Townend Walking Trail
Craig Manor Lake District Walking Route: Craig Manor to Townend
Trail description: Discover classic lakeside scenery, quaint farmland and inspiring architecture on this beautiful circular walk from Windermere to Troutbeck Valley.
Trail Notes: This is a moderately challenging route that will take you on a journey from Windermere to the Townend 17th century farmhouse in Troutbeck, with picturesque views of the surrounding valley. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s an optional route (see directions) back to Windermere.
Time: 2 hours+
Distance: 7.0 miles (11.27km)
1) Upon leaving Craig Manor turn left, heading in a southeast direction on Lake Road. Follow the footpath along the main road and you’ll soon see signs for a nearby school. Make your way up the gentle slope past several village landmarks, including a 15th century historic church. After 3 miles (approx. 6 minutes) the path splits with a clock tower marking the divide. Keep to the left of the clock tower
2) Continue straight along Lake Road until you reach Ellerthwaite Square in Windermere, where the road opens up. The village is filled with unique cafes and coffee shops, making it the perfect place to stop for refreshments. Here the road separates with the option to take a slight left turn. Take the turn onto Main Road and follow the route past the village centre. At the junction at the very top of Main Road, turn left onto the road marked Keswick A591.
3) Continue along the winding road for 1.3 miles (approx. 23 minutes), you’ll see a green sign with directions to Ambleside, Grasmere and Keswick. Follow these straight ahead and a little further down the road you’ll reach a mini roundabout. Carefully make your way to the central crossing point and continue north towards Troutbeck.
4) The final leg of the journey is marked by a right turn directly after the Royal Mail building. Take the right turn and continue up the much steeper road towards Townend. This is a national speed limit road so do keep tight to the wall. From here, it is a steep 12 minute climb to your destination. However, the hilltop views of Windermere and the personal tour around Townend are well worth the climb.
Optional extra – For the return journey, you can either retrace your steps back to the hotel, or you could try our alternative route. This is a much longer (approx. 1 hour, 32 minutes), challenging descent to Craig Manor with a variety of stunning views along the way.
5) At Ford Lane Barn, walk down the winding country lane. Turn left at the footpath to Scar Wood. Continue through the woodland, following the posts to the main road. At the A592 follow the footpath along the road. Carefully cross the road and take the first track to the left. Follow this up to where another track joins from the right and shortly after separates again. When they separate, make a sharp left turn onto Fusethwaite Lane.
6) Follow the narrow road to the left and continue until the path splits. Take the path straight ahead onto Moorhowe Road. This route is slightly more challenging, with a 20 minute descent towards Windermere. Follow the road keeping to the roadside which meets a right turn around the corner. Take the turn leading you along a pathway surrounded by trees, taking you through some of the lower fells. To your right, take a moment to bask in the spectacular views over Troutbeck and the surrounding fells.
7) When you meet a crossroads, follow the path straight to Common Farm. By this point, you’ll start to recognise the familiar sights of Windermere. From Common Farm make your way through a residential farming area. As you wander down this scenic village route you’ll join paths with the A591.
8) Take care crossing the A591 and turn right at the footpath that runs along the road. To your left you’ll notice a sign signalling you have reached Windermere. Continue along the A591, keeping tight to the wall.
9) Turn left onto Thwaites Lane and you’ll soon meet a bridge above the road. Proceed under the bridge and follow the road round to the left onto Claife Avenue. The road then veers right shortly afterwards. At the junction, turn right onto Droomer Drive. Continue along Droomer Drive then veer left onto Orrest Drive. At the junction, turn right onto Oak Street and follow it until you reach the main road. At the junction by Co-Op, turn left onto Crescent Road. You’ll now be back in the centre of Windermere.
10) From here, simply retrace your earlier steps along the main road back to Craig Manor.
Points of Interest
Beatrix Potter once described Troutbeck Valley as her favourite place – and it’s not hard to see why… There’s plenty of historical sights to be found in this 17th century farmhouse. Step inside and you’ll uncover a world of lost treasures! The farmhouse kitchen has a real fire, usually found still burning most of the year and a quirky collection of tools.
Be inspired by the range of carved furniture and discover the unique collection of books that originally belonged to the Brownes farming family, which is today of international importance.