The Windermere Way

Newby Bridge to Bowness

© 2019 Phil Kirby Email
Stacks Image 515

Distance 18 kilometres (11.25 miles) Time 6-7 hours
The Newby Bridge to Bowness section of the Windermere Way is the longest and most remote part of the walk. It’s also the quietest (once you’ve got away from the A590) and although it doesn’t touch the lakeshore at any point passes through some lovely countryside with spectacular views.
Stacks Image 517

We start outside the Swan Hotel and cross over the bridge where Windermere flows out to the river Leven. Once across the bridge, turn left and cross the A590, then first right into the lane that leads to Canny Hill. Walk along this road for about a kilometre and leave it on the left where a path drops down into Newby Bridge Country Caravan Park.
Stacks Image 23
Newby Bridge

There are a few yellow arrows to guide you through but crucially the important one is missing in the centre of the park where the paths diverge. The left hand fork will take you to Newby Bridge Services which could be handy if you need to resupply or grab a coffee to go but the Windermere Way follows the right fork. The easiest way is to follow the ‘Way Out’ signs .

Stacks Image 269
The path through Newby Bridge Caravan Park

Immediately past the park reception and visitor car park, look for a small waymark signpost on the left and descend down a few steps, through a squeeze stile and across the field. This brings you back to the usually very busy A590. Cross straight over.
Note: If you do end up at the garage, I strongly advise that you retrace your steps back into the campsite and follow the correct route out rather than try and walk along the A590. The traffic runs very fast here and the verges are narrow.
This very flat area at the foot of the lake was once part of the lake bed and the outflow originally flowed out to the sea from roughly this point down towards Cartmel. The current river Leven being more recent when the water broke through to force a new route, probably at the end of one of the ice ages. Once across the plain, the path skirts around to the right of Chapel House, before joining the minor road that goes through Staveley village.

Stacks Image 280
Stile into Chapel House Plantation - look out for the Oak trees.

Note: If you do end up at the garage, I strongly advise that you retrace your steps back into the campsite and follow the correct route out rather than try and walk along the A590. The traffic runs very fast here and the verges are narrow.

Cross over this road and take the footpath opposite. This bears right then crosses another stile. Cross the field, heading diagonally upwards towards a group of mature Oak trees midway along the top wall. The stile into Chapel House Plantation is hidden behind these trees and is difficult to spot. Once across bear right. This path is somewhat overgrown as the bracken and brambles encroach, nevertheless it is there and the odd fingerpost in the bracken is reassurance that you are on the right route.
This path climbs up for about 30 metres and joins a clearer footpath. Follow this left, till it in turn joins a wide, forestry track.
Stacks Image 297
Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man from Chapel House

The footpath, which is marked with yellow arrows, crosses over the forest track and more or less runs parallel to it, but the track is the easier option and once clear of the trees, the views are better. This track climbs steadily northeast before widening out at a junction, with the main path turning sharp right. Ignore the turn and carry straight on.
Stacks Image 304
Fairfield and Claife Heights from Gummers How

Gummers How soon comes into view on our left and unfortunately it’s a bit of a dogleg to get there. Follow the track for around a kilometre until you come to a crossroads. Keep left and in about 500m the track exits the woodland at Sow How Lane. Turn left and after 100m look out for a signpost on the left, indicating Gummers How and the car park. This is a fairly new path which avoids about 500m of road walking. At the kissing gate, cross over and start the ascent of Gummers How.
Stacks Image 315
Morecambe Bay from Gummers How

Gummers How is the southern equivalent of Loughrigg giving extensive views along the southern half of Windermere. The path starts easily and then climbs reasonably steeply to the summit plateau. There best views are from the western edge, rather than the actual summit and you can see most of Windermere laid out before you. The original route of the Windermere Way dropped off to the northeast and back into the plantation but this part was never really satisfactory so the following route is now recommended.

Stacks Image 341
The Teal leaving Lakeside

From the summit head north on a reasonably clear path. This breaks up in the bracken but keep to the high ground. It’s shown on OS maps as a footpath although not as a right of way. Ignore the obvious break in the wall that comes into view and drop gently down towards the lake. When you come to a gate and a stile cross over into Blake Holme Plantation. The OS map shows this as a track but in reality it’s little more than a footpath.

Stacks Image 352
Look out for the stile into Blakeholme Plantation

Keeping Burrow Beck on your right, follow this path for 500m through some delightful woodland until you come to a wider track crossing at right angles. Turn right, cross the bridge and then immediately left. Another 500m through the woodland leads to a kissing gate and an exit onto the fellside.
Stacks Image 363
Burrow Beck where the path crosses

The track continues around heading northwards, eventually going through another gate into a field and dropping down towards Moor Howe farm. There is a path through the farm but it’s discontinuous and the current tenant doesn’t appear to like walkers passing through so we’re going to avoid it. Turn left and follow the path as it winds between some slabby outcrops.

Stacks Image 374
Moor How

Go through the next kissing gate, turn right and follow the wall uphill until the path veers away to the left and on to the top of Moor Howe. The views are not as extensive from here but it’s usually one of the quieter spots to sit and take in the vista to the north. There are several possible descents from the top of Moor Howe but the recommended route is to head northwards again towards an obvious wall corner about 50m from the summit. Just below this there is a gap in the wall with a faint Land Rover track. Pick up the track and follow it as it twists across the fellside before finally descending to a gate that gives access to Birks Road.

Stacks Image 385
Looking down from Moor How, head for the break in the wall at the bottom left.

We now have a short distance of road walking. Turn right and follow the road to a crossroads. Turn left here and after about 500m turn right through an entranceway into Ludderburn SSSI.

Stacks Image 396
Turn left at this signpost

Continue down the metalled road for approx 1 kilometre passing the rather attractive Podnet tarn before the road dips down and turns sharp right. There are two tracks leading off from the road here, take to one that goes straight on. A further kilometre on the track itself bears sharply to the right heading for High House farm.

Stacks Image 407
Podnet Tarn

Leave the track here and cross the small beck, then 10m further on the path splits and confusingly there are two paths both leading to the A5074. Take the left hand one which is shown on the OS map as going through woodland. In does but it’s very open woodland and makes for pleasant walking.

Stacks Image 418
Keep left at this junction

This then gives way to more open fields and the path turns sharp right and heads down between intake walls to join the A5074.

Stacks Image 429
Approaching the A5074 at Winster

Cross over and turn up the Green Lane and look out for the stile about 40 metres up on the left.

Stacks Image 440
Footpath to Lindeth

Cross this and follow the path through the fields until you come to ‘The Kennels’ a lovely little cottage set in the woods that so far has escaped the attention of the property developers.

Stacks Image 451
The Kennels, go through the gate then keep right

Pass it on your left and continue up the obvious farm track to Lindeth. Continue through the cottages and out on to Lindeth Lane.

Stacks Image 462
Approaching Lindeth Farm

Turn left and follow to a crossroads with the B5284. Cross over and after a couple of hundred metres a track leads off to the left to Brantfell farm.

Stacks Image 473
Turning to Brantfell Farm

Cross the stile and follow this track looking out for a kissing gate on the left that leads into a small plantation. A few metres further on a second kissing gate brings you out on the open fell, go through this and follow the cairns up the permitted path to the top of Brantfell.

Stacks Image 484
Look out for the kissing gate on the left.

Brantfell again affords wonderful views of Windermere and the fells beyond. If you’ve completed the walk in an anticlockwise direction this will be almost your last viewpoint. Head northwest and descend the obvious path that heads toward Bowness. This levels out and you’ll cross a ladder stile then come out on Post Knott. The views are not as extensive from here but worthwhile. Continue over Post Knott and through the gate beyond.

Stacks Image 495
Windermere from Brantfell Summit.