This is Emily’s first ever ‘buggy friendly’ walk, and now that the weather is getting slightly warmer, this could be the first of many over the next few months. After checking the weather forecast, we thought the conditions would be perfect for a forest walk; this time of year the sun is low and the trees have very little foliage, which can have a positive effect while walking through deep forest plantations.
We chose to follow the ‘Two Gills Trail’, which is the red route in Whinlatter Forest Park. This route also follows (partly) ‘The Highway Rat Activity Trail’, which is aimed at younger children, but the whole family can enjoy completing activities and spotting characters along the way. There are a couple of steep sections on this path, and also a small section which is quite stony, so it helps if you’ve got a buggy with large ‘all-terrain wheels’. We don’t recommend this walk in wet conditions.
There is plenty of parking (pay on exit), a cafe and toilets at the Whinlatter Visitor Centre.
Route 11 - Two Gills Trail, Whinlatter Forset Park - Map 1
As well as three trail walks, you can also walk to Whinlatter, Barf, Lord’s Seat and Broom fell from here.
There are 8 boards along the trail with carved characters to be found along the way. It is aimed at younger children, but the whole family can enjoy the fun. This new trail follows part of the red and blue routes, and is about 1.25 miles in length.
The three main trails in Comb Plantation are:
Comb Beck Trail (blue route)
Two Gills Trail (red route)
Seat How Summit Trail (green route)
A bit of a climb here 🙂
This would be a good place to stop for lunch on a nice day as there’s plenty of seating.
When you arrive at this junction, you continue along the forest road and follow the Two Gills Trail (red route) to Black Gill. If you want to continue on the Highway Rat Activity Trail, you need to take the path to the right.
Straight after crossing Black Gill, where the forest road bridges over it, we take a narrow path on the right.
This short section is quite stony, so it’s recommended that you have a buggy with big all-terrain wheels.
This is the most exciting part of the walk. The path is narrow, but is great fun 🙂
This was our favourite section of the walk with a lovely little traverse path. Please be careful of the drop on the right.
This is the steepest section of the walk, however, it’s absolutely fine as long as you take your time; it’s not recommended in wet weather.
This is the point where the Highway Rat Trail rejoins our route again.
“In 1998 an artificial platform was set up at the top of a tree in Wythop Wood in the hope that it would be chosen as a nest site. Incredibly, this was successful, and chicks have been raised there every year from 2001 to 2007. Since 2003 it has been possible to watch the nest site from the Visitor Centre using closed circuit television, and in 2004 the project won the Tourism Team of the Year Award. This is the first time ospreys have bred in England since 1842. In 2008 the birds moved across the lake but they can still be seen on C.C.T.V.” (Lord’s Seat 4)