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Ranger with visitors standing next to a giant redwood tree surrounded by other, smaller trees
Ranger with visitors stood next to a redwood tree on the High Close Estate, Cumbria | © National Trust Images/Suzanne Ingham
Lake District

High Close tree trail

Originally a working hill farm, the house and grounds at High Close were re-designed after Edward Wheatley-Balme bought the estate in 1857. Many exotic trees and shrubs were planted in this landscape garden to enhance to beautiful views of the surrounding fells. The arboretum now contains species grown as part of the International Conifer Conservation Programme, and you can spot many of them on this walk.

Tree guide

As you walk along the trail, you can scan the QR codes on the sign by each tree with your phone and access more information about the species you'll see on the walk.

Total steps: 13

Total steps: 13

Start point

YHA Langdale, High Close, Loughrigg, Ambleside LA22 9HJ. Grid ref: NY338052.

Step 1

Start the trail from the wooden gates of the main YHA car park. Here you'll see two of the largest trees in the arboretum – a giant wellingtonia sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and a Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).

Step 2

Growing right next door to the wellingtonia is a sitka spruce.

Step 3

Go through the black metal gates onto the terrace with views of the surrounding fells. [Look out for the noble fir tree.] Go down some steps to the left and through the black metal gates. Follow the path straight on.

Step 4

Follow the path from the noble fir for about 100m. On your left you'll see a small fitzroya tree growing inside a wooden cage.

Step 5

Follow the path down the hill to the next sign, staying within the arboretum.

Step 6

After a few hundred metres along the path on your left, you'll see a grand fir.

Step 7

Follow the arrows, which will lead you to the next tree to the right of the path.

Step 8

The trail now ventures into Low Wood, outside the arboretum. Follow the path from the Monterey pine passing a wooden gate and follow the iron railings until you reach a second gate to take you into Low Wood. The track gets a little more rough, steep and muddy from here.

Step 9

Follow the Victorian carriage track down into the woodlands, arrows will point the way. There's a mix of native hazel, oak and beech with specimen conifers planted around 150 years ago.

Step 10

Head down the hill on the path staying within the woodlands. The next tree on the trail is a large lime on the field boundary to your left.

Step 11

Follow the path along the fence line for 100m and take the right fork at the arrow.

Step 12

From the Scots pine head uphill to the final tree, one of several Japanese red cedars at High Close. After this follow the arrows to guide you back to the carriage track.

Step 13

Once you rejoin the track, head back uphill to the arboretum. Turn left after the wooden gate and you will get back to the car park below the YHA.

End point

YHA Langdale, High Close, Loughrigg, Ambleside LA22 9HJ. Grid ref NY338052.

Trail map

High Close tree trail map
High Close tree trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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