Lakeland Walking Breaks

Claife Heights and Far Sawrey


Claife Heights and Far Sawrey

Note that when we last walk checked this route it rained and no photographs were taken, so we have used a number of pictures taken on our many visits down the years.

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information about each walk

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Post Knott and Brantfell

School Knott

Orrest Head

Cockshott Point

Bowness and Windermere

Biskey Howe and Sheriffs Wood


Accommodation near to Claife Heights

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Belsfield Hotel, a Lake District Hotel in Bowness on Windermere The Burn How Hotel, a Lake Distrcit Hotel in Bowness on Windermere
Thornbank House, a lake District Guest House in Windermere White Lodge, a Lake district guest house in Bowness on Windermere

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This delightful walk features a ferry ride across Windermere, a ruined building that had no other purpose than to enable to people to look out of it’s windows, a wonderful stroll through woodland, albeit with a steep slope to deal with, followed by a gentle walk down hill to return.

Claife Heights is the prominent ridge of high ground to the west of Windermere. Nowadays it is a forestry plantation and walkers and cyclists are attracted to it's maze of footpaths and forest tracks, but in days gone by there were more sinister goings on, featuring spirits of both the evil and drinkable kind, of which more a little later.

Claife Station was built as a viewing station by the owners of the Ferry Hotel, so that visitors could enjoy the lake views. It is now owned and maintained by the National Trust. This picture shows it as it was in 2005.

This is the view from one of the windows. In it's heyday, the building featured windows with tinted glass that represented the different seasons of the year. It was also used as a dining hall for private parties.

The walk features fine views of Bowness Bay and Belle Isle.

The route is a mixture of forest track, with glimpses of Windermere with the town of Windermere and School Knott appearing between the trees. You are heading for "Crier of Claife" country. The Crier is the evil spirit of a jilted lover that was banished to a quarry on Claife Heights. It is said that on dark and windy nights you can hear his cries quite clearly across the lake in Bowness. This is also the an area where the moonshiners of old plied their trade, brewing illicit liquor in the woods and selling it to inns and hostelries. Could they have perpetuated the story of the "Crier of Claife" in order to protect their illegal business activities?

The return route features more fabulous views, this time over Esthwaite Vale towards Grizedale Forest and the Coniston Fells.