Don’t you just find that being outside, in the fresh air, among nature, brings a sense of freedom, a sense that anything is possible? I always find that I think my best thoughts when I’m out on a walk, and I have my best conversations if somebody is out there walking with me.
Here is a walk that will inspire you to great things! It’s just a 10-minute drive from Keswick (in itself, one of the most popular places in the Lake District).
You need to head towards Whinlatter Forest by going through Braithwaite village, following the road up hill and parking at Noble Knott: this the first named car park on your left as you’re driving up Whinlatter Pass, opposite the stunning view point looking over Bassenthwaite Lake where you will often see an ice cream van if you’re feeling peckish!
There are actually two walks, one slightly longer than the other, so it is a good idea to take a photo of the map that's in the car park and then you have a choice. The walks are not strenuous and they are very clear to follow with signs to help you on your way through the woodlands. The route meanders through majestic fir trees and mixed woodland. Mosses and lichen abound and in spring bluebells and primroses will catch your eye as you stroll along the gravelly paths. And all the time you are accompanied by bird song, even in January. They love this place!
If you are lucky, you will see deer and red squirrels, but the joy is in finding the slate-carved quotations written on wooden stands. These are good for stretching the mind and directing your thoughts as you walk!
See if you can find the standing slate picnic spot as you pass over the mountain stream: it has my favourite message on there.
When you get to the top you will be rewarded with views of the top of Grisedale Pike and open fellside.
The walk is about an hour. It’s a circular walk and is suitable for any age. If you have dogs, they will love it too!
Once you’ve finished, it’s time for a treat! If you turn left out of the car park, you will be at another popular Cumbrian destination within five minutes: the Whinlatter Visitor Centre, where you can enjoy the thrill of a Go Ape! course high in the tree tops; of letting your children enjoy themselves following specially made trails and on the wonderfully inventive play area; of hiring mountain bikes or electric bikes to ride deep in the forest (discounts available here for Sally's Cottages guests!); or by just having homemade cakes and drinks in the lovely cafe with the wonderful views of majestic Skiddaw and Blencathra across the valley.
If, on the other hand, you turn right from the car park, you will find yourselves within 5 minutes in the lovely village of Braithwaite with its twisty lanes and a choice of two Cumbrian pubs, the Coledale and the Royal Oak, each serving excellent meals and local ales with plenty of room to sit outside and admire the views. A wonderful way to end the day in anybody's book!
Take a look at all of our cottages around Braithwaite.
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