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Explore Whinlatter
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.7/5)

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

Stick Man gamesStick Man Games

Enjoy a summer of sport with the Stick Man Games! Race Stick Man at one of our sports day events, have fun in our activity arenas, or host your own games with an activity pack.

Nordic Walking. Wendover WoodsTry a new sport!

Join a free Nordic Walking taster session here in the forest. Find out just how beneficial Nordic walking is for your fitness, and how it is far more than just walking with poles!

Gruffalo play in winter Gruffalo Orienteering

Join us for our new Gruffalo Orienteering Trail! Buy a map for £1.50 from the Information Point to start your adventure. Be careful not to wake the sleeping Gruffalo's Child on your way... 

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.

Go Ape Tree Top Adventure  

Enjoy two to three hours of adventure high above the forest floor! Fly down zip-wires, leap off tarzan swings and tackle a variety of obstacles whilst enjoying breathtaking scenery. Min age 10yrs and min height 1.4m. For more information and to book visit Go Ape Tree Top Adventure.

Go Ape Forest Segway

Get off the beaten track on board an all-terrain forest segway – Go Ape’s epic forest adventure with a down-to-earth twist. It’s a totally unique way to tackle our trails. Min age 10yrs and min weight 7 Stone. For more information and to book visit Go Ape Forest Segway.

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

What do other visitors say?

5 Stars 5 Stars

Had a wonderful day at Whinlatter. Unfortunately my son lost 'Mr. Snuggles' his comfort blanket which he loves. After getting home to Kent, I called Whinlatter and spoke to Kath who very kindly agreed to send him back to us. Mr Snuggles has arrived safe and well. Thank you so much!

Natalie Clark, 1/Jun/2016

Great to hear you enjoyed your day at Whinlatter and glad that you've been reunited with Mr Snuggles!

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

I love visiting Whinlatter, the place is an incredibly beautiful part of the Lake District. However, I do find that the map of the forest and the signage on the footpaths really quite poor. Unless the footpath is part of the coloured routes it is not shown on the map and even some of the larger footpaths/service roads are not shown on the map, an example would be the path from No.24 post to No.23. The height contours are also very difficult to make out on the map. But perhaps my biggest gripe would be the lack of "Finger Posts" or signage in the forest, mainly remote from the visitor centre area, showing the destination of the path you are taking, whether it be towards the next marker post or named location. These are minor niggles and otherwise I would give Whinnlatter Forest 5 stars. If you park at one of the outlying "free car parks" it is possibly the best value-for-money family day out in the Lake District - something that is strangely is failed to be mentioned in the publicity! I must also mention the cafe - which is excellent too! (But please get some more OL4 Ordnance Survey maps, (the local area), you have been out of stock of these for a while now!!! Notwithstanding my "niggles" Whinlatter is an amazing place!

Ian, 17/Apr/2016

Thanks very much for sending us your comments. Some of the forest tracks you mention are old timber extraction routes that are now overgrown and lead to dead ends, so were removed from our trail map. This map is designed for visitors that aren’t confident navigators and to provide some back up to the waymarked routes, with some of the ‘clutter’ of an OS map removed. The path between posts 24 and 23 leads to a deteriorating peat section which we would rather not encourage too many people to use so it was decided not to include this on the map. These are still rights of way so more experienced walkers with an OS map are still able to access these. We will speak to the shop about getting more OL4s in stock! We will investigate the suggestions you’ve made about signage to see if things could be made clearer. We generally try to limit the quantity of signage further from the Visitor Centre as it can spoil the natural feel of exploring the wider forest, although we do appreciate there is a balance to be struck to ensure easy route-finding. We hope that you continue to enjoy visiting the forest, and the café!

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

I like to visit several times a year. Whinlatter is by far the best trail centre in the country. I really appreciate the excellent maintenance of the trails, and am quite happy to pay the reasonable parking fee that is obviously necessary to pay for this. The 'Park with Ease' is such a good system - you need never worry about a ticket if you suffer a mechanical at the furthest point of the trail. I just wish all other trail centres would follow Whinlatter's example. Keep up the excellent work guys.

Anonymous, 6/Apr/2016
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

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Last updated: 29th June 2016

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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

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.