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Free RSPB Guided Walk at Haweswater

To celebrate National Lottery Open Week, discover this quiet corner of the Lake District on a free guided walk with the RSPB in Swindale Valley.

From re-wiggled rivers, to thousands of planted trees, from restored wildflower meadows, to regenerative farming, learn more on this introduction to the vital work carried out here by the RSPB and United Utilities.

Discover how nature conservation and hill farming work hand in hand to benefit wildlife, water and people in this rugged, wild landscape.

Walk suitable for adults. Sorry no dogs other than assistance dogs. Appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear required. Suitable for all terrain wheelchairs.

Limited numbers, so booking is essential. One National Lottery ticket/scratchcard entitles the holder to one free place on the walk.

RSPB Terms and Conditions – Haweswater

Promoter: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (the RSPB) is a registered charity in England & Wales no. 207076 and in Scotland no. SC037654 whose registered address is at The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL.

Important Information and Frequently Asked Questions

1) Who do I contact with any questions?  
🌸 Please contact our team on the phone number or email listed above, if you have any queries, and we will be happy to help.

2) Where is the meeting place?
🌸 You will be greeted by our staff at the small car park in Swindale Valley. You will be sent more detailed directions a week before the event, but the location is at What 3 Words: texts.cavalier.wake

3) What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?
🌸 Unfortunately public transport to Haweswater is currently unavailable. There is a small amount of parking available in Swindale, where our staff will be waiting to meet you on the day.

4) What is the terrain of the walk like?
🌸 The walk will largely take place on grass and stony tracks with some of it on tarmac. It is mostly flat but can be quite uneven and is steep in places. It can be muddy underfoot and we also cross a stream. There are opportunities to explore further on site after the event should you wish to discover more of our beautiful corner of the Lake District. Our team can advise you on some other excellent places to explore.

5) Who is the walk suitable for / what is the accessibility of the walk?
🌸 You don't have to be a wildlife expert to attend. This walk will be a general introduction to the work of the RSPB at Haweswater and how the site is managed in partnership with United Utilities to benefit wildlife, water and people. Unfortunately due to the terrain, this walk is unsuitable for wheelchairs. Please contact us if you have additional questions about accessibility. This event is suitable for adults. Sorry, no dogs on this event.

6) What should I bring with me?🌸 You should wear comfortable, outdoor clothing appropriate for the weather. A raincoat is useful as the weather is often changeable in this upland part of the Lakes. Wellies are recommended as we will be crossing a river as part of the walk. You may like to bring a camera or take pictures on your phone. A notepad and pen to record what you learn is useful, but not essential if you simply want to absorb the experience. Feel free to bring snacks/drinks. You may wish to have a picnic in Swindale after the event.  

7) What facilities are available on site?
🌸 There are no toilet facilities in Swindale. The nearest toilet is at the RSPB office at Naddle Farm, a 10 minute drive from Swindale. See questions 11 and 12 for food/drink and accommodation options locally.

8) What else can I do whilst at Haweswater?
🌸 We have a whole host of events and experiences available, or you might just like to explore other parts of the site at your leisure. Visit for full details. See questions 11 and 12 for food/drink and accommodation options locally. Visit for full details, or ask our team on the day and we'd be happy to point you at some great places to go.

9) Why is this event free when all your others have a charge?
🌸 This event is part of the National Lottery Open Week celebrations - an annual promotion that has been running since 2017 and 2024 is a special year for the promotion, as its marks the 30th anniversary of the National Lottery. The idea is simple: during National Lottery Open Week (this year it's from Saturday 9-Sunday 17 March), National Lottery funded venues and projects across the UK make a special offer available to National Lottery players, which can be redeemed with a National Lottery ticket, scratchcard or proof of play online. It is to say thank you for the £30 million raised for Good Causes every week by players, National Lottery funded venues offer free entry, discounts and special offers throughout National Lottery Open Week.

10) What if I need to re-schedule or cancel?
🌸 Full details of the RSPB’s events refund policy can be found here.. Please contact our team on 01931 713376 or if you have any other queries, and we will be happy to help.

11) Where can I eat and drink locally?
🌸 You won’t go hungry when visiting Haweswater, with plenty of nearby places to eat and drink. The closest are the 4* Haweswater Hotel, our local community pub the Mardale Inn at Bampton and Bampton Community Shop, all just 5 minutes drive away. There is also the Queen’s Head and the Punchbowl Inn at Askham, both 15 minutes drive away as well as the Askham village shop with a selection of hot drinks, pies, sandwiches and cakes. There is a café at Lowther Castle, 20 minutes drive away and a number of options in Shap, also 20 minutes drive away, including The Greyhound pub, a chip shop and The Abbey Kitchen café.

12) Where can I stay locally?
🌸 There’s lots of lovely options for places to stay nearby. Our local community pub, The Mardale Inn at Bampton,is 5 minutes drive away and offers newly refurbished rooms at a discounted overnight rate to Wild Haweswater visitors, available using the code “WildHawes23YTS.” The 4* Haweswater Hotel is just 5 minutes drive away overlooking the reservoir and the Queen’s Head and the Punchbowl Inn, both at Askham are 15 minutes drive away. There are a number of bed and breakfasts, holiday cottages and pubs with rooms 20 minutes away in Shap such as New Ing Lodge and the Greyhound pub.  Campsites include Setterah Park FarmNew Ing Lodge and Aragon Camping. Further afield in the Lake District, you can find lots more options here.

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