Ambleside – 29th September 2019

Strenuous Leader: Paul Hogan                                          Distance: 00.00 miles

No walk notes received.

Moderate Leader: Peter Denton                                         Distance: 7.00 miles

This is a lovely walk from Ambleside to Loughrigg Tarn, then back. We have some climbing to do so we can enjoy the fabulous scenery.  Do not forget your camera as there are loads of photo opportunities. Happy snapping People. Hope you like this ramble as much as I will. What more can I say.  Happy Rambling.

Leisurely Leader: Dave Hatchard                                      Distance: 7.00 miles

From Ambleside we have a short walk on the main road before we branch off and follow a good track through to Rydal Hall. There is a tea room and toilets here and, depending on the size of the party we may be able to have a quick stop. From the hall, we take the Coffin Trail from which there are lovely views of Rydal Water to our left. We amble on and drop down to cross the River Rothay and have a brief glimpse of Grasmere before a short climb up to the first part of Loughrigg Terrace where the path passes Rydal Caves. Then we walk down hill and follow the road which runs along the river and back into Ambleside through the park. Plenty of gentle ups and downs but no long hills to climb.

Easy Leader: Simon Wess                                                 Distance: 5.00 miles

Terrain: Stile free, tarmac and woodland paths, climbing for first part of walk, no cattle grids, relatively gentle on the feet, just the initial climb to consider but is well worth the effort for the spectacular views.

Walk route: This is a lovely walk, packed full of wonderful views, and you will be glad to know is completely stile free. We begin with a visit to Hayes garden centre at Waterhead to utilise facilities and cafe if desired. We proceed with a progressive yet steady climb, which is well worth the effort, away from Waterhead to the delights of Skelghyll Wood. We cross the bridge at Stencher Beck and meander the woodland paths until we reach the peak at Jenkin Crag. Here we get to admire the wonderful views over Lake Windermere, of Coniston Old Man and Langdale Peaks. Lunch stop here is optional, to reward ourselves. We then proceed to and along Skelghyll Lane and meander the twisting tarmac paths surrounded by fields and yet more views. We pass a couple of farms, cross Hols Beck by a bridge and continue until we meet a minor road. We fork right and follow the road as it descends. We pass Briery Close where Charlotte Bronte stayed in 1850. Shortly after we veer right to take the footpath through the woodland and cross Hols Beck for the second time by footbridge. We walk through the field and descend to the rear of Low Wood Hotel, cross and join the A591. Shortly after we take the beautiful path through Jenkin Field and take in the expansive sights from the edge of Lake Windermere passing a rocky point and emerging out on to the road at Waterhead. Here you can relax at Waterhead or take a stroll up to Ambleside town at your leisure.

Notes on the area

Once a mill town whose becks and rivers provided power for waterwheels, Ambleside long ago made its peace with visitors and started to provide for their needs. There are book shops, outdoor pursuit shops and gift shops too numerous to mention, whilst the streets throng with people spilling off the pavements, and cars go gyrating in a gigantic roundabout through the town centre.  But, in spite of all this, Ambleside still retains its charm. The architecture is principally that of a Victorian town, whilst up the hill leading to the Kirkstone Pass some houses date from the 15th Century. The earliest sign of man, however, is much earlier as the Romans built their fort, Galava, on the shores of Windermere.  There are no impressive columns or walls still standing, only a few stones poking through the grass, but nevertheless they are a reminder that Ambleside has been inhabited for nigh on a thousand years.

In the centre of Ambleside the quaint little Bridge House, built over the River Rothay like something out of a fairy tale, dates from the 17th Century. It was probably a summer house for Ambleside Hall, though in 1843 Chairy Rigg lived here with his wife and six children. With one room up and one room down, how they all fitted in is a mystery. An attractive subject for any artist who can brave the inquisitive passersby. It was painted by JMW Turner on one of his northern tours. In 1926 it was bought by the National Trust and in 1956 became its very first information and recruiting centre in the country.

Stockghyll Force, a popular beauty spot from Victorian times, still has the remains of the railed viewpoints where Victorian ladies stood to admire the scene. It is well worth visiting after heavy rain.  Beside the stream, one of the old mills has been converted to holiday flats.

In the Ice Age, the undulating top of Loughrigg Fell was scraped clean by glaciers, leaving a landscape of bare rocky outcrops and boggy hollows, now occupied by tarns and pools. Though little over a thousand feet in height, and barely a square mile in extent, there is more scenery packed into Loughrigg Fell than practically anywhere else in Lakeland.