3 ½ miles Allow 2 –2 ½ hours
One of Lakeland’s Classic Walks – A circular tour around the shoreline of a tranquil lake, set in the heart of a beautiful valley. Suitable for all weather conditions
- With the main entrance gate to St Oswalds Parish Church on your right, walk along the road for 50 yards, then turn 1st left on to a lane and pass Grasmere Garden Village car park entrance. From here, proceed straight ahead, towards Langdale and Coniston and follow the lane for ¾ mile, to reach a cottage on your left, with a letter box embedded in the outside wall (opposite a turn to a private driveway)
- Continue along the lane for a further 175 yards, to go through a gate in the left-hand roadside wall. Go through either gate and descend to link up with the head of a broad, stony footpath. Follow this path downhill for 200 yards, to reach the water’s edge of Grasmere Lake.
- Turn right and follow the shoreline footpath for ¾ mile, to arrive at a small weir, close by a wooden footbridge, spanning the outflow from the lake.
- Pass by the footbridge and with the River Rothay on your left, follow the well defined path for 1/3 mile, to reach a 2nd footbridge (also on your left)
- Cross over this footbridge. On the opposite bank, bear right to follow the broad footpath ahead for a maximum of 150 yards, then (by a crook in the river on our right), turn left onto another footpath. Ascend the few steps to link up with Keswick/Ambleside road, opposite White Moss car park. Cross over the road enter the car park and turn left. Proceed for a distance of 60 yards head straight ahead up the lane in front of you.
- Ascend this lane (bordered by woodland), to arrive at a 3-way junction after ½ mile, next to How Top Farm on your left.
- Turn left and descend the lane, to re-join the Ambleside/Keswick road at the foot of the hill. Go straight across onto Stock Lane, to return to the start of the walk in the centre of Grasmere.
4 ½ miles – Allow 3 – 3 ½ hours
- With the main entrance gate to St Oswald’s Parish Church on your right, walk along the roadside footpath for a maximum of 150 yards, to reach a sharp left-hand bend in front of the Wordsworth Hotel. At this point, bear right (off the main road), to join onto a minor lane, called Collage Street. Proceed along here, then pass by the village green on your left, to reach a cross roads.
- Go straight across this road junction onto the lane directly opposite, to pass by a sign (footpath to Easedale Tarn). Ascend the lane for a couple of hundred yards and then, 50 yards beyond the car park for Glenthorne Guest House (o your left) pass through the gate in the wall onto the permissive path and turn right to walk parallel to the road for a short way before re-emerging onto the road to reach a road bridge (Goody bridge) with Easedale Beck flowing underneath.
- Continue ahead and after 100 yards, pass by Good Bridge Farm on your left, 200 yards further on, locate a narrow footbridge on your left, just opposite a cottage on your right (Oak Lodge). Cross over Easedale Beck and proceed through the trees for 75 yards, to pass through a metal gate. With the beck now on your right, follow the footpath straight aheadfor 600 yards, to reach a gate across the route. (ignore the gate and footpath sig on your left hand side part way along)
On the opposite side of this gate, the path forks. Bear left signposted (public bridleway) and proceed across the centre of rough pastureland on a well defined footpath. A short distance further on, the path begins its strenuous ascent, alongside the spectacular waterfalls on our right, to finally culminate 1 ½ miles further up, at the awe-inspiring panorama of Easedale Tarn, set in one of Lakelands most dramatic locations. Due west is the impressive rocky Slapestone Edge whilst to the south west is Blea Cragg. To the north is Greathead Crag.
- Upon reaching the tarn, it is suggested by the author that you return to Grasmere by the way you ascended. The descent on the opposite side of the falls is not considered a suitable alterative, as it initially necessitates a treacherous crossing of the stepping stones just below the outflow of the tarn, and secondly, the route passes through a deep and broad expanse of marshy area at the base of Cockly Cragg. However, you may wish to circumnavigate the tarn which is possible via a permissive path. Cross the stepping stones with great care and bear left round the tarn to eventually reach the main path on the south side of the tarn allowing you to return towards the main descent.
5 miles – Allow 3 hours
A captivating walk, with unsurprised views across Grasmere and Rydal Water. Two of Lakeland’s most picturesque lakes.
- With St Oswalds Parish Church on your left, cross the bridge over the River Rothay and walk along the roadside footpath for 1/3 mile, to reach the main Keswick/Ambleside road. Go straight across, onto the lane directly opposite, to pass by Dove Cottage o your left after 100 yards.
- Gradually ascend this lane for 1 ¼ mile, to arrive at How Top Farm on your right (just opposite a small, vegetation clogged pond on your left) Bear left, signposted (no through road for motors) & (path to Rydal). The hill in front of you is steep, but will level out after 300 yards
- With the rocky terrain of White Moss over to your right, proceed along her for ¼ mile, to reach a point where the lane abruptly alters into a wide, stony footpath. Continue ahead, and (passing through numerous gates along the route) follow this footpath for 1 mile, to eventually arrive at a T-junction with a lane, next to Hart Head Barn on your left.
- Turn right and passing by Rydal Mount on your right, descend the lane, to join onto the Ambleside/Grasmere road at the foot of the hill. Cross over the road and turn right. Walk along the roadside footpath for a maximum of 125 yards, the bear left, signposted (public footpath) and descend to a wooden footbridge across the River Rothay. On the opposite bank, follow the stony footpath (to the right in the direction of Rydal water, parallel to the river) for 250 yards to pass through a gate leading into Rydal Woods.
Proceed between the trees and after 300 yards, exit these woods via a swing-gate set in a stone boundary wall. On the opposite side of this gate, the path forks. Bear right and walk along the water’s edge or ¼ mile – note, if water levels are high there is a point where the main path becomes impassable where the path skirts a rock at the water’s edge – however it is still possible to avoid this problem with a short ‘up and over’ diversion to the left for a few dozen yards.
- Soon after reach a point where the path bears left away from the lake. Continue along the well-defined path, to locate a derelict barn after ¼ mile, situated just behind the right-hand wall.
- From here, the route steeply ascends for 150 yards to arrive at a junction of paths on the crest of a ridge. Keeping the stone wall on your right, descend a narrow footpath towards Grasmere Lake, seen in the valley below, At the foot of the slope, pass by a wooden footbridge on your right, spanning the River Rothay.
- With the lake on your right, walk along the shoreline for just over ¾ mile, to reach a point where the path abruptly turns sharp left away from the water’s edge.
- Follow the path uphill for 200 yards, then ascend the path to link up with a lane. Turn right and follow this lane, to return to the start of the walk in the centre of Grasmere.
3 ½ miles Allow 2 –2 ½ hours
A steep bur rewarding climb, with stunning views across the whole Grasmere Valley, set amidst a seemingly never ending vista of lakes and mountains.
- With the St Ostwald’s Parish Church on your left, cross the bridge ove the River Rothay and walk along the roadside footpath for 1/3 mile, to reach the main Keswick/ Ambleside road. Go straight across, onto the lane directly opposite, to pass by Dove Cottage on your left after 100 yards.
- Gradually ascend this lane for ¼ mile, to arrive at How Top Farm on your right (just opposite a small, reed filled pond on your left). Bear left, signposted (no through road for motors) and (path to Alcock Tarn & Rydal), then after 150 yards of steep ascent, turn left onto a stony track, signposted (Alcock Tarn). Proceed for 175 yards, to locate a Y-Junction and National Trust sign (Brancenfall)
- Proceed ahead to pass through the metal gate. Follow the track between the trees and after 300 yards go through a 2nd field gate. After a further 200 yards of ascent at a junction of paths bear right uphill. From here, continue uphill and follow the very steep and well-defined stony track, as it winds its way up the fell-side (passing through a gate part way along with an ‘Alcock Tarn’ plaque) for just over ½ mile (with fabulous views behind you throughout the whole ascent), to eventually arrive at the high pinnacle of Grey Crag (the rocky pinnacle to your right)
- Skirt to the left of Grey Cragg, and before too long the route levels out. Continue in approximately the same direction, to aim for a gap in the stone wall 125 yards away. Follow the grassy path straight ahead for a further 150 yards, to finally arrive at Alcock Tarn.
- With the Tarn on your right, follow the footpath to reach the far end of this stretch of water and ignore the gateway, set in the wall on your left, to instead pass through the metal gate 30 yards further on. Link up with the left-hand wall and follow the footpath for 250 yards.
- From here, the route steeply descends. Gradually make your way down the fell-side (with care), following the well-used stony footpath, to arrive at a wooden footbridge after ½ mile, close by a house on your left.
- Cross over Greenhead Gill and once on the opposite side, turn left through a wooden gate. With the beck now on your left, descend the tarmaced track in front of you, to link up with a lane 250 yards further down. Turn left and this lane will terminate at the Ambleside/Keswick road, next to the Swan Hotel.
- Cross over the main road and join the le directly opposite, to return to the centre of Grasmere – turn left onto College Road by the village green to return to the start point at the church.
6 miles – Allow 3 1/2 – 4 hours
A walk of two valleys – Follow the scenic route, which links Grasmere with the very picturesque village of Elterwater, nestled at the foot of the Langdales.
- With the main entrance gate to St Oswald’s Parish Church on your right, walk along the road for 50 yards, then turn 1st left onto a lane and pass Grasmere Garden Village car park entrance. From here, proceed straight ahead, towards (Langdale and Coniston) and follow this lane for ¾ mile, to reach a cottage on your left, with letter box embedded in the outside wall (opposite a turn to a private driveway)
- Bear right (off the lane), onto the driveway which is a hard-surfaced track, signposted (Great Langdale, Loughrigg Terrace, YHA). Ascend the slope for 200 yards, to reach a point where the route alters to a stony footpath. Continue uphill to locate gate on your right after ¼ mile, displaying a sign (Nicholas Wood). 65 yards further on, pass by a metal gate on your left, to arrive at 2 small wooden gates, with a 5 yard stretch of wall between them.
- Go through the left-hand gate and immediately cross over small beck. Proceed parallel to the left-hand wall and after ¾ mile of steep, but scenic ascent, the well-defined path leads to a gate across the route. Continue straight ahead and after a short distance the footpath levels out – at the four way junction of paths go straight ahead the path steeply descends to link up with the Grasmere/Chapel Stile lane.
- Turn right and descent the hill for just under ¼ mile, to reach a lane on your left. Turn left here and this lane will eventually terminate at a set of crossroads with the Skelwith Bridge/Chapel Stile road. Go straight across, to arrive at a junction in the centre of Elterwater, with the Britannia Inn over on your right.
- Turn left at this junction and follow the lane (which passes the Judy Boyes Gallery) and the soon across Elterwater Common), to join onto the Chapel Stile/Skelwith Bridge road. Turn right, along the road for 400 yards, then turn 1st left onto a narrow lane (directly opposite a house on your right) Gradually ascend for just under ½ mile (passing by a turning on your right after 350 yards), to arrive at a T-junction with another lane.
- Turn left (High Close 3/4 : Grasmere 2) and follow this lane for just over ½ mile, to locate a lane on your left. Turn right at this point, and pass through a large wooden gate, signposted (Public Bridleway Loughrigg Terrace, Rydal) & (Deer Bolts Wood). Proceed along a broad, stony footpath for 250 yards, to reach an inverted Y-junction. Continue straight on for a further 100 yards, and go through a metal gate. On the opposite side of this gate, descend towards a flat footbridge(seen 30 yards away), across a small beck.
- From here (with the magnificent panorama across the whole of Grasmere valley down to your left) descend this popular footpath for ½ mile before reaching a T- junction of paths immediately in front of a stone wall. (200 yards before reaching the wall the path forks – keep to the left hand route). At the stone wall turn left and continue downhill on a narrow path, to aim for a wooden footbridge (seen in the valley below), spanning the outflow from Grasmere Lake.
- Cross over the bridge and turn sharp left. After 100 yards ignore the path heading right and follow the winding footpath through this lightly wooded area, to join onto the Keswick/Ambleside road. Turn left and follow the roadside footpath by the side of the lake, to return to the start of the walk in the centre of Grasmere.
Please note that these walks are copyright. The Wordsworth Hotel does not accept any liability for those choosing to complete these walks, and if you are unsure we can recommend a walking guide.