15th March 2014

Ambleside, Wansfell Pike and Troutbeck


Walk Overview
Time 9:05am to 2:05pm
Duration 5 hr
Distance 8.2 mile
Ascent 2000 ft
Walking with Rod Hepplewhite
Miller Bridge - Ambleside - Stock Ghyll waterfalls - Wansfell Pike - Baystones - The Hundreds - Nanny Lane - Troutbeck - Town End - Robin Lane - Pillar - High Skelghyll - Skelghyll Wood - 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.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


From the car park we headed through the town and past the market cross. Turn the clock back 100 years and it may well have been a very busy place at this time if day on a Saturday.
A little further on and we pass by the row of building named Cheapside.

No confusion around here.

The woods between Ambleside and the waterfalls.

It looks like government & council cuts have even managed to affect the department responsible for park bench maintenance and repair.

It's a pity you can't get much closer to the falls than this, although I suspect we're harder to please than the Victorian visitors who probably thought it was a penny well spent. I think this is where the saying "I'm going to spend a penny" comes from, , , , or am I mixing up with something to do with toilets? Anyway, this is Stockghyll Force and you can't get very close to it.

Here's a picture of the turnstile leading from the waterfalls to the road. The picture below, is an 1885 advertisement for the waterfalls which tells us it cost 1 penny per person to visit the falls in those days. Given that there were much fewer visitors in 1885 and 1 penny seemed cheap, even for that time, I assume the real money spinner was the food & drinks sold in the refreshments 'shelter'.
Please note that Bathing was permitted under the falls, , , , , at certain times of day, and with towelling provided.


We begin the walk up the fellside on Wansfell Pike and by the look of the cloud in the distance, this wasn't s bad chose for a walk today.

For the time being at least, Red Screes was free from cloud, which is more than the higher section of the Fairfield Horseshoe can boast.

Looking down to Ambleside which give the false impression of being quite flat (on level ground) from here.

A close up of part of Windermere and all of Blelham Tarn.

We're on Wansfell Pike summit now and we have the place to ourselves. Normally I head straight down to Nanny Lane from the summit but today we extended the walk by continuing across to the Baystones end of the ridge.

Looking back to Wansfell Pike.

On a day of high cloud you get a great view of the Ill Bell ridge across to Thornthwaite Crag from here.

And from the same place, now looking back across to Wansfell Pike. that's part of Windermere on the left of the picture.

It's a good job it says M Simpson. If it had read H Simpson it would have probably fallen over by now.
M Simpson H Simpson

We joined Nanny Lane at the top section of the lane and to state the obvious, if you can find your way here, even in the worst visibility, getting down to Troutbeck should not be much of a problem.

This is the point where the path from (or to) Wansfell Pike joins Nanny Lane.


Just above Troutbeck.


For Sale.

Lunch guest. I wonder what it's collecting the stones for.


A final look back through the main part of the village.

Ye Olde Worlde barn at Troutbeck.

With a couple of mattresses stuffed full of £20 notes, plenty of time and a head full of ideas, this would make a fantastic house.

Today, we didn't head straight onto Robin Lane from the shop in Troutbeck. Instead, we continued a little further along the road and cut up this lane.

As we were walking along the track, Rod spied this pillar and said he'd never noticed it before. I then said I'd seen it often enough but didn't think there was a way to get up to it.
"use the stile"
"yes the stile"
"what stile?"
"that stile"
"ah, , , , "
To cut a long story short, I couldn't believe I'd never noticed the stile before, Rod couldn't believe he'd never noticed the pillar before, and now, because two heads are actually better than one, we're both standing on new ground.

This way, that way or t'other way.

High Skelghyll Farm.

Entering Skelghyll woods which is the last leg of the journey before you arrive back at Ambleside.

A view of the Jenkins Crag viewpoint

and a view from the Jenkins Crag viewpoint.

A close up of Wray Castle.

Looking down to the end of Windermere.

These days Hayes Garden Centre is beginning to look more like some futuristic space station than a garden centre. We went in on the way past so I could look at the fish, but I didn't part with any money. It's surprising to me that a place with a reputation for high quality allows the fish in it's aquatic dept to remain on display when so many of them have 'fish diseases'. Had this not been the case I'd have bought some.

And to finish, we're back at Miller Bridge. We were wondering how old the bridge was and if at one time this was one of the main routes into Ambleside from the road which could have been the original route between Ambleside and Rydal. We would have asked the miller but we couldn't find him.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks