Far Sawrey, Claife Heights and Wray Castle

Name of walk Far Sawrey, Claife Heights and Wray Castle
Date of walk 2012-02-15
Distance walked (miles) 12
Duration of walk 6 hours 0 minutes
Weather Sunshine and blue skies
Peaks on walk Claife Heights
Walked with Ged and blind Kas
Parking Roadside Far Sawrey

Yesterday Ged, Kas and I drove to Far Sawrey in order to visit Three Dubs Tarn and High Blind How (886ft), both of which we did not have time to explore on the last occasion we were at Claife Heights. We would then head up on the high forest track to Belle Grange Bay and take the lakeside track to Wray Castle and church, then back to Belle Grange via Low Wray and High Wray, we would then return to Far Sawrey via the lakeside track. A walk of about 12 miles.


Frozen Esthwaite Water.


We visited Moss Eccles Tarn last time, but just to the top right of the photo is the track off right that leads to Three Dubs Tarn. No chance of Kas falling in this time as the tarn is frozen solid!


The boat house at Three Dubs Tarn.


There were footprints right across the lake where someone had walked across.....before it had started to defrost!


We walked across the dam joined by two loose planks of wood......that bent in the middle!


We then followed the woodland track to locate High Blind How. Claiffe Heights is littered with tracks, with only a rare sign post. You just have to follow the map! We took a track off right which should eventually lead to another track off right, which should then lead to the summit.


This view was a little confusing as if we are were where I thought we were, there should not be a tarn here! On close inspection is was just frozen boggy ground!


The unsignposted track to the summit was closed off! As the summit was only two minutes away and we could hear no forestry work going on so we ignored the warning.


Two minutes later.......Claiffe Heights summit.......we could hear some forestry work going on on the otherside deeper in the forest, but we were not going to be headed that way, but would return back to the track we left to continue on to the high level path. There is virtually no view from the summit due to the trees, maybe that is why the summit is called High Blind How!


From the high level path looking over Lake Windermere to Bowness.


Close up of Bowness.


View to Orrest Head.


Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick.


We followed the track down to the lakeshore. Wansfell in the distance.


Excellent view to the Fairfield Horseshoe.


..and in close up.


Boat houses in High Wray Bay. The track behind the far boat house leads to Wray Castle.


Looking across to Wansfell and the Low Wood Hotel.


A grassy track then leads up to the back of Wray Castle.


We walked through the grounds and around to the front of the castle. Wray Castle is currently empty, but the grounds are open to all. It is not a real castle but a private house built in the gothic style in 1840, and is now owned by the National Trust but there are plans to make it into a hotel. We met and chatted to an old couple in their eighties that now live in Coniston, the husband used to work here when he was 18. They had parked at the castle to walk down to the lake. Wray Castle used to be used by the Freshwater Biological Association. Beatrix Potter has also stayed here.


Side view.


A close up of the Langdale Pikes from the terrace.


The Fairfield Horseshoe.


Panorama of the view from Wray Castle


The grounds contain a number of specimen trees: Wellingtonia, Giant Redwood, Gingkoa, Weeping Lime and varieties of Beech. There is a Mulberry Tree planted by William Wordsworth in 1845. Watbarrow Wood is the wooded bank between the castle and the lake, and has several pleasant paths leading through it to the water's edge. Ged with a Giant Redwood.


This car didn`t seem out of place here!


We headed on to Wray Church (St. Margaret's) now closed and unused. In 1877 the vicar was Canon Rawnsley, the founder of the National trust.


We headed up the road to High Wray. Looking back across a field.


Then we made our way back to Belle Grange for the long walk along the lake shore to Far Sawrey.


A close up of the Ferry across Windermere....a bit blurry!


The Freshwater Biological Association (I spent a week here as an undergraduate in the early 1980's) with the queue for the ferry infront..

We then headed back to the car, the walk had taken us just over six hours. There may have been severe gales on the summits but we didn’t have any wind at all!