A moderately challenging walk, recommended by the National Trust, the trek from Windermere to the Townend 17th Century farmhouse in Troutbeck, will take you through an outstandingly picturesque countryside route that offers stunning views of the Troutbeck Valley on the return to Windermere.
With an optional longer route back to Windermere from Townend this is a great flexible walk. Whilst clocking in at ten miles, it shouldn’t prove too much of a challenge for slightly more inexperienced walkers.
The suggested starting point for this walk is Windermere Train Station, which is just under a mile from the Hawksmoor B&B in Windermere, so it can easily be reached on foot. If you want directions to the train station, then feel free to ask at reception, we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!
The Journey to Townend in Troutbeck Village
Once you reach the station, you need to take the road opposite the pedestrian crossing on your left. It leads to Orrest Head, so keep an eye open for the sign. Follow a tarmac road that will soon become a gravel track. Carry on down this path until you reach a wall and turn to the right. You’ll have to cross a stile, after which you’ll turn left and continue up to Orrest Head.
At the top of Orrest Head you’ll be faced with some truly excellent views of the fells surrounding Windermere and the town itself. We’d thoroughly recommend pausing here for a short while to take in the sights!
Once you’ve finished admiring the views it’s time to continue. Down the opposite site from where you ascended you’ll see a white farmhouse, head towards it. You will reach a stile in the wall, but you don’t need to cross it. Instead, turn left and carry on down the road towards Crosses Farm.
When you arrive at Crosses Farm you’ll see a footpath for Troutbeck. Follow it across fields to another farm, Far Orrest. Here, follow a sign for A529 via Dubbs Road. You’ll reach a road that you must cross. You’ll find a footpath opposite that you can follow through a field to the A529.
Take care crossing the A529 and turn right at the footpath that runs along the road. Turn left at this footpath through a field, you’ll have to cross the Troutbeck on a footbridge. By this point you’ll nearly be at Townend. Turn right when you reach the road and Townend is on the crossroads just at the top of the road.
There’s plenty of historical insight to be found at Townend, a traditional 17th Century farmhouse. You’ll see various historic artefacts that belonged to the family who lived there and learn how people lived without the modern conveniences we now take for granted. Find out more about Townsend at the National Trust website.
Return to Windermere
You’re presented with two options for the journey back to Windermere. You can either retrace the route you took to arrive at Townend, or for the slightly more intrepid amongst you there is a longer and more challenging route available. There’s some unmissable views along this route, so if you’re prepared to make the extra effort, it’s very rewarding.
At the aforementioned Moorhowe Road you’ll turn left and then take the first road you see on the right. You’ll meet a crossroads where you’ll need to turn right and follow the road past Near Orrest Farm and continue onto the Causeway Farm. From Causeway Farm you can retrace your steps across the fields to the top of Orrest Head and then simply head down the other side to Windermere Train Station.
This is a fairly long walk that’s strenuous enough to satisfy seasoned walkers, but not so tough as to be overly difficult for the less experienced fell walker. Either way, once you’ve finished this trek you’ll certainly be tired! Who wouldn’t want a cosy room at the Hawksmoor waiting for them, where you can relax in absolute comfort whilst your gear airs out in our drying room. For more information about walks and cycle routes in the area browse our blog. Also, do not hesitate to get in touch with us to check availability and book your stay.