Walk 1682 - printer friendly version
Rydal Water & Grasmere Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 5.5 miles / 8.9 km
Ascent - 700 feet / 212 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference NY339072
Lat 54.4558660 + Long -3.0210657
Postcode LA22 9SL (approx. location only)
The Lake District has a wide variety of low level walks which are often reserved for the days when clouds lie low over the fells. However, this walk is probably best completed in fine weather as the views are superb. The walk starts from the regional centre of Grasmere and follows a well walked track to Rydal. From here the route passes the shores of Rydal Water before enjoying wide ranging views over Grasmere. As well as the scenic interest the walk passes two of the homes of William Wordsworth, namely Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount. Both of these are passed during the walk and can be visited on payment of an admission fee. This walk is similar to Walk 1565 but includes an alternative return into Grasmere village.
The start is the large pay and display car park (grid ref. NY339072) just off the A591 Ambleside to Keswick Road. Exit the car park and turn left back to the main road. Cross the A591, and take the lane opposite passing Dove Cottage on your left. Walk along the lane until just before it bends right. Here leave the lane and continue ahead on a stony track. At first the track goes uphill but soon levels off to follow a more undulating course across the fellside all the way to Rydal. Reaching Rydal, turn right past the church to the main road.
Cross the main road and turn right walking towards Grasmere. Take the signed path on your left and cross the bridge over the River Rothay. Once across the bridge take the path on your right. This leads through woodland to the shores of Rydal Water with Nab Scar providing a scenic backdrop. The path soon leaves the shores of the lake and climbs gently to reach a path junction (grid ref. NY347060). Here ignore the path leading down to the shores of Grasmere instead taking the clear path across the fellside. This is Loughrigg Terrace and offers fine views over Grasmere on your right.
Reaching an area of woodland at the end of the Terrace path, ignore the path descending through the trees on your right and continue straight ahead to reach a lane - Red Bank (grid ref. NY340056). Turn right down Red Bank and take the first signed footpath on your left. This leads through Red Bank Wood to join a walled track. Bear right down this track to the road near the Wyke. Turn left along this road and follow into the centre of Grasmere. Reaching a junction, turn right in front of the church and you will find the car park a short way on your left.