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Holidays in Grizedale

Discover wildlife, art and more in this forest village in the heart of the Lake District

Treetop adventures in Grizedale Forest

Grizedale is a large Forest Park in the Lake District to the east of Coniston Water, where visitors can find a myriad of activities and fantastic swathes of conifer woodland.

The park is also home to the Grizedale Society’s expansive sculpture project that has been running constantly since the 1970s, so look out for some unusual structures along the walking and cycling trails, all of which have been made from natural found materials. The forest park is also a fantastic area to admire the diverse wildlife that make Grizedale their home.

By the Visitor Centre

The park prides itself on offering something for everyone: dog owners are welcome, trekkers, birdwatchers, and a GoApe course. You can also hire a GoApe Segway for venturing out into some of the waymarked trails. Grizedale offers a comprehensive series of special events, from music, to nature talks by visiting experts, and ranger led walks, which means one daytrip could never do Grizedale Forest Park justice as there’s just so much to see. Head to the Visitor Centre to plan your trip ahead and to find out if there are any events in the park.

On the wildlife fronts, Grizedale is home to the only indigenous herd of red deer left remaining in England so keep your eyes peeled – you may even spot some roe deer on your daytrip. Also, fix your eyes on the sky and you’re bound to spot some barn owls, buzzards, and red kites. Red kites almost went extinct in the UK until their successful introduction in the 2000s, and at Grizedale, there is an ongoing Red Kite project to ensure their well-being.

The sculptures that can be spotted all along many of the trails have been a fixture of the forest since the 1970s. Some of them are permanent whilst others are on loan from a succession of well-known artists. Look out for objets d’art from Andy Goldsworthy, Charles Bray, Linda Watson, and others; it is the first site-specific collection of outdoor art in the UK, and one of the best in the country today. Fans of Yorkshire Sculpture Park or Broomfield in North Devon will find much to enjoy on their visit if art and sculpture is one of the main draws. By proxy they also work as way markers and beacons along the trail to help walkers find their way easily, and to supplement the sculptures there are frequent exhibitions of art and photography at the visitor centre.

“Grizedale is a huge, natural swathe of mountainous forest close to Coniston Water…”

Dogs are welcomed in the park; some sections are nature reserves so there are slight restrictions on dog handling, but it’s largely a wonderful day out for dogs and their owners. There’s a Grizedale Dog Code for owners to familiarise themselves with to get the most out of their experience.

Grizedale is full of walking challenges, so from the mildest of tracks to full-on mountain trails this forest park will have something for everybody. At the ‘hard’ end of the difficulty scale there is the Silurian Trail, a loop that takes you to the summit of Carron Crag and up and down the Grizedale Valley. There are a few moderate trails and many easy ones for those that simply want a non-taxing stroll. For a full list of trails click here.

The park is close to the town of Hawkshead for amenities and places of interest to visit. To the south is Lake Windermere with the main hubs like Ambleside and Windermere for an exemplary selection of restaurants, pubs, and independent shops. There are also some interesting theatres and cinemas in the region to enjoy of an evening.

We have some lovely cottages in the Grizedale Forest Park area, so why visit our collection to feel inspired?

While you’re there

Grizedale Sculpture Trail

Art fans will love the selection of installations along the trail. Pick up a map to find the best way to see as many of the exhibits as possible.

GoApe

Fancy swinging around in the trees or travelling at high speeds down a zip-line, book a session at GoApe. Also, consider hiring a Segway to see more of the park in a quirky fashion.

Grizedale Forest Park Visitor Centre

The visitor centre is full of useful information. Pick up a map, check out an art exhibition, or some lunch in the café/restaurant.

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