6th March 2009

A circuit of Grasmere and Rydal Water


Walk Overview
Time 12.45 to 15.30
Duration 2 hr 45 min
Distance 6.2 mile
Ascent 700 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Grasmere - Town End - Coffin Route to Rydal - Rydal Water - Grasmere - Road to Grasmere
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Broadgate, Grasmere

Broadgate is one of the three main car parks found in Grasmere. They all charge what may be considered over the odds, but I suppose parking in an area with so many walking options does come with a high price tag.

In addition to the walking on offer, the car park is within a minutes walk from the centre of Grasmere and everything it has to tempt the visitor.


Route Map

As we drove through the lakes to reach Grasmere today, I had more than the occasional look up to the high fells with their generous covering of snow, and wondered why on earth we were driving past them to do a low level walk around Grasmere and Rydal. Once we got going however, it was so pleasant and spring like, we both agreed that we were actually in the best place after all. I know I've said this on more than one occasion, but as far as walking goes, the Lake District has far more to offer than simply heading up onto the fells themselves, and today just proved the point.


The small tarn next to How Top,

and the bigger tarn further along the road.
Notice the boat with the two workmen. The National Trust are currently working to tidy the tarn and create areas of clear water by removing the weed and trees that normally reduce the tarn to not much more than an overgrown, unsightly puddle. It may look a mess right now, but I can't wait to come back here in summer when the work is finished.

As the saying goes; you learn something new every day - I've always known this as Whitemoss Tarn, but the information notice explaining what was going on, referred to it a Skater's Tarn. Apparently this is somewhere that William Wordsworth used to enjoy ice skating.

A little further on, and passing Dunney Beck in warm sunshine.

Heading along the coffin route above Rydal Water. So named, because prior to the church and grave yard in Ambleside being consecrated, bodies needed to be taken on horseback for burial in St Oswald's church in Grasmere. I'm not sure of this was the only route available to them at the time, but this is certainly the one handed down to us as the coffin or corpse route.


Now for the return leg of the walk along the lovely southern end of Rydal Water.

And yet another sign that spring is only just around the corner.

You have a couple of options here, one would have been to take the higher path up to the caves and then along to Loughrigg Terrace. The nicest option (in my opinion) is to stick to the lake shore, particularly at this time of year when there aren't quite so may people about.

Looking back to catch a glimpse of High Pike and Low Pike, of Fairfield horseshoe fame.

"You needn't look at me like that, you know I always let you have a spare crust or two, but we haven't even brought anything for ourselves to eat today, so you've got no chance".


Just one of a pair of swans that accompanied us along the side of the lake. Just as we did with the duck, we told them there was no food, but they didn't seem to take any notice.


Nab cottage, seen on the opposite side of the lake.


Looking down to the weir and bridge at the Loughrigg Terrace end of Grasmere.

And the bridge seen in the previous picture.
By the way; this isn't the way we walked, we headed in the opposite direction and followed the edge of the lake into the woods.

Helm Crag at the opposite end of the lake.

Perhaps not the first daffodils I've seen this year, but certainly the first ones I've got close enough to photograph.

Stone Arthur and Great Rigg.


David Hall -
Lake District Walks