22nd May 2016

Around Grasmere and Rydal

Time 9am to 1pm
Duration 4 hr
Distance 6.3 mile
Ascent Not much ascent
Walking with Jennifer
A591 - Grasmere (village) -Grasmere (lake) - Weir - Rydal Caves - Rydal Water - Cote How - Pelter Bridge - Rydal - Coffin Route to Dove Cottage - A591
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Parking Spaces, A591 outside Grasmere
When Grasmere is very busy and parking is a problem, this would be a good place to try. It may be outside the village but it's only a 5 minute walk to the village centre. From the south end of the lay-by cross straight over the road and follow the signed footpath to Millennium Bridge and the church.
Route Map


There were two reasons for me doing a celebratory dance across the road this morning. The first was the recent reopening of the A591 at Dunmail Raise and the second was setting foot on Lakeland after getting back from holiday. As much as I enjoy holidays, I always have a tremendous uplift of spirits when I get out for my first walk after getting home. After being away for two weeks what I found really noticeable today was the sudden transformation of the countryside into the full greenness of spring. It was like moving from one season to another in a single step.

Heading down the path into the village we look across to Helm Crag and Steel Fell.



Seat Sandal. part of Fairfield, Great Rigg and Stone Arthur seen from the road above Grasmere.

Down by the lake shore we have a view across to Helm Crag and Seat Sandal.

We follow the new(ish) path alongside the lake heading towards (but not up) Loughrigg Fell. OK, I know there's less chance of getting muddy boots on the new path but, given the luxury of decision making and the ability to turn back the clock, I'd remove this altogether and go back to the original path.


Ah, someone has chopped the tree down and now there's a new view across to Seat Sandal, Great Rigg and Heron Pike.


From the weir we take the narrow path up to the end of Loughrigg Terrace.

Decision time came at the end of Loughrigg Terrace. Option 1 was to walk along the path you see down there which takes you to the side of Rydal Water. Option 2 was to stick to slightly higher ground and visit Rydal Caves - - - - -we went to the caves.

Lots of areas in the Lake District are particularly lovely at this time because of the bluebell display and the are around Loughrigg Terrace and Rydal Water is one of them.

Looking into the bigger of the Rydal Caves.

Inside the cave

and now looking back out of the cave.


Here we're at the side of Rydal Water and enjoying the warm sunshine.

As the sign next to Rydal Water told us, the bridge we'd normally cross was damaged by storm Desmond. Actually, the bridge is completely gone. Hopefully it'll be replaced soon but never mind, I know a slight de-tour which will get us around to Rydal Church

Between taking the previous picture and this one we got caught in a brief shower, hence the smudge on the picture.

Lunch was eaten outside the church but again, we were caught out by a shower. This one was heavy enough for us to seek shelter inside the church.




Onwards we go up the road next to the church and pick up the Coffin Route back to Grasmere.

Rydal Water seen through a gap in the trees.


What a pity they (whoever they are) never bothered to keep on top of clearing the weeds from Whitemoss Common Tarn. A few years ago 'they' removed the weeds to reveal the tarn but as I say, they never kept on top of it. What a shame and what a waste of money clearing it the first time.

Not far to go now here we have Dove Cottage.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks