Friday 3 July 2020

A walk from Wray Castle along Windermere

For the first time since lockdown began my son and I headed into the Lake District National Park. We have stayed away since things eased as it has been far too busy whilst we still have a pandemic. As it was a grey, slightly damp mid week day it was a lot quieter as we drove around Windermere and through a strangely quiet Ambleside which should have been bustling in July. Our destination was a family favourite of Wray Castle (National Trust):

Wray Castle (National Trust)

Only the grounds and disabled toilets were open and there were only 4 cars, including ours, in the car park. It was the first time I had used this year's membership card to pay for parking. We were just using the car park as a starting point for a walk along the shore of Windermere:

Wray Castle signpost

You can walk all the way down to Claife Station and the Windermere ferry as it is only 4 miles away. We are planning to return to run that distance! This time we were just reminding ourselves of the route. It starts with a descent to the lake shore:

Wray Castle (National Trust)

Due to the current lack of water traffic Windermere is incredibly calm, which makes it look magical, the downside is there is blue green algae in the water:

Wray Castle Windermere view

The National Trust have made sure the path is well maintained and clearly signposted:

Signpost at Wray Castle

Lakeshore trail Windermere

It is a lovely route to stroll along and take your time. The dry stone walls are festooned in a vibrant green moss:

Moss covered dry stone wall

Windermere gets some beautiful frames through gaps in the trees. Benches are dotted along the path so you can sit and appreciate it:

View across Windermere

On this occasion we turned after 2 miles but we could have carried on through the woodland:

Lakeshore trail Windermere

On the way back it gave us a chance to spot things we had missed on our way out. This family of ducks was also admiring the views:

View on Windermere

We didn't see many other people on our walk. Even in normal times this side of the lake is always quieter than in the main tourist hotspots of Bowness, Ambleside and other more easily accessible parts:

Lakeshore trail Windermere

Dotted along the shoreline are several old boat houses and other pieces of history such as this redundant stile and old stone gate post:

Windermere boathouse

We made it back to the castle grounds and the steps which wind up through the trees. On the way out we had used the sloping path to avoid other walkers. By the time we returned we had the place to ourselves:

Wray Castle grounds

It was quite sad that the normally bustling play trail area was closed off. Hopefully they will be able to open in a safe fashion soon:

Wray Castle play trail

I look forward to going back soon and hopefully the cafe will be open again for some well earned cake! Here is our video of the walk:

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