Local Walks

There are enough walks in the Lake District to last a lifetime. If you have been to the Lakes before you will have your own favourites – and if you are visiting for the first time you may already have a wish-list. It would be possible to spend 2 weeks at Loughrigg Cottage and do a very different walk every day – without once getting in your car. There are a large number of walking books in the house so you will not be short of ideas. However we have listed some of our local favourites below.


Ambleside is a bustling and interesting town. It is a 20-25 minute level stroll along Under Loughrigg (turn right at bottom of drive). The road goes past the famous Stepping Stones and round into Ambleside past various houses with a literary connection. William Wordsworth's son, also William, lived next door at Stepping Stones. His daughter, Dora lived at the next house, Loughrigg Holme, with her husband, the poet Edward Quillinan. Next to that is Fox Ghyll, once home to Thomas De Quincey. As the road rises up a little you will pass the closed gates to the sombre Fox How, once the summer home of Dr Thomas Arnold of Rugby School and his son, the poet Matthew Arnold. At the other end the road you cross the river by a small footbridge and walk into Ambleside through the park.

If you take a torch or the moon is out it is also a pleasant walk back from Ambleside after an evening out. If you are lucky you may encounter red deer at or after dusk in fields and gardens along the road.

Ambleside - a quicker route

An alternative route on foot is to cross over Stepping Stones and then head across the field with the cricket club to your right where there is a gate to the main road. There is a pavement on the road all the way into Ambleside.

The Vale of Rydal

You can do a short circuit over Stepping Stones, across to the road, along the road to the right for about 500m and then left into the grounds of Rydal Hall. The path then takes you up to the Hall itself. You may then want to explore Rydal - Rydal Hall, Rydal Mount (Wordsworth's home), the Church, Dora's Field and maybe grab a quick one in the Badger Bar - before walking back down to the main road and over Pelter Bridge.

Circuit of Ambleside

Another low level walk you can do in any weather. Start off walking into Ambleside along Under Loughrigg, but when you get to the park leading into Ambleside keep walking along Under Loughrigg until you get to Rothay Bridge at the end. Cross the foot bridge which is to the right of the road bridge and then take the gate into the field just on the other side of the bridge. This leads you south to Galava, the site of the Roman Fort. From there carry on alongside Lake Windemere to Waterhead. You may get tempted to take a detour onto the Lake by steamer. From here head back to Loughrigg Cottage through Ambleside.


Our favourite short and reasonably energetic walk is up on to Loughrigg itself. For not too much effort you can get great views of the central Lakes and it is a good way to get your bearings at the start of your stay.

Take Under Loughrigg past Stepping Stones and then past Loughrigg Holme, and take the signposted path up the fellside just before Fox Ghyll. It takes about an hour to get from the cottage to the top (but rather longer if - as you will want to - you stop to take in the views as you go). Do take a map with you as there are many paths on the top of Loughrigg and it is easy to go in the wrong direction as the summit is not in sight for most of the way.

Once you are on the top - if the weather is kind to you - you will be able to see at least 4 lakes - Windemere, Esthwaite, Eltermere and Grasmere as well as the Duddon Estuary, although Rydal Water is hidden from the top. If you move around a bit you may be able to see Coniston as well.

You can come back down the same way to make a round trip of just under 2 hours or so. Alternatively you can take the path that leads down the other side towards Grasmere (this should be obvious as it sets off towards Grasmere and is the way most people ascend & descend). That takes you down to Loughrigg Terrace and and you then turn right and follow the path clockwise round Loughrigg back above Rydal Water.

A Circuit of Loughrigg

Like the walk up Loughrigg, the circuit of Loughrigg is really not to be missed. There are a number of routes up onto Loughrigg to start you off, but it is probably easiest to go up by Fox Ghyll (see Loughrigg Walk above). Then follow the footpaths that meander clockwise round Lougrigg itself. Make sure you take a map so that you find your way to the beautiful (in all weathers and seasons) Loughrigg Tarn. After the Tarn the path joins a small road and takes you up towards Grasmere then down onto Loughrigg Terrace. From here - if you are feeling energetic - you can take a detour up on to the top of Loughrigg to take in the views.

Loughrigg Terrace then splits into 2 as you head back towards Rydal. You can take the low route alongside Rydal Water, or the higher (but not steep) route above the lake which will also then allow you to visit the huge Loughrigg cave.

After that you follow the circuit back to the cottage. But you might want to detour to the Badger Bar or (when it is open) Cote How. Or you may be tempted by the local ice cream from the small pink van that is very often parked at Pelter Bridge.

Rydal Water

If a circuit of Loughrigg sounds too energetic for you, then just walk towards Pelter Bridge, turn left before crossing it, and take the path up to Rydal Water. You can take the high or low paths alongside Rydal Water - and may even want to do this in the moonlight.

Starting off on this route allows you to go as far as you want - the path will take you all the way into Grasmere in just over an hour (or a bit longer if you are stopping to look at the views).

Grasmere by the Coffin Route

This is a beautiful, quite gentle and highly recommended walk through Rydal, left just past Rydal Mount and then along a path winding above the road and the Lake eventually coming down into Grasmere past Dove Cottage. You can then explore Grasmere and walk back on the other side of Grasmere and Rydal Water. A shorter version of this walk cuts out Grasmere altogether by coming down over White Moss Common and crossing to the other side of Rydal Water via the White Moss car park.

Alcock Tarn

This is a more energetic extension to the Coffin Route. Before you come down into Grasmere take the signposted route up the fellside to Alcock Tarn - a scenic and peaceful place. There are great views on the way up as well. You can come down into Grasmere on the other side of the Tarn.

Nab Scar

For a bit more exertion and for more great views walk up to Nab Scar through Rydal. This is the first part of the Fairfield Horseshoe Walk (see below) and was one of Wordsworth's favourites.

Fairfield Horseshoe

if you are reasonably fit this is a wonderful walk giving you dramatic views in all directions and is one of our favourites from the cottage. A number of the walking books in the house give detailed directions for this well-known walk, but you start in Rydal just up from Rydal Mount. Do take care in poor visibility. It is very easy to take a wrong turning at the apex of the horseshoe if you cannot see the landmarks around you - on one occasion we ended up in Glenridding in the dark of a November evening by not taking enough care (well not bothering to look at the map or compass at all) in bad weather! Indeed best leave this walk for a fine day if the weather is bad. It is glorious in good weather.

Stockghyll Force Waterfall

This starts in Ambleside. If you want you can drive in and park in Ambleside, but it is only an extra 20 minutes or so level walk in to town. Stockghyll is an impressive water fall and should not be missed while you are here. Start in the centre of Ambleside by walking past the Salutation Hotel and then turning left down a small road between Barclays Bank and Market Hall. Join a lane off to the left signposted "Stockghyll and Wansfell Pike" and follow a sign to "Waterfalls". Follow the lane up the hill until the path leads off into the woods alongside the river and up to the falls.

Wansfell Pike and Troutbeck from Ambleside

This is a great longish walk that takes in Stockghyll Force, Wansfell Pike - which is the hill you can see from the front windows of Loughrigg Cottage, then down the other side into the lovely village of Troutbeck and back around through Skelghyll Wood into Ambleside. You might want to have lunch at one of the pubs in Troutbeck.

Look out for Loughrigg Cottage from the top of Wansfell - it can be seen very clearly.

Red Screes

Another lovely high level walk with great views is up from Ambleside to Snarker Pike and Red Screes then back down the Scandale Valley.

Walks from Grasmere

If you are happy to start with a walk into Grasmere then you have a whole set of further walks you can do from Grasmere, although you could cut that out by driving into Grasmere first. Some of our favourites from Grasmere are Easedale Tarn, Silver How, and a circuit taking Helm Crag and Calf Crag.

Getting in the car

At some stage you will want to get in the car and explore further afield. Do remember to take change for the car parks. Some of our favourite closer destinations are:

Langdale - there is a huge variety of walks and the car parks at Dungeon Ghyll are only about 10/15 minutes away by car. Climb up the Langdale Pikes, Crinkle Crags, Bowfell or the beautiful lower level circuit of Great and Little Langdale taking in Blea Tarn. It is also possible to walk up to Scafell from the end of the valley - not to be missed if you have fine weather and are reasonably fit.

Elterwater - very pretty village on the way to Great Langdale. You can park on the common here. You can start the circular walk of Great & Little Langdale from here, or do a very pretty low level walk around Elterwater itself” and then continue with the final sentence.. Eltermere Inn recommended if you fancy a good lunch on the way.

Thirlmere - drive up the A591 beyond Grasmere to the Thirlmere reservoir. Park at the southern end for a great circuit of Thirlmere or a bit further up at The Swirls car park to ascend Helvellyn without needing to cross Striding Edge.


Local Walks

There is a great choice of walks available from the Loughrigg Cottage

For prices, availability and online booking please either call Lakelovers on 015394 88855 or book online