When staying at one of our Lake District Cottages in Bassenthwaite, Keswick or Cockermouth, Dodd Wood is well worth a visit. A modest subsidiary peak of the giant Skiddaw range, its height belies the stunning panorama from the summit. The forest itself is part of the Mirehouse Estate featuring many different conifers and character tearoom.
The Old Sawmill tearoom is situated in what was a working sawmill until 1970. The original saw blade is on display along with various forestry tools, old photographs and local history. Enjoy the wood burning stove through the colder months (if you like these we have lots of holiday cottages in the Lake District with either open fires or woodburners) or if it’s warmer sit outside at the picnic tables and enjoy the sounds of the forest in the summer.
Particular favorites include the Old Sawmill Special – a large Cumberland sausage in a roll, Welsh Rarebit muffins and yummy gingerbread cake. Here you can also purchase Forestry Commission trail maps to guide you around the forest.
Home to the Lake District Osprey Project, there are two viewpoints in Dodd Wood both of which are staffed with knowledgeable volunteers. High powered fixed telescopes and binoculars are provided by the project so you can watch the Ospreys nesting across the lake, fishing, feeding and flying. Since 2001 Ospreys have nested at Bassenthwaite and raised at least one chick successfully each year. You can normally see them between April and September.
As well as Ospreys, Dodd Wood is a natural habitat for roe deer, buzzards and red squirrels. Look out for the different types of spruce, larch, pine and fir as you make your way through the wood. The circular walk from the tearoom to the summit is just over 4 miles following a mixture of paths and forestry tracks. Using the Forestry Commission guide you can chose from four routes ranging from gentle strolls to the rewarding climb to the summit, all of which are way marked with different colour wooden posts.
The walk through the forest to the summit is rewarding as any of the larger fells in the area and involves much less effort. If you have a dog it is great evening or morning walk (you can stay at one of our dog friendly Lake District cottages). A variety of paths and forest tracks weave their way through the woods, eventually clearing the tree line to the summit to give an unrivalled panorama. From left to right, a clear day will give beautiful views of Latrigg and the Helvellyn range beyond, Derwentwater and the Borrowdale Fells, Great Gable, Scafell Pike, Catbells and the Newlands group with the High Stile Group beyond, Coledale Fells, Whinlatter and beyond Bassenthwaite Lake you can see the Solway Firth, Galloway Hills and the Southern Uplands.