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Forestry England’s Lake District Forests, Grizedale Forest and Whinlatter Forest are special places where people can feel good during the Autumn and Winter seasons.

Autumn in the Lake District Forests (photo by Sarah Gibson Photography)
Photo: Sarah Gibson Photography

Our Lake District Forests are places to seek adventure, make memories and find escape. For over 100 years Forestry England been looking after the nation's forests, so that they can take care of you.

Research shows that spending just two hours a week in nature significantly improves our health and satisfaction.


Cycling in the forest

Grizedale and Whinlatter Forests are dynamic environments to improve your physical and mental health.

They provide a backdrop to a huge variety of activities, demanding a range of fitness and motor skills. From birdwatching and photography, to mountain biking and walking with fell ponies and alpaccas. If you’re not seeking an adrenalin fix, your senses relax under the forest canopy as you’re filled with energy from experiencing the landscape, and fresh forest air.



Grizedale and Whinlatter Forests offer unique sensory experiences for the chance to regain balance and escape from the pressures of everyday life.

They are a haven to escape and are especially restorative environments. The sounds, sights and smells of the forest play a role in reducing stress by stimulating the senses.

To help you relax, we have activities such as Grizedale forest bathing, Whinlatter forest bathing, and dark skies walks

At Whinlatter and Grizedale, health and wellbeing events are very important to us. We host a large number of events! Keep an eye on our Whinlatter events page and Grizedale events page.

Autumn in the Lake District Forests (photo courtesy of Forestry England)
Experience stunning Autumn colours in a forest

The sights, smells and sounds of autumn flood our forests, providing the best places to see autumn colour. Find an autumn colour walk at Grizedale and Whinlatter, whizz through the leaves on your bike, or take time to focus on your wellbeing with your canine companion.

When Forestry England last asked, a whopping 97% of people said that the beautiful autumn colours boost your mood, so plan a visit to help yourself feel good this autumn and winter.

Experience a jaw-dropping palette of autumn colour in our forests. Discover Grizedale and Whinlatter packed with golds, reds, and orange, as you collect fallen conkers, jump in leaf-piles and get the perfect photo. With impressive autumnal displays predicted by our experts right through until to mid-November this year, we've put together our top two walks to help you refresh your body, mind and spirit whilst discovering breath-taking forest landscapes and incredible displays of colour.


1)    Grizedale Forest – The Tarn Trail (3.5 miles)

The Tarn Trail at Grizedale Forest

Follow the relaxing sounds of the stream as you leave the busy paths into the depths of the forest along the Tarn trail. The narrow path gives way to a wider track that opens up the colours of beautiful autumn that are on display at this time of year. Look out for the many sculptures you will pass and be sure not to miss the narrow path that leads to Grizedale Forest’s only natural tarn, where the changing colours of the trees will be gloriously reflected in the waters. As you descend back to the centre you will be rewarded with views of the west side of the forest and the ancient broadleaf trees that cling to the steep slopes, their leaves of green now giving way to the beautiful golden colours of autumn.


2)    Whinlatter Forest – Seat How Summit Trail (3.5 miles)

Whinltter Forest views

This circular walk shows you why Whinlatter is England’s only true mountain forest. This is graded as a “strenuous” walk which takes around 3 hours. It takes in spectacular views of both Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake, as well as the Skiddaw and Helvellyn mountain ranges, which are some of the highest in England. Climbing to 500m through forest and heather moorland, this trail is one of the treasures of Whinlatter.

So whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or a hike up forest covered mountains - we've got walks for everyone. Walking in the Lake District forests is the perfect way to improve your health and explore England's most beautiful habitats.

Forest walks

With stunning viewpoints, sculpture and wildlife, to health and wellbeing events, quiet tarn and gill strolls and leg-stretching hikes, our forests are the perfect place for a walk, bike, run and wellbeing activities.

We manage landscapes for wildlife to thrive, people to enjoy and as a source of sustainable wood. Money raised from car parking goes towards maintaining visitor centres, play areas, bike trails and other facilities. None of this is possible without the support of our visitors.

Support Grizedale and Whinlatter and help maintain the forest facilities for you to enjoy. By becoming a member, you'll help support our forests.

These are Forestry England’s Lake District forests; come and experience all that Grizedale and Whinlatter Forest can provide you over Autumn and Winter!




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