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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.

We are thinning out some of the trees to allow others more room to grow. The Red (Skill Beck) and Green (Dodd Summit) Trails are diverted for your safety, please follow the arrows.

Please download the harvesting information map for full details.

Please stay clear of the felling area and look out for timber lorries. Thank You.

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

I visited Dodd Wood and climbed the summit trail as a 7 year old 41 years ago with my parents and siblings. It triggered a lifelong love of fell walking. 41 years later and 20odd years since my last visit I took my family including five year old son to the summit in perfect weather. The Forestry Commission do a great job with the Dodd - many thanks to them and their diligence.

Andrew Fitton, 2/Oct/2016

Is the path buggy friendly thanks

Joanne, 30/May/2016

The trails have gravel or earth surfaces with some sections that will be more uneven with some larger stones, there are also steep inclines and some narrow footbridges so we wouldn't describe them as accessible for buggies. If you have an off road buggy and are prepared for some manoeuvring then the trails to the osprey viewpoints would be manageable. If you'd like more detailed advice please call us on 017687 78469.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Some of the posts with coloured arrows on are extremely confusing. They certainly don't make it obvious which direction to take. We spoke to another couple who were also confused on which path to take

H lambert, 22/Apr/2016

Thanks for your feedback. We will ask the ranger team to investigate and look into improving the signage, especially where the trails are diverted following winter storm damage. You can also pick up a free map from the tearoom or the dispensers on the toilet block. Hope you will visit again soon.

Forestry Commission Response
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Last updated: 15th February 2017

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What's Here?

  • Cafe
  • Picnic
  • Walking
  • Toliets
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • 1.5 hours 1.80
    2 hours 2.80
    4 hours 4.90
    All day 6.30
    Minibus/coach 10.00
    Disabled badge holders Free
  • 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 1.80
2 hours 2.80
4 hours 4.90
All day 6.30
Minibus/coach 10.00
Disabled badge holders Free
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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.