Place Name: Whinlatter Forest
Location: Lake District, England, CA12 5TW
Parking: Plenty, pay and display
Walking distance: Variable, 1 hour to all day
Restrictions: Dogs are not allowed into the visitors centre, shop or cafe
Refreshments: Cafe by visitors centre (dogs allowed in outside seating area)
Whinlatter is the big brother of Grizedale which I reviewed previously. On that note, I will quickly start on their similarities and differences which are worth bearing in mind.
|More carvings to find!|
Without sounding snobbish about trees, this forest is part of the forestry commission for felling and is a wave of evergreens. It is predominantly firs and pines with the odd lone birch tree making a spindly break for it. However, the forest still retains a natural feel, unlike the eerie endless rows of some forests and is well populated with birds and such. It is also huge. With the parking meter ever ticking in the back of my mind, we didn't stray off the marked routes (we did two walks, the yellow short walk and the blue medium walk) but there was plenty of 'off road' stuff to explore should you be a frequent visitor or decide to do a whole day.
We did have time for a little look at the playgrounds. Yes, plural. Whoever came up with splitting a play park into little bite sized pieces and spreading it across a walk was probably a genius. The areas we looked at were well made and designed, and we may have indulged in a go at what was effectively a giant sand pit toy but with pea gravel. The website also promises the Gruffalo (a statue of a children's book character) who we failed to find, but I suspect that he was tucked away on a separate little path rather than on a main one.
Overall rating : 4/5 - The parking (again) and the fact that the cafe didn't allow dogs whilst the sister site did pulled the score down. However, the paths are well kept, facilities were great and overall a great place to visit that could either be a tremendous morning walk or an all day thing.
|Is that rabbit I smell on the wind?|