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Get free parking, discounts on events and much more with an annual Discovery Pass


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Explore Whinlatter
(Average user rating: 3 unrated 3/5)

Latest News (23/11/2015 16:01)

The Altura Trail South Loop is closed.  Repair work is continuing to improve drainage and carry out resurfacing.  The trail will be closed for approximately two months to make sure it is fully dried out but this does depend on weather conditions in the coming weeks.  Riding the trail too soon could cause more damage so we appreciate your patience.  Updates will appear here but you can continue to enjoy the Altura North Loop and the Quercus trail which are both fully open.

Whinlatter, England's only true Mountain Forest, is home to stunning views, fantastic walks, exhilarating mountain biking, rare wildlife and adventure play.

Forest web page 150x98pxStick Man is on his way........

Join him on his adventure at Whinlatter from December. Activity packs will be available from Visitor Information. Sign up to receive more information about Stick Man & Friends.

Super6webgraphicRide the Super 6

6 amazing forests in 6 breath-taking locations. Chopwell, Gisburn, Grizedale, Hamsterley, Kielder, Whinlatter are the Super 6! Grab your bike and discover our exhilarating trails!

A Segways tour through the forest. Segways at Whinlatter

As well as Tree Top Adventure, you are now able to experience Segways at Whinlatter. A great way to venture around this amazing mountainous forest. Book online with GoApe

Planning Your Visit

Useful information about our site to help you plan your visit to Whinlatter.

Walking trails

Whinlatter is a great place for walking with unrivalled views across Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater and Keswick and many miles of gravel roads, surfaced paths and tracks to explore.

Mountain bike trails

Whinlatter is home to the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District. The Altura Trail puts altitude into Mountain Biking by offering stunning views and a great single track trail which rises to 500m (1600ft) above Keswick and the northern lakes.

More things to do

Find out what other activities we have on offer all year round, for the highly adventurous to those seeking peace & tranquility around the forest.

Events at Whinlatter

Whinlatter has a programme of events throughout the year from family events run by the ranger team to large scale sporting events including adventure races, trail runs and car rallies.


The Friends of Whinlatter is a group of volunteers who work with the Whinlatter ranger team to help look after the forest. They get involved in different activities from mountain bike trail maintenance and squirrel surveying to tree planting and dry stone walling.

Wildife at Whinlatter

Whinlatter is home to a host of wonderful wildlife, from red squrriels who live amongst our mature conifer trees to the Bassenthwaite Ospreys who nest near the forest from April to August. Watch these amazing birds of prey from the live nest camera or visit the Lake District Osprey Project.


We would like everyone to enjoy Whinlatter and pride ourselves on being a site that has excellent facilities and access. For help planning your visit please go to our access page.

Ramorum disease of Larch trees in Cumbria

Larch trees in Cumbria, including the Lake District, are being affected by the destructive Ramorum disease.
For further information, including what you can do to help, visit our Ramorum in Cumbria page

Go Ape. UK’s No.1 Forest Adventure Enjoy two to three hours of adventure high above the forest floor, taking on Zip Wires, Tarzan Swings and a variety of Crossings.
Take a look and book at our Go Ape page.

What do other visitors say?

Did the blue trail in the rain yesterday it's very short by other trail centre standards. Would give dine it again but being soaked to the skin put us off so we visited the cafe instead.

As others have said the car parking is expensive. I thought salty was bad at 7 but at least they drop it to 4 in the winter months.

I have a discovery pass but it only covers Sherwood pines. I would pay a little more to have one that covers all FC centres.

Richard, 12/Nov/2015
1 Star 1 Star

Sorry, but I'm absolutely disgusted. As a resident of Cockermouth I have been using and enjoying Whinlatter for many years. This morning I took my two year old for a walk on the Gruffalo trail, but turned back after it started raining.

Using the new car park paying system, I was charged 2 for what can't have been anymore than half an hour on the site. How is 2 for half an hour justifiable? I feel utterly ripped off. Robbed. Surely that can't be right.

It's a real shame as I will not be using Whinlatter again. It's a fantastic, even special, place, but not at the expense of being/feeling ripped off.

I would appreciate a reply justifying, or not, how 2 reflects 30 minutes of use.

Many thanks.

Richard, 8/Nov/2015

We work hard to try and provide facilities for everyone to enjoy the forest and we do rely on the support of our visitors to manage and maintain the facilities that we provide. The Forestry Commission is non-profit making and the revenue we receive from car parking goes directly towards maintaining and improving the high standard and wide range of facilities available to visitors. I’m sorry you were unhappy with the parking charges but we do believe that the new parking system offers more flexibility and better value for our visitors, as you now pay for the time spent on site rather than needing to purchase a block of time on arrival. We have changed the charging structure so that visitors can now stay for up to 20 mins free of charge. The first hour then has a flat rate of 2. Any additional time is then 45p per 20 mins. So I think it sounds like you had just run over the 20 mins free time on the day of your visit. I do hope you will continue to visit end enjoy the facilities we provide. If you’re a regular visitor you might like to consider buying a Discovery Pass which would provide you with year-round parking as well as a wide range of discounts and other benefits. Go to for more details.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

We hugely enjoyed our family visit to the car rally today, accessible for people of all ages. It was nice to see groups of people enjoying this once a year fun car event. The organisers were friendly and guided us carefully into designated safety spectating areas. Great lunch in local pub, a fantastic family day out despite the wet weather.

Mr Nichol, 7/Nov/2015
More user comments

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Last updated: 11/19/2015

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What's Here?

  • Mountain biking
  • Educational
  • Picnic
  • Visitor centre
  • Toliets
  • Cafe
  • Siskins Cafe
  • Cycling
  • 2 Mountain Bike trails, 7.5km and 19km long
  • Cycling Hire
  • Cycle hire available onsite from Cyclewise
  • Orienteering
  • Orienteering maps available from the Visitor Centre
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • Park With Ease (see 'Useful Sites' below for website address)
    Up to 20 mins - Free
    1st Hour - 2
    Additional time - 45p per 20 mins
    All Day - 8.00
  • Play area
  • Unique WildPlay trail opened in Spring 2011.
  • Shop
  • Rheged@Whinlatter Forest Shop
  • Walking
  • Wide range of waymarked walking trails and children's trails
  • Viewpoint
  • Spectacular views of the Lake District Mountains, Keswick and Bassenthwaite lake.
  • Wildlife
  • Osprey nest live video camera from April to August
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NY209245
Postcode: CA12 5TW

Get directions


Recreation Ranger
01768 778469

Opening & Parking

Opening Times:
Visitor Information & Exhibition Centre
Cafe & Shop have varying hours, please ring for details.
Park With Ease (see 'Useful Sites' below for website address)
Up to 20 mins - Free
1st Hour - 2
Additional time - 45p per 20 mins
All Day - 8.00
Discovery Pass
20 Dodd
45 Whinlatter
55 Whinlatter & Grizedale

Related documents

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedenjoy England quality assured visitor attractionForest Stewardship Council certified