Windermere is the best known and
busiest of the Lake District lakes but for a good reason – there is tons to do,
and the lake is beautiful, especially in autumn. We might be enjoying the heat
of summer now, but as the temperature cools and the mists descend, the only
place you should be thinking about taking a break is here.
Where to Park in Windermere
Being the most popular section of
the Lake District, you will likely seek to find accommodation a little further afield
so that you can enjoy a restful holiday in between adventurous trips to busy
areas, such as Lake Windermere. Our dog-friendly cottages in the Lake District allow
you to make the most of the area with your favourite pet, especially if you
plan to go walking.
As such, you will likely be
driving into Windermere or taking the Lakes bus service. If you are taking the
bus service, then you will want to take the 555 service from Kendal which has
extra comfy seats, USB charging ports and, occasionally, an open rooftop for
the brave and adventurous.
If you are driving into
Windermere, then you can pay to park in the area (typically around £6 for 6
hours). You can pay to park on Broad street, £3 for 2 hours or £4 for 3 hours.
We’ll suggest other places for you to park after the walking section, assuming
you want to spend longer in Windermere after the walk.
Walking to the Peak
The route to the peak of Orrest
Head starts at Windermere’s railway station, so if you decided to park at
Booths or get the bus, you are perfectly placed to begin. If you’re in love
with Lake District, don’t forget to pick up your free Booths card which can get
you one free coffee in your reusable mug once a day – the perfect accompaniment
to a breezy autumn walk.
Your next step is to make your
way to the A591 by walking away from Booths and the station, across the busy
junctions and towards a large sign on a stone wall behind green railings that
reads ‘Footpath to Orrest Head’. In 1930, Alfred Wainwright himself caught the
train to Windermere as a young man and pursued what would be the first of many
walks ascending the Lake District’s best fells.
Your next step is to simply
follow the tarmac road as it winds up the hill, slowly climbing upwards above
the rooftops of Windermere village and interspersed with benches for those who
need a short break now and then on the steep ascension.
You’ll know that you’re on the
right path if you pass a strange-looking gate that looks like it has been
fashioned with two cast iron bicycle wheels, followed by an iron kissing gate
further up. Once you’ve passed the kissing gate, you’ll know that you’re nearly
at the peak.
Reaching the peak, you’ll be met
by yet another bench (thankfully) as well as arguably the best view in the Lake
District. Although this walk typically only takes a meagre forty minutes, the
reward is high, and especially so in autumn when the autumn colours are
painting the hills in swathes of crimson and gold.
Orrest Head is especially good on
an atmospheric day as the mist is unlikely to obscure your view, and, if
anything, it could augment the view by dressing the far-off hills in light mist.
You can watch some clips of the route in this video for an idea of what you should
be looking out for:
Where to Dine
If you’ve walked up an appetite
on your hike, then you could consider enjoying a sumptuous afternoon tea at
Booths, or even at the World of Beatrix Potter which might be preferable if
you’re entertaining children on your holiday. If you did bring the dog and
needed to move your car, then drive on down to Bowness where you can park at
Rayrigg Road for 2 hours for £3, 3 hours for £4, or 6 hours for £6.
Down in Bowness, you can choose
any of the following dog-friendly establishments for your refreshments, such as
Francine’s, The Lighthouse, or #4 Grosvenor Terrace if you fancy a restaurant
meal. Once you’re recharged, you can continue your search of Windermere and
Bowness, walking along the lakeside or popping into shops.
The Lake District has so much to offer, so experience Windermere and its surrounding walks, restaurants and boat rides during your stay in the Lake District. You could be looking forward to a great break in the autumn when you book your next luxury holiday cottage in the Lake District with us.
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