Over Loughrigg Fell.

Start. St Mary's Church, Rydal.

Route. Rydal - Steps End Wood - Rydal Cave - Loughrigg Terrace - Loughrigg Fell - Black Mire - Todd Crag - Cote How-Steps End Wood - Rydal.

Notes. Loughrigg Fell one of the lesser heights of Lakeland, a sprawling wedge of rough upland rising between the valleys of the rivers Brathay and Rothay, it's southern edge known locally as Todd Crag commands stunning views over Windermere Lake, it also marks the start of a seven mile ridge terminating at the centre of the Lake District, High Raise. Adorned with many small crags, rocky knolls and sparkling tarns the many grassy paths meandering across it's bulk are a pleasure to stroll along, with changing views and exciting vistas at every turn this is a popular hill, and rightly so.

My day started at St Mary's Church Rydal, opposite the Badger Bar a path lead down to the River Rothay where a fine foot-bridge allowed access to Steps End Wood. I followed the well trod path along the lake shore, passing through ancient oak woods before stepping through a kissing gate, two paths confronted me, the low route along the lake shore or high leading along the edge of Rough Intake. I opted to follow the latter. I was soon striding out over quarry spoil on the approach to Rydal Cave, a close-head quarry, the stone from which was used to roof the houses of Ambleside, Rydal and Grasmere. As I continued west the views opened out, I soon found myself wandering along Loughrigg Terrace with stunning vistas over Grasmere and it's vale. At the end of the terrace I turned sharp left, on a pitch path I made my ascent, steep with stunning views to take the edge off the pain, the short climb ended at the trig point where I was gifted with magical views over Loughrigg Fell and on down Windermere Lake.

I descended south following the main path, passing through a high valley with limited views, meandering around rocky knolls, scrambling down low crags, skirting jeweled tarns as I made my way across this wonderful fell. In what seemed no time at all I found myself ascending a stoney gully into stunning views high above the head of Windermere Lake. After soaking up the views, (I guarantee you won't be able to tear yourself away from this small rocky ridge,) I turned my back on the scene to retreat the way I came. Trying to keep to the Ambleside edge of the ridge, not wanting to re-trace my steps I found myself following the intake wall, ignoring the main bridleway dissecting the ridge I continued forward crossing boggy ground to gain access to a faint path leading north. This little used path carried me through a real mountain wilderness, I strolled between nameless low crags and numerous rocky knolls, I ascended one just to gain a good vantage point. My descent took me to Rough Intake where the dry stone wall guided me down the fell, passing Brant Brows and Cote How to gain access to the tarmac track leading to Loughrigg Terrace, I crossed the track to be greeted by a small finger-post announcing I was stepping onto a public footpath, I descended into Steps End Wood to re-trace my steps back to the car.

view route map.


Seen over Rydal Water, Silver How.

On a grey Lakeland day Nab Scar reflects in Rydal Water.

Viewing Silver How above White Moss Common.

The dark depths of Rydal Cave.

Looking over White Moss Common to Helm Crag backed by Steel Fell.

One of the stunning views from Loughrigg Terrace, Silver How and Grasmere.

From the ascent of Loughrigg's northern facade wonderful views over the Vale of Grasmere.

The summit Loughrigg Fell.

Golden light over Windermere Lake.

Views to the southwest with Coniston Water just visible capturing the mid morning sunlight.

Wansfell Pike above Ambleside.

A jewel on the Loughrigg ridge, there are many small un-named tarns if you care to hunt them out.

Stunning views over Windermere Lake, it looks an awful lonely stretch of water without the power boat and water skiing fraternity, surely there was enough room down there for everybody.

Seen from Todd Crag a sunlit Windermere Lake.

Another exquisite puddle, no name but views to Black Crag.

Standing on an un-named summit with a large cairn and remains of a wind shelter for company, that tells me this little top was once a lot more popular than it is today, the view Ambleside over Fox Ghyll Wood.

Ambleside forever in the shadow of Wansfell Pike.

Looking to Lantys Scar backed by High Pike and Red Screes.

Still on that un-named top drinking in the views to Helm Crag and Silver How.

Above the Scartufts slopes of Loughrigg Fell the Langdale Pikes have just broke through the cloud base.

Looking to Lantys Scar and a cloud capped Red Screes, I'm about to descend to the tree line so this will be the last of the views.

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