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Autumn at Wray Castle, Lake District, Cumbria
Autumn at Wray Castle, Lake District, Cumbria | © ©National Trust Images/Steven Barber
Lake District

Wray to Blelham Tarn circular walk

This interesting circular walk starts from the Castle at Wray, taking in Blelham Tarn and returning via 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.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Wray Castle car park, grid ref: NY375010

Step 1

From the car park make your way to the road in front of the castle entrance and set off down the main drive, past the Dower House, to the arched gatehouse/entrance. 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.

Step 2

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

Step 3

The path here 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 100 yards to your left. After another 100 yards go through a gate into a wood.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

Continue with the small stream on your left until you reach a small bridge. Cross the bridge 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 Tock How farm then over a step-stile beside another field gate about 30 yards away. Continue ahead with the wall on your left. Tock How farm can be seen over the wall to the left.

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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.

Step 9

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.

Step 10

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.

Step 11

About 50 yards 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.

Step 12

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.)

End point

Wray Castle

Trail map

A map of the Wray Castle to Blelham Tarn circular walk
A map of the Wray Castle to Blelham Tarn circular walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Low Wray, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0JA

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