Wray Castle to Latterbarrow Circular Walk
Famous Lakes fellwalker Alfred Wainwright, described Latterbarrow as "a circular walk needing little effort yet yielding much delight". Finished off with a cake and coffee at Wray Castle, we think this loop is hard to beat.
Wray Castle Car Park
From the Wray Castle car park follow signs south for the Lakeshore path. Go through the gate near the adventure play area and follow the path down to the lake. Follow the path along the lakeshore round the bay and past a stone boathouse.
Go through the gate onto the Red Nab bridleway and turn left following signs for Bark Barn. After 50 metres or so take the footpath off to the right, signposted Claife and High Wray, climbing up through the fields.
Cross the gated stone stile at the top of the fields, following the path round to the right and onto the road. Turn left and walk along the road past the junction.
Turn left up the track signposted High Wray Basecamp. After 300m take the right hand fork and go through the gate into the Claife Forestry Commission compound. At the first corner after the gate, go straight on following signs for the footpath.
Follow the single-track footpath as it winds its way through the woods, crossing a stream and climbing up out of the woodland onto the scrubland of Latterbarrow.
Don't look behind you yet! Keep climbing until you reach the Stone pillar marking the summit of Latterbarrow, 244m above sea level. Take time to soak up the panoramic views. See if you can spot the sea to the south.
Continue straight over the summit continuing in the same direction you summited from. At the bottom of the hill turn right and follow the footpath alongside the wall signposted Hawkshead, crossing the stream along the way.
Once at the road, turn left, then right 50m later down the lane towards Loanthwaite. Continue along this lane for 800m.
Turn right off the road onto a public footpath signposted High Tock How, along a farm track and into the fields. Cross three fields before crossing the stream, following the footpath diagonally across the next field. Go through the kissing gate and down the track to the right of the farm, following signposts for Wray Castle. Once at the road, turn left down the lane.
50m later, at the corner, go straight on past the cottages on the footpath signposted for Wray Castle. The view of Blelham tarn opens up below you, with the fells of the Fairfield horseshoe and Red Screes off in the distance above Ambleside.
Keep following the footpath through the fields, over styles, through kissing gates and across a foot bridge. As the fields turn into woodland, have a closer look at the trees in this area and all the lichen that grows on them.
A huge range of different lichen cover the trees, fence posts and stones along the route. Lichens get their moisture and nutrients from the air, and like plants they photosynthesise.
At the road turn left and walk the short distance back to Wray Castle's Gatehouse. Finish by walking down the drive enjoying the magnificent parkland views, back to the castle. Head straight to the café for a well earned piece of cake.
Wray Castle Church
Hardwick Rawnsley, one of the three founders of the National Trust, and great friend to Beatrix Potter, was vicar at St Margaret's church in the early 1880's . Even then he was an active campaigner to protect the Lake District landscape from damage by the quarries and railways.
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