We had enjoyed our New Year’s Day walk in Whinlatter Forest park, which you can read about here, so it was no surprise that we returned for another walk a few days later.
This time we had selected the Seat How Summit Trail. The description told us that this circular walk takes in spectacular views of both Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake as well as the Skiddaw and Helvellyn mountain ranges. Climbing to 500m through forest and heather moorland, this trail is one of the treasures of Whinlatter Forest. It is described as a demanding trail, and would definitely be a step up from our previous walk, and, from Debbie’s point of view, would take her higher than Cat Bells, her previous highest elevation in the Lake District.
We began from the same point at the Whinlatter Visitor Centre, and this time were following the green trail, which was very clearly waymarked with coloured junction markers. We immediately headed into the woods, along a well-surfaced trail which passed by a play area with some wooden sculptures, heading gently uphill, before very soon turning off the path to begin a steep ascent winding through the tall trees which provided a complete cover.
We soon emerged at the Horsebox Crossroads, on to a track which maintained the ascent while proceeding outside of the forest itself, bending this way and that, crossing some mountain bike routes, before reaching an open space of rough ground, heather moorland, then going into the tree cover again.
We were still climbing steadily and were brought out into the open once more, just below a ridge which sparked my interest, so I took a quick detour to the top, finding myself on Ullister Hill.
At 525 metres this was actually higher than our target summit, so I took some photographs before coming back down and heading into the trees on a track which wound around and went up and down before coming out into a clearing and rising up to the target summit of Seat How, with its remarkably surprising view.
At 496 metres, Seat How really punches way above its weight with its view, and on a clear day like today it was stunning just how far we could see. Skiddaw, Keswick and Derwentwater were very obvious to me, and not for the first time over this holiday I felt myself being drawn to Skiddaw.
We could see the view, but while I could hear some jets, I was never able to spot them. We came back off the summit and turned right, following the track down an easy descent with a few steeper parts in the journey, from time to time catching further glimpses of the view as we emerged from the forest on to more open tracks.
It was not very long before we joined up with the returns of the other trails to take us back to the Visitor Centre.
It had taken us under 2 hours to walk the 5.75 kilometres.
You can see more of my photographs from the walk here.