Starting in the popular town of Ambleside this walk takes you to the other side of Loughrigg Fell, to Loughrigg Tarn without climbing the fell. Along the way are some fantastic views, including the Langdale Pikes, Helm Crag, Windermere, and a visit to Rydal Cave.
Rydal Cave is a man made quarry which in its heyday of the 19th century produced high quality roofing slates. Whilst access to the cave is not difficult and many people do cross the stepping stones to its interior, be aware that occasionally blocks do fall from the ceiling!
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.
If you need accommodation we have details of 86 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the Post office and Tourist Information office at the top of the town centre, head towards the Climbers Shop and in front of it turn left into Compston Road. In 100m (110 yards), about half-way down the road, turn right into Millans Park, then immediately left into Vicarage Road, signposted "Rothay Park" and "Loughrigg". Follow the lane past the church and school into Rothay Park and keep straight ahead on the tarmac path.
Reaching the railings leave the park over the small bridge in front of you and then just beyond turn left over the rather magnificent stone arch Miller Bridge to the Under Loughrigg tarmac road. Turn right along the road to cross the cattle grid, and in less than 100m (110 yards) turn left signposted "public bridleway". This tarmac lane immediately heads steeply up the hill.
Above the buildings the road turns into a rough track, with a couple of gates.
Eventually you reach the open fellside. Continue on the track, ignore side turnings, keep on the obvious track. It is popular with mountain bikers.
With the climbing done, continue on, a wall comes in from your left, with Loughrigg Fell above to your right. Rounding Ivy Crag you are presented with a good view down to Skelwith Bridge. Bear right on the higher path for a viewpoint with bench.
Continue along the track above the wall. Another wall joins to your right and the narrows at a gate. Go through the gate and bear left.
Drop down to the minor road at the bottom of the track, go through the gate to the road in front of the cottage. Immediately turn right, through another gate onto a smooth gravel road.
Within 200m (220 yards) Loughrigg Tarn comes into view. You can drop down to the tarn but come back up to the road in front of the cottages at The How.
Pass in front of the cottages on the track. Just beyond the cottages the road sweeps right and then left, after which look to your right for a wooden gateway in the wall. Climb up to the gate, go through and turn left as indicated by the footpath marker.
Follow the path up beside the wall, at the strange gap in the wall bear right to stay above the wall. A track continues alongside the wall, and gradually reverts to a narrow path.
At the end of the wood go through the gate into the field. Continue on the path and above the cottages the path bears left slightly to drop down to the road. There is a stile, and gate to the road. At the road turn right.
Reaching High Close Gardens continue along the road and just before the top, just past the junction, bear right to a gateway. It is signposted public bridleway, "Loughrigg Terrace" and "Rydal". Drop down the path to the terrace where the views over Grasmere open out to the many fells beyond.
Continue along the terrace, reaching the wall, bear right and drop down a little. Opposite the wooden gate where the track splits bear right onto the permissive path. This higher level track traverses the fellside round to Rydal Cave. This man-made cave is always worth a visit.
From the cave, carry on along the path dropping down now towards Rydal Water. Don't drop down to the water's edge, remain on the higher path, and continue to the wooden bridleway gate. Go through into the lane and continue along this lane with moss covered walls. It soon becomes tarmacked and passes some cottages and Cote How tearoom. Drop down to the stone arched Pelter Bridge.
Do not cross the bridge, but turn right along Under Loughrigg, this is a quiet minor road. With the River Rothay on your left, continue along the road back to Miller Bridge. Cross the bridge and go through the park back into the town.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Loughrigg Fell from Ambleside||same start point|
|Wansfell, and Wansfell Pike||10m (11 yards) away|
|Stockghyll Force - Ambleside||22m (24 yards) away|
|High Sweden Bridge Circular||22m (24 yards) away|
|Red Screes and Middle Dodd from Ambleside||31m (34 yards) away|
|Wansfell Pike, Troutbeck, and Skelghyll Wood||36m (40 yards) away|
|An Ambleside Waterfalls Wander - Stockghyll Force and Blue Hill Wood||50m (55 yards) away|
|Lily Tarn above Ambleside||63m (69 yards) away|
|The Fairfield Horseshoe||184m (202 yards) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from Rydal||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|Nab Scar and Alcock Tarn||2.0km (1.3 miles) away|
|Red Bank from White Moss near Ambleside||3.3km (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||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|A circuit of Grasmere||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Alcock Tarn||4.9km (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 (3.1 miles) away|
|Easedale Tarn, Codale Tarn, and Tarn Crag||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