Trails and orienteering

Swallows and Amazons Trail

Join us for our unique Swallows and Amazons trail around the beautiful grounds and gardens here at Brockhole.
Explore in true Walker and Blackett family style as you hunt for clues and complete activities on our ultimate adventure trail, see if you can tie knots well enough to set sail, work out track signalling in the woods and create your own pirate flag - plus loads more.

Price: £3.00, includes activity sheet and small prize.

Beatrix Potter Trail

Meet Beatrix Potter's characters on our new Beatrix Potter trail around our beautiful lakeshore grounds and learn more about the wildlife that inspired her. Our amazing grounds are home to many of the creatures who appear in Beatrix Potter's tales - we even share our name with Mr Brock the badger.

Price: £1.50, includes an activity sheet for you to collect brass rubbings from each board. Available from the Brockhole shop.

We followed the Beatrix Potter nature trail boards... and loved the memories of reading the stories to our daughters, They were most informative on the animals too.

- TripAdvisor review, December 2014

Facts - Brockhole's link with Beatrix Potter

  • Wealthy Manchester silk and yarn merchants, the Gaddum family created the lavish lakeside home, where Edith and her first cousin Beatrix Potter continued close lifelong ties.
  • The writer sent letters to Gaddum children Jim and Molly at Brockhole, including one based on Jeremy Fisher, complete with illustrations.
  • According to Gaddum family letters, Beatrix Potter and her husband William Heelis attended William and Edith's golden wedding anniversary celebrations at Brockhole in 1936.
  • It was the last time she wore inherited family jewels and a dress with many buttons down the back, which she was apparently unable to remove after the drive home to Sawrey. Sitting up all night in a chair, she was finally helped out of the garment when her housekeeper arrived the following morning.

Discovery trail

Discover Brockhole with our fun family trail. Explore the wonderful grounds and find out more about Brockhole's history, wildlife, landscape and what is special about the National Park.

Price: £1.50. Pick up your Discovery trail leaflet from the Brockhole shop.

Orienteering courses

We have two fixed orienteering courses - one with 22 controls and one with 12 controls.

It's all about having fun with maps and navigation! A control is the marker you are looking for. You have to navigate your way round, choosing the best route between controls. There is a letter at each control to collect and when you have them all it makes a word.

Price: £2.25 for a map, available at the Brockhole shop.

Walking routes

Jenkin Crag walk - three miles

On this route the boat does half the journey! Check out the leaflet for a map and details:

Brockhole Visitor Centre to or from Waterhead via Jenkin Crag walking leaflet (PDF)

Wansfell walk - six miles

This walk takes in beautiful views and a boat trip. Read the leaflet for a map and details:

Brockhole Visitor Centre from Waterhead via Wansfell walking leaflet (PDF)

Miles Without Stiles easy route


  • Route type: For many. A short route around the beautiful grounds of Brockhole - The Lake District Visitor Centre, taking in Windermere lakeshore OS Explorer Map OL7
  • Distance: 1.5 km, 0.9 miles
  • Start and end point: Brockhole pay after stay park - grid ref. NY 390010
  • Facilities: Accessible toilets and café on site, plus disabled car parking bay near the visitor centre
  • Getting there: Bus: 555 and 599 services operate all year round. Boat: Windermere Lake Cruises call at Brockhole jetty from Ambleside and Bowness. Car: A591 Windermere to Ambleside road. Brockhole is about 4 km from Windermere.


  1. From the main car park, follow the tarmac ramp behind the Treetop Trek office. Take the step-free, lower level path down into the grounds.
  2. At the main path junction and gates, take the left hand track that heads towards the adventure play park.
  3. Follow this main track and signs for the boats and lakeshore.
  4. Pass the ticket office and follow the lakeshore path.
  5. Bear right when you finally reach the wooden jetty and watersports area.
  6. Follow signs for the visitor centre and gardens, but stay on the level, following the base of the hill and gardens.
  7. Pass the white summerhouse and covered picnic area.
  8. Stay on the lower path and retrace your route back to the car park. There are short sections of 1:12 gradients on this circuit.
  9. To access the Mawson Gardens, visitor centre, shop, café, toilets and exhibitions, take the main track that climbs up through the gardens, above the summerhouse. The gradient is greater then 1:12.
  10. There is a step-free return route to the main car park from the visitor centre.


Brockhole Miles Without Stiles map (PDF)