The Lake District Guide

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Accommodation Guide

Eating Out

Mountain Walks

Valley & Lakeside Walks
Ullswater walks
Langdale walks
Grasmere/Rydal walks
More Grasmere walks
Ambleside walks
Coniston walks
Windermere walks
Gummer's How
Gummer's How (2)
Hawkshead walks
Lowes/Crummockwater
Buttermere walks
Ennerdale walks
Wasdale walks
Derwentwater walks
Borrowdale walks
Keswick walks
Ullswater walks
More Ullswater Walks (1)
More Ullswater Walks (2)
Tarn Hows
Holme Fell
Staveley walks; Loweswater
Castlerigg Stone Circle

Things To Do, Places To Go

General Lake District Information

Map of the Lake District

Lake District Guide Lake District Guide Home Page

Lake District Valley and Low-level Walks

Grasmere

Information

Start/finish White Moss Common car park, grid ref 351065, on the left side if travelling north along the A591 from Ambleside. The Lowther Estates have now taken over the parking area from the National Trust and installed state-of-the-art pay-and-display machines.

Distance: 3.5 miles / 6km
Time: 2-3 hours
Height gained: 130ft / 40m
Terrain: Reinforced paths for much of the way.
Refreshments: Good choice in Grasmere.
Toilets: Grasmere
Map: OS Explorer OL7
Public transport: Bus stop by car park. For information phone Traveline 0871 200 2233

William Wordsworth died in 1850, forty-four years before Thirlmere reservoir was constructed. The poet, on his walks to visit his friends at Keswick, therefore would not have seen the ‘new’ lake as he passed that way. But on today’s walk, along Loughrigg Terrace, looking over Grasmere to Helm Crag, little has changed since his day. He would surely enjoy viewing little Grasmere Island, to which it is said, he rowed taking branches of broom on which to lie. Here he would dream and here he composed a sonnet about the tranquillity he found. This short walk takes you through the woods above the lake and then returns beside it – on a quiet day still as tranquil as Wordsworth found it.

1 From the parking area, walk on through the trees, past a delightful open area beside the River Rothay, which flows between Grasmere and Rydal Water. Carry on to cross the high-level footbridge over the wide river and go on ahead climbing through fine deciduous woodland. The path can be muddy so make use of several little diversions to arrive dry-shod at the attractive gate onto the open fell. Walk right on the rising track, beside the wall, to reach Loughrigg Terrace, one of the most famous footpaths in the Lake District. Here use one of the several seats along the terrace to enjoy the magnificent view over the silvery lake to Grasmere and its island, Seat Sandal and Helm Crag. Stroll on to the end of the track, pass through gates and continue up steps to very narrow Red Bank Road.

2 Turn right and descend, with care, for a few more steps to reach a signposted footpath on the left side of the road. The path leads you easily over the open fell, with another seat placed just right for a good view. Go through the next gate into ancient woodland to walk a pleasing high-level track, which is believed to have been in existence for 400 years. Eventually you arrive at a gate into a grassy hollow among trees, with several signposts and another seat – a rather shady one. Take the track that goes ahead from where you can enjoy stunning views down to Grasmere. The walled tack descends steadily and becomes cobbled before it passes Hunting Stile Lodge. A short way beyond, you reach Red Bank road once more. Take care as you turn acute right to walk the narrow road for a dozen steps to go through a gate on the left. This gives access to a reinforced track that drops gently to the lakeside. Follow the track as it winds right beside the lapping water, where ducks hurry across the mere to see if there is any food going, generally joined by a swan.

3 The track continues into woodland and then returns to the lakeside once more. Here a small beach has formed, sheltered by the steep slopes that rise to Loughrigg Terrace. Look for the white-topped water flowing over the weir which controls the flow from Grasmere before it passes through a narrow valley, as the River Rothay, and then losing itself again in Rydal Water. Ignore the recently refurbished footbridge just beyond the weir and carry on along a much narrower path with the tumbling river beside you and more open steep slopes up to your right. The path leads you into woodland, where you might spot woodpecker, jay and long tiled tit, and to the footbridge taken at the outset of your walk. Cross and bear right to return to the car park.


Keswick walks - Dowthwaitehead and Thirlmere

Tarn Hows walk

Buttermere walks

Ullswater walks

Borrowdale and Seatoller, Watendlath and Rosthwaite walks


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