14th May 2011

A circuit of Grasmere and Rydal


Walk Overview
Time 10.30 to 13 00
Duration 2 hr 30 min
Distance 7.2 mile
Ascent 800 ft
Walking with On my own
A591 - Grasmere - The Lea - Grasmere (lake) - end of Loughrigg Terrace - Rydal Water - Pelter Bridge - Rydal - Coffin Route to Grasmere - A591
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, A591 outside Grasmere

I've described this spot as roadside parking, but it is actually a rather long lay-by found between Grasmere and the bottom of Dunmail Raise. It is quite a popular spot, so latecomers may arrive to find it full. If this turned out to be the case the best alternative would be to try one of the car parks in Grasmere itself. It all depends on where you're going of course, but the distance this would add onto your walk is not much at all.


Route Map

The unsettled weather continues with heavy showers and high winds forecast for today. Never mind, the high fells are going nowhere.
I took this picture of Helm Crag just after leaving the car.

Considering it wasn't exactly the crack of dawn, it was nice and quiet in Grasmere when I walked through here this morning. Needless to say it was much busier than this a couple of hours later when I returned. I should add that on the second visit most people, including myself, were diving for cover from a 'sudden heavy shower'. I chose to dive into the book shop where they now have a shelf set aside for second hand Lake District books. Second hand does not imply that books are going to be cheap by the way. One of the books was a 1923 biography of Canon Rawnsley written by his wife Eleanor, and although I was more than pleased to pay £30 for a copy, I couldn't help but wonder how books of this age are valued. I'm constantly on the look out for old Lake District books so there's rarely a week goes by when I don't buy books up to and well above this price yet I'm never sure if I've got a bargain or if I've been a victim of daylight robbery.
Anyway: on with the walk.

That's not the way, I just thought the drive and the houses in front of Silver How make a nice picture.

On the opposite side of Grasmere is Nab Scar and Heron Pike.

After leaving Grasmere and following the road for a while, the route now sticks to the edge of the lake as far as the weir.

Looking back down the lake towards Grasmere. The shapeliness of this particular skyline is formed by Helm Crag on the left and Seat Sandal on the right. The pair are separated by Dunmail Raise which despite rising to almost 800ft asl, seems to have hardly any height at all when viewed from here.

The weir at the Loughrigg Terrace end of the lake.

What a difference a couple of weeks can make in nature. When we were here at the start of the month this field was a mass of blue with hardly any green at all. Now the inevitable has happened and the bracken is slowly but surely taking ownership of the place for another summer.

Following the track down to the side of Rydal Water.


A view back down the lake shows Silver How with a brief spell of sunshine.

This is the track that runs from Rydal Water to Belter Bridge.

Pelter Bridge.
On the left you can see the pink top of the 'resident' ice cream van. Books may indeed be a little difficult to assess, but I'm sure an ice cream is something we can all place a value on. Last time we stepped forward and volunteered to be customers here, we definitely walked away as victims of daylight robbery. The ice cream itself was fine, my grievance was the quantity; perhaps I should have asked to see a sample before I finalised the deal.

This is the house found below Rydal Mount.

On the section of the coffin route between Rydal and Grasmere.

Loughrigg Fell, seen behind Rydal Water.


Looking up Dunney Beck.
I keep promising myself that I'll use this as a route up to Alcock Tarn one day, but never seem to get around to it. With the amount of bracken higher up, attempting it in the middle of summer would not be wise.

White Moss Tarn, also known as Skater's Tarn and Wordsworth's Tarn. White Moss Tarn because that's where it is, Skater's Tarn because Wordsworth used to skate here and Wordsworth's Tarn because Wordsworth used to skate here. The choice, as they say, is yours.

Not quite the master of disguise, but certainly the master of standing motionless.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks