The Vale of Grasmere and Rydal.

Start. Grasmere (lay-by A591)

Route. Grasmere - River Rothay - Broadgate - St Oswald's Church - Red Bank - Faeryland Cafe - The Lea - Grasmere - Deer Bolts Wood - River Rothay - White Moss Wood - Rydal Water - Steps End - Rydal Mount - Coffin Route - White Moss - Penny Rock Wood - A591 - Grasmere.

Notes. Here I am again just north of Ambleside, nothing's changed it's Sunday, it's wet and windy. I don't know about you but I'm getting a bit tired of scrubbing mud from my boots and drying wet clothes. Today there'll be no mud to remove, this walk was over well graded paths kissing lake shores and river banks. There was plenty of wildlife on show, all dressed in brightly coloured gortex, such is the popularity of this valley walk.

My day started with a wander around Grasmere village, a stroll along the banks of the River Rothay, popping into the world famous gingerbread shop before visiting the Wordsworth family graves, tucked away behind St Oswald's Church next to the river. From the grave yard I wandered over the tarmac surface of Red Bank Road, passed the garden centre before leaving the village.

Not quite a mile of tarmac walking saw me reach a finger-post promising passage to Grasmere Lake shore, down to the lake I wandered, then along it's shore. I continued through Deer Bolts Wood before crossing a shingle beach, when the beach ended I joined the south bank of the River Rothay continuing my excursion down stream. This was a stunning section of river bank rambling, airy and open at first before the route narrowed following a path honed from the rock face above the river, if there was a problem it was to short.

The path deposited me in White Moss Wood, I swung right at the first path junction, a good path climbed to join the path descending to Rydal Water. Along the shore I rambled trying my best to ignore the crowds, when the path ended I entered Steps End Wood, continuing my lake side ramblings until the River Rothay halted my progress. I wandered down stream to access a fine foot-bridge, I crossed then also crossed the main road to gain access to the drive leading up hill to Rydal Mount. Next to Wordsworth's old residence a finger-post invites the lucky rambler to walk the old coffin route to Grasmere, this rambler stepped onto the ancient track to start his journey back.

I was walking into heavy drizzle, head down against the weather, under the woodland, cliff and scree of Nab Scar I walked, passed a fine example of a coffin rest, above Nab Cottage I passed before reaching a path descending next to a small beck, my route to the valley floor. I descended a good path under foot, stopping to visit a small cascade tumbling into what looked like an old quarry, I crossed the main road then joined a wide path laid between sheep pastures and the river, now on the opposite bank it was a pleasure to view my outward route.

The path climbed between the tree cover of Penny Rock Wood depositing me on Grasmere Lake shore, hazy views greeted me and lots of brightly coloured wildlife, the small accessible section of shore line was packed, I continued over a boardwalk path before stepping onto the main road. This road is busy, the traffic noisy but the views across the lake, even in poor weather easily make up for any discomfort. Three quarters of a mile of roadside walking lead back to the car, the song of traffic needed turning down today, soon I would be one of them, heading home to plan my next outing.

view route map.


Helm Crag or if you're a tourist screeching to a halt on the A591, The Lion and the Lamb.

From the banks of the River Rothay, Stone Arthur.

Tucked away in a corner of St Oswald's Church cemetery, the Wordsworth family graves.

The scene over Grasmere, the lofty heights of Loughrigg Fell.

Viewing Nab Scar over Grasmere.

Rising high above the Vale of Grasmere, Helm Crag and Seat Sandal.

Seen from the well trod path along Grasmere's shore line, Deer Bolts Wood and the golden slopes of Loughrigg Fell.

En route through Deer Bolts Wood.

The River Rothay between Grasmere and Rydal Water.

Descending to Rydal Water.

Grey today, Silver How rising above the tree cover of White Moss.

Silver How again, this time over White Moss Common from the coffin route.

Seen rom the coffin route, Loughrigg Terrace.

Small waterfall passed just before reaching the main road.

Penny Rock Wood.

Silver How as seen from the edge of Penny Rock Wood.

Helm Crag and Steel Fell seen from the parked car, and yes that is a shaft of sunlight on the slopes of Helm Crag.

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