Explore historic Troutbeck on a self-guided walk

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Townend Barn

The peaceful and historic South Lakeland village of Troutbeck is a hidden gem bursting with character, traditional Lakeland buildings, and magnificent views – and one way to explore Troutbeck for yourself is with the help of the village’s very own ‘Discover Troutbeck Self-Guided Walk Map’.

Situated along the side of Wansfell overlooking the Troutbeck valley, the village consists of a series of tiny ‘bye-hamlets’ along a narrow lane. Many of its charming houses and working barns are listed and date back to the 17th century, and there’s just the one shop at the Village Institute – a combined tearoom and store (stocking gifts and a few basic holiday essentials) in what used to be the village Post Office. There are also two pubs both dating back to the 17th century towards the head of the village, the Mortal Man and the Queen’s Head.

Looking over the village of Troutbeck
Looking over the village of Troutbeck
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The Mortal Man
A 'bye-hamlet' towards the head of the village
A ‘bye-hamlet’ towards the head of the village

Despite its close proximity to the busy villages and towns of Windermere and Ambleside, Troutbeck feels like it could be a million miles from anywhere, and I always find it rather a shock to descend its quiet roads back to the hustle and bustle of the A591 and the modern world after spending time here.

The self-guided walk takes a linear route beginning at Townend, a traditional Lakeland farmhouse which is cared for by the National Trust, and finishing at Town Head – handy for a visit to the Queen’s Head before you turn back!

The route is approximately one mile long, meandering gradually uphill along the usually quiet main village road, and the guide points out various aspects of the vernacular architecture and historic features you’ll come across as you walk. The attractive hand-drawn map and line illustrations are all by local artist Steve Kelly.

The Discover Troutbeck Self-Guided Walk Map
The Discover Troutbeck Self-Guided Walk Map
A beautiful barn to be found on the route
A beautiful barn to be found on the route
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One of three of Troutbeck’s roadside wells, which were built in the 1800s

A roadside well in Troutbeck

Fern on the roadside, Troutbeck

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Townend and Townend Barn
Information panel about Townend Barn at Townend
An information panel about Townend Barn at Townend
Looking across the Troutbeck valley
Looking across the valley
Looking across the Troutbeck valley with Jesus Church in the distance
Looking across the valley with Jesus Church in the distance

A series of footpaths and bridleways are also detailed so that you can take in other landmarks of interest on your return walk, such as the church, and if you’re a keen hiker you might like to combine the route with a longer walk which connects to one of these.

Looking over Troutbeck in winter
Looking over the village in winter
Troutbeck in winter
Looking towards the other side of the valley – with one very happy Herdwick sheep in the bottom left corner!
Herdwick sheep
A very contented sheep in fact!
Barn in the Troutbeck valley
One of the distinctive barns to be found in the Troutbeck valley shortly before the guided route begins
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Troutbeck in the spring

The ‘Discover Troutbeck Self-Guided Walk Map’ is available from The Old Post Office Tearoom and Shop, situated in the centre of the village (postcode LA23 1PF), and currently costs just £2 for a paper version, or £3 for a laminated one – I dare you to leave without sampling their very appealing cakes to fuel you! They also serve delicious-looking paninis, sandwiches, soup, scones and teacakes, and stock a few of the essentials if you’re staying locally.

At the time of writing, the tearoom and shop are currently open every day in Summer, with reduced hours over Winter (November through to Easter) of 10.30am until 3.30pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). If in doubt, telephone first! (015394 34713)

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The Old Post Office Tearoom and Shop
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Inside The Old Post Office Tearoom and Shop

A couple of other places you might like to visit while you’re in the Troutbeck area:

  • Townend, the traditional Lakeland Farmhouse I mentioned above, which is now in the care of the National Trust. There are some really amusing stories to be discovered about eccentric members of the Browne family who lived there for 400 years. You can read more on the blog here…
  • Holehird Gardens, a 17-acre garden which is maintained by volunteers from the Lakeland Horticultural Society. What they achieve here is nothing short of miraculous. Situated between Troutbeck and Windermere, it’s well worth a look. Read more here…
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Inside historic Townend
Looking over Holehird towards (lake) Windermere
Looking over Holehird towards (lake) Windermere

For more information about the village of Troutbeck and its history, you can take a look online at the Troutbeck Village Association website.

Have you visited or stayed in the village of Troutbeck? How would you recommend spending time here? You can share your tips with other readers of the blog by leaving a comment below – it’s always lovely to hear from you!

One Comment

  1. Troutbeck is particularly special if you’re interested in vernacular architecture – it’s traditional Lakeland buildings are beautiful, and I can’t recommend a walk here highly enough.

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