Whinlatter Fell is accessed from Whinlatter Forrest—this gives you a great opportunity to walk a fell and combine it with a trip to Whinlatter Visitors Centre and all that has to offer.
Whinlatter is a great day out, www.forestry.gov.uk/whinlatter there is a chance to visit Go Ape, the orienteering trail, cycle hire or cycle paths with your own bike, try a Segway, or visit the Osprey project. Combine this with a fell top that offers some lovely views to bag an extra Wainwright and your day out is complete.
From Kestrel lodge leave the campsite and head towards the A66 in the Cockermouth direction, once there turn left toward Keswick. Turn right off the A66 at Braithwaite, go through Braithwaite toward Lorton, and up the pass to Whinlatter visitors centre. Parking is either pay and display at the visitor’s centre or there is a small (free) layby just after the visitor’s centre on the opposite side of the road.
From the layby, head back up the road towards the visitor’s centre. On the left hand side just at the end of the wall you can see the start of the path. Follow the footpath upwards, don’t be tempted to veer off this onto the cycle paths, as they are barred to foot traffic, just keep to the footpath. The footpath winds up through the woods until it comes to a clearing with path options.
Keep left and continue upwards on this path. At the edge of the forest you will see a gate go through it and follow the path up the side of a fence—straight up. Don’t let the steep angle put you off. It is a steep but short climb to the top.
Once at the top you join a grassy path that winds along the top to the summit. This path is boggy in parts and undulating with a few false tops on the way to the actual Whinlatter top. Whinlatter is the first top with a cairn (see below for photo of top). This mountain actually has 2 tops with 2 cairns, Whinlatter Top is the first one with a summit cairn and the true top for Wainwrighter Bagger’s. For those of you who are not so fussy, you can continue onwards to Brown How to enjoy the views but it’s not necessary and it is boggy in spots.
To get back down again we simply turned and returned the same way. There is no alternative but to walk back to the fence but instead of going back down the steep bit you could turn the opposite way and follow the line of the trees until you come to a stile or fence back into the woods. Once on a woodland track you can follow it down back to the visitor’s centre.
If you want a second mountain on your day, or even a 3rd or 4th, there are paths that can take you passed Ullister Hill (not a Wainwright) and up to Lords Seat (Wainwright). From Lords Seat you can wind back through the forest to the visitor’s centre.
If you want to take in more fells then there are ridge paths to do so but it will now involve retracing steps. If you are however trying to bag as many fell tops as possible this is an easy way to take in 4. The 4 being Whinlatter, Lords Seat, Broom Fell, and Barf. From Barf to Lords Seat is very boggy, from Lords Seat to Broom fell is a good well defined path with a large cairn.