The Bogtrotter

Amble through the Lakes – walk from Grasmere to Ambleside

by on Oct.04, 2009, under Britain, British Walks, Walks

When you think of walking in the Lake District you immediately think of heading for the fells and mountain-tops, but there are also plenty of low level walks that provide equally enjoyable walking. This is an gentle but varied five mile walk between two of Lakeland’s most visited sites – Grasmere village and Ambleside. The walk is fairly easy going, with little ascent and just one tricky section.

Starting from Grasmere Church (resting place of poet William Wordsworth) take the small road opposite, past the car park and garden centre. You follow this road past a hotel and out of the village, getting your first views of Grasmere lake on your left. You then approach close to the lake, passing a small boathouse and cafe. The road then climbs up and slightly away from the lake, giving fine views across to Grasmere with the village lying underneath the bulk of Great Rigg.

Having past a couple of housing (including one with a gothic looking dark garden) you will see a kissing gate on your left next to a bend in the road. Go through the gate and descend down the steps to the lake edge. You can then follow the southern edge of Grasmere lake right around to the small weir at the end – avoiding the temptation to take one of the paths up to higher ground. Here you will see a footbright crossing the river, which many people take to return to Grasmere. However, our route carries straight on along the riverbank. Here the path meanders through a native woodland which rises up on both sides of the valley, the confined feeling in contrast to the openness of the early part of the walk near the lake.

View over towards Rydal Water

View over towards Rydal Water

The path then reaches a T junction, with another footbridge on the left across the river. Again we ignore the bridge and turn right, back through the woods and climbing until we reach a style over a stone wall. You can see Loughrigg Fell rising in from of you and if you turn aroung you will see Rydal Water open before you. Turn left and join the track that descends slowly down to the Water, eventually following the waters edge. There is a short tricky section across some rocks beside the water’s edge, before the path splits. Take the higher route away from the water through the woods, which becomes a wider track and eventually tarmaced as you reach some houses. If you are thirsty you can divert to the pub in Rydal, or if you are lucky you will see the ice cream van at the car park.

Carry on past the car park until you reach the quaint stone pelter bridge, with the main road opposite. Instead of crossing the bridge, turn right just before and follow the road that crosses the open grassland before passing some houses on the right. Opposite the houses you will see some stepping stones across the river, although when I was there these were all underwater. Continue along the road, which winds its way along the edge of the valley floor. After about one mile you will see a footbridge on your left, which you cross over to enter Rothay Park on the outskirts of Ambleside. Cross through the park an you will then pass a school and enter the town proper.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Ambleside, before getting the regular bus back to Grasmere. The route is all on OS map OL7 The English Lakes: Sout-eastern area.

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