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Swing from the trees or bathe in their beauty

Whinlatter Forest is not just acres of vibrant woodland in the beautiful Lake District that overlooks the breathtaking Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake and the historic market town of Keswick. This place is also the only true mountain forest in England and is home to a Michelin starred restaurant, Cottage in the Wood. Upon arrival don’t be alarmed if you are greeted by screams echoing beneath the branches. This is not the scene of a horror movie. It will likely be the shriek of exhilaration from a brave soul swooping between the trees, on an 89 metre zip wire.
Goape Zip-wire
If adrenalin pumping thrills are your bag, then Whinlatter Forest has everything you need to get your kicks. Experience the Go Ape course with its high ropes, suspended crossings and a Tarzan swing for real dare-devils.
If you prefer to stay on terre ferme you can zoom round the forest paths on a Segway. If you’ve never ridden one before it will take you a few minutes to trust that you won’t end up in a heap on the ground. You have to lean forward to move and every part of your brain is reminding you that this is unnatural! This genius machine does the balancing for you so just lean and in no time you are zipping through the forest, with the wind in your hair, in awe at the Lakeland views in front of you. Your session also includes full coaching on how to use a Segway and it’s so easy you will pick it up in just a few minutes. And we promise you won’t fall flat on your face!

A visit to Whinlatter Forest doesn’t need to be high-octane adrenalin fueled adventure. The tranquility of the forest works wonders to restore calm and aide well-being. The current trend of forest bathing has arrived from Japan.

Hosted by See Events, the Go Lakes team went to try it out and it’s fair to say several members of the group were initially skeptical. Like a naughty school trip there was sniggering at back. That all changed when our instructor led us in silence into the forest. Stepping at a deliberately tranquil pace focusing on the array of colours in the woodland from the grasses and wildflowers to the reddening leaves of autumn. We were encouraged to touch items that caught our eye and really concentrate on the sensation. Stopping what you are doing, taking a breath and embracing the stillness of the moment, whilst sensing the world around you has the most calming influence. It’s like a warm glow passing through your body. Next, we sat in a clearing of trees beside a fast-flowing stream, eyes closed just listening. Nature at its best. Water trickling, birds twittering and fluttering, flies buzzing and the gentle breeze rustling the golden leaves. Once eased out of our meditative state, everything seemed different. It was like waking from a deep sleep. Shoulders lighter, mind free to wander and all round more chilled. In our busy lives we are all guilty of neglecting our own mindfulness and wellbeing. As sceptics of forest bathing, it took just one hour amongst the trees, fully relaxing, to become staunch advocates of the art.

View of Whinlatter
We all need that break from time to time and a trip to the forest really is a chance to get away from the routine and a chance to recharge those batteries. It’s TLC for your body, mind and soul.

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