Orrest Head - the view that changed a young man's life

It was in 1930 that the 23 year old Alfred Wainwright first visited the Lake District from his home in Blackburn. Having alighted from the train at Windermere he climbed the path that starts just outside the station and goes to the viewpoint of Orrest Head.

Ex-Fellwanderer by A Wainwright

Many years later he wrote in his autobiographical Ex-Fellwanderer:

"...quite suddenly, we emerged from the trees and were on a bare headland, and, as though a curtain had dramatically been torn aside, beheld a truly magnificent view. ..."

So enchanted was he by the views of fells and lakes that they changed his life, and he in turn changed the lives of many others with his Pictorial Guides which quickly became synonymous with the Lake District.

Orrest Head is situated on the northern edge of Windermere not far from the railway station and the town centre. Its accessibility and position looking over Windermere with views into the heart of the fells ensures the little summit is always busy.

Our route here follows Wainwright's full walk in The Outlying Fells of Lakeland, of course from the viewpoint you could simply retrace your steps to return to Windermere.

There are at least 2 laybys close to the start of the walk with parking also available in Windermere, as well as being well served by public transport.