If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise! The northern Lake District is home to lovely green forests and ancient woodlands. Take shade under the tree canopy and explore these leafy locations on your summer stay at the Pheasant Inn:
Whinlatter holds the title of England’s only mountain forest and it’s packed with outdoor activities. On foot, the forest has a range of walking trails leading up to viewpoints of Bassenthwaite and Derwentwater, Grisedale Pike and Skiddaw, or join walkers and joggers on the Whinlatter Forest 5km Parkrun every Saturday morning at 9am. The area has two challenging mountain bike trails, Altura or Quercus, taking riders off-road and up the fell with flashes of stunning scenery along the way. Whinlatter’s visitor centre and facilities are run by the Forestry Commission and there's a great calendar of events including dawn Osprey walks, moth identification workshops and Nordic walking classes throughout the year.
Dodd Wood, Bassenthwaite
Dodd Wood is our closest forest, on the east shore of Bassenthwaite Lake. Its trees were planted in 1790 by Thomas Storey, original owner of the historic Mirehouse, and the Forestry Commission still leases the site from Mirehouse today. Dodd Wood has lots of walking trails for all abilities dotted with picnic spots and viewpoints of Bassenthwaite Lake - on a clear day, the views stretch as far as Dumfries & Galloway. The woodland is home to the Lake District Osprey Project, where visitors can see the rare and beautiful birds guarding their nest and fishing from the lake.
Lanthwaite Wood, Cockermouth
This woodland near Cockermouth forms part of a beautiful walk via Crummock Water ending in spectacular views of the Buttermere fells and Grasmoor End. Park at the National Trust car park and pick up the trail – keep an eye out for the woods’ resident red squirrels!
Great Wood and Cockshot Wood, Keswick
We are spoilt for choice when it comes to local woods! Great Wood and Cockshot wood lie to the south of Keswick with seven National Trust trails through the forest and along the shores of Derwentwater. The woodlands rise up to Walla Crag; tread the gentle walk to the top stopping for photos at the famous Ashness Bridge and marvel at the summit’s beautiful views. A longer walk starting from Great Wood takes you through the Atlantic Oakwoods – woodlands of such scientific interest that they’re considered England’s version of rainforests.
Grizedale Forest, Hawkeshead
Grizedale is further afield than our neighbouring forests, but it’s well worth the journey to the south Lakes. The woods are well positioned between Coniston and Windermere lakes so every walking trail has lovely views of the waters and mountains. Grizedale is one for the art lovers as it’s the UK’s first forest for sculpture - international artists have been creating sculptures for Grizedale since 1977 and current highlights include the ‘Inspired by Nature’ exhibition of works crafted from pine needles, marble, bronze and wood. Grizedale’s also got its fair share of mountain bike and cycle-trails, Segway routes run by Go Ape and dog friendly walks.
And don’t forget our pretty beer garden is perched on the edge of a sloping wood, with lots of birds and wildlife to spot while you enjoy a drink in the sunshine.