travel

2.    Walk

Cumbria

Grizedale Forest

Description: Grizedale Forest

Grizedale Forest

Find magical sculptures among the trees on this walk through hilly Lakeland forest

Rippling across the crags between Windermere and Conistion, Grizedale is 8,000 acres of mixed forest laced with tracks and endowed with a renowned series of outdoor sculptures. Inaugurated in 1977, the sculptures dot the forest as unexpected, thought provoking, inspiring creations, made by artists “in response to the landscape”.

Some are permanent installations; others are moulded from materials and gradually reclaimed by the forest. There are around 80 to be found – some are obvious while others take some recognizing – all part of the fun. Arm yourself with an essential Sculpture Trail Guide (£2.50 at the visitor centre) or print out a map (see Useful Infor box) and walk this absorbing landscape that has Carron Crag, one of England’s best view points, as its highest point. This route is my particular favourite, perhaps because there’s a real ale pub on the way.

To the tarn

Description: Grizedale Hall Lodge

Grizedale Hall Lodge

Look for Grizedale Hall Lodge opposite the visitor centre and take the rough track signed for Esthwaite & Hawkshead. This rises steeply, leveling as a wide forestry road marked by green-topped posts. This is the waymarked for the Silurian Way (SW) geological trail, one of eight trails in Grizedale. On reaching the Red Fox loop right with the main track in 200m divert right on a clearing and waymarked cross-track. Go left to visit Grizedale Tarn , otherwise keep ahead (SW).

Into the vale

Description: Satterthwaite Village.

At the next lavender post (300m), turn right (leaving SQ) on the rising path and trace the lavender trail to Satterthwaite Village.

The wide roadway meanders past stand of broadleaf and felled first and, as you bend right, extravagant views open out across to the Howgill Fells. You’ll shortly pass a lavender-topped post (right). Just after this, the innocuous wall winding between the trees (right) is Andy Goldsworthy’s Taking a Wall for a Walk. At the next lavender post (300m), turn right (leaving SQ) on the rising path and trace the lavender trail to Satterthwaite Village. Turn left to pass or stop by The Eagle’s Head Inn.

Crag bound

Description: Some 200m past Satterthwaite Bridge turn right up Moor Lane bridleway.

Some 200m past Satterthwaite Bridge turn right up Moor Lane bridleway.

Some 200m past Satterthwaite Bridge turn right up Moor Lane bridleway. This rises beside a wall (right), unlocking views across Grizedale to fir-fringed fells and an occasional glimpse of the higher mountains. Beyond a dead tree and gate, drop across the beck and fork right at a SW post on the route that criss-crosses a winding forestry road-look for a slender waterfall off to the right. At a sharp-left junction, climb the wooden steps, left, remaining on the SW through oakwoods, soon passing beneath The Living Wood sculpture. Cross a bike track and rise to pass some sculptured walls, advancing then along a forestry road. Cross directly over a crossroad then, in 75m, go left on a steepening path (SW), which climbs to Carron Crag, just beyond the 17 degrees South sculpture.

The panorama is an extraordinary vista across the Lake District, Morecambe Bay and the Pennines, Indulge this view for a while, then continue north on the SW then turn left onto the forestry road in 300m. Follow this to a left-bend where the SW strikes off sharp-right on the gravel path, commencing a gradual descent. Merge with a wide forest road and walk ahead to the forest fringe. Here go sharp-left (SW) to return to the visitor centre.

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