Explore the Area

Explore Ambleside

Both Gwen and Reg are keen walkers and have put together a collection of tried and tested popular walks which are available for you also to pick up and enjoy, for example High Sweden Bridge, Rydal Caves, Jenkin Cragg, The Coffin Route, Stock Ghyll Force.
 

History of Ambleside

For an informal look at the history of Ambleside take a look amblesideonline’s history link.
 

Shopping

Ambleside offers a wide choice of outlets to cater for all tastes including but not limited to, outdoor clothing centres, bookshops, bespoke jewellery shops, art galleries, museums, local produce shops.
 

Festival and Events in the Lake District

In conjunction with the Lake District National Park Authority, Cumbria Tourism has produced a joint events guide, with over 400 Listings – a great single reference to hundreds of events. View festivals and events from the Go-Lakes Website.
 

Food and Drink in Ambleside

A wide range of restaurants are available which are close to Amboseli Lodge offering a full range of culinery delights. Listed below are a few of our favourites.

Explore the Fells Around Ambleside

  • LOUGHRIGG
  • WANSFELL
  • FAIRFIELD
  • RED SCREES

Tab 1

Loughrigg
The fell is surrounded by an unusual amount of open water. To the north the River Rothay flows through Grasmere and Rydal Water before bending around the eastern side of Loughrigg. On the southern flank the River Brathay runs from Elterwater and is also fed by the outfall from Loughrigg Tarn. The two rivers merge at Clappersgate on the south eastern corner of the fell, just before flowing into Windermere. The western boundary is formed by Red Bank (535 ft) on the ridge to Silver How. Unnamed becks fall north and south into Grasmere and Elterwater.
Loughrigg has two subsidiary ridges on its eastern flank. Lanty Scar provides the obvious line of ascent from Rydal, while the spur rising over Todd Crag leads up from Clappersgate. There are many areas of woodland on the lower slopes, giving way to a wide expanse of bracken clad knolls and small tarns on the top. The summit is on the western side of the plateau and is identified by an Ordnance Survey column. Many lower tops also decorate the fell, sometimes to the confusion of visitors. Despite the girdle of lakes only Windermere is visible from the summit. The vista is open to the south over the green and blue country of Furness, with many fells in view on the other three sides.
The fell is easily accessible, being surrounded by roads on all sides. Ambleside and the smaller settlements of Skelwith Bridge, Elterwater, Grasmere and Rydal are all within reach, as is the popular double car park at White Moss Common. Many paths run over the fell including the well known Loughrigg Terrace, a level path with superb views of Grasmere, Helm Crag and the Fairfield group. Just beyond the eastern end of the Terrace are some quite remarkable caves, caused by quarrying. They penetrate about 150 feet into the hillside and are often full of water; there are other small mines on the fell.

Tab 2

Wansfell_from_Garburn_Track
Wansfell has an extensive summit ridge with two tops, the highest point of the fell is called Baystones with a height of 488 m (1,601 ft) while Wansfell Pike, which lies a kilometre to the south west reaches an altitude of 482 m (1,581 ft). Of the two summits Wansfell Pike is regarded as the “true” summit of the fell by many fell walkers because of its superior view, even though it is the lower of the pair.Despite its modest altitude, Wansfell has significant topographic prominence being linked to the higher fell of Caudale Moor by a col near the Kirstone Pass road (A592) with the height of around 338 metres giving the fell prominence of approximately 150 metres, which makes it just a Marilyn. Originally the hill was thought to just fail in being a Marilyn, but subsequent updates to Alan Dawson’s list have revealed that the summit has been relocated to 488 m at NY403051, making the prominence 150 m.
Wansfell has strong connections to Ambleside and is seen as very much belonging to the town, with Bill Birkett saying “Wansfell is to Ambleside what St. Pauls is to London”. The popularity of the ascent from Ambleside led to severe erosion which became so bad that the path underwent restoration work in the late 1990s using stone blocks and sections of the path now resemble a stone staircase.The fells name is thought to originate from the Old Norse language and can draw a parallel with Wansdyke in Somerset in that it is named after the main Norse god and means “Wodens Fell”.Wansfell hosts a popular short fell race which takes place annually between Christmas and the New Year, the winning runner usually takes around 20 minutes to complete the four kilometre course.

The fell is predominately ascended from Ambleside using the road which leaves the town centre and goes past Stockghyll Force waterfall before bearing right onto the restored footpath which is followed to the summit. An ascent is also possible from Troutbeck, on the eastern side of the fell, following a farm track called Nanny Lane until the open fell is reached from where it is an easy climb to the summit.

The fells two summits are linked by a dry stone wall, Wansfell Pike is the lower of the two but has a more attractive rocky top and a better view, with Windermere looking particularly attractive to the south. The highest point (Baystones) is a grassy hummock marked by a few stones.

Tab 3

Ambleside_and_Fairfield
There is a marked contrast between the character of the northern and southern flanks of Fairfield. Alfred Wainwright in his influential Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells wrote that “From the south it appears as a great horseshoe of grassy slopes below a consistently high skyline…but lacking those dramatic qualities that appeal most to the lover of hills. But on the north side the Fairfield range is magnificent: here are dark precipices, long fans of scree,…desolate combes and deep valleys.”Fairfield has connecting ridges to several other fells and in plan view can be likened to a bow-tie. The top has an east-west axis with ridges running out north and south from each end.
The two southern arms make up the popular walk, the Fairfield horseshoe, which starts in Ambleside and makes a circuit of the valley of Rydale to the south. On the western side, descending from Fairfield are Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar while the eastern ridge bears the tops of Hart Crag, Dove Crag, High Pike and Low Pike.The north western ridge of Fairfield crosses Deepdale Hause to St Sunday Crag whilst that to the north east is a short rocky spur into Deepdale, dropping over Greenhow End. A fifth line of high ground, less a ridge than a salient in the breast of the fell, runs due west to Seat Sandal across Grisedale Hause.The northern and eastern faces all loom above the desolate upper Deepdale, which is divided by Greenhow End. This short rocky spur has Hutaple Crag on the west and Scrubby Crag on the east. The corries of Cawk Cove and Link Cove lie on either side, each with a steep headwall formed by the flanks of Fairfield.

Fairfield is most commonly climbed as the high point of the Fairfield horseshoe, a walk which has no agreed direction of travel. Coming from Great Rigg, the long grassy ridge heads directly for the summit, whilst the walker arriving from Hart Crag climbs up from Link Hause with a fine view of Scrubby Crag to the right, before the stony traverse of Fairfield summit.

Perhaps the finest indirect ascent is from Patterdale via Birks and St Sunday Crag, following the fine narrow ridge down to Deepdale Hause before ascending up rough ground to Cofa Pike. This subsidiary top of Fairfield has a fine peaked profile, quite outdoing its parent until the wide tabletop comes into view behind. A further rock tor is surmounted before the summit windbreaks are reached. From St Sunday Crag onwards the northern crags of Fairfied are seen in their full and wild glory.

Fairfield can be climbed via Grisedale Hause, either up Tongue Gill from Grasmere, from Dunmail Raise or from Patterdale. The path up from the Hause is a rough zigzag up worsening scree. Grisedale Hause can also be reached as a ridge walk from Seat Sandal, or by cutting across the outlet of Grisedale Tarn from Dollywaggon Pike and the Helvellyns. In this way Fairfield forms part of the Threlkeld — Kirkstone Walk, which continues over Fairfield summit to Dove Crag and Red Screes.

A more challenging route climbs out of Deepdale, veering into the lower part of Link Cove before surmounting Greenhow End and The Step. Deepdale Hause can also be gained from this side, but climbs direct out of Link Cove or Cowk Cove are not practicable for walkers.

Tab 4

Red_Screes
Red Screes is a fell in the English Lake District, situated between the villages of Patterdale and Ambleside. It is an outlier of the Fairfield group in the Eastern Fells, but is separated from its neighbours by low cols. This gives Red Screes an independence which is reflected in its prominence.Taking the form of a long upturned boat, Red Screes is a ridge running roughly north to south. Shorter saddles connecting to neighbouring fells are sent out amidships on either side. To the west Scandale Pass (1,690 ft) connects to Little Hart Crag, a satellite of Dove Crag. From the pass the long Scandale Beck runs south to Ambleside and the River Rothay. On the northern side Caiston Beck makes for Hartsop and Ullswater. To the east of Red Screes is the motor road from Ambleside to Patterdale, reaching its summit at Kirkstone Pass (1,485 ft). Across the Kirkstone are the High Street range of the Far Eastern Fells, beginning with Stony Cove Pike and Thornthwaite Crag. Running south from Kirkstone Pass and its summit inn is the valley of Stock Ghyll which flows the Ambleside, joining the Rothay a few yards from the confluence with Scandale Beck. Kirkstone Beck flows north from the pass, joining Caiston Beck before reaching Hartsop. Thus the boundaries of Red Screes are formed symmetrically by four valleys, with the fell rising at the head of none of them.
The northern ridge of Red Screes passes over the subsidiary top of Middle Dodd. This has little prominence, being more the point where the gradient of descent markedly increases, but Alfred Wainwright in his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells gave it the status of a separate fell and that convention is followed here. The long southern ridge has the equally notable top of Snarker Pike which was not given such a distinction. This is one of many reasons why Wainwrights differ from more logical hill lists such as Hewitts, Nuttalls and Marilyns.The broad southern ridge runs for about two and a half miles before petering out on the outskirts of Ambleside. The lower slopes have been planted with many small areas of mixed woodland and are extensively compartmentalised by a vast array of dry stone walls. North of the summit the descending ridge narrows at Smallthwaite Band before widening again to the summit of Middle Dodd. From here the descent is steep and rough.The western flanks are also rough, but the east displays two miles of screeslope, looming above almost the full length of Kirkstone Pass. It is from this view that the fell takes its name. Prominent on Ordnance Survey maps is Kilnshaw Chimney, although on the ground this is just a narrow gully beneath the summit.

The summit area is a broad plateau with a dressing of grass and stones. Two unnamed corries are cut into the eastern face and between them a flat topped promontory juts out with the highest point on its northern edge. A number of large cairns have been formed and an Ordnance Survey triangulation column stands nearby. A few yards to the south is Red Screes Tarn, a small permanent waterbody with no plant life in evidence. A number of smaller pools can be found after rain. The panorama is excellent, with a first-class view of the Far Eastern Fells and the distant Coniston, Bowfell and Scafell skyline of the Southern Fells. The immediate views down the eastern face to the Kirkstone Inn are spectacular.

The southern ridge provides a popular route to the summit, climbing from the bottom of the Kirkstone road. Other ascents from Ambleside can be made via Scandale or Stock Ghyll, gaining the ridge to the north of Snarker Pike. A number of routes are also possible from the summit of Kirkstone Pass. The direct ascent is steep and badly eroded, whilst those from Red Pit or lower down the pass to the north are slightly more appealing. From the north the walker has the choice of the Middle Dodd ridge or a gentler approach up Caiston Glen to Scandale Pass.