are welcome on the wider estate at Sizergh, but not in the garden
  • Assistance dogs welcome in all areas