Whinlatter Forest – lovely visitor centre and more at this forest in the heart of the Lake District


Often described as the only true mountain forest in England, Whinlatter Forest is definitely one to visit if you're looking for something special. Based in the Lake District, this forest boasts stunning views of Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater, and Keswick. It is ideal for people looking for great walking or mountain biking trails too, which is why we wanted to write about it. Let's look at what makes this forest so great:

What are the popular trails within the forest?

As we mentioned in our introduction, there are a few trails that you can explore throughout the forest, mostly walking trails (9), but there are also 3 cycling trails and 2 running trails.  The best options include:


Comb Beck
At just under 2 miles long, this trail is quite a pleasant and relaxing stroll and isn't intense at all. You'll walk mostly off forest paths and more along glades and streams. If the sun is out this is definitely a good trail to follow.


Revelin Moss
If you're looking for the best views of Grisedale Pike, a fell in the Lake District, then look no further than this trail. It's only 1 mile long so isn't anything difficult, but the views make up for the short length. This trail is ideal for walking with younger kids.


Two Gills
This trail is again just under 2 miles and although it mostly follows like forest road network, it's not difficult to negotiate and is quite a relaxed walk. There is a moderate incline that can catch people out so don't underestimate this walk.


Altura trail
We had to include this trail in our list, even though it might be beyond most people - this is the longest purpose-built mountain biking trail in the Lake District at almost 20km long. This trail will require some skill and definitely some stamina, so make sure you're prepared. If you do manage to tackle this trail, then you'll be rewarded with stunning views of Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite, Helvellyn, and Skiddaw. At an altitude of 500m above Keswick, this is one of the best views you can get in the Lake District.

Visiting Whinlatter Forest (2022)

The main car park and toilets at the forest are open from 8.30am to 8.30pm. Parking costs £8 per day, and card payments are accepted. The visitor centre sells maps and other locally made products and food. The cafe is called Siskins Café and sells lovely home-cooked food and Cyclewise is a bike shop at the forest, where you can hire out bikes and buy extra bits of kit and equipment for your current bike if you fancy.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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