Hawkshead to Windermere Circular Walk

Difficulty
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Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
4-5.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
13.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
519 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Hawkshead to Windermere Circular Walk

The Hawkshead to Windermere Circular Walk is a 13.5 km adventure in the Lake District that begins and ends in the charming village of Hawkshead, with a stop at the grounds of Wray Castle at roughly the halfway point. While out on the trail, you will traverse a variety of terrain that includes serene woodlands, the summit of Latterbarrow, and the shores of Windermere. This walk is perfectly suited for a casual weekend stroll that you can finish with a stop at the pub or some local shopping in the village.

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Route Description for Hawkshead to Windermere Circular Walk

Walking the Hawkshead to Windermere Circular is a great Lake District journey that will expose you to a number of beautifully scenic views, but it will also see you trek through a variety of terrain that could prove troublesome for some walkers. This route features some steep terrain on the climb up to the summit viewpoint atop Latterbarrow, as well as stretches of trail that can be very boggy/muddy. Make sure to wear proper walking boots and keep an eye on children when walking through these areas. Additionally, if you are attempting this trail with a dog, be sure to keep them on a leash in areas where livestock may be present. As is the case with many village car parks, space can be limited during peak times, meaning that you will need to arrive early to secure a space and beat the crowds.

Setting out from the car park in the heart of Hawkshead, follow the route northeast along the road, eventually picking up a trail on your right that will lead you around the southern slopes of Latterbarrow. After climbing uphill and traversing the elevated terrain to the east, you will begin to descend the hillside through Fleming Wood, following the trail as it turns to the north along the edge of Windermere.

Enjoy the beautifully scenic views across the water of the lake, as you walk along its western shore and eventually come to the site of a 19th Century estate known as Wray Castle. Take some time to walk the grounds and admire the grand buildings before following the trail to the southwest on the uphill climb to the summit of Latterbarrow. Here, you will enjoy some scenic views overlooking Windermere and the surrounding terrain of the Lake District. From this point, make your descent of the hillside to the southwest and follow the road back into the village of Hawkshead where you began your walk.

Getting to the Hawkshead to Windermere Circular Walk Trailhead

To reach the car park for the Hawkshead to Windermere Circular Walk from Clappersgate, head south on B5286 for 6.0 km and continue onto the B5285. Follow this for 0.8 km and turn right, where you will find the car park in 61 m.

Route Information

  • When to do

    March-October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    The Croft Campsite

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Hawkshead to Windermere Circular Walk Elevation Graph

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