Orrest Head – What’s that?

It’s in Windermere? Really?

Is it a Wainwright?

No. Oh okay, well it mustn’t be worth walking up then.
(Typical dialogue of a tourist who claims to be an avid walker)

Disclosure here: To be an ‘avid walker’ one does not only need to solely climb peaks over 900m.

Just because it’s not reached the acclaim of being denoted as a Wainwright, does not mean it is any less worthy to be walked up. (I think I should perhaps consider writing a series here as I’m starting to notice a pattern of writing about not popular walks that have a summit below 300m)

Orrest Head is the one of the best local viewpoints over (Lake) Windermere, which can be reached by following the signs from Windermere town.  The path to Orrest Head is very well trodden and I would like to say, having walked and run many different ways up there, that it is nigh on impossible to get lost. However, I wouldn’t hesitate to mention that if you have a dog whom has a particular nose for sheep to keep them on a lead at the top because there are sheep in the surrounding fields. Being a keen dog walker during my time at school I found this out the hard way trying to catch a Labrador at the top of Orrest Head who was simply having the time of his life, although, much to my anxiety’s expense as I feared he may not return!

orrest head

It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk to the top of Orrest Head and at the top there’s a brilliant map engraved onto a rather nice piece of slate (don’t ask me when this appeared) of the different mountains that lie, or rather stand, behind (Lake) Windermere – I shan’t be sharing the map on here to hopefully provide you with an incentive to go and check it out yourself. In theory where the mountains are on the map, if you look directly up you can identify them in the distance – it is probably helpful for me to disclose here that the first time I tried to do this I quite frankly was very confused. It was only later when my friend pointed the various hills out to me that I could see the resemblance to the map; therefore I have come to the conclusion not to take hill spotting especially seriously. It’s just not worth it.

(NB: Windermere is the town up the hill above Bowness, which is the town by the Lake where you will find the Lake Cruisers and boats for hire.)

Whether you’re here for the week or just a weekend, Orrest Head is definitely worth the walk. If you’re feeling inspired and looking for some more detailed directions because you are actually in fact going to walk up Orrest Head my personal favourite is this.


The pictures alongside the directions ensure it is virtually impossible to get lost.