Bowness, Cumbria – 25th February 2024

Strenuous Leader :  Paul                     Distance : 9 miles  725ft ascent

Orrest Head is where in 1930, a 23 yr Alfred Wainwright first set eyes on the Lakeland fells, fell in love with them and devoted the rest of his life to getting to know them and to generously share what he found with the world. This walk, weather permitting, will afford us a glimpse of the same beautiful views

that first so enamoured AW.

We will follow the shore from the Bowness Ferry Nab landing stages North to Rayrigg Meadow Bay , continuing through Rayrigg Woods to Queen Adelaide’s Hill – our first stunning viewpoint. From there we will go East then North to Orrest Head our second viewpoint to the Langdales. From here we will loop around to descend and pick up the road back into Bowness.

Leisurely Leader:  David                                      Distance : 7 miles

We start with a leisurely stroll from the coach drop off to Cockshot Point admiring the boats in the boat yard. We then make are way back into Bowness and head for Brant Fell. This is an assent, but we will take it slowly resting when we need to. After admiring the views from this point, we make are way to School Knott. We then make are way to Cleabarrow and back to Bowness. We will encounter a few styles and lots of gates the terrain will probably be muddy and maybe windy on top of Brant Fell and School Knott.

Easy Leader:  Jackie                                            Distance: 5 miles

The Easy walkers will leave the coach in Windermere, so will all passengers intending to do the easy walk please be ready to alight the coach – boots on and bags with them on the coach – as the coach may not be able to stop for long. Thank you.

At Windermere we should be able to use the toilets in Booths, and (if it’s not too busy/not too many of us) we will have time for refreshments before we set off.

After a short time walking through the streets of Windermere, we pick up a bridleway which heads south past Pinethwaite and Cleabarrow to pick up the Dales Way passing Low House Farm, Matson Ground and down into Bowness.

After the street walking, tracks and footpaths all the way. Could be muddy, but shouldn’t be too bad underfoot. Some moderate ups and downs.


Bowness-on-Windermere is a town and former civil parish, now in the parish of Windermere and Bowness, in the Westmorland and Furness district, in the ceremonial county of Cumbria, England. It lies next to Windermere lake and the town of Windermere to the north east and within the Lake District National Park. The town was historically part of the county of Westmorland and is also forms an urban area with Windermere.

The town’s ancient parish church of St Martin was built in 1483 but of an older foundation. The former rectory is said to have been built in 1415.

A grammar school was founded in about 1600. A new building was opened in 1836, funded by local landowner John Bolton of Storrs Hall. The foundation stone was laid by William Wordsworth.

During the 19th century, Bowness grew from a small fishing village to a town living almost entirely off tourism and holiday homes. It was the centre of the boat-building industry that provided the sailing yachts, rowing boats and steam launches used on the lake. A large number of hotels and boarding houses gave employment to the permanent population of the town. Queen Adelaide visited Bowness in 1840, staying at the Royal Hotel.  The arrival of the railway in 1847 in Windermere (the residents of Bowness had opposed a station in their own town) provided much of the momentum for the growth.

Bowness-on-Windermere became a civil parish in 1894 and an urban district council was formed for the town at the same time. In 1905, the council merged with that of Windermere, and the two civil parishes merged on 1 April 1974 under the name of Windermere. The civil parish of Windermere is governed by a town council, Windermere and Bowness Town Council.

Readers of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series of books will recognise Bowness as the lakeside town of ‘Rio’. The collection at the Windermere Steamboat Museum on Rayrigg Road includes TSSY Esperance, 1869; one of the iron steamboats on which Ransome modelled Captain Flint’s houseboat. Bowness-on-Windermere is also home to The World of Beatrix Potter attraction, opened in July 1991 by Victoria Wood.