Whinlatter - from mountain biking to ospreys
3 miles from High Swinside, Whinlatter is England's only true Mountain Forest with truly exhilarating mountain biking at moderate and difficult levels. In addition it offers some excellent walks away from the biking trails; there is also ‘Go Ape’ in the tree tops, Segways, Orienteering, and wonderful Adventure Play for younger children. The informative Whinlatter Visitors Centre at the pass can supply you with maps of the trails, and nearby there is the cafe Siskins, and the excellent bike shop Cycleways where you can hire bikes or get your bike repaired. On a live video link from the Visitors Centre you can also watch the osprey activity near Bassenthwaite where they have nested for the last 15 years. You only pay for parking and there are 5 car parks spread through the pass to serve different trails and picnic sites: free for the first 20 minutes, up to £8 for the whole day. See: www.forestry.gov.uk/whinlatter
  • Mountain biking adrenalin
  • Walking trails too
  • Excellent childrens adventure play trails
  • 1 mile easy access trail
  • You can also Go Ape or ride Segways
  • Great bike shop hires bikes & does repairs
  • Visitors Centre, good cafe
  • Watch the ospreys live on vidcam
Mountain biking trails
Whinlatter is home to the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District. As they say: ‘The Altura Trail puts the mountain back into biking and has been built for experienced riders with good off road skills and a higher level of fitness and stamina’. The Quercus trail is more moderate (see next 2 photographs).

To get a virtual experience of these trails you can check out some great riders videos on Youtube and Vimeo.

Trail map: from the Whinlatter bike shop Cyclewise, or print off this pdf: Whinlatter Cycling Map
Altura Trail - 2 loops totalling 19k Red (Difficult)
This trail is a 19 kilometre red grade mountain bike route which includes 15 kilometres of mostly challenging single track, and popular features like berms, jumps, rock features, skinnies, cork screws and table tops. There are also fantastic views of Derwent water, Bassenthwaite, Helvelyn and Skiddaw as the trail takes the rider to an altitude of 500m (1600ft) above Keswick.
Quercus Trail - 4.6 miles Blue (Moderate)
This fantastic blue grade route is 7.5km long with a shorter 3.5 km option. It is a gem waiting to be discovered: expect flowing single track with gentle berms, rolling jumps, wide gradual climbs with technical features for the adventurous rider.
Cyclewise at Whinlatter
This excellent bike shop is located where it’s needed right near the biking trail heads on the access road to the Visitors Centre. It offers a bike shop, a repair facilities, and even courses from bike maintenance right though to Mountain Biking Leadership.

Standard & premium Cube & Mondraker bikes are available for hire for half or full days. Group hire bookings are also on offer.

Opening Hours: 7 days a week, from 10am-5pm
CA12 5TW Phone: 017687 78711
Website: www.cyclewise.co.uk
Walking Trails in Whinlatter too
The Whinlatter walking trails avoid the biking routes so you can feel completely safe. They are well marked with a numbered post at each junction so that you know where you are and can devise your own routes if you want. There are several different trails to choose from at different levels of difficulty. These many miles of gravel roads, surfaced paths and tracks often give unrivalled views across Bassenthwaite, Derwentwater, and Keswick. There is also an easy access trail at Revelin Moss suitable for wheelchairs and buggies using a relatively flat forest trail that offers lovely views of Grisedale Pike.

Whinlatter Visitors Centre can supply you with a map, or download the pdf: Whinlatter Walking Map
Wild Play – adventure for children
In addition to some easy trails for children like the Gruffalo trail with a full sized statue of the Gruffalo, Whinlatter also offers an excellent and very well-reviewed Wild Play trail - a unique play trail for children with 9 different play zones to explore through the trees.

The trail starts very close to the visitor centre entrance and is around 1/2 mile in length, but packed with about 20 adventure playground activities…
See: Whinlatter Wild Play
Wild Play continued….
On the trail you can practice your engineering skills and draw water from the stream with an Archimedes screw or use the gravel mover to shift gravel around the pit. There is a water play area, a sand play area, slides, climbing frames, cargo nets, massive swings, a climbing wall, and much more. At one point you walk under the Go Ape attraction so you get to see people having fun on zip wires in the trees above...
For younger children…
For the younger children visit the fairy kingdom with its secret path and hidden carvings, or the large scale badger holt near to the Visitors Centre. There are also permanent childrens activity trails to help younger visitors explore the forest and the wildlife that lives within it. Call at the Visitor Information Centre to buy your trail map - choose from the Squirrel Scurry Trail (freaturing red squirrels), or the Tracks Trail (about animal tracks).

The Wildplay trail also has some play equipment that suits all abilities including this bird nest swing.
See Wildplay Trail pdf: Wild Play Trail map
Go Ape in Whinlatter!
Whinlatter Forest houses the highest Go Ape in the country – you can see all the way to Scotland! There are 5 sections reaching 14 metres at its highest point... Go Ape offers an outdoor adventure riding a zip slide through skies, over water and through Englands only true mountain forest. (You are briefed for safety before you tackle any of the equipment).

Also in Whinlatter you can try out Segways along easy smooth tracks through the forest...
Go Ape at Whinlatter
Whinlatter Visitor Centre & shops
The Visitors Center is located in the middle of Whinlatter pass, and here you will find Rheged@Grizedale shop, the Visitor Information Point, Siskins Café, Cyclewise bike shop and hire, Go Ape, Toilets, Picnic and WildPlay trail.

There are car parks spread out through the pass close to all the trail heads. There are several designated disabled access spaces in the main car park near the Visitors Centre (plus a drop off point nearer the Centre).

Whinlatter Pass, CA12 5TW Grid ref: NY209245
Opening hours: 7 days a week, from 10am – 4 pm
Phone: 017687 78469 See www.forestry.gov.uk/whinlatter
Siskins Café
Siskins Café is located near the Visitors Centre, serving a selection of fresh home cooked food and homemade cakes, a good variety of sandwiches and toasted paninis, jacket potatoes and soups. You can sit out on the beautiful decked area and enjoy the views out over the forest as you eat. Watch out for the red squirrels!

Opening hours: Summer 10am to 5pm Winter 10am to 4:30pm Siskins Cafe: 017687 78410
See: Siskins Café
View the Ospreys on video link
A video link at Whinlatter Visitors Center allows you to watch the Bassenthwaite ospreys live in spring and summer when they should hopefully be nesting again this year (as they have for the last 15 years). If you feel more energetic, you can also go and view them from 2 specially set up viewpoints in Dodd Wood on the far side of Bassenthwaite (the 15-20 minute trail to the Lower Viewpoint starts from the A591 car park opposite the Mirehouse entrance)

See www.ospreywatch.co.uk/ for the viewpoint locations, opening times, staffing, & the equipment available to watch them flying over the lake (from the Lower Viewpoint), or on the actual nest (from the Upper Viewpoint).

Mountain biking trails
Whinlatter is home to the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District. As they say: ‘The Altura Trail puts the mountain back into biking and has been built for experienced riders with good off road skills and a higher level of fitness and stamina’. The Quercus trail is more moderate (see next 2 photographs).

To get a virtual experience of these trails you can check out some great riders videos on Youtube and Vimeo.

Trail map: from the Whinlatter bike shop Cyclewise, or print off this pdf: Whinlatter Cycling Map

Altura Trail - 2 loops totalling 19k Red (Difficult)
This trail is a 19 kilometre red grade mountain bike route which includes 15 kilometres of mostly challenging single track, and popular features like berms, jumps, rock features, skinnies, cork screws and table tops. There are also fantastic views of Derwent water, Bassenthwaite, Helvelyn and Skiddaw as the trail takes the rider to an altitude of 500m (1600ft) above Keswick.

Quercus Trail - 4.6 miles Blue (Moderate)
This fantastic blue grade route is 7.5km long with a shorter 3.5 km option. It is a gem waiting to be discovered: expect flowing single track with gentle berms, rolling jumps, wide gradual climbs with technical features for the adventurous rider.

Cyclewise at Whinlatter
This excellent bike shop is located where it’s needed right near the biking trail heads on the access road to the Visitors Centre. It offers a bike shop, a repair facilities, and even courses from bike maintenance right though to Mountain Biking Leadership.

Standard & premium Cube & Mondraker bikes are available for hire for half or full days. Group hire bookings are also on offer.

Opening Hours: 7 days a week, from 10am-5pm
CA12 5TW Phone: 017687 78711
Website: www.cyclewise.co.uk

Walking Trails in Whinlatter too
The Whinlatter walking trails avoid the biking routes so you can feel completely safe. They are well marked with a numbered post at each junction so that you know where you are and can devise your own routes if you want. There are several different trails to choose from at different levels of difficulty. These many miles of gravel roads, surfaced paths and tracks often give unrivalled views across Bassenthwaite, Derwentwater, and Keswick. There is also an easy access trail at Revelin Moss suitable for wheelchairs and buggies using a relatively flat forest trail that offers lovely views of Grisedale Pike.

Whinlatter Visitors Centre can supply you with a map, or download the pdf: Whinlatter Walking Map

Wild Play – adventure for children
In addition to some easy trails for children like the Gruffalo trail with a full sized statue of the Gruffalo, Whinlatter also offers an excellent and very well-reviewed Wild Play trail - a unique play trail for children with 9 different play zones to explore through the trees.

The trail starts very close to the visitor centre entrance and is around 1/2 mile in length, but packed with about 20 adventure playground activities…
See: Whinlatter Wild Play

Wild Play continued….
On the trail you can practice your engineering skills and draw water from the stream with an Archimedes screw or use the gravel mover to shift gravel around the pit. There is a water play area, a sand play area, slides, climbing frames, cargo nets, massive swings, a climbing wall, and much more. At one point you walk under the Go Ape attraction so you get to see people having fun on zip wires in the trees above...

For younger children…
For the younger children visit the fairy kingdom with its secret path and hidden carvings, or the large scale badger holt near to the Visitors Centre. There are also permanent childrens activity trails to help younger visitors explore the forest and the wildlife that lives within it. Call at the Visitor Information Centre to buy your trail map - choose from the Squirrel Scurry Trail (freaturing red squirrels), or the Tracks Trail (about animal tracks).

The Wildplay trail also has some play equipment that suits all abilities including this bird nest swing.
See Wildplay Trail pdf: Wild Play Trail map

Go Ape in Whinlatter!
Whinlatter Forest houses the highest Go Ape in the country – you can see all the way to Scotland! There are 5 sections reaching 14 metres at its highest point... Go Ape offers an outdoor adventure riding a zip slide through skies, over water and through Englands only true mountain forest. (You are briefed for safety before you tackle any of the equipment).

Also in Whinlatter you can try out Segways along easy smooth tracks through the forest...
Go Ape at Whinlatter

Whinlatter Visitor Centre & shops
The Visitors Center is located in the middle of Whinlatter pass, and here you will find Rheged@Grizedale shop, the Visitor Information Point, Siskins Café, Cyclewise bike shop and hire, Go Ape, Toilets, Picnic and WildPlay trail.

There are car parks spread out through the pass close to all the trail heads. There are several designated disabled access spaces in the main car park near the Visitors Centre (plus a drop off point nearer the Centre).

Whinlatter Pass, CA12 5TW Grid ref: NY209245
Opening hours: 7 days a week, from 10am – 4 pm
Phone: 017687 78469 See www.forestry.gov.uk/whinlatter

Siskins Café
Siskins Café is located near the Visitors Centre, serving a selection of fresh home cooked food and homemade cakes, a good variety of sandwiches and toasted paninis, jacket potatoes and soups. You can sit out on the beautiful decked area and enjoy the views out over the forest as you eat. Watch out for the red squirrels!

Opening hours: Summer 10am to 5pm Winter 10am to 4:30pm Siskins Cafe: 017687 78410
See: Siskins Café

View the Ospreys on video link
A video link at Whinlatter Visitors Center allows you to watch the Bassenthwaite ospreys live in spring and summer when they should hopefully be nesting again this year (as they have for the last 15 years). If you feel more energetic, you can also go and view them from 2 specially set up viewpoints in Dodd Wood on the far side of Bassenthwaite (the 15-20 minute trail to the Lower Viewpoint starts from the A591 car park opposite the Mirehouse entrance)

See www.ospreywatch.co.uk/ for the viewpoint locations, opening times, staffing, & the equipment available to watch them flying over the lake (from the Lower Viewpoint), or on the actual nest (from the Upper Viewpoint).