Classic Wansfell Pike.

Start. Ambleside.

Route. Ambleside - Old Lake Road - Skelghyll Lane - Skelghyll Wood - Jenkin Crag - High Skelghyll Farm - Robin Lane - Troutbeck - Nanny Lane - Wansfell Pike - Stockghyll Force - Ambleside.

Notes. Overlooking a vast expanse of open country to the south of Kirkstone Pass this low hill gifts the walker with some of the best views in the Lake District, stand on it's rocky summit, drink in views reaching from Coniston Old Man in the south-west through Crinkle Crags and the Scafell range, round to the north Red Screes, Coudale Moor and Angletarn Pikes dominate the horizon, crane your neck even further to take in Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick, the flat top melting into the horizon seen over Sour Howes is Ingleborough 29 miles to the south-east, all this plus the glistening waters of many lakes, the principle being Windermere disappearing to the south to be replaced by the salt waters of the Irish Sea. This is a classic walk found on the pages of many good walking books, most ascend Wansfell Pike directly from Ambleside, I decided to climb the hill from Troutbeck, slightly easier with only one downside, a knee jarring descent at the end of the day.

My day started in the car park on Lake Road, opposite the garden centre, at the rear of the car park a narrow road runs behind the houses and hotels, I followed this south, after a few yards a finger-post invited me to Jenkin Crag and Troutbeck, tarmac was soon replaced by a rough track, this track was christened Skelghyll Lane, it was once the main route between Ambleside and Troutbeck. Through Skelghyll Wood it guided me, a quick visit to Jenkin Crag is a must, the views are stunning. Through High Skelghyll Farm then down to Hol Beck I walked, here I passed through a gate to start the ascent to Robin Lane, another ancient track that safely guided me into Troutbeck.

Troutbeck village is a delight to stroll through, I did just that, twenty minutes of strolling lead me to the start of Nanny Lane, a finger-post directed me to Wansfell Pike and Ambleside. I ascended between dry stone walls, steep at first then not so steep, as the gradient eased I found myself at a path junction, yet more climbing required before reaching the summit. Leaving the lane via a metal gate I wandered on and upwards, the gradient got quite steep before I popped onto the rocky summit of Wansfell Pike. After soaking up extensive views I made my descent, steep all the way to a tarmac lane, a few yards down the lane I joined the path through Stockghyll Wood before making the final descent into Ambleside.

view route map.


Under a light dusting of snow, Fairfield seen from Skelghyll Lane.

Also from Skelghyll lane, one of the many views today of the Coniston massif.

Rising above Ambleside, Todd Crag with a skyline made up of the Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell.

Coniston Old Man and Wetherlam dominate the view from Jenkin Crag.

The scene over Windermere with the dark mass of Claife Heights rising from the lake shore.

I've just escaped Skelghyll Wood to be greeted by this wonderful view, Claife Heights across Windermere with Gummer's How in the far distance.

Typical Lakeland farm, High Skelghyll nestles in a sheltered hollow under the lower slopes of Wansfell Pike.

Soaring above the lesser heights of South Lakeland, Coniston Old Man and Wetherlam.

Viewed over Skelghyll Wood, the mighty head of Langdale, Pike of Blisco, Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell and just visible over the tree line the Langdale Pikes.

Looking to Yoke rising from the Troutbeck valley.

The triptych of Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke loom over the hill village of Troutbeck.

Walkers descend Nanny Lane with views to Sour Howes for company.

As seen from Nanny Lane, Froswick, in the middle Ill Bell and to the right Yoke.

Nearing the summit of Wansfell Pike with stunning views the length of Windermere Lake, on the far horizon Morecambe Bay and the salt water of the Irish Sea.

This is what draws the pilgrims to the summit of this little hill, wonderful views over Ambleside through the Vale of Grasmere with a back drop of Lakeland giants that beg to be climbed.....

.....and to the north Red Screes and the slash of Kirkstone Pass with Angletarn Pikes visible through the gap.....

.....then to the south, Lake Windermere snakes it's way to the sea.....

..... to the west the Coniston massif.

The summit of Wansfell Pike certainly provides a fine viewpoint.

In Stockghyll Wood en route to Stockghyll Force.

Stockghyll Force above Ambleside, don't pass it by.

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