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Explore Whinlatter
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.4/5)

Latest News (27/03/2015 15:22)

MTB Trail Update! The Quercus (BLue) Trail will re-open on Saturday 28th March but with some diversions. Please follow all advisory and warning signs. A free updated route map for the Quercus Trail is available from Visitor Information and Cyclewise.

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

close up of a mountain bike on the Quercus mountain bike trail at WhinlatterMountain Bike Trail Updates

Temporary divversions are in place while we carry out tree felling, drainage improvements and maintenance work. Visit our mountain biking page for details.

family enjoying the view from the blue walking trail at Whinlatter forestWin a Discovery Pass

Complete our online survey for the chance to win a Discovery Pass, giving you free parking for a whole year!Your money helps us to look after our forest. We couldn't do it without you.

SuperwormSuperworm is here!

Join Superworm on his forest adventure! Take part in our self-led Superworm activity trail here at Whinlatter from March to October.
Sign up here for more info

Love Forests logoVolunteering at Whinlatter

Get involved and make a difference in your local forest through our new Volunteering Project "Love Whinlatter Forest". Sign up to be a Guided Walks Volunteer or Visitor Experience Volunteer.

Mountain bike trails

Details of current trail closures can be found here along with detailed inforamtion on each route.

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. 

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.


Whinlatter WildPlay trail is a unique play trail for children, with 9 different play zones to explore through the trees. 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.

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. And of course, visiting the forest through the year gives you a host of different sights and sounds, from the changing colours of the trees, to the different wildlife you can see.

Food and drink

Siskins Café offers a fabulous range of freshly prepared home cooked food. There's a huge variety of sandwiches and toasted paninis, jacket potatoes and soups.

Rheged at Whinlatter

The new Rheged Whinlatter shop is now open selling toys, art and craft, artisan food, outdoor accessories and great gift ideas. Open every day from 10am. Find out more or call 017687 78767.

Wonderful wildlife

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.


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.

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?

5 Stars 5 Stars

The trail route was brilliant and the boy loved meeting The Gruffalo.

Only downside was being harassed immediately upon entering the caf after our trip about putting our pushchair down. We had literally just stepped in the place when the guy was on our back.

Other than that we really enjoyed it.

Anonymous, 9/Mar/2015

Thanks for taking the time to let us know about your visit. We take the service provided by our onsite businesses very seriously and will ensure the issue you have raised is addressed. If you enjoyed the Gruffalo trail, you might like to visit us again to try out our new Superworm activity trail, starting on 13th March.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

We were at whinlatter forest on Saturday 28th February, the last day of the gruffalo trail and had an absolutely fantastic day out with the family. But unfortunately our 2 year old son lost his toy gruffalo :-( and is very upset about being parted from his wee pal as are we.

... by any chance did some kind citizen happen to stumble across it and hand it in?

Gill mcquade, 1/Mar/2015

I'm afraid no lost Gruffalos have emerged from the woods but we will keep our eyes peeled when we're out in the forest and be in touch if he turns up. Glad to hear you had fun on the trail, you might like our new Superworm trail that starts on Friday 13 March.

Forestry Commission Response

Hi we have a holiday booked in the lakes from the 27th december 2015 until 3rd january 2016 just wondering what activities would be available then?

my grandsons would love the go ape,they are 16 15 and 13 years old.

thank you ann

ann, 22/Feb/2015

Our GoApe course closes every winter so unfortunately won't be available at the time of your visit. However, we have great mountain biking routes and walking trails that are open all year round. Cyclewise are our onsite bike shop and offer bike hire as well as skills training sessions. Cyclewise are closed on 1 Jan. Maps for biking and walking are available to download from the links on the right of this web page. If you'd like any further help planning your visit please call Visitor Information on 017687 78469.

Forestry Commission Response
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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)
  • 1 hour 1.70
    2 hours 3.40
    4 hours 5.60
    All day 7.30
    Coach/Minibus 10.00
  • 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.
1 hour 1.70
2 hours 3.40
4 hours 5.60
All day 7.30
Coach/Minibus 10.00
Discovery Pass
20 Dodd
40 Whinlatter
50 Whinlatter & Grizedale

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