28th August 2011

Grasmere, Ambleside and quite a few other places


Walk Overview
Time 9.30 to 14.55
Duration 5 hr 25 min
Distance 12.3 mile
Ascent 1700 ft
Walking with Jennifer
A591 - Grasmere - The Lea - Grasmere (lake) - Loughrigg Terrace - Loughrigg Tarn - Lilly Tarn - Miller Bridge - Ambleside - Miller Bridge - Pelter Bridge - Rydal Water - White Moss Common - How top - Town End - 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

We had no plans at all today other than setting off from Grasmere. It was a total make it up as you go along route that turned out to be dry from start to finish. Not what was forecast at all.

In the past, a Holy Well was located here dedicated to St Oswald. In fact, the well is thought to date as far back as the age of St. Oswald himself. Until the middle of the 1800s the water for the Baptistery of the neighbouring Parish Church was always brought from this well. So important was the well, that for the comfort of parishioners and pilgrims a paved way "The Pavement" ran from the Church to the well's vicinity. Near the middle of the 19th century, with the object of evening the land's surface and winning a few square yards of pasture, the well was removed and the cavity filled up and turfed over.

The cottage across from this gateway is still called Pavement End.

Grasmere in front of Seat Sandal, Stone Arthur, Great Rigg and Heron Pike.

Leaving the road, we head down to the lakeside to follow the path to the Loughrigg end of the lake.


At this time of year you'd expect to see lots of families along here, swimming, pick-nicking and generally having a great time in the sun. Instead, the place was deserted, the skies were grey and the wind was blowing down the lake. Never mind, we might get a decent autumn !

Silver How above Grasmere.

Grasmere taken from Loughrigg Terrace. The colour of the lake help to show how windy it was.

I think this is a lovely section of path leading from the end of Loughrigg Terrace to the road at Red Bank. It's just a pity we don't get a couple of mile of this rather than the short distance on offer.

A view across to Wetherlam.


"What are you looking at, you'll be old yourself some day"

Loughrigg Tarn.

and again, this time with the unmistakable Langdale Pikes in the distance.

We did think about walking over Loughrigg Fell itself, but in the end we opted to walk around the southern side of the fell instead. I know it doesn't get you to the top, but this is still a great little route around here.

Rocks and bracken on Loughrigg Fell.

Lily Tarn, part of it anyway.

After leaving Lilly Tarn we headed down to Ambleside where we ended up taking a bit if a de-tour into the middle if the town. It was for a good cause though.

A view into the Fairfield Horseshoe.

We didn't intend to walk into the centre of Ambleside, but we had a sudden craving for some bath buns from The Apple Pie bakery.

The Stepping Stones over the River Rothay.

Walking along the road towards Pelter Bridge.

Pelter Bridge.

For the next part of the route we walked alongside a surprisingly quiet Rydal Water.

A view back to Rydal Water.

Just before reaching Loughrigg Terrace, we turned off and headed through these woods and down to the River Rothay.   Last time we were here was on a very wet day in January. Crossing the bridge was impossible on that occasion.

The bridge.


Peeping over the wall near How Top to see a little bit of Grasmere.
The two fells on the right hand side are Helm Crag and Steel Fell.

Grasmere show.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks