For those people looking for something a little bit longer than our simple Stockghyll Force walk, this is a great little wander around the environs of Ambleside.
Stock Ghyll is a tributary of the River Rothay, draining eventually into Windermere, it has a heavily industrialised past and used to be nicknamed Rattle Ghyll. Many of the old mill buildings whose wheels it used to turn can still be seen in Ambleside. Some are used as shops. They used to produce bobbins for silk and cotton thread, to process wool so it was warm and tough, as well as grinding corn.
The fall in Blue Hill Woods is rather smaller in comparison and is tucked well out of the way in a small clearing overlooking the town. Above it, on the nose of Wansfell Pike are some the best views of the town for only modest effort. An odd pillar, marked by Wainwright as "tower" in his book The Far Eastern Fells: Wansfell 3, stands nearby.
Parking in Ambleside is reasonably plentiful although it does get busy at holiday times. There is the main car park above the town centre on the A591 towards Rydal. And for longer stays the Miller Field car park at the bottom end of town is large and often has space when the other has filled up. There are a couple of smaller car parks dotted around too.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
The walk starts outside the Tourist Information centre at the top of the town centre outside which you will find a stone pillar on a three stepped octagonal base with "1651" carved into the top of it. Head south east following the one way system and as the road swings around to the right continue forward down a narrow lane signposted "toilets".
As you reach the toilets a sign on the wall in front of you declares "To the Waterfalls", pointing left, and a sign on the wall to your left says "Stockghyll" and "Wansfell Pike". Bear left to follow the lane up the hill and then round to the right. Stockghyll is now on your left.
In 500m (550 yards) bear left for the entrance to Stockghyll Woods.
Follow the rough path through the woods. Bear right, keeping the beck on your left, and follow the red arrow marker posts. There are a few precarious viewing places protected by fencing.
Nearing the top, before the bridge, bear right at the picnic bench and sign to the revolving gate.
Go through the gate and out onto the road. Turn left and carry on up the hill. Cross the cattle grid.
In 250m (275 yards) climb up the stone steps on your right to the stile, with dog gate, it is signposted "Footpath to Troutbeck via Wansfell Pike".
Follow the path beyond up beside the beck to the gate at the top of the field. Turn right through the gate into the lane.
Continue along this lane back towards Ambleside. Just before reaching the houses a track and gateway on your left goes up to Blue Hill woods. Turn left here and go through the gate, and continue up the rough track.
At the wall end bear left and continue climbing on a narrow path through the trees. Pass the old iron gates on either side of you, and continue to the wooden gate at the top.
Bear right through the gate, cross the stream, and then bear left on a path through bracken below a knoll. Bear right and head for the pillar, unmarked even on the the OS 25K map. Beyond is a small knoll, it should be called Pillar Pike perhaps. There is a great view over Ambleside from here. How many of the hills can you name...
Return to the gateway and drop back down through the wood. As you reach the wall corner again, this time bear left, cross the boggy area into what looks like an old quarry. Unless it has been very dry there is a small waterfall here tumbling over the rock face at the back.
Return back to the path and drop back down beside the wall to the gate and lane. Turn left and descend into Ambleside.
Reaching the road above the Backpackers Hostel bear right and continue along the road towards the town centre.
At the shops bear right to continue back to the town centre.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Loughrigg Tarn||50m (55 yards) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from Ambleside||50m (55 yards) away|
|Wansfell, and Wansfell Pike||58m (64 yards) away|
|High Sweden Bridge Circular||63m (69 yards) away|
|Stockghyll Force - Ambleside||63m (69 yards) away|
|Red Screes and Middle Dodd from Ambleside||72m (79 yards) away|
|Wansfell Pike, Troutbeck, and Skelghyll Wood||86m (95 yards) away|
|Lily Tarn above Ambleside||111m (122 yards) away|
|The Fairfield Horseshoe||150m (165 yards) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from Rydal||1.8km (1.1 miles) away|
|Nab Scar and Alcock Tarn||2.0km (1.2 miles) away|
|Red Bank from White Moss near Ambleside||3.2km (2.0 miles) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from White Moss||3.4km (2.1 miles) away|
|Troutbeck Tongue||4.0km (2.5 miles) away|
|Sour Howes and Sallows||4.0km (2.5 miles) away|
|Red Screes from Kirkstone Pass||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Grasmere and Rydal Water||4.7km (2.9 miles) away|
|Helm Crag||4.8km (3.0 miles) away|
|Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar||4.8km (3.0 miles) away|
|A circuit of Grasmere||4.8km (3.0 miles) away|
|Alcock Tarn||4.8km (3.0 miles) away|
|An Elterwater Stroll||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Waterfalls and the Cathedral Cavern, from Elterwater||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Easedale Tarn, Codale Tarn, and Tarn Crag||4.9km (3.1 miles) away|
|Easedale Tarn||5.0km (3.1 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011