16th April 2014

Wray Castle from Hawkshead

Walk Overview
Time 9am to 2:15pm
Duration 5 hr 15 min
Distance 7.6 mile
Ascent 1200 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Hawkshead - Colthouse - Colthouse Plantation - Guide Posts - Belle Grange - Windermere - Red Nab - Wood Close Point - High Wray Bay - Wray Castle - Wray Church - Blelham Tarn - Hole House - High Tock How - Loanthwaite Lane - Scar House Lane - Hawkswead
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Hawkshead

Despite the size of this car park, the popularity of Hawkshead makes it a bit of a hit and miss affair as far as getting a space goes. If you do manage to get parked then you're in for a real treat because Hawkshead really does give you a glimpse back in time.

Needless to say there is a substantial charge the privilege of parking here.


Route Map


It's a short walk from Hawkshead to Colthouse where we'd walk past the houses and ascend into the woods you see on the skyline.


These two weren't bothered about us getting close to them. I was beginning to think they'd never move and then, , , ,

, , , , they ran into the trees like there was a hungry Lion chasing them.

Looking back down to Hawkshead.

Walking through Colthouse Plantation.


A very hazy view across to the fells proper. The bulky one just right of centre is Red Screes.


Scab Moss. Okay, it's not the most inviting of names but it's still a nice area to walk. Below are 4 pictures taken in the woods leading down to Belle Grange.


"I told you not to put that daft coloured hoodie on and now that bloke's taking our photo. Hopefully it won't end up on the internet for everyone to see"

Looking across Windermere to the Fairfield Horseshoe.

We follow the lake shore path from Belle Grange to High Wray Bay. Most of it is like this and it makes for a nice walk in itself. Who said you need to get onto the high fells to have a good walk in the Lake District.

Wansfell Pike towering above the lake.

"Private property" and "action will be taken against trespassers"


Now we're at Wray Castle which was actually the main aim of todays walk. We were here last November but didn't have time to look inside so we decided then that we'd come back on a nice day in spring. You have to pay to get in, but it's well worth it to have the chance to look around this Lake District curiosity.






Wray Castle is a Grade II listed building which was built as a retirement home for just two people, James and Margaret Dawson. James was a surgeon from Liverpool and his wife descended from the Preston Family, also of Liverpool who had made their fortune from a distillery, wine and spirit business. The vast wealth which James inherited through his wife allowed him to acquire many of the trappings of a country house estate, a large kitchen garden, a home farm with stables and coach house, gate lodge, estate church and several boathouses.

The view from the terrace.

Very hazy indeed but the skyline you see can only that of the Langdale Pikes.

Wray Church, locked and no longer a place of worship.

What a nice place.


This has to be one of the most elaborate stiles I've ever seen. The sign on the post says "lift" but it must be well hidden because we couldn't find it!

Mmmmm, two of tonight's lottery numbers!!


That's Blelham Tarn down there. It's quite big compared to most tarns but very difficult to get close to.

Unfortunately High level cloud has filled the sky for the time being. Never mind, it's lovely walking through here and here a picture looking up to Latterbarrow for you to see.


Hawkshead comes back into sight. It looks a long way from here but it only took us 20 minutes to get there and we weren't in any rush.

Back in Hawkshead now and before we head homewards, we (Jennifer) had a look in the shops that sell the very nice and quite posh food stuff. The Westmoreland chutney is particularly nice. Apparently one of the shops lets you 'try before you buy'. If I'd known, I'd have went in as well.



David Hall -
Lake District Walks