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Cumbria, England

Quick guide to the Lake District's Grizedale Forest

Posted by Luci Ackers on Oct 24, 2016
Quick guide to the Lake District's Grizedale Forest

In the heart of the Lake District Grizedale Forest is an incredible visitor attraction with a little bit of something for everyone.

Whether you're looking for a walking trail, a high ropes course to test your skills, a peaceful spot to watch the birds and discover interesting sculptures or simply a relaxing place to grab some good food, Grizedale Forest is the place for you.

Nestled between Coniston Water and Lake Windermere, towards the south of the Lake District National Park, Grizedale Forest is an important area of woodland almost 25km large. It is cared for by the Forestry Commission and is home to a number of outdoor leisure facilities.

How to get here?

There is a main car park and a visitor centre with a café and plenty of facilities, so if you're coming by car you'll have a base to set off from. There's also a children's adventure playground here and a shop as well as information and maps of the forest.

The visitor centre is open seven days a week, though opening times do change depending on the season, so it's always best to check the website before hand. To find the car park and visitor centre use the postcode LA22 0QJ and for full directions take a look at the on the website here.

Things to do


If you fancy stretching your legs you've come to the right place. There is a whole network of footpaths to enjoy in Grizedale Forest. Thanks to its position in the heart of one of England's most loved National Parks, Grizedale has an assortment of terrain, with hills and woodland and little tarns, which makes for really interesting walking routes. As you walk you'll be able to enjoy fantastic scenery and hidden viewpoints. Why not bring the pooch and really make a day of it? Just remember to keep your dog close by if there are other animals or people around.

Cycle hire

If you feel like picking up the pace a little try one of the cycle tracks instead. They are waymarked and provide different difficulty levels depending on what sort of challenge you are looking for. You can find bike hire at the visitor centre; adult's and children's bikes are available, as are electric bikes and helmets. Check prices here.

Something for the adventurer inside you

The GoApe at Grizedale is perfect for all ages from six upwards. This popular attraction offers you the opportunity to go a little wild amongst the trees. Enjoy high rope treetop adventures, segways through the forest zipwires, Tarzan swings, rope ladders and much more. It's great for getting the heart pumping... but not so great for vertigo sufferers!


If you want to put your mind as well as your body to the test, why not have a go at orienteering on one of the three trails around Grizedale? Orienteering is a way for you to explore the area using a map and compass and clues in the landscape to navigate your way. It's great fun and the orienteering maps are available for purchase at the visitor centre.

For art lovers

If you prefer a slower pace you can enjoy the outdoors through art. Grizedale Sculpture is a project led by the Forestry Commission that aims to improve Grizedale Forest's reputation as a centre for art. The idea is to explore the forest landscape through sculpture. The Forestry Commission has worked with nine main artists and developed a series of works in three key areas that are accessible for walkers and cyclists. Art has been featured in the forest since 1977 and the collection includes both permanent and temporary works. It's well worth checking out some of these unusual pieces. The Yan is a building not too far from the main visitor centre and here you'll find a display with all the works as well as an interactive display and map of the forest.

Find out more about the artists and sculptures here.

There is always something going on for all ages in Grizedale and a programme of events that rolls continually throughout the year. You can find the full list and plan your visit here.

Merlewood is a beautifully restored Victorian mansion that provides elegant holiday accommodation in Grange-over-Sands, just half an hour from Grizedale Forest. To take advantage of all that the Lake District can offer, and to find out how to stay here yourself simply enter your details at the bottom of the page and receive a free brochure.

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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