Wray Castle and Latterbarrow.

Start. Wray Castle.

Route. Wray Castle - Low Wray Bay - Watbarrow Point - Epley Point - High Wray Bay - High Wray - Waterson Intake - Latterbarrow - Loanthwaite Lane - High Tock How - Hole House - Old Vicarage - Epley Point - Wray Castle.

Notes. In 1840 a surgeon and heiress from Liverpool started building a Gothic revival castle with panoramic views on the shores of Lake Windermere, with turrets, towers and fake arrow slits, informal gardens and stunning views. This short ramble starts at this stunning castle visits the lake shore before climbing the 803ft of Latterbarrow, a mere stump by Lakeland standards with an obelisk adorning the summit, but on a clear day, unlike today the views are stunning. Old Wainwright described this little outing as “a circular walk with little effort”, I can acknowledge that.

From the car park we descended through mature woodland to the lake shore, the weather looked promising, but promising didn't last. Behind a boat house we wandered, along the edge of Low Wray Bay, a wonderful start to the walk, but wonderful didn't last. Continuing along the lake shore we reached Epley Point and another boat house, round the edge of High Wray Bay we wandered, at yet another boat house our attention was drawn to a finger-post, public footpath to High Ray, we immediately left the lake shore, passed through a kissing gate before ascending a muddy path.

After guiding us through rough pastures the path ejected us onto tarmac at High Wray, we turned left, a short climb followed to access a gravel track leading to Basecamp, a National Trust bunkhouse used to house volunteers who want to help conserve the beautiful countryside of the Lake District for ever, for everyone. The track guided us into woodland before swinging right, we swung right with it, passed through a gate, then left the track, a narrow muddy trod then guided us up the hill.

Promising hadn't lasted, it was raining as we climbed through mixed woodland, it wasn't until we escaped the cover of the trees we realised how wet it actual was. With driving rain on our backs we continued climbing, wonderful had vanished, the views were zilch, grey giants, ghosts every now and then peering through the gloom, undaunted we continued. The summit greeted us with an obelisk just wide enough to shelter behind, after a quick brew we descended to the south under the lea of the hill, sheltered from the worst of the weather.

At a dry stone wall we turned right, the muddy path that now guided us terminated at a narrow tarmac lane, after turning left we joined Loanthwaite Lane for a short walk over tarmac. After passing the first farm we left the lane, the path a track at first ushered us through cow and sheep pastures, after several fields we arrived at High Tock How. Yellow arrows then guided us passed the farm depositing us in a narrow lane, a few yards down the lane we reached Hole House.

By now it had stopped raining, the grey murk still hung around but at least the only water was the stuff we were walking through. The path passed the front of Hole House, a finger-post pointed the way, back into fields with views over Blelhem Tarn, easy walking down hill, the mountains to the north starting to show their faces, the brooding image of earlier washed away. Through fields we wandered the waters of Wray Beck our companion for a while, a quaint bridge allowed us to cross then a short climb deposited us back on the tarmac lane we'd left twice already. From here it was a short hop up the hill, passed the Old Vicarage and back to the lake shore a few hundred yards from Wray Castle.

view route map.

home.

The neo-gothic facade of Wray Castle.

The unmistakable Langdale Pikes seen from the edge of the car park.

Views across Windermere Lake taking in Skelghyll Wood and the summit of Wansfell Pike.

Viewing Low Wood Bay and Hotel from the lake shore near Wray Castle.

Stunning view north from Watbarrow Point.

Meandering along the lake shore looking to Watbarrow Point backed by a moody Red Screes, with Wansfell Pike to the right.

From the ascent to High Wray admirable views to Wansfell Pike.

A little more height gained and Ambleside tilts into view backed by the grey giants of Great Rigg and Red Screes.

Ascending through sunshine and showers, looking back to Wansfell Pike above Lake Windermere.

The summit Latterbarrow.

Sue descends to Loanthwaite Lane.

Viewing Latterbarrow over Syke Side.

Dressed in it's Autumn gown with a magnificent mountain backdrop Blelham Tarn.

This fine gate house marks the entrance to Wray Castle, we followed a bridleway to the right....

....gifting us with views to Latterbarrow.

Seen from the front terrace at Wray Castle the high tops of the Fairfield Horseshoe....

....and the impressive rock architecture of the Langdale Pikes.

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