Lake District Love Letters #6: Orrest Head

A relatively modest fell, standing only 784 ft above sea level, Orrest Head is certainly worth the 20-minute climb from Windermere Railway station, for the extensive views it provides over the head of Windermere and the surrounding higher fells.

When is a Wainwright not a Wainwright?

Orrest Head was in fact the first fell climbed by A. Wainwright, and it is included in his book The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. Ironically, as it lies below 1000 ft, it would not be included in the list of ‘Wainwrights’ which present-day hikers set out to ‘conquer.’ I still contest that Wainwright himself would be horrified by the idea of ‘peak bagging.’ He was so beloved of these fells that he would spend weeks and months studying the routes up to a single summit. Now that’s what I call a lifelong love affair…

The route to the summit

Ascent of Orrest Head couldn’t be easier: it’s clearly signposted (on the other side of the A591 from the Railway Station), on a well-marked path throughout, and is even wheelchair-accessible by the marked route. It may leave you a little out of breath if you are out of practice, but the rewards more than outweigh the effort of the climb. It is suitable for children, presenting no technical difficulty or danger.

The view

Rather than talk you through it, let me show you around…

You may even meet a Gruffalo! (The one without the orange eyes…)

I hope you enjoyed this Lake District Love Letter. You can find more images from Orrest Head at Instagram. Stay tuned for more, as my travels continue!

36 thoughts on “Lake District Love Letters #6: Orrest Head

Add yours

  1. Ingrid, this REALLY brings back memories. This is the first Fell we ever climbed on the first camping holiday we ever had. I will never forget this particular climb.

  2. Beautiful, Ingrid! I can see why you love this area so much.
    I didn’t know about “peak bagging.” Some people will turn anything into a competition instead of just enjoying what’s there.

  3. How beautiful it is! The topography reminds me of the Okanagan area where I grew up, rolling hills………

  4. Your photos are lovely. It is interesting to read about climbing the mountains. It must be like walking and climbing through a landscape coloured with Derwent pencils.

      1. In Australia anyway. When I was a kid you could buy them individually. I could buy one a week with my pocket money. It was pre decimal. I think they cost one shilling.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: