|A drive based around Hawkshead which includes two separate loops. One visits beautiful Tarn Hows and the many delights of Coniston Water, the other passes through Grizedale Forest and includes some wonderful forest attractions.|
|Central Lakes Drives||Home|
|Summary of main attractions on route (click on name for detail)|
|Distance||Attraction||Car Park Coordinates|
|0 miles||Hawkshead Village||N 54.37410, W 2.99679|
|2.6 miles||Tarn Hows||N 54.38708, W 3.03905|
|4.9 miles||Coniston Village||N 54.36892, W 3.07347|
|5.6 miles||Coniston Lake Road||N 54.36460, W 3.06779|
|10.8 miles||Brown Howe||N 54.31026, W 3.09262|
|11.4 miles||Blawith Common||N 54.30409, W 3.09771|
|14.4 miles||Low Peel Near||N 54.31294, W 3.08336|
|17.1 miles||Machell's Coppice||N 54.34767, W 3.06338|
|17.6 miles||Brantwood||N 54.35263, W 3.06046|
|19.1 miles||Monk Coniston||N 54.37186, W 3.05400|
|22.5 miles||Hawkshead Village||N 54.37410, W 2.99679|
|25.9 miles||Grizedale Visitor Centre||N 54.33774, W 3.02253|
|29.0 miles||Low Dale Park, Grizedale||N 54.31704, W 3.00131|
|32.0 miles||Esthwaite Water||N 54.35029, W 2.98460|
|32.9 miles||Hill Top, Near Sawrey||N 54.35247, W 2.97133|
|35.0 miles||Hawkshead Village||N 54.37410, W 2.99679|
Tarn Hows & Coniston Water loop
Distance: 0 miles Location: Hawkshead Village car park Coordinates: N 54.37410, W 2.99679
|Hawkshead Village from the churchyard|
Travelling:Turn right out of the village car park, then quickly left at the T junction on the B5285 towards Ambleside. After approx 0.5 miles, take the left turn (still the B5285) towards Coniston. Continue up the hill for approx 0.8 miles to Hawkshead Hill where there is a right turn to Tarn Hows. After approx 200m, there is a T junction where you turn left and then immediate right towards Tarn Hows again. This minor road winds up through the trees for approx 0.7 miles before a wonderful panorama opens up with Tarn Hows down on the right and various Lakeland peaks in the distance. Just as you leave the trees there is a small free short stay car park on the right which provides a fabulous view from the car. The main car park is a short distance beyond the tarn on the left.
Distance: 2.6 miles Location: Tarn Hows Coordinates: N 54.38708, W 3.03905
Travelling:From the car park, turn left and continue on the picturesque minor road which is now one-way. This road descends and loops back to the B5285 Coniston road. Turn right on this road and after approx 0.4 miles the road follows the lake shore and continues a short distance to Coniston village. Once in the village, take the first left turn and the car park is immediately on the right.
Distance: 4.9 miles Location: Coniston Village car park Coordinates: N 54.36892, W 3.07347
Travelling:From the village car park, turn left and continue on the B5285 which shortly meets the A593 in the village centre. Turn left, over the river and past a petrol station & shop, then immediately take Lake Road on the left which leads 0.5 miles down to a dead end at the lake. The car park is just before the lake on the left.
Distance: 5.6 miles Location: Lake Road car park, Coniston Water Coordinates: N 54.36460, W 3.06779
|Coniston lakeside area|
Travelling:Return back up Lake Road and at the top turn left on the main A593. You soon leave Coniston village and the road starts to climb with some views across Coniston Water. Shortly, pass through a small settlement where the Ship Inn is on the right. The pleasing road runs parallel with the lake but views are limited by trees. Soon enter the small village of Torver, pass the Church House Inn on the left and take the next left turn, signposted A5084 to Greenodd. The Wilsons Arms & Torver Deli are opposite this junction. After approx 0.4 miles there is a small layby on the right where it is worth a quick stop to look back at the wonderful views of the Coniston mountain range and Torver valley. Continue to climb a short distance, passing a Land Rover garage, then descend steeply through Torver Common towards Coniston Water. Cross Torver Beck and soon the road joins the shores of the tree-lined lake. There are laybys at the roadside where you can stop and admire the views across the lake, which include Peel Island, famous for being Wild Cat Island in the film ‘Swallows and Amazons’. Continue a short distance before crossing a cattle grid, the entrance to Brown Howe is just beyond on the left.
Distance: 10.8 miles Location: Brown Howe Coordinates: N 54.31026, W 3.09262
Travelling:Leave Brown Howe car park and turn left on the A5084. The road meanders through trees and after approx 0.5 miles reaches the rough layby parking area for Blawith Common on the left.
Distance: 11.4 miles Location: Blawith Common Coordinates: N 54.30409, W 3.09771
|Blawith Common lakeshore|
Travelling:Leave the parking area and turn left on the A5084. The road continues across the attractive Blawith Common, past bracken covered hills with views over the southern end of Coniston Water. Shortly, cross a cattle grid and enter the small settlement of Water Yeat where you take a left turn at the minor cross roads, signposted to ‘East of Lake’. This short section of very narrow road soon crosses the River Crake (which drains Coniston Water) and meets a T junction where you turn left. The ‘East of Lake’ road gives good views towards the Coniston mountain range in the distance and soon passes through the small village of High Nibthwaite. Beyond this the southern end of Coniston Water appears again on the left and there are continued glimpses of the lake along the following attractive section through trees. The road is quite narrow and some care is needed. In a short distance arrive at Low Peel Near with its open beach on the left and adjacent roadside parking.
Distance: 14.4 miles Location: Low Peel Near Coordinates: N 54.31294, W 3.08336
|Low Peel Near lakeshore|
Travelling:Continue northwards along the attractive tree-lined shore with glimpses of the lake through the trees. After approx 0.7 miles, pass Parkamoor jetty where the Steam Yacht Gondola sometimes stops. A short distance beyond is Dodgson Wood car park on the right which is free and gives good access to the adjacent rough shingle shore where you can fully appreciate the wonderful views across the lake. Much of this shoreline has open access and there are a few free car parks along the way. Continue on for approx 0.6 miles to another car park, Bailiff Wood, on the right. The quiet road continues to meander along the pleasing shoreline for another 1.1 miles to Machell's Coppice car park on the right.
Distance: 17.1 miles Location: Machell's Coppice Coordinates: N 54.34767, W 3.06338
Travelling:Turn right out of the car park and continue northwards along the lakeshore road for approx 0.5 miles to Brantwood car park on the right.
Distance: 17.6 miles Location: Brantwood Coordinates: N 54.35263, W 3.06046
Outside, as well as fabulous views across the lake, there are extensive and varied gardens within the 250 acre estate which stretches from the lakeshore up the wooded slopes behind the house. Adjacent to the house is a cafe and toilets. The house, gardens and cafe are open daily from March to November and February school holidays. Also, Wednesday to Sunday over the winter. Admission fee applies to house and gardens. Brantwood jetty is nearby where Coniston Water boats stop.
Travelling:Leave Brantwood car park and turn right to continue northwards. The road climbs above the lake with great views towards Coniston village and mountains. After approx 1 mile the road bears left and descends steeply towards the lake. Just before the road meets the lake shore is Monk Coniston car park on the left.
Distance: 19.1 miles Location: Monk Coniston Coordinates: N 54.37186, W 3.05400
Travelling:Leave Monk Coniston car park and turn left. The road follows the head of the lake shoreline for a short distance before meeting a T junction where you turn right towards Hawkshead on the B5285. The road soon climbs steeply through trees and eventually reaches the summit at High Cross. There is some free parking on the right here with a picnic area and walks into Grizedale Forest or to Tarn Hows. Over the summit, descend through Hawkshead Hill with some good Lakeland views and soon meet a T junction where you turn right and enter the village of Hawkshead. The village car park is a short distance on the right.
Distance: 22.5 miles Location: Hawkshead Village car park Coordinates: N 54.37410, W 2.99679
Grizedale Forest & Esthwaite Water loop
|Moor Top, Grizedale|
Travelling:Turn right out of Hawkshead village car park then quickly right at the following two T junctions, following signs for Grizedale. The road soon leaves Hawkshead and after approx 0.2 miles take the easily missed right turn towards Grizedale. The narrow, windy and sometimes busy road starts ascending quite steeply and some care is needed. The road soon eases and passes attractive forest before reaching a summit at Moor Top where there is a pay and display car park with picnic tables and forest walks. Over the summit, the road gradually descends with wonderful views over surrounding Grizedale Forest. Shortly, pass Grizedale Lodge and Kennels 'pay on exit' car park is just beyond on the right. Continue a short distance to pass Grizedale Forest visitor centre on the right and the main car park is a short distance beyond on the left.
Distance: 25.9 miles Location: Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre Coordinates: N 54.33774, W 3.02253
Travelling:Turn left out of the main car park and continue along the attractive valley road through fields overlooked by forested hills. Soon pass Bogle Crag pay and display car park on the left where you can take a forest walk. Continue a short distance to the small village of Satterthwaite where The Eagle’s Head pub provides refreshments. Beyond the village, soon pass Grizedale campsite, then descend alongside Force Beck to some buildings where you turn left towards Dale Park. The narrow road passes Blind Lane free car park and continues a short distance to a left turn which you take. Soon cross a stream and just beyond is Low Dale Park car park and picnic site on the left.
Distance: 29.0 miles Location: Low Dale Park, Grizedale Coordinates: N 54.31704, W 3.00131
|Low Dale Park, Grizedale|
Travelling:Leave the car park and turn left to continue up the attractive peaceful valley, again passing fields and meadows surrounded by forested hills. After approx 1.4 miles the narrow road starts to ascend quite steeply and soon passes over a summit to descend with views ahead towards Esthwaite Water and central Lakeland. Shortly meet a T junction and turn right towards Newby Bridge. After approx 0.3 miles, Esthwaite Water car park is in woodland on the left.
Distance: 32.0 miles Location: Esthwaite Water Visitor Centre Coordinates: N 54.35029, W 2.98460
The lake has close connections with both William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, a shoreline walk follows in the footsteps of the latter and storyboards tell you about the different animals in her books. The walk continues a short distance to Hill Top. The small visitor centre at Esthwaite Water has a cafe, fishing tackle shop, picnic area and toilets. Open all year, cafe open Easter to November. Pay and display car park.
Travelling:Leave Esthwaite Water car park and turn left. Very shortly take the left turn to Sawrey. The narrow road follows the shores of Esthwaite Water before climbing a short distance to the village of Near Sawrey. Soon meet a T junction in the village where you turn right and Hill Top car park is immediately on the right.
Distance: 32.9 miles Location: Hill Top, Near Sawrey Coordinates: N 54.35247, W 2.97133
|Hill Top house|
The house is open daily, except Fridays, from February to November and is also open Fridays in the summer. Closed in winter. Admission fee to house which can be very busy and a timed ticket system operates. Outside there are attractive gardens, a small gift shop and toilets which are all free entry and open the same time as the house plus weekends in November and December. The nearby small car park is free for visitors to the property. The Tower Bank Arms next door is a quaint looking pub which also has connections with Beatrix Potter.
Travelling:From Hill Top car park, turn left on the B5285 towards Hawkshead. The road soon follows the picturesque eastern shore of Esthwaite Water. Just past the lake the road bends to the left and the village of Hawkshead is ahead. Take the right turn to Hawkshead village, still the B5285. The first left turn brings you back to the village car park.
Distance: 35.0 miles Location: Hawkshead Village car park Coordinates: N 54.37410, W 2.99679
|Hawkshead Grammar School|