GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Dodd Wood Walk

4 miles (6 km)

This splendid wood next to Bassenthwaite Lake has several waymarked walking trails to try. This includes a hike to the summit of Dodd Fell where there are excellent views to enjoy. The woods have very good facilities with a car park, cafe, picnic areas, toilets and viewpoints. The area is very popular with bird watchers who come to see the Bassenthwaite Ospreys from the viewpoints on the slopes of Dodd. You can watch the birds fishing over the lake with the high powered telescopes and binoculars provided at the viewpoints.
There's four waymarked walking trails to try with the Dodd Summit trail the most challenging. You'll climb through woodland and open hill to the 502m (1,647ft) summit where you can enjoy far reaching views towards Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake, the Solway Coast and the mountains of Scotland.
There's also three easier trails to try. These visit the magnificent Douglas Firs, the pretty Skill Beck and Sandbed Gill. After your walk you can refresh yourself at the excellent Old Sawmill Tearoom. Also nearby is the 17th century Mirehouse with its beatiful gardens and woodland.
The woods are located a few miles north west of Keswick. You could reach them on foot by following the Allerdale Ramble from the town. The path goes via Applethwaite and Millbeck, before reaching the eastern side of the woods. Cyclists can follow regional cycle route 38 from Keswick which also passes through Applethwaite and Millbeck.
Much of this walk follows the Allerdale Ramble footpath which runs right through the woods. You can continue along this path to extend your walking in the area. If you follow it north east you will climb to Carl Side and then on to the wonderful peak of Skiddaw. Skiddaw is the 4th highest mountain in England and commands majestic views over theCheviots, North Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, Forest of Bowland and the Isle of Arran. The path can be followed in the other direction along Bassenthwaite Lake. It will take you past Mirehouse & Gardens and several bays and woods. It eventually reaches the end of the lake and continues along the River Derwent to Cockermouth.


CA12 4QD - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

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Dodd Wood OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Dodd Wood Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


Right next to the wood is the excellent Old Sawmill Tearoom. The delightful tearoom was originally a working sawmill until 1970 and it was converted to its present use in 1981. The walls are hung with saws and the original saw blade is still here. You can read about the local history of Dodd Wood and the Mirehouse estate while you enjoy morning coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea. The wood burning stove is stoked up in the colder months, and in summer picnic tables overlook Bassenthwaite Lake. The tea room is wonderfully positioned atthe foot of Dodd Fell just to the east of Mirehouse.

Dog Walking

The woods are a popular place for a dog walk and you will probably see plenty of other owners on your outing. The Old Sawmill tea rooms mentioned above are also dog friendly and will provide water bowls.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

There's some interesting sites to explore next to Bassenthwaite Lake if you have time after exploring the woods. Firstly there's the historic St Bega’s Church. The church dates from pre-Norman times and includes a 14th century lead crucifix and a font dating from 1300. The tranquil church is well worth a visit if you have time. A booklet describing the history of the church can be obtained from theDodd WoodOld Sawmill Tearoom.
St Begas Church at Bassenthwaite Lake. - - 86647 St Begas Church, Bassenthwaite - churchyard looking toward Bassenthwaite.JPG - panoramio
Pictured above, the church and chuchyard of the historic St Begas Church.
The church is located in the grounds of the lovely Mirehouse and Gardens. Mirehouse was owned by the Spedding family, who regularly entertained the likes of Thomas Carlyle, Edward Fitzgerald and Lord Tennyson. It was named 2017 visitor attraction of the year at the Cumbria Tourism Awards. On the site you can explore the historic house, stroll the picturesque gardens and visit the lakeshore and woodland playgrounds. There's a number of walks with a Family Nature Trail, a woodland trail with Scots Pine and a Poetry Walk. This uses asection of the terraced garden known as “Canada” and is an ongoing commemoration of the unique literary connections that Mirehouse has had over the years. Just above the house is a viewpoint where you can look out for Osprey soaring above the lake.
Mirehouse, near Bassenthwaite Lake - - 39864 Underskiddaw - Osprey Viewpoint
Pictured above left, Mirehouse. On the right the stunning view to the SW from the Osprey viewpoint which sits above the Dodd Wood car park. You can see red squirrels here, as well as many different species of birds. There are mounted telescopes provided which are very powerful.
The circular walk to Ullock Pike, Longside Edge and Carl Side also starts from the Dodd Wood car park.
On the western side of the lake there's the circular walk to Sale Fell to try. The area near the fell also includes the 17th century Pheasant Inn, one of the oldest inns in the Lake District.
For more walking ideas in the National Park see the Lake District Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


Osprey Viewpoint, Dodd Wood - - 608324

Osprey Viewpoint, Dodd Wood. From this commanding viewpoint, high up the side of Dodd, it is possible in season to view the ospreys which have been introduced to Bassenthwaite Lake under the Lake District Osprey Project, a joint initiative by the Forestry Commission, the Lake District National Park and the RSPB. In the middle distance can be seen the delta of the River Derwent where it enters the head of the lake.

Lower viewing area, lower osprey viewpoint, Dodd Wood (geograph 3953600)

Lower viewing area, lower osprey viewpoint. The site isone of the only four pairs of nestingOspreysin northern England, the other three being atKielder ForestinNorthumberland. The open-air viewing platform was opened in June 2001 giving a clear view of the nest from a safe distance.

On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine, Dodd Woods - - 327977

On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine in the woods. Just why a single pine was left when the fell here was cleared a few years ago is a mystery. The view is of the River Derwent with High Stock Bridge just after the first bend. In the distance is Derwent Water, from which the river flows. A bright sunny day with early mist just being burned off.

Approaching the lower osprey viewpoint, Dodd Wood (geograph 3953590)

Approaching the lower osprey viewpoint

View of Dodd Wood across Bassenthwaite Lake - - 465595

View of Dodd Wood across Bassenthwaite Lake. Looking ESE from lake side at Beck Wythop across Bassenthwaite Lake towards the wood. The lake is the only body of water in the Lake District to use the word"lake"in its name, all the others being"waters","meres" or"tarns". It is fed by, and drains into, theRiver Derwent.As well as the Ospreys Cormorantshave been known to fish the lake andheronscan also be seen; at the turn of the 19th century there was a report of 60 nests in a heronry in nearbyWythopWoods.

Beck in Dodd Wood - - 2311296

Skill Beck. This is a view of the Skill Beck on the western side of the woods near the car park.

Seat on Dodd - - 1771105

Seat on Dodd Seat with a classic view of Keswick, Derwent Water and Borrowdale. For many years the fell was extensively planted withconifersright up to the summit which obstructed the view. However, Forestry England started a programme of tree clearance from the top of the fell in 2001 and the summit of the fell is now clear; it is hoped that it will revert toheathermoorlandin years to come.

Descending Dodd - - 1772618

Descending Dodd. Looking down the north west flank. Dodd Fell forms part of theSkiddawrange in thenorthern partof the national park and the slopes are heavily wooded.


GPS Files

GPX File

Dodd Wood.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Dodd Wood.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)