Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre

England’s only true mountain forest. Whinlatter Forest is managed by Forestry England and is a great day out for all ages. Head to the Visitor Centre and main car park to start your visit.

The forest has walking trails of varying lengths to suit all abilities, taking you to up to viewpoints across Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water, Skiddaw and Grisedale Pike. 

If you’re looking for adventure, try the mountain bike trails, which make full use of the stunning setting. The red grade Altura Trail has been built for experienced riders with good off road skills and a higher level of fitness and stamina.The blue grade Quercus Trail is single track with gentle berms, rolling jumps, wide gradual climbs with technical features for the adventurous riders.The Gorse Cycle Trail is a waymarked 10km route, sticking mostly to well-surfaced forest roads and takes you to the best parts of the forest and explores the quieter corners of Whinlatter at Noble Knott. Why not try an orienteering challenge which explores the forest by using a combination of forest roads and parts of the Quercus mountain bike trail. Navigate your way between control points to score as many points as possible in a fixed time.

Two waymarked running trails provide stunning scenery, a higher calorie burn, and increased mental well-being. The 5km and 10km marked trails at Whinlatter make running through the forest more accessible, so you can feel confident to just hit the trails and enjoy all the benefits of being active outdoors.

The Whinlatter WildPlay trail is for children of all ages. Its 9 different play areas take you on a journey through the trees and include a climbing wall, water features, giant swings and a secret path. There are also two children's discovery trails, to help explore the forest - maps available from the Visitor Centre.

Swing through the trees on the Go-Ape tree top course with zip lines, nets, rope ladders and swings to negotiate. Or if heights aren't your thing Go Ape Forest Segways are the best fun you can have off-road, on two eco-friendly wheels, without having to pedal.

A Tramper,  is available to hire from the Visitor Centre.  This all-terrain mobility scooter enables visitors to enjoy a beautiful forest trail with spectacular views.  The Tramper is managed in partnership with Lake District Mobility. Please call the Visitor Centre to find out more, 017687 78469.

The Visitor Centre is home to the Lake District Osprey Project from April to August each year, with an exhibition about the project and volunteers to help interpret the live camera pictures of the nest at Dodd Wood throughout the season.

There are also family events held in the forest over the year - check website for up to date information.

The Visitor Centre and Shop sell forest maps and a range of locally sourced products. Siskins Café offers home cooked food while Cyclewise, the onsite bike shop, hires out bikes as well as selling bikes and kit, and offering a range of bike skills and training courses.

  • 9 walking trails
  • Running Trails
  • 3 cycling trails plus mountain bike orienteering
  • Play areas
  • Go Ape Tree Top Trek
  • Go Ape Forest Segway 
  • Café
  • Bike hire
  • Picnic areas
     

Location

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre and main car park is just west of Keswick and is signed from the A66. Take the B5292 Whinlatter Pass and the Visitor Centre is 3 miles from the turn.

Other Forestry England car parks are available along the Whinlatter Pass, giving access to some of the walking routes and bike trails.

Alternate Text Enjoy England Quality Assured Visitor Attraction

Breeze into the Forest

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre

Join Adele for this free ladies beginners ride around the forest. The group will be riding sections of the Gorse Trail. This is a social, inclusive and supportive ride for all, riding at the pace of the slowest rider so we don't leave anyone behind.

This ride is for women who would like to ride on forest tracks at Whinlatter Forrest at a leisurely pace.

Although this trail is not technical there are long gradual climbs and descents where a good standard of fitness and low gear ratios is beneficial.

The group are always "willing to wait" if you felt daunted by that hill and needed to walk up instead. At the end of the ride coffee and cakes is always an option at the end of the ride. Siskins Café has an outdoor seating area.


Mountain bikes/Gravel bikes are essential for this ride and so is a helmet.
You will also need to come dressed for the weather.
A drink and a snack are also a good idea.
It would also be good to carry a spare inner tube, just in case you need it.
As the route can be wet and muddy, a spare change of clothing for after the ride is also advisable.
Please do not attend the ride if you have Covid-19 symptoms, have someone in your household who does or if you have been asked to remain at home by the UK Government track and trace system.

Cancelling your place won’t be a problem just let us know before the ride so we are not waiting unnecessarily for you, especially if it’s raining. All participants on a British cycling ride are now required to provide all their own equipment to comply with the government's self-sufficiency rules.

First-timers welcome!


Whinlatter Moon Runner

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre

The feeling of a head torch trail run in the woods is unique. The night-time adds a whole new dimension to trail running: it is both wild and peaceful at the same time.

Your senses become razor sharp and you become aware of your heartbeat pounding in your chest. You may hear the hoot or screech of an owl, or the rustling of woodland animals in the undergrowth. In the darkness of the woodland canopy the light from your head torch will be reflected back by the eyes of deer and other creatures peering out from the safety of the deep forest.

Greener Miles Moon Runner head torch races take place in the winter months when a crisp ground frost is common. Beams of moonlight breaking through the trees can create a magical atmosphere while you run along the sparkling surface. You can experience a definite sense of isolation and remoteness, but with that come feelings of exhilaration as your feet react to changing terrain, and excitement as your senses adapt to the different sights and sounds in the darkness.

The 10k route will be fully waymarked, and is ideal for trail novices and experienced runners alike.

Route and Terrain Conditions: a very hilly route on a mixture of hard packed gravel tracks, single twisting dirt tracks and occasional muddy bridleway all contained within the Forest.

Parking/Race HQ:

There will be a race HQ with toilets.
There are spaces for approx. 200 cars; therefore participants are encouraged to car share when possible (covid restrictions allowing)
There will be medical support from Rapid Reaction NE Ltd who will be on the course throughout the event.
Water/food and fruit available at the start and finish area.
Weather at this time of year it is not unusual for the temperature to fall below freezing therefore we suggest bringing with you a hat, gloves and warm jacket so that you can enjoy your cuppa and some food from the cafe.

We are an eco-friendly company and, on that basis, we don’t use disposable plastic cups and don’t offer T shirts or medals. What we do guarantee is a first class race experience where you can make memories to last a lifetime! We are actively encouraging participants to give something back to the environment which is why your race goodies are a little bit different. We are including a packet of mixed wild flower seeds for you to plant which will encourage bees and other pollinators to visit your garden which is great for the environment.

Your entry and what’s included:

A Branded event Mug
Free, downloadable event pictures.
A packet of wildflower seeds.
Cash prizes for the top 3 male and top 3 female finishers
Head torch prizes from Ledlenser, Run Unlimited, Fit Performance and Sports Injury Clinic and Vaga
Free future race places for all category winners


Dark skies festival - forest walk

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre

Join us as part of Cumbria's Dark Skies festival. Enjoy a walk through the forest as night draws in. We will hopefully see some stars, look for well known constellations and other features of the night sky. Star maps will be provided.

We will also experience the very different sounds and sights of the forest after dark.

The route is 3-4 miles on good trails. We will have volunteers on hand to help manage the group, and they can help you return to your car early if you need too.

Come wrapped up for the weather, bring a flask or snacks if you want too. Head torches with a red filter for star gazing ideal, but any torch is fine. There will be a stop around half way, or enjoy a warm drink when you've finished.

All welcome, we've had guests from 6 months to over 6 decades! Very young children may find it a bit scary if not used to being outside in the dark.

Booking essential
Wear clothes suitable for the weather and being outdoors
Head torches with a red filter for star gazing ideal, but any torch is fine


Nature's nightlife

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre

Join us for a magical guided evening walk through the forest. Listen out for owls, learn about the wildlife in the forest, experience the wonders of the night sky and finish with hot chocolate and marshmallows around a camp fire.
l
Please bring a torch and wear warm clothing and sturdy footwear.
All children must be accompanied by an adult
 


Breeze into the Forest

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre

Ladies, if you have a love for the outdoors, enjoy riding a bike and want a little bit of a challenge why not put these three together and come for a Breeze ride in the Forest. This is a women only ride and requires no particular skill, other than being able to ride a bike, as we will be riding along forest tracks. There are long gradual ascents and descents so a good standard of fitness and a bike with low gears and good brakes is beneficial. The main aim of the ride is to enjoy ourselves and with that in mind there is an ethos that we ride as fast as the slowest rider and no-one gets left behind. After the ride Siskins Café provides a lovely environment for a little “apres-ride” socialising while indulging in a bit of C&C (Coffee & Cake).

The ride is approx.. 5.7 miles riding on forest tracks with a very small section of road. Gravel or Mountain bikes and a helmet are essential. This is the Lake District so please come dressed for our wonderfully unpredictable weather, a spare change of clothing is advisable as the route can get wet and muddy. A drink and a snack is also worth carrying as your energy may drop during the ride along with a spare inner tube just in case!

The forest is a magical place full of wildlife and car free tracks. Exploring it on a bike is great fun, a great way to improve your level of fitness, cycling skills and meet new like-minded people so come along and give it a go.

We look forward to welcoming you on our ride


 


Dark skies festival - forest walk

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre

Join us as part of Cumbria's Dark Skies festival. Enjoy a walk through the forest as night draws in. We will hopefully see some stars, look for well known constellations and other features of the night sky. Star maps will be provided.

We will also experience the very different sounds and sights of the forest after dark.

The route is 3-4 miles on good trails. We will have volunteers on hand to help manage the group, and they can help you return to your car early if you need too.

Come wrapped up for the weather, bring a flask or snacks if you want too. Head torches with a red filter for star gazing ideal, but any torch is fine. There will be a stop around half way, or enjoy a warm drink when you've finished.

All welcome, we've had guests from 6 months to over 6 decades! Very young children may find it a bit scary if not used to being outside in the dark.

Booking essential
Wear clothes suitable for the weather and being outdoors
Head torches with a red filter for star gazing ideal, but any torch is fine


Your enquiry will be sent directly to Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre. Please fill in as much detail as you can.

Sorry, something went wrong.
Thank you. Your message has been sent!

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England’s only true mountain forest. Whinlatter Forest is managed by Forestry England and is a great day out for all ages. Head to the Visitor Centre and main car park to start your visit.

The forest has walking trails of varying lengths to suit all abilities, taking you to up to viewpoints across Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water, Skiddaw and Grisedale Pike. 

If you’re looking for adventure, try the mountain bike trails, which make full use of the stunning setting. The red grade Altura Trail has been built for experienced riders with good off road skills and a higher level of fitness and stamina.The blue grade Quercus Trail is single track with gentle berms, rolling jumps, wide gradual climbs with technical features for the adventurous riders.The Gorse Cycle Trail is a waymarked 10km route, sticking mostly to well-surfaced forest roads and takes you to the best parts of the forest and explores the quieter corners of Whinlatter at Noble Knott. Why not try an orienteering challenge which explores the forest by using a combination of forest roads and parts of the Quercus mountain bike trail. Navigate your way between control points to score as many points as possible in a fixed time.

Two waymarked running trails provide stunning scenery, a higher calorie burn, and increased mental well-being. The 5km and 10km marked trails at Whinlatter make running through the forest more accessible, so you can feel confident to just hit the trails and enjoy all the benefits of being active outdoors.

The Whinlatter WildPlay trail is for children of all ages. Its 9 different play areas take you on a journey through the trees and include a climbing wall, water features, giant swings and a secret path. There are also two children's discovery trails, to help explore the forest - maps available from the Visitor Centre.

Swing through the trees on the Go-Ape tree top course with zip lines, nets, rope ladders and swings to negotiate. Or if heights aren't your thing Go Ape Forest Segways are the best fun you can have off-road, on two eco-friendly wheels, without having to pedal.

A Tramper,  is available to hire from the Visitor Centre.  This all-terrain mobility scooter enables visitors to enjoy a beautiful forest trail with spectacular views.  The Tramper is managed in partnership with Lake District Mobility. Please call the Visitor Centre to find out more, 017687 78469.

The Visitor Centre is home to the Lake District Osprey Project from April to August each year, with an exhibition about the project and volunteers to help interpret the live camera pictures of the nest at Dodd Wood throughout the season.

There are also family events held in the forest over the year - check website for up to date information.

The Visitor Centre and Shop sell forest maps and a range of locally sourced products. Siskins Café offers home cooked food while Cyclewise, the onsite bike shop, hires out bikes as well as selling bikes and kit, and offering a range of bike skills and training courses.

  • 9 walking trails
  • Running Trails
  • 3 cycling trails plus mountain bike orienteering
  • Play areas
  • Go Ape Tree Top Trek
  • Go Ape Forest Segway 
  • Café
  • Bike hire
  • Picnic areas
     

Location

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre and main car park is just west of Keswick and is signed from the A66. Take the B5292 Whinlatter Pass and the Visitor Centre is 3 miles from the turn.

Other Forestry England car parks are available along the Whinlatter Pass, giving access to some of the walking routes and bike trails.

Breeze into the Forest


Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre
23 January 2022

Join Adele for this free ladies beginners ride around the forest. The group will be riding sections of the Gorse Trail. This is a social, inclusive and supportive ride for all, riding at the pace of the slowest rider so we don't leave anyone behind.

This ride is for women who would like to ride on forest tracks at Whinlatter Forrest at a leisurely pace.

Although this trail is not technical there are long gradual climbs and descents where a good standard of fitness and low gear ratios is beneficial.

The group are always "willing to wait" if you felt daunted by that hill and needed to walk up instead. At the end of the ride coffee and cakes is always an option at the end of the ride. Siskins Café has an outdoor seating area.


Mountain bikes/Gravel bikes are essential for this ride and so is a helmet.
You will also need to come dressed for the weather.
A drink and a snack are also a good idea.
It would also be good to carry a spare inner tube, just in case you need it.
As the route can be wet and muddy, a spare change of clothing for after the ride is also advisable.
Please do not attend the ride if you have Covid-19 symptoms, have someone in your household who does or if you have been asked to remain at home by the UK Government track and trace system.

Cancelling your place won’t be a problem just let us know before the ride so we are not waiting unnecessarily for you, especially if it’s raining. All participants on a British cycling ride are now required to provide all their own equipment to comply with the government's self-sufficiency rules.

First-timers welcome!

Full Details »

Whinlatter Moon Runner


Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre
05 February 2022

The feeling of a head torch trail run in the woods is unique. The night-time adds a whole new dimension to trail running: it is both wild and peaceful at the same time.

Your senses become razor sharp and you become aware of your heartbeat pounding in your chest. You may hear the hoot or screech of an owl, or the rustling of woodland animals in the undergrowth. In the darkness of the woodland canopy the light from your head torch will be reflected back by the eyes of deer and other creatures peering out from the safety of the deep forest.

Greener Miles Moon Runner head torch races take place in the winter months when a crisp ground frost is common. Beams of moonlight breaking through the trees can create a magical atmosphere while you run along the sparkling surface. You can experience a definite sense of isolation and remoteness, but with that come feelings of exhilaration as your feet react to changing terrain, and excitement as your senses adapt to the different sights and sounds in the darkness.

The 10k route will be fully waymarked, and is ideal for trail novices and experienced runners alike.

Route and Terrain Conditions: a very hilly route on a mixture of hard packed gravel tracks, single twisting dirt tracks and occasional muddy bridleway all contained within the Forest.

Parking/Race HQ:

There will be a race HQ with toilets.
There are spaces for approx. 200 cars; therefore participants are encouraged to car share when possible (covid restrictions allowing)
There will be medical support from Rapid Reaction NE Ltd who will be on the course throughout the event.
Water/food and fruit available at the start and finish area.
Weather at this time of year it is not unusual for the temperature to fall below freezing therefore we suggest bringing with you a hat, gloves and warm jacket so that you can enjoy your cuppa and some food from the cafe.

We are an eco-friendly company and, on that basis, we don’t use disposable plastic cups and don’t offer T shirts or medals. What we do guarantee is a first class race experience where you can make memories to last a lifetime! We are actively encouraging participants to give something back to the environment which is why your race goodies are a little bit different. We are including a packet of mixed wild flower seeds for you to plant which will encourage bees and other pollinators to visit your garden which is great for the environment.

Your entry and what’s included:

A Branded event Mug
Free, downloadable event pictures.
A packet of wildflower seeds.
Cash prizes for the top 3 male and top 3 female finishers
Head torch prizes from Ledlenser, Run Unlimited, Fit Performance and Sports Injury Clinic and Vaga
Free future race places for all category winners

Full Details »

Dark skies festival - forest walk


Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre
12 February 2022

Join us as part of Cumbria's Dark Skies festival. Enjoy a walk through the forest as night draws in. We will hopefully see some stars, look for well known constellations and other features of the night sky. Star maps will be provided.

We will also experience the very different sounds and sights of the forest after dark.

The route is 3-4 miles on good trails. We will have volunteers on hand to help manage the group, and they can help you return to your car early if you need too.

Come wrapped up for the weather, bring a flask or snacks if you want too. Head torches with a red filter for star gazing ideal, but any torch is fine. There will be a stop around half way, or enjoy a warm drink when you've finished.

All welcome, we've had guests from 6 months to over 6 decades! Very young children may find it a bit scary if not used to being outside in the dark.

Booking essential
Wear clothes suitable for the weather and being outdoors
Head torches with a red filter for star gazing ideal, but any torch is fine

Full Details »

Nature's nightlife


Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre
16 February 2022

Join us for a magical guided evening walk through the forest. Listen out for owls, learn about the wildlife in the forest, experience the wonders of the night sky and finish with hot chocolate and marshmallows around a camp fire.
l
Please bring a torch and wear warm clothing and sturdy footwear.
All children must be accompanied by an adult
 

Full Details »

Breeze into the Forest


Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre
20 February 2022

Ladies, if you have a love for the outdoors, enjoy riding a bike and want a little bit of a challenge why not put these three together and come for a Breeze ride in the Forest. This is a women only ride and requires no particular skill, other than being able to ride a bike, as we will be riding along forest tracks. There are long gradual ascents and descents so a good standard of fitness and a bike with low gears and good brakes is beneficial. The main aim of the ride is to enjoy ourselves and with that in mind there is an ethos that we ride as fast as the slowest rider and no-one gets left behind. After the ride Siskins Café provides a lovely environment for a little “apres-ride” socialising while indulging in a bit of C&C (Coffee & Cake).

The ride is approx.. 5.7 miles riding on forest tracks with a very small section of road. Gravel or Mountain bikes and a helmet are essential. This is the Lake District so please come dressed for our wonderfully unpredictable weather, a spare change of clothing is advisable as the route can get wet and muddy. A drink and a snack is also worth carrying as your energy may drop during the ride along with a spare inner tube just in case!

The forest is a magical place full of wildlife and car free tracks. Exploring it on a bike is great fun, a great way to improve your level of fitness, cycling skills and meet new like-minded people so come along and give it a go.

We look forward to welcoming you on our ride


 

Full Details »

Dark skies festival - forest walk


Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre
25 February 2022

Join us as part of Cumbria's Dark Skies festival. Enjoy a walk through the forest as night draws in. We will hopefully see some stars, look for well known constellations and other features of the night sky. Star maps will be provided.

We will also experience the very different sounds and sights of the forest after dark.

The route is 3-4 miles on good trails. We will have volunteers on hand to help manage the group, and they can help you return to your car early if you need too.

Come wrapped up for the weather, bring a flask or snacks if you want too. Head torches with a red filter for star gazing ideal, but any torch is fine. There will be a stop around half way, or enjoy a warm drink when you've finished.

All welcome, we've had guests from 6 months to over 6 decades! Very young children may find it a bit scary if not used to being outside in the dark.

Booking essential
Wear clothes suitable for the weather and being outdoors
Head torches with a red filter for star gazing ideal, but any torch is fine

Full Details »

Your enquiry will be sent directly to Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre. Please fill in as much detail as you can.

Sorry, something went wrong.
Thank you. Your message has been sent!

To help us avoid spam, please answer the following question: