Just to the north west of Ambleside, on the way to Keswick, there are two places called Grasmere. This walk circumnavigates the lake called Grasmere - a word possibly derived from Old English for 'grassy lake'.
Starting in Grasmere village you leave it on Stock Lane heading towards Ambleside. Cross the busy A591 near the mini-roundabout you encounter the Wordsworth Trust Shop and then Dove Cottage where William lived for eight years. You then follow a short section of the old 'coffin road' from Rydal in the days when St Oswald's in Grasmere was the only parish church with a graveyard. A short section of stony paths drops down to the A591 to cross it once again. this time it is a little tricky as visibility of the traffic isn't quite so good. There follows a pleasant walk through the parkland and woods alongside the River Rothay to Grasmere, the lake. Grasmere the village can be seen across the lake, as can the fells that ring this pretty vale. Around the shore line is a good path, and then all too soon you have to leave it to climb up to Red Bank Road. It is a short walk along the road back into the village.
Starting in Grasmere village there are a number of well signed car parks and regular bus services.
Starting near the church head away from the village centre along Stock Lane towards Ambleside. Past the car park to the small roundabout at the junction with the A591. Do not walk along the A591 but cross the roundabout and take the country lane with the 6'6" width restriction. Follow this past the Wordsworth Shop, Dove Cottage and up the hill.
Just past the small overgrown pond at How Top, turn left signposted, on a wooden sign, "Public Right of Way to Alcock Tarn and Coffin Route to Rydal" and also "NO THROUGH ROAD FOR MOTOR VEHICLES AFTER ½ MILE" on a white metal sign.
After 300m (330 yards) or so, just past another tarn, called variously Skater's Tarn, Wordsworth's Tarn, or White Moss Tarn, bear right on a small track going downhill. This leads to the car parks at White Moss.
Cross the busy A591 again and into the parkland beside the River Rothay. There are Public Conveniences here.
In the parkland bear right, and then keep alongside the River Rothay. Before the gate into the meadows is a footbridge over the river to your left. Cross the bridge and turn right to follow the riverside path.
It is narrow and relatively rough here with steep drops off the path although not a great distance. Go through the kissing gate onto access land and follow the cobbled path alongside the river.
Eventually another footbridge is met just by the small weir at the head of Grasmere lake.
Bear left and follow the lake shore. Go through the gate, a smooth track is just above the water's edge here. Keep following the shore line which gradually swings right.
After some distance the woodland to the right becomes fenced in fields. With stunning views across the lake the end of this path comes all too soon and you are forced to turn left up to the road.
At the road turn right to head towards Grasmere village. There is a little traffic on this country lane so care will be needed where it narrows and on corners. There are still good glimpses of the view back down the lake and to the fells on the other side.
You enter the village on Red Bank Road opposite St Oswald's church.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Alcock Tarn||same start point|
|Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar||same start point|
|Helm Crag||64m (70 yards) away|
|Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag||114m (125 yards) away|
|Grasmere and Rydal Water||141m (155 yards) away|
|Easedale Tarn||200m (220 yards) away|
|Silver How||223m (245 yards) away|
|Easedale Tarn, Codale Tarn, and Tarn Crag||316m (348 yards) away|
|Allan Bank Woodland Walk||473m (520 yards) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from White Moss||1.5km (0.9 miles) away|
|Red Bank from White Moss near Ambleside||1.6km (1.0 miles) away|
|Seat Sandal||1.8km (1.1 miles) away|
|An Elterwater Stroll||2.8km (1.7 miles) away|
|Waterfalls and the Cathedral Cavern, from Elterwater||2.8km (1.7 miles) away|
|Nab Scar and Alcock Tarn||3.0km (1.9 miles) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from Rydal||3.1km (1.9 miles) away|
|Grisedale Tarn||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|A Journey from Dungeon Ghyll over the Fells to Ambleside||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|Cumbria Way - Dungeon Ghyll to Keswick||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|High Raise, Sergeant Man, and Blea Rigg from Langdale||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|The Langdale Pikes: Pavey Ark, Thunacar Knott, Pike of Stickle, Harrison Stickle||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|The Fairfield Horseshoe||4.8km (2.9 miles) away|
|An Ambleside Waterfalls Wander - Stockghyll Force and Blue Hill Wood||4.8km (3.0 miles) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from Ambleside||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Loughrigg Tarn||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Wansfell, and Wansfell Pike||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|High Sweden Bridge Circular||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Stockghyll Force - Ambleside||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Red Screes and Middle Dodd from Ambleside||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Wansfell Pike, Troutbeck, and Skelghyll Wood||4.9km (3.1 miles) away|
|Lily Tarn above Ambleside||4.9km (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