A few miles north of Keswick is Dodd Wood, an area of woodland managed by the Forestry Commission, where you'll find a network of waymarked trails through some huge Douglas firs. The routes range from short trails of 1 and 1.5 miles ideal for younger children to the longer and steeper Dodd summit trail. If you follow the track up to the top of Dodd you'll be rewarded with fabulous 360 degree views.
What to Do Here
You could easily spend a full day out at Dodd Wood. In addition to the walking trails the Forestry Commission have created special viewpoints to watch the Ospreys during the season (April to August). Dodd Wood is also a great place to view red squirrels as there is a feeding station at the Osprey viewpoint.
Don't miss a visit Mirehouse and Gardens, (open April -Oct) the family home of the Speddings just over the road from the Dodd Wood car park. The historic house and its grounds are wonderful to explore. There are natural playgrounds, a lakeside walk to the shores of Bassenthwaite, terraced lawns, a bee garden and a heather maze.
Download Forestry Commission Dodd Wood walking leaflet
Dodd Wood Summit Trail
Distance - 3 miles
The Dodd Wood Summit Trail is only a little over three miles but don't be fooled by the short distance as the first part of the walk takes you quite steeply uphill. The waymarked route takes you along forest paths and past waterfalls and streams with glimpses through the trees of Bassenthwaite Lake. As you round the corner you come to a magnificent panorama over Keswick and Derwentwater and a welcome bench on which to catch your breath and enjoy the view. From there it's not far to the summit from where there are 360deg views towards Keswick, Derwentwater and the surrounding fells, over Bassenthwaite Lake and on a clear day to the Solway Firth and the hills of Dumfries and Galloway.