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Towering high above Bassenthwaite Lake, Dodd Wood provides unrivalled views from Derwent Water to the south and to the hills of Dumfries and Galloway. These are especially enjoyed by those prepared to make the journey to the summit.

Walking trails

 Dodd Wood offers attractive and varied waymarked trails from a central carpark with picnic areas and toilets.

Dodd Summit trail 4.75km (3 miles) Allow 3 hours

Sandbed Gill trail 2.5 km (1.5 miles) Allow 2 hours

Skill Beck trail 2.5km (1.5 miles) Allow 2 hours

Douglas Fir trail 1.5km (1 mile) Allow 1 hour

Wonderful Wildlife

In the spring each year Dodd Wood becomes the focus of attention for bird lovers waiting for the arrival of the Bassenthwaite Ospreys who can be seen from viewpoints in the forest. 

The lower viewpoint is open April to September between 10am and 5pm daily, and it is suggested that all visitors should make their way here first.  From this viewpoint excellent views of the ospreys fishing over the lake can be seen, as well as the resident red squirrels, and a host of woodland birds.  On visiting the lower viewpoint, the staff and volunteers will give you the information you require to get you safely to the upper viewpoint.

Over the course of most days the Ospreys can be seen fishing, sitting, feeding, flying and washing. High powered telescopes and binoculars are provided but by all means bring your own.


Food and drink

The Old Sawmill tearoom stands beside the car-park. The tearoom specialises in homemade Cumbrian cooking.

Cakes, scones, sandwiches, soups and hot dishes are made on the premises. Among the favourites are:

The Old Sawmill Special (a large Cumberland sausage in a roll with apple sauce served with salads), welsh rarebit muffin, luscious lemon cake, date slice and warm sticky gingerbread with rum butter and cream.

The tearoom was originally a working sawmill until 1970 and it was converted to its present use in 1981. The history of the building and the area is outlined on the walls of the tearoom along with a display of old photographs and forest tools.

In summer the cafe is open daily from 10am until 5pm.
In winter the cafe is closed from early December until early February. 
Please call for more information, 017687 74317.


Opposite the car park is the entrance to Mirehouse. Set in beautifull grounds it was once the home of James Spedding, a noted literary figure of the nineteenth century. Still in the Spedding family, the house is delightfully unspoilt and harks back to the heyday of the English country manor house. Open from April to October tickets are available from the tearoom

What do other visitors say?

5 Stars 5 Stars

Me and my dog buster walked to the summit on Wednesday 05/11/2014 and what a great day we had. For a mild day in November it was so quite yet the people I seen were so polite and happy. To the forestry commission people there is a part of the path near the summit that is flooded and people have had to walk around it. It may need fixing. I give this lovely place 100% for its wildlife and forest and staff

Alan Day, 6/Nov/2014

Very glad to hear you had such an enjoyable walk. Many thanks for the feedback on the trail condition, which we have passed on to the forest ranger.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Great walk and not too difficult. Amazing views when you reach the summit

Anonymous, 20/May/2012
5 Stars 5 Stars

Brilliant...just spent three mornings there photographing red squirrels...great trail up to the osprey viewing site, too, lovely stream that's also well worth photographing at several points

Iain Fazackerley, 30/Mar/2012

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What's Here?

  • Cafe
  • Picnic
  • Walking
  • Toliets
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • 1.5 hours 1.70
    2 hours 2.70
    4 hours 4.80
    All day 6.10
    Minibus/coach 9.50
  • Wildlife
  • Osprey Watch - Public Viewing of the first breeding wild ospreys in England for 150 years. Open April to August annually
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NY240275

Get directions


Recreation Ranger
01768 778469

Opening & Parking

1.5 hours 1.70
2 hours 2.70
4 hours 4.80
All day 6.10
Minibus/coach 9.50
Discovery Pass
20 for year round free parking and other benefits

Related documents

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified