: The Windermere Three Peaks
20th October 2011
serious walkers and many non-walkers will have heard
of the Three Peaks challenge. Some might
ask whether I refer to the Yorkshire
Three Peaks (Pen-y-ghent,
Whernside and Ingleborough) or the national
version of Ben
Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon (with a lot of hairy
driving inbetween). Either way round, the objective
is to complete the course inside a given time limit;
respectively, 12 and 24 hours.
will have given much thought to the Windermere Three
Peaks. Indeed, some might be shaking their heads
in disbelief, thinking that Windermere is a lake. Well,
so it is (there is a clue in the name!) but it is also
a small town along with its Siamese twin, Bowness. And
surrounding the conurbation are three distinct peaks.
time ago, BOOTboy
Mike, who is the proprietor of the Linthwaite
House Hotel, and
I had been discussing an expedition that would be a good but
not too serious a challenge for his guests. One
that in no way could be considered as a rival to
the aforementioned big beasts but providing the opportunity
to explore the area through an interesting walk with
splendid Lakeland views plus the huge advantage of not having
any time restrictions save that of returning back to
base in time for pre-dinner drinks and a decent meal.
Linthwaite House Hotel
our start point was the Linthwaite, overlooking the
lake just off the B5284. The team for the trial
run was Mike, fellow hotelier James (Castle
Kendal), Tony, Stan and me plus Mike's business partner
Simon's dog, Millie.
you happen to be a Linthwaite guest reading this report,
please be aware that although it seeks to provide a
reasonably accurate, if somewhat idiosyncratic, impression
of the features of the walk, it is not intended as a
route guide and, if you are unfamiliar with the territory,
it is highly recommended that the OS 1:25k map is used
to make sure you don't get lost. Having said that, the
terrain, albeit interesting and occasionally moderately
steep, is not that challenging for the reasonably fit
person and you ought not find yourself too far astray!
But do keep an eye on the weather forecast. Anorak,
over-trousers and hiking boots may be advisable as the
weather does occasionally seek to refill the lakes.
Don't let that stop you going out. It always seems worse looking out at the
rain from indoors than when you are outside walking.
the forecast was for the lakes to be topped up this
morning. However, there was no sign of rain when
we gathered at Linthwaite, although the remains of the
first overnight frost of the season lingered on the
lawns and, in the distance, mist could be seen filling
the Langdale Valley.
on the lawn
in the valley
guests will, no doubt, start fuelled with a Linthwaite
breakfast. We, on the other hand, did not have time for
such luxury although Mike provided us with the next best thing to get us going- a Wabberthwaite sausage!
order to avoid an unpleasant road slog along the pathless
busy B5284, we set off from the hotel, seemingly in
the wrong direction, south-east along the footpath that
leads over to Lindeth.
not enter the drive
reaching the house, we were told in no uncertain terms
not to go down the drive but to carry on to the other
side where an unmarked footpath took us down to turn
left onto a minor road and then left
again onto Lindeth Lane.
This brought us back
to the B5284 but only to cross it and continue up the
lane on the other side. After about 250 yards
there is a track off to the left which we took. Once
the wall on the left finished there was open fell to
Fell is one of those kind little hills that when you
first see it, you think it is quite big, but, on climbing,
it allows you to access its summit easily and then rewards
you with a great view.
Isle Round House
the top you can see virtually the whole of Windermere
(the lake, not the town),
including a very clear view of the Georgian Round House
on Belle Isle, now rebuilt after having been destroyed
north end of Windermere from Brant Fell
ferry from Brant Fell
next minor objective was the viewpoint shown, unnamed,
on the map as being a short way to the northwest. Finding
it was not a problem but we goofed a bit on the descent.
north end of Windermere from the viewpoint
track down seemed to run off in the wrong direction
(northwest) so we took a more direct northeasterly route.
Mistake. Our route was steepish and obstacled
by trees and brought us down to the track which had
curled round the hill into the right direction!
before Matson Ground
afterward we met the path that is clearly
marked as the Dales Way. We turned
right onto this and followed it in an easterly
direction for quite some distance.
Matson Ground it turned southeast to emerge
eventually on the B5284 but there is a footpath
on the north side of the road that protects
you from the traffic.
150 yards or so, we turned north, still
with the Dales Way, passing, after a while,
another small tarn.
the official route bears left we cheated
and turned right between a wall and a stream
on a footpath that in essence cut off a
corner, then climbed a short while before
rejoining the official Dales Way.
where the DW goes through a wall to the
right, we continued along the left hand
side of the wall shortly to reach School
we turned left, climbed up, passed through
a wall and shortly afterwards reached the
summit of School Knott- another fine viewpoint.
up the lake from School Knott
eastern fells from School Knott
wishing for a slightly more challenging adventure might want
to add to the distance and height climbed by continuing
a bit further along the Dales Way and bagging Grandsire before returning to tackle School Knott, but today we omitted that option.
descent from School Knott was to the northwest along
a path more linear than that shown on the map. It
brought us back to the track that we (and the Dales
Way) had left previously, albeit somewhat further north.
passing round the back of some houses we emerged into
a small estate where we crossed the road and followed a stream to a Gill Droomer Stile, a house
that makes full use of the water as a garden feature.
Sadly the plants are not at their best at this
time of year so here is one I prepared earlier.
Droomer Stile garden
we crossed the railway, heading in a northerly direction
towards the A591 which we crossed to take the yellow
road that continues north. Before reaching the
stream, there is a well marked path to the left with
stern warnings to beware of the Bull and everything
else that moves. No problems today although there
was an interesting water pump which James tested.
have been warned
tests the water- beware of the bull!
path up through the woods is very obvious, the only
decision point being after a gate where instead of continuing
along the track, we turned left, through the wall and
quickly came to the summit. Sadly, the rain decided
to join us at the summit but it was little more than
spitting. However, the views up and down the lake
were not as clear as they would have been earlier.
view from Orrest Head that changed Wainwright's life
is the viewpoint that
inspired the young Alfred Wainwright,
later to become the reknowned writer of The Pictorial
Guides to the Lakeland Fells. He wrote:
stood transfixed, unable to believe my eyes. I had never
seen anything like this. I saw mountain ranges, one
after another, the nearer starkly etched, those beyond
fading into the blue distance. Rich woodlands,
emerald pastures and the shimmering water of the lake
below added to a pageant of loveliness, a glorious panorama
that held me enthralled. I had seen landscapes of rural
beauty pictured in the local art gallery, but here was
no painted canvas; this was real. This was truth. God
was in his heaven that day and I a humble worshipper.
a clear day, this
is also an excellent viewpoint from which to see the Red
Arrows perform at the Windermere
Air Show (and
doubly exciting if one of them takes you by surprise
from behind; deafening and seemingly just a few feet
above your head).
Arrows from Orrest Head
on a non Red Arrows day with less than perfect weather,
Orrest Head is still a fine place to see virtually all of Windermere
I refer to the town as well as the lake.
would be unnecessary if the town had retained its original
name of Birthwaite but it was changed to the name of
the lake as a result of the arrival
of the railway in 1847 in order to clarify the destination.
to the Linthwaite
descent from Orrest Head was by the route that most
people use for the ascent.
An inscription by the fell gate records the fact that
it is thanks to the generosity of the widow and daughter
of Arthur Henry Heywood in 1902 that this splendid viewpoint
has long been open to the public
followed the main path down, past the metal workers
workshop, to emerge close by the Windermere
way back from here involved paths through the hinter
parts of the town, avoiding the shops, but those who prefer to examine at the Windermere emporiums
(to my mind a more strenuous option but
that's up to you to decide) should head past the
railway station entrance then follow the one way system
you are still with us ......
turned right along the A591 for a short while and then
followed the footpath that runs southwest from the far
side of St Mary's Church.
We didn't go in but rumour has it that they have
recently abandoned the traditional pews in favour of
armchairs and settees.
Plus a carpeted
The weak need no longer go to the wall!
those who want a longer walk involving lake frontage,
take the westerly footpath after St Mary's Church, down
to and across the A592, then drop down to the Millerground
landing stage. Follow the lake south below Queen Adelaide's Hill.
For information on how this got its name and other
historical features of the area see 10
Facts about Bowness-on-Windermere.
It's well worth a read.
path along the lake is pleasant but it is a shame that
it does not take you into Bowness. Continue as far as you can then retreat to the
A592 near Rayrigg Hall, once the home of slavery abolitionist
William Wilberforce. An appropriate venue as,
it is somewhat shameful to have to admit, much of the
wealth of the Windermere area, particularly Storrs Hall,
derived from the slave trade. Again, see the 10 Facts
for more information.
at the A592, walk southwards for about 600 yards then
take the footpath up to the left where you climb to
rejoin our route. Don't forget to head west for
a short distance to look at the stream viewpoint.
path took us round the back of some fine house then
swings left following which options to go off to the
right then left were ignored. More fine house
could be seen on Old College Lane. We eventually
emerged onto the A5074- the main Windermere to Bowness
road below the shops!
to shoppers who re-join us here! Heavily weighed
down, I hope, from supporting the local economy! If
not, don't worry, you will have another opportunity
continued down this main road, further than I would
ideally have liked, past many guest houses. Three
points of interest were to be found on the other side
of the road
sign advising the it is 1,206 km to
Diessen am Ammersee (presumably
a twin town).
Millennium Stone (The Windermere Chronicles
are placed nearby, to be opened in 2100
Clock, at the road junction, erected
to preserve the memory of Mountford
John Byrde Baddeley,"The Thorough
Guide". He was a forerunner
of Alfred Wainwright but included motoring,
accommodation advice and low level walks
as well as guides to walks on the fells.
way to Diessen
the hill we continued, past the RC church on the left
and a more traditional one on the right (thought to
have been converted into flats).
Dale Cottage Homes
afterwards on the right is a footpath that
took us down past the Goody Dale Cottage
Homes and into a dell through which runs
is a very pleasant area, presented to the
public by G H Pattinson, former "High
Sheriff of his native county"
the path being known as The Sheriff's Walk.
the lower end, where the stream splits and
rejoins is a bench and a lovely view of
Mill Beck rejoining
is also where those who took the lakeside option rejoin
path meets a lane going south which we took to go past
the bowling green and onto the main road in Bowness.
time there was no escaping the shops but the only one
we entered was the ice cream parlour just beyond St Martin's
on the other side of the road. Its range
would not have shamed an Italian gelateria.
the Mod spent some time lusting after a Vespa Scooter
whilst Tony the Rocker looked on disapprovingly.
the Mod and Tony the Rocker
naughty, we continued down to the lake front
then climbed up through the grounds of the
stopped to investigate a strange monument
in the grounds.
conclusion was that it had once been
a sundial but not no more.
reaching the hotel (say it very quietly)
we passed through a door, crossed a corridor
and exited immediately opposite to leave
via the car park.
and the sun dial
more legitimate way back would be to take the left hand
option at the junction opposite the church rising up to pass by the Belsfield Hotel on
the right but
we would have missed out on the ice cream had we done
route back then climbed up the A 5074. Eventually we reached Windy
Hall Road which ascends to emerge on the B5284,
directly opposite the drive back up to the Linthwaite.
back at the hotel, we enjoyed tea and biscuits on the
terrace (Millie excepted of course) before leaving Mike
to look after his guests (lucky people) and Millie
whilst the rest of us returned home to Kendal
we envy those readers who have the time to relax
and enjoy the Linthwaite delights! We hope you enjoy
20th October 2011
If any Linthwaite guests do undertake this walk, or
variants of it, please let us know of your experiences.
You can click on to contact us.
Unless you say otherwise, your comments (if suitable
for publication, of course!) may be appended to this
you are thinking of other walks that can easily be undertaken
from Linthwaite, here are some earlier BOOTboys
reports that might give you inspiration:
climbed in feet:
Fell, School Knott, Orrest Head
Don, James, Mike, Stan, Tony
routes ares now being put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB1131.
see which Wainwright top (excluding Outlying Fells)
was visited on which BB outing
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.
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of new BOOTboys reports.
to contact us.
A Promenade of
The B Team
A Little Bit Of
Home From The
Taking The Brunt
Up The Spout
Not The Royal Wedding
Kentmere Parts 1 & 2
5th, Saturday 7th May
Five Unknown Tarns
Gurnal Dubbs Revisited
A March Through The Mist
Wednesday 15th June
All The Way From Barrow
Suitable For The Guests!
Graylings In Flagrante
First Indecision Outing
The Tale of Tony's Triumph
The Gunpowder Trail
Wednesday 7th September
Four Lords a-Leaping
Thursday 15th September
Heversham Head and Mhor
Training For The Himalayas
Turn Again, Whittington
The Windermere Three Peaks
Wednesday 26th October
Way Of The Roses
- 14th September
Click on the photos
for an enlargement
or related large
see which Wainwright
top was visited on which
outing see Which
download a log of heights and miles and which Wainwrights
been done by which BOOTboy
in the"modern" era, i.e. since the advent