Discovery Pass

Discover the
freedom of
the forest…
every day of the year…

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


The ultimate free guide to our forests

Forest Xplorer running on iPhone and Android devices
Whinlatter Slide Whinlatter Slide Whinlatter Slide Whinlatter Slide Whinlatter Slide Whinlatter Slide

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

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

riding through the trees on the Quercus mountain bike trail at WhinlatterMountain Bike Trail Update

All work has been completed and all bike trails are fully open.  Thanks for your patience during the closures to carry out maintenance work.

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

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

Rheged Forest shop stock a varied range of 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

We visited on the 7th April and loved it. Did a fairly easy walk as I have been ill recently with a back problem & really did me the power of good! Called in at the cafe for food & staff and service excellent, as was the food. We also sat and watched the osprey cam. and the lady gave us lots of information about the osprey & was very clued up. We had a very nice day here and can't wait to come back when hopefully I can take on a more challenging walk!!

Anonymous, 10/May/2015

Hi, is the gruffalo sculpture present all year round? We are hoping to visit in early May.

Many thanks

Anonymous, 8/Apr/2015

Hi, Yes, the Gruffalo is here to stay! He's just had a makeover so is back in tip top condition. You can follow a waymarked trail of 1.2 miles from the Visitor Centre which is a little hilly but suitable for pushchairs. You can pick up spotter sheets from Visitor Information to keep your little ones occupied on the walk. We've also got a Superworm activity trail in the forest available through to October. Please call Visitor Information on 017687 78469 if you'd like any more help planning your visit.

Forestry Commission Response

After visiting Coed y Brenin, Grizedale, Cannock chase, Forest of Dean and more we expected similar from Whinlatter. The shop was nice with helpful staff. The parking was good and easy. The play and discovery areas were excellent.

The cafe however.... it was no more busy as I have seen any of the other centres cafe however as it appeared totally dis-organised we were in for a full hour long wait for a baked spud, panini and salad... the staff were cueing to use the til to ring orders through causing a cue right around the cafe... there were piles of finished with trays and plates waiting to be cleared when they were they were only piled up at the serving hatch...when our food did arrive it was wrong. Great centre. Good trails. Just give the cafe a miss drive down to Keswick for lunch you will be eating quicker!

Anonymous, 6/Apr/2015
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry or would like a reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown
Please help us reduce the amount of spam we receive by entering the following characters in upper or lower case without the quotes into the box below: "6PZ"

Be a forest hero

Get the latest news, information & offers

Sign up for our emails

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
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