4th November 2013

A perfect Autumn day at Wansfell Pike and Troutbeck


Walk Overview
Time 9am to 1:40pm
Duration 4 hr 40 min
Distance 7.8 mile
Ascent 1600 ft
Walking with On my own
Miller Bridge - Ambleside - Wansfell Pike - Nanny Lane - Troutbeck - Robin Lane - High Skelghyll - Skelghyll Woods - Waterhead - Ambleside - Miller Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Miller Bridge, Ambleside

This offers an alternative to the overcharged car parks in Ambleside itself. The downsides are, spaces are limited, it's a little way out from the center of the town and you will need to get here early to get a space.


Route Map

There doesn't seem to be any middle ground with the weather at the moment. We're getting lots of typical autumn days of high winds and torrential rain, and then, every now and again we get a perfect day like this. It's a pity it wasn't the other way around but you can't have everything. On the plus side, at least I'm managing to take advantage of the good days when they turn up.

A short walk from the car brought me to the centre of Ambleside. The day hadn't really got started yet so there was no need to dodge the crowds on the pavements or the traffic when crossing the road.

Well, you can't complain about it not being signposted

A close up of one of the higher falls
and one of the lower falls

Stockghyll aren't the easiest waterfalls to see but you can generally manage to catch a glympse of them through the trees.

Here I am standing in the shade on the side of Wansfell Pike and looking longingly at the sunshine over there on Red Screes. Why didn't you walk up there I briefly asked. I then reminded myself that sometimes you have to be patient and play the waiting game. I knew I'd be more than rewarded and get what I wanted when I reach the brightness just below the summit.
I hadn't actually stopped to take this picture. The main reason was to remove a layer and get down to short sleeves because it was so warm.

Autumnal Lakeland.


A view from Wansfell Pike summit shows the last remnants of cloud disappearing off Thornthwaite Crag / High Street. Ill Bell also has a few wisps of cloud but these were gone a few seconds later.

Turning around, a huge chunk of Lakeland can be seen from Coniston Old Man on the left to Ullscarf on the right.

Windermere stretches away southwards from Wansfell Pike and from here, you get one of the most complete views of England's longest lake.

A close up of the southern end of Windermere.

And a close up of the top of Kirkstone Pass. On the other side of the pass you can see one of the Angletarn Pikes.

I leave the summit behind and make my way down towards Nanny Lane, all the while enjoying the clear views of Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick.

A short while later I enter Nanny Lane. Here you see the top section of the lane leading up to and eventually coming to an end at The Hundreds.

A solitary tree on Nanny Lane.

This bloke must be the local dog catcher. I assume he is anyway; 4 dogs were running up Nanny Lane and he was chasing them on the quad bike.

Well hidden on the walk down from Wansfell Pike, it isn't until you're almost at the bottom of Nanny Lane that you catch your first sight of Troutbeck itself. When you do eventually get here and walk through the village you can't fail to think this has to be one of the loveliest places not only in the Lake District, but dare I say the whole country.

Local ladies enjoying the autumn sunshine.

And as soon as the camera went "click", a guy working on the other side of the wall said "morning, , , lovely day isn't it". He was absolutely right, but I wish he'd made his presence known a little earlier so I wouldn't have been standing there talking to myself, blissfully unaware I had company.

Troutbeck houses.

Did I mention how nice it is around here.

St John's Well, just one of a series of wells around which the village of Troutbeck was built.

Time for a bite to eat outside the post office / shop. It looks like the dog is heading into the shop to buy something.
Once I was fed and watered I made my way onto Robin Lane.

A final look over Troutbeck to Yoke.

Just over the wall at the higher part of Robin Lane this old building and tree make a nice foreground for a picture of the countryside.

It was very nice of this lady to get the horse to pose for me. I was just about to take a picture of the view when they suddenly appeared from the lane on the right. "Hold on" she said "we'll turn round so the horse is in the sunshine for you". I think she assumed I was taking a photo of them so I thought why not.

A small section of Windermere in front of the Coniston fells and the Crinkle Crags / Bow Fell ridge.

Zooming in on High Skelghyll farm. I think the guy must have been drunk when he laid that road!

Sunshine and shadows.

I'm just about to enter Skelghyll Woods which were lovely today with the sunshine and the colour of the leaves.

Walking through Skelghyll Woods.






Once you're out of the woods the view opens up again to show the Ambleside end of Windermere and the higher fells beyond.

Peeping over the wall for a view of most of the Fairfield horseshoe and Red Screes (right).

That's useful to know and they're absolutely right
although, while I was here there wasn't a car to be seen.

Rather than go straight back to Ambleside I had a walk across to the landing stages at Waterhead where it was nothing at all like November; apart from the colour of the trees.

Princess of the Lake.


One of the landing stages.


Right, as nice as this is, it's time to walk around to Hayes Garden Centre to look at the tropical fish.

It was a lot busier in Ambleside than it was at 9 o'clock this morning.

What a perfect day; it doesn't get much better than this at the latter half of Autumn.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks