Setting a course for Orrest Head

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Setting a course for Orrest Head

New summit feature bench approved for Orrest Head, Windermere- one of Cumbria's best loved scenic locations.

Setting a course for Orrest Head

We’re very fortunate at CB Arts; our work takes us to some of the most beautiful parts of the country, however, and we may be slightly biased when we say this, we think there is nowhere more beautiful than our home here in the Lake District.  With that in mind, we are very excited to share news of our next project with you, at one of Cumbria’s best-loved scenic locations, Orrest Head!

Within a larger project lead by the Lake District National Park, to make Orrest Head more accessible for visitors, plans have been approved and are well-underway for CB Arts to design and fabricate a series of bespoke benches along the route and at the summit.

So here we can finally share with you the exciting plans for the finished design – we hope you like it!

Our work begins in the Elleray Woods; a magical spot that inspired a unique set of benches.  Our design focuses on heavy forged round bars to mimic a bark texture that would then be formed into branches.  When sat alongside one another they will form the bench seat and random branches will form the legs; each bench is unique in size and form. We have carefully ensured that fixings and foundations are below ground to give the appearance that the benches are ‘growing’ from the woodland floor.

Continuing to be inspired by the surroundings, we wanted visitors to reach the summit and feel fully emersed in the magnificent setting.  As well as being rewarded with a 360-degree panoramic view, we have created a compass inspired design seating area to enable visitors to orientate themselves within the landscape.

A set of 4 benches radiate from a central directional marker and this will all be set to the correct compass bearing so it can be used to accurately orientate and give compass bearings of fells and landmarks on from the 360-degree panoramic view. Each of the bench slats are set at 1 degree increments with every 5 and 10 degrees being defined by a slightly longer slat and highlighted in our patinated finish.  As part of the detailing, we will stamp the 10-degree points with numbers, and also pick out certain landmarks and stamp them in, on the correct compass bearing.  It is our hope that visitors will interact with the piece and learn about the importance of map reading and compass reading.  The benches form seating that can be used from both sides for 20 to 24 people and have been spaced to allow movement in and around and the space for mobility scooters to turn or pass.

With completion of the project set for August, we will continue to post a few glimpses of the work in the workshop over the next few months on our social media @CBArtsUK.

We’ll leave you with Alfred Wainwright’s thoughts on Orrest Head, the first fell he walked on his first trip to the Lake District.  “Orrest Head, for many of us, is ‘where we came in’ — our first ascent in Lakeland, our first sight of mountains in tumultuous array across glittering waters, our awakening to beauty. It is a popular walk, deservedly, for here the promised land is seen in all its glory. It is a fitting finale, too, to a life made happy by fell wandering.”

You can read about the wider developments on the Lake District National Park website here. https://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/aboutus/media-centre/latest-news/news-releases/work-is-underway-to-make-the-orrest-head-summit-easier-to-reach