23rd May 2010

Ambleside to Red Screes via Wansfell Pike and Woundale


Walk Overview
Time 07.00 to 14.00
Duration 7 hr
Distance 11.4 mile
Ascent 3820 ft
Walking with On my own
Miller Bridge - Ambleside - Wansfell Pike - Baystones - Kirkstone Pass - Woundale - St Raven's Edge - top of Kirkstone Pass - Red Screes - Snarker Pike - Kirkstone Road - Ambleside - Miller Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Miller Bridge, Ambleside

This offers an alternative to the overcharged car parks in Ambleside itself. The downsides are, spaces are limited, it's a little way out from the center of the town and you will need to get here early to get a space.


Route Map

Today's walk has been on the radar for months, but rather than just head out and do it, I've waited patiently for a hot sunny day; and today was certainly that. I took this picture in Rothay Park at 7am and it was already beginning to warm up nicely. Some would argue that a hard walk like this would have been best done on a cool cloudy day, so perhaps this shows that I'm as odd as some of the routes I come up with.

The first section of the walk follows this narrow road out of Ambleside. It is all up hill, but still easy going and you can gain a bit of height with out too much effort.

Looking back down to Ambleside.

Windermere seen from Wansfell Pike summit.

In the opposite direction you have Ill Bell, Froswick, Thornthwaite Crag, Stony Cove Pike and on the left of the picture is Red Screes; that's where I was heading for, but later in the day.

A view back along the ridge to Wansfell Pike.

Heading down from the Wansfell ridge towards Kirkstone Pass. When I reached the first wall running across the picture I turned right and more or less followed it as far as the road.

Looking down to Trout Beck from the small ruin found next to the Kirkstone Pass road.
The lowest point on the skyline is Threshthwaite Mouth.

Thankfully Kirkstone Pass was nice and quiet while I was here so I didn't end up playing dodge the car. I could have came up with a route where I could have cut straight across at the right place, but there's a ruin and some sheepfolds I wanted to photograph first. This meant walking down, then back up the road for a short distance. I'm pleased it was 9 o'clock in the morning and not 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

Woundale; on the wrong side of the wall I should add. There were about a dozen cows all sitting by the gate next the main road. As soon as I approached they all seemed to develop an unnerving curiosity for this two legged intruder, so I thought it best to give them a wide berth.

If this fella doesn't want me in the field then I'm not even going to try and argue my point!

This is better; out of harms way and now heading into the wonderfully quiet little valley of Woundale. I'm not a gambling man, but I'd have put money on me having this place to myself.

What an amazing bridge; found by the washfold next to Woundale Beck. There not much more than a trickle today, but I suspect it serves it's purpose well enough when the beck is full.

Time for a rest I think!


. . . the final one of the day, found high up on the fellside at the head of Woundale.

Looking up, , ,

, , , and and a couple of minutes later, looking down from my lunch spot above Kirkstone Pass.


Just before I reached the Kirkstone Pass road I got this view of Place Fell and Brothers Water.

Good fun? Absolutely, but these days I prefer to see the Lake District at walking pace instead of viewing it as a 100mph blur.

Back to solitude again on route to Red Screes.
Apart from the crowds at the Kirkstone Inn, I'd only seen two other people since setting out and even more unexpectedly, I only saw two more people until I got back into Ambleside. Not bad for such a nice day.

Red Screes summit.

And again, from the other side of a very dry looking tarn.

After all the ups and downs I'd already done today the walk from here to Ambleside felt like such a long way. All down hill and it was roasting hot. Needless to say the shops in Ambleside were a welcome sight and it was straight into the Spar for some food and drink.

A close up of Rydal Water.


Peeping over the wall to get a picture of Seathwaite.
Not the Borrowdale or the Duddon Valley ones; the camera isn't that good !

David Hall -
Lake District Walks