This is an easy (if steep in places) walk or run, offering some of the finest views of Lake Windermere. It’ll only take about 90 minutes in total (although it could take more if you wanted to make a picnic and enjoy the views from Brant Fell over lunch or dinner) so perfect for one of those days when you only want to be outside for a little while. I used the Ordnance Survey Map 0L7 (The English Lakes, South Eastern Area), and its best to take that map, although I think it would be possible to find your way without it. The signage en route is ok, and together with the following description you should be fine if you have the basic map the Windermere Marina Village provides for free.
Leave the Windermere Marina Village and walk towards nearby Bowness on Windermere. Keep to the main road and this will take you about 15 minutes, maximum.
Bowness on Windermere is a small town with a nice waterfront setting populated by a great many swans; here are 2 views of the ferry dock. You could catch a steamer boat from here to either end of the lake (Ambleside or the Aquarium) or hire small wooden row boats.
From the dock, head up the main road to the roundabout, it’ll take 5 minutes. When you get to the roundabout, turn right, then left uphill with the pub on the right.
Walk up this road for 5 minutes. After a further 10 minutes the road will end and there’ll be a gate, and a little further on a sign indicating that you are on the Dales Way. Another 5 minutes uphill and you’ll see a large signpost. Here you turn right, along a shady, well made path.
The path curls around to the left, and then forks, 30 seconds up the left fork. There’s a bench here, and the view is indeed lovely, but retrace your steps and then take the right fork for even better views, another 20 minutes further on.
There’ll be another viewpoint on your right, more open this time, just 5 minutes after you pass through a metal gate. This is nice, but look left and you’ll see Brant Fell rising. Not to a great height, but high enough. You just need to climb over a wooden stile, and then the fell will reveal itself to you totally. It’s not huge, but it was one of Wainrights favourites, and when you get to the top, it’s easy to see why.
From the top you’re rewarded with spectacular views of Lake Windermere. I reached the summit about 45 minutes after leaving the Windermere Marina Village and found the summit had loads of space to relax on, eat, and enjoy the scenery.
When you’re finished up on Brant Fell, head back down, retracing your steps to Bowness on Windermere ferry dock, but instead of walking back along the main road, keep to the lakeshore, there’s a lovely public footpath that takes you to onto National Trust land towards Cockshott Point and then onto Windermere Marina Village. You could of course take this path on your way into Bowness at the start of this walk/run. The water here is good for swimming too, if you fancy it. Don’t count on staying in long though, Windermere is one of the coldest lakes and on the occasions that I went in, it was for a very quick dip only! Unless you take a wetsuit, in which case, it’s really wonderful wild swimming here.
From Cockshott Point the Windermere Marina Village is a flat, easy 10 minutes walk away.