Something for everyone…

The Lake District is England’s largest National Park. With more than 3,100 kilometers of rights of way for walks, drives and cycling, it offers the most stunning scenery along with attractions and activities to keep everyone happy.  From rock climbing and parascending to making use of the Lake Windermere boat hire options, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

The view walking into town from Bracken Crag
The view walking into town from Bracken Crag

Bracken Crag is the perfect place for you to stay whilst enjoying the many things to do and places to see in the Lake District.

Why not check our availability and some of the many things to do such as, enjoying the lake with one of the relaxing Lake Windermere boat cruises, or spice it up a bit by kayaking or canoeing.

Enjoy the countryside via many of the public footpaths and trails, or add a more adventurous thrill by touring it in a 4 x 4 off road driving trip!

Spend your day shopping and walking through the beautiful town of Bowness, sampling some of the restaurants, pubs and cafes – or hit one of the trendy cocktail bars and clubs. 

With such a wealth of beauty, culture and hospitality you can see why the Lake District remains the perfect setting to explore and enjoy no matter what your taste.

There are lots of places to visit, but here are a few that we have personally tried and tested…


kankku Off-roading
kankku Off-roading

This experience was amazing. Take the wheel of a specialist 4×4 vehicle for a real off road adventure. Head off to tackle the toughest terrain with an instructor or go ‘Safari’ to experience the National Park by 4×4 at your own pace. We chose to go with an instructor. He was very patient, helpful and brought my confidence out to tackle the biggest of rocks!

KANKKU, Victoria Forge, Victoria Street, Windermere, LA23 1AD 
T:01539 447414 E:

Bowness Bay – Windermere boat hire: 

bracken crag holiday bowness windermere
Exploring the lake is beautiful on a hired motor boat, even on a cloudy day!

Electric hire boats and engined motor boats are the perfect way of exploring Lake Windermere. Escape the crowds and enjoy Lake Windermere from the comfort of your own boat. The boats are very quiet and extremely easy to operate, hire the boat for an hour, half day or full day and bask in the beauty of Windermere’s breathtaking scenery. Boats are licensed up to 8 persons, children go free and dogs are more than welcome. Winander House, Glebe Road, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3HE, England T: 015394 45535                                                      

Windermere Ferry: 

Whether on foot or in the car, take a quick trip over the lake for hiking, walks, eating or drinking in one of the lovely gastro pubs. Visit some of the beautiful peaceful villages or explore Grizedale for more adventure activities. 

Once you depart from the ferry in Far Sawrey, you can make your way to Near Sawrey, Hawkshead, Wray and Consiton to name a few. 

Ferry Nab, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3JH.

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Many walks can be enjoyed from your doorstep! 

Here are a few suggestions…

Bracken Crag biskey howe viewpoint
The view from Biskey Howe Viewpoint, just a few minutes walk from Bracken Crag’s doorstep!

To enjoy beautiful views of the lake and to find a great place for children to explore, simply walk right out of the gate then at the junction with Biskey Howe Road, turn left up the hill. 

Just a minute up the road before it bends to the left, you will see a footpath on the right which leads up to Biskey Howe View Point.

Follow this trail and keep to the steps. When you see the rocks walk round the back for an easy way to climb to magnificent and spectacular views less than a few minutes walk from your doorstep!

Click this link to see a cool time lapse we made from the doorstep to the view point!!!

Walk down to the lake, pass the launches and follow the Glebe footpath along the Lake Shore.  This will bring you to the car ferry. 

Enclosed are some of the walks that have been enjoyed by visitors of Bracken Crag over the years. 

Bowness to Cockshot Point


Route type: For all. This is a pleasant circular route around the busy waterfront area of Bowness and the quieter shoreline around Cockshott Point – OS Explorer Map OL7

Distance: 2 km, 1.2 miles

Start and end point: Glebe Road car parks – grid ref. SD 398966 via Ferry Nab – grid ref. SD 398959

Facilities: Toilets, cafés and hotels in Bowness

Getting there: Bus: regular service from Windermere to Bowness, linking with Windermere railway station. Car: A592 or A5074 to Bowness


Park at the side of Glebe Road, or in one of the car parks next to the road. Follow the road left. When Glebe Road bears to the left, carry straight on through a gate and into fields.

Cockshott Point is a short distance to the right, but is not easily reached by wheelchair users because it crosses a grassy field. Wheelchair users should stay on the surfaced path which emerges from the trees and leads into an open meadow, with lovely lake views. There are benches here, where you can look across to Belle Isle and watch the boats and car ferry.

Carry on to a wide, wheelchair accessible, kissing gate. Continuing south brings you out to Ferry Nab and a hive of boat activity. Head back north to the kissing gate and continue along the smooth path to Glebe Road. Cross this and head into Rectory Road. This is closed to through traffic and will bring you back past the churchyard to the Information Centre in Bowness.

Windermeres Western Shore

Windermeres Western Shore
Windermeres Western Shore


Route type: For many. A tarmac road and smooth stone track lead you up the quiet west shore, a world away from the hustle and bustle of Bowness and Windermere – OS Explorer Map OL7

Distance: 9 km, 5.5 miles (there and back)

Start point: Ferry House – grid ref. SD 391957

Turning point: Red Nab car park – grid ref. SD 386994

Facilities: Toilets at Ferry Nab and Ferry House. Refreshments at Bowness and Claife Station Courtyard Café (no toilets)

Getting there: Public transport: Cross Lakes Experience, taking the boat from Pier 3, Bowness or the 525 Mountain Goat bus service from Hawkshead. The car ferry from Ferry Nab can also be used.

Car: take the ferry and park in the National Trust car park at grid ref. SD 388960.


Once you’ve arrived at the Ferry House, follow the road around the headland for 400 metres and take the next right. Take care on this stretch as it can be busy in the summer. A public footpath does cut off this loop but it is not suitable for wheelchairs or those with buggies. Just after this turn you reach the entrance to Claife Station Courtyard. This is a great spot for a picnic and a path (only suitable “for some) here also leads up to the viewing Station built in 1790 with fantastic views over the lake.  

The first kilometre is tarmac and it weaves through woodland and open meadow – be aware of traffic heading along this section to the car park and to the caravan site further up the shore. The views are expansive, looking across the lake to Bowness and further north to the Troutbeck hills. The western shore provides a wooded shoreline and pebble beaches. There is plenty of scope to rest and picnic.

The tarmac ends by the second of two cattle grids and you pass into Heald Wood on a level stone track. This has been substantially improved through the GoLakes Travel Programme and is now suitable for wheelchair users.

Continue past Strawberry Gardens caravan site on a good smooth stone track all the way to Red Nab (and the start of Route 7). There is one long climb beyond Strawberry Gardens that is not suitable for solo wheelchair users unless you are a Paralympian. Accompanied wheelchair and pushchair users will be fine. You can combine this walk with Route 7 Red Nab to High Wray for a long expedition to Wray Castle and back.

Red Nab to Wray Castle

Red Nab to Wray Castle
Red Nab to Wray Castle


Route type: For many. This walk hugs the wooded shoreline of Windermere to bring you out to the tranquil setting of Wray Castle. – OS Explorer Map OL7

Distance: 5 km, 3.1 miles

Start point: Red Nab car park – grid ref. SD 386994

Turning point: Wray Castle – grid ref. NY 375001

Facilities: Café at Wray Castle – open from Easter to October

Getting there: Bus: X30 operates between Hawkshead and Wray Castle from March to November – timetables online (opens in new window)

Car: take the A593 out of Ambleside and then the B5286 to Hawkshead. After 2 km take a lane left signposted Wray and follow to Red Nab car park.


This route has been improved through the GoLakes Travel Programme. It is now possible for accompanied wheelchair users, pushchairs and motorised scooters to get all the way to Wray Castle.

The track heads north out of the car park and runs between the lakeshore and the mixed oak, ash and silver birch trees of Arthur Wood. The views across the northern reaches of Windermere are fantastic with Red Screes and Wansfell prominent. Look out for the white façade of Brockhole on the opposite shore. After 1.5 km you reach an easily opened gate which brings you out into an open grassy area and High Wray Bay. This is a great place for a picnic and a chance to watch the world go by.

The improved track to the left climbs straight on for another 0.5 km to Wray Castle entrance. There are two sections with gradients of less than 1:10 which solo wheelchair users may find difficult. Continue down the tarmac drive to the magnificent setting for Wray Castle and the chance for a rest and refreshment. An alternative route from High Wray Bay is to take the shoreline path on the right that also goes to the castle. This has recently been improved by widening and also putting in a contoured zigzag path (gradient approx 1:8) for the final stretch up to the castle. This would now fall within the criteria of “walk for some” and would be an excellent route for those capable.




Route type: For many. A short route around the beautiful grounds of Brockhole – The Lake District Visitor Centre taking in Windermere lakeshore 

Distance: 1.5 km, 0.9 miles

Start and end point: Brockhole pay and display car park – grid ref. NY 390010

Facilities: Accessible toilets and café on site, plus disabled car parkiang bay near the visitor centre

Getting there: Bus: 555 and 599 services operate all year round. Boat: Windermere Lake Cruises call at Brockhole jetty from Ambleside and Bowness. Car: A591 Windermere to Ambleside road. Brockhole is about 4 km from Windermere.


Brockhole Visitor Centre offers many attractions, including a famous walled garden, woodland and meadow trails, adventure playground and visitor centre.

From the main car park, follow the tarmac ramp behind the Treetop Trek office. Take the step-free, lower level path down into the grounds.

At the main path junction and gates, take the left hand track that heads towards the adventure play park.

Follow this main track and signs for the boats and lakeshore.

Pass the ticket office and follow the lakeshore path.

Bear right when you finally reach the wooden jetty and watersports area.

Follow signs for the visitor centre and gardens, but stay on the level, following the base of the hill and gardens.

Pass the white summerhouse and covered picnic area.

Stay on the lower path and retrace your route back to the car park. There are short sections of 1:12 gradients on this circuit.

To access the Mawson Gardens, visitor centre, shop, café, toilets and exhibitions, take the main track that climbs up through the gardens, above the summerhouse. The gradient is greater then 1:12.

There is a step-free return route to the main car park from the visitor centre.

All above extracted from

Helvellyn Via Striding Edge



This is an exciting walk along Striding Edge, probably the most popular ridge walk in Britain, to Helvellyn the third highest mountain in England at 950m above sea level. This is by far the most exciting way to the summit of this popular mountain.

About: Hard 8 Miles
908m Ascent 5.5 Hours

Start point: Red Nab car park – grid ref. SD 386994

Route: This walk starts from the large pay and display car park in the centre of Glenridding village near Ullswater at grid reference NY 385 169

Head west along Greenside Road, after the Travellers Rest Inn the road bends sharp right. Turn left and head up the track to Gillside Farm camp site. The path you need follows the Mires Beck upstream in to Little Cove. Once at the top of the steep climb the path reaches a stone wall on top of the ridge. Turn right at this stone wall and head towards Birkhouse Moor enjoying its fabulous views over Ullswater head in a south west direction back to the main path and stone wall. Follow the path and stone wall for just over half a kilometre until it reaches a point where the paths come up from Red Tarn from the right and Patterdale from the left over the stile known as the Hole In The Wall. Ascend the path in a south west direction from the Hole In The Wall and you will soon reach the start of the Striding Edge ridge. Climb to the top of the initial rocky knoll and you will get a stunning view of the ridge leading to Helvellyn. The most fun that can be had is by keeping to the crest of the ridge whenever possible. Traversing the ridge this way is and a lot of fun, requiring constant concentration on its knife edge route. For anyone requiring a slightly easier traverse or if the ridge is extremely icy or windy then an easier side path follows the ridge a few metres down to the right on the northern side. The ridge continues like this for a kilometre and then comes to High Spying How. At its far western end there is a scramble down known as The Chimney which you will need to descend with care.

Many people get stuck here as it is an unexpected climb down if you are not used to hands on scrambling descents. Luckily there is also a side path to avoid this too. If you are already at The Chimney, go back a short distance then look out for a path that heads round the south side of High Spying How that will lead you to the same place The Chimney would have done. The first thing you will come across on the summit plateau is the memorial to Charles Gough who in spring 1805 slipped from a rock and died. The story of Gough’s faithful dog who stayed with his body for 3 months until it was discovered has inspired many poems including Fidelity by William Wordsworth and Helvellyn by Sir Walter Scott.

You will also know when you reach the summit of Helvellyn as it has a large stone cross-shaped shelter which on days of inclement weather can be a huge relief! There is a stone cairn marking the highest point of the mountain at 950m above sea level. From the cairn head in a north west direction for just over a hundred metres and you will reach the stone OS trig pillar. In the winter months and often well into spring the cold north eastern facing side of Helvellyn’s summit often has a dangerous snow cornice. You should always avoid walking on this. From the OS trig pillar head north to north west for a hundred metres and you will reach the top of the descent down Swirral Edge, use your hands when necessary whist descending. Here at the col, decide if you want to take the short diversion to the top of Catstye Cam and back down again or simply head down the path to Red Tarn. After two and a half kilometres the path reaches a footbridge over the Glenridding Beck, turn right on the other side and head through the old Greenside Mines area, passing the YHA Helvellyn Youth Hostel.

A simple two kilometre walk along the tarmac Greenside Road will now take you all the way back to Glenridding passing

(Extracts from visit for full information)