Gilbert Scar above Ambleside.
Start. Ambleside (Main car park).
Route. Ambleside - Vicarage Road - Rothay Park - Miller bridge - Under Loughrigg - Miller Brow - Gilbert Scar - Lily Tarn - Langdale/Ambleside Bridleway - Some unnamed wood? - Under Loughrigg - Miller Bridge - Rothay Park - Ambleside.
Notes. Just under two miles from the bustling centre of Ambleside, rising above the head of Windermere Lake can be found a low rocky ridge, the end of a vast wedge of upland stretching from High Raise the centre of the Lake District, terminating at the 657ft high Gilbert Scar. Any walker lucky enough to walk the entire ridge is gifted with stunning views along it's entire length, but Gilbert Scar the lowest point is a bonus, saving the very best until last. This was a short walk, time was against me, if you dear reader have a little more than me you should scale Loughrigg Fell after visiting Gilbert Scar, for me today time only allowed one hill, so I picked the lowest and best.
I parked in the main car park, dug deep into my pockets for the parking fee, over priced it is but all the free spaces around Ambleside were occupied. Once sorted I made my way passed Bridge House, a quaint building dating back to the 17th century, originally built by the influential Braithwaite family as a way of accessing their orchards on the opposite side of the beck, also used as an apple store.
I continued through Ambleside, once at the cinema I stepped into Vicarage Road which in turn guided me to Rothay Park, I exited the park via Miller Bridge. This single arch constructed of local slate replaced the original bridge which succomb to flood water in 1884, as the local mill owner needed access for his workforce his gardeners were ordered to replace it. This stunning example of a pack horse bridge was built in less than a week, it allows access to Under Loughrigg a narrow ribbon of tarmac running under Loughrigg.
From Miller Bridge I ascended to Miller Brow where a stile allowed access to the Clappersgate path, this I followed to a wooden foot-bridge, I crossed then ascended the fell. A number of paths climb to Gilbert Scar, I opted for one I rarely use, this ushered me to the row of low crags overlooking Windermere Lake, I took my time, soaked up the stunning views before turning north. With a dry stone wall for company, easy to follow paths under foot I strolled passed Lily Tarn and Todd Crag, all too soon I reached the main trod linking Ambleside to Great Langdale.
Unfortunately it was time to descend, the path up Loughrigg Fell looked “oh” so inviting, but time was against me. I slowly wandered in the direction of Ambleside, passed through the final intake to start my descent. Then a bright idea popped into my head, I don't have many of them, not a good thing when time is of the essence. About half way along this track I recalled a footpath descending through woodland, it was new ground for me, I followed it, a finger-post promised a short descent to Under Loughrigg. Through moss covered woodland, over slippery tree roots, through a carpet of bluebells yet to blossom I picked my way, escaped the woodland into sheep pastures, a steep descent followed, a real knee buster before stepping onto the narrow ribbon of tarmac. Under Loughrigg guided me back to Miller Bridge, I crossed then followed the left hand of two paths, the one I followed last time I was here, it avoids the centre of Ambleside and all the people, it also terminates near the main car park.
view route map.
Bridge House, quaint it is dating back to the 17th century, now in the safe hands of the National Trust.
Viewing Heron Pike, Great Rigg and mighty Fairfield from Rothay Park.
The single arch of Miller Bridge, built to replace the original structure washed away in 1884.
Near Miller Brow looking to the civilised side of Red Screes.
High Pike as seen from the lower slopes of Gilbert Scar.
Gain a little height and the Kentmere fells tilt into view, Froswick and Ill Bell.
Stunning views down Windermere Lake from the approach to Gilbert Scar.
Gilbert Scar gifts the lucky walker with some fabulous views, this one over Ambleside taking in High Pike and Red Screes....
....and this, to the west Coniston Old Man and Wetherlam.
Dramatic views to the saw tooth ridge of the Crinkle Crags with Bow Fell in shade to the right.
Dominating the scene to the north-east, the arms of the Fairfield Horseshoe with Fairfield closing the head of the valley.
Rising above Ambleside, Wansfell Pike.
The scene over Great Langdale with Coniston Old Man and Wetherlam on the horizon.
Tiny Lily Tarn reflects the spirit of the sky.
The rocky crown of Todd Crag backed by Wetherlam and Great Carrs.
Dappled light over Lingmoor Fell with Pike of Blisco and Crinkle Crags across the horizon.
The final intake with views to a distant Ill Bell.
A stunning view from my descent route, Low Pike, High Pike and Dove Crag.
Picking my way through unnamed woodland en route to Under Loughrigg....
....but first this, a steep descent passed a sun bleached old tree.
The tarmac surface of Under Loughrigg, there's a number of these gate posts, it makes me think this may have once been a private drive.
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