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Explore Whinlatter
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.8/5)

Latest News (21/09/2018 09:56)

Noble Knott car park and trails are currently closed due to storm damage.

Roadworks starting 10 September for 12 weeks, to repair damage to the road caused by Storm Desmond in 2015.  Access from Braithwaite will be closed, please follow diversions signs to access Whinlatter from the Cockermouth side. Access for pedestrians and cyclists is possible from Braithwaite via a temproary footbridge.


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

Runners training on a forest trail.Active Forest Survey

Please tell us what physical activity you've recently done in the forest in our short survey. As a thank you we'll enter you into a prize draw for the chance to win £200 of Cotswold Outdoor vouchers.

Runner Join in with parkrun!

Whinlatter Forest parkrun is every Saturday at 9AM. Meeting outside Cyclewise, run, jog or walk the 5km route and get your Saturday off to a fantastic start! Visit Whinlatter Forest parkrun website for more information.

Highway Rat Activity Trail

Highway RatThe Highway Rat is the latest Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book being brought to life at Whinlatter. Head on a journey with the Highway Rat and all the characters from the story. Packs are avaliable from the visitor centre for just £3. 


NEW! Tramper available to hire

 Less able couple making use of a Tramper to get around the forest trails.To hire the tramper you need to be a member of Lake District Mobility (£10 for the year), and once you are a member, it is free to hire the Tramper. You can fill out the form on your first visit - full details on Lake District Mobility website.
There are 2 slots every day - 10am-12pm or 1pm-3pm. It is advisable to call in advance to book a slot (017687 78469). 

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?

Do you still have the big badger set for kids to walk through? I'm brining my nephews next month and would like to get them excited about it. Thanks

Anonymous, 26/Jun/2017

I'm afraid the badger sett was removed in 2008. However, we have lots of other things to excite your nephews! Our WildPlay trail is a unique play trail for children, with 9 different play zones to explore through the trees. Our Gruffalo Spotter trail is a great way to explore the forest and the exciting augmented reality app brings the characters to life in the forest. Download the free Gruffalo Spotter app at home before you visit, our wi-fi at the Visitor Centre can be a bit slow! Along the trail you'll also find giant wooden sculptures of the Gruffalo's child and the Gruffalo. Depending on the age of your nephews we have other options which may also be of interest, if you'd like any help planning your visit please contact us in the Visitor Centre, or call 017687 78469.

Forestry Commission Response

HI, I was on the North Loop yesterday and I have lost my sunglasses. I am pretty sure I took them off half way round the route and forgot to pick them up - I was wondering if they have been handed in?

Many thanks

Paul Hartley, 5/Jun/2017

We have a few in lost property, if you could call the visitor centre with a description of your glasses we will have a look for you.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

how long as the fc owned this site? and what total area is it?

Anonymous, 10/May/2017

The Forestry Commission was formed in 1919, in response to a timber shortage following World War 1. Whinlatter was one of the first sites acquired by the newly formed FC, the first trees were planted in 1920. The forest covers 1500 hectares/approx. 5 square miles.

Forestry Commission Response
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Last updated: 21st September 2018

Help us take care of your forest

What's Here?

  • Mountain biking
  • 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
  • Easy Access
  • Tramper available to hire. Go to for details
  • Educational
  • Tramper available to hire. Go to for details
  • 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.
  • 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 Centre
10am - 4pm daily
Siskins café
10am-4pm daily
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.