Lake District

Take a Hike in Nature: Top 10 Lake District Forest Walks

Take a Hike in Nature: Top 10 Lake District Forest Walks

Local Forest Walks
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    The table above lists all the best forest walks in and around the Lake District. Click on each name to be taken straight to the part of the blog post for that walk.

    If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure, a trip to the Lake District can give you that and so much more. Located in Cumbria, the Lake District is renowned for its exceptionally stunning beauty, with lush green forests covering rolling hills around crystal-clear lakes. The area boasts some of the best forest walks in the UK and provides sightseers with picturesque views – from skyline ridge lines dotted with mountain peaks to peaceful meandering river paths lined by trees – there’s something here that will truly captivate your imagination. So why wait? Explore this special corner of Britain now! You can go for a walk after some tea and cake at Grizedale Forest, stand under the tallest trees in the Lakes at Blengdale Forest, or take in the 360-degree views all around the peak at Dodd Wood.

    10 Stunning Forest Walks to Try in the Lake District

    In this blog post, we will be listing the many forest walks in the Lake District.

    There's an abundance of walks and nature trails within the Lake District National Park. Have a look below at the forest walks available on the interactive map and click on the buttons below the map for each walk, to be taken to the Forestry England pages for further information on the forest trails.


    At Hardknott Forest in the enchanting Lake District, visitors can embark on a journey of eco-exploration and discovery. Traverse through 630 hectares of magnificent woodland boasting oak groves, birch forests, peat bogs, heather meadows, and grassland habitats – all being restored to their native state by committed volunteers from the Restoring Hardknott project. Delightful views await around every twisty path while wildlife abounds amongst wild rugged scenery hard to find elsewhere. Whether you want an invigorating hike or simply take it slow with a peaceful picnic beside the serene River Duddon; there’s something for everyone at this extraordinary ecological experience!

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    Grizedale Forest

    Immerse yourself in the beauty of Grizedale Forest - nestled at the heart of England's iconic Lake District World Heritage Site. Take your pick from a range of activities that appeal to you; explore on foot, horseback, or two wheels, and keep an eye out for stunning artwork along the way! Why not test how adventurous you are on the Go Ape course or the exhilarating mountain bike trails there? Or you can take it easy by enjoying lunch or a cuppa and cake in their café.

    lake district woodland walks

    Whinlatter Forest

    Whinlatter Forest offers an unforgettable experience with its awe-inspiring views and thrilling activities! England's only true mountain forest is filled with 9 walking trails, 3 cycling trails plus mountain bike orienteering for those who want to explore on two wheels or feet. And if you're looking for something a bit more exciting on the bike - hop onto one of their exhilarating mountain bike tracks; sure to give everyone from adrenaline addicts to nature lovers a day out they won't forget anytime soon. Plus don’t miss the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the wildlife found throughout the forest or have fun at adventure play areas with the kids!


    Experience the wild beauty of Ennerdale! A hidden gem on the north-western edge of the national park, this remote valley is packed with vibrant character and boasts one of Britain’s longest-running land restoration projects. Explore five walking trails where you can cycle, orienteer, or horse ride among dramatic landscapes – plus find a scenic spot to enjoy an alfresco picnic surrounded by nature!

    Blengdale Forest

    Explore the majestic beauty of West Cumbria with a visit to Blengdale Forest! Marvel at some of Lake District's tallest trees from the 1086 acres of woodland and embark on an outdoor adventure along its valley, river, or roads. Take in spectacular views while trekking up hilltops with views over Wasdale, Haycock, and glimpses of the west coast!

    Dodd Wood

    Get ready to be amazed by the beauty of Dodd Wood in Cumbria's Northern Lake District! Take a stroll on one of many trails and arrive at the peak, where you will find yourself immersed in stunning 360-degree views. Choose between various walks perfect for families or more experienced adventurers looking for longer distances. Keep an eye out as you wander - if fortunate enough, you could spot some rare red squirrels along the way!

    lake district forest walks

    Cogra Moss

    Embrace the outdoors and explore Cogra Moss, situated in a beautiful enclosed forest near Ennerdale Bridge. Take on an adventure along winding footpaths to uncover enchanting views of the Northern Lake District Fells, Scotland's southern hillsides, and even as far away as Isle of Man! For those seeking something more challenging - take your journey up Blake Fell for unparalleled panoramas that will thrill any explorer.

    Whitbarrow Forest

    Take a stroll along the scenic paths enveloping Whitbarrow Forest, located within the beautiful Lake District National Park! This area of 475 acres features stunning vistas overlooking Lyth Valley and is found only a short distance south-west from Kendal. Take advantage of various public footpaths and permissive trails winding through this picturesque region for an unforgettable day out in nature.


    Setmurthy is the perfect place to behold nature's beauty and take in some fresh air. Situated close to Cockermouth, this picturesque woodland has something for just about everyone - a runners paradise or an equestrian playground, educational field trips, or leisurely strolls; it offers all of these experiences and more!

    Lanthwaite Wood

    Enjoy a 6 mile stroll through woodland and get to witness two spectacular vistas! Marvel at the picturesque views of Buttermere's rolling hills, lush woodlands, and Crummock Water from one side. Or be captivated by Grasmoor End's rocky buttress towering majestically over its northern tip on the other side. The popular forest walk leading up to this memorable experience is mostly flat - ideal for those seeking an easy yet rewarding outdoor activity!


    In this blog post, we have shared some of the woodland walks in the Lake District. To find out more about free things to do in the area, click on the links below:


    Lake District Blogs


    Free Things to do in the Lake District


    Cycling Routes in the Lake District


    Local Delicacies from the Lake District

    Please note...

    All outdoor activities including forest walks involve a degree of risk. The walks are recommended due to the well known features of each forest but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each path so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your walk!

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    Crown Copyright, courtesy Forestry Commission (07/02/23) licensed under the Open Government License.