Grasmere Walk

Skelwith Fold Caravan Park

Grasmere Walk

A full day’s circular walk around Loughrigg Fell with a variety of stunning views of wonderful hills, mountains, valleys and lakes. This route gives the walker the opportunity to visit the villages of Grasmere and Elterwater.

Clothing: Light waterproof/windproof jacket – depending upon the weather conditions, strong shoes or walking boots
Equipment: O.S. map, compass, whistle, binoculars
Refreshment stops: Skelwith Bridge, (Grasmere Village*), Elterwater Village
Conditions to be expected underfoot: tarmac, unmade tracks, loose stone, occasional damp or muddy parts, grass

Key Information

Fitness Level: A good level required

Distance: approx. 12 miles

Time: 6 to 7 hours (Includes breaks!)

grasmere in the snow

For printed directions, please ask at Skelwith Fold Reception. These are available for a suggested £1.50 donation which goes to supporting The Great North Air Ambulance.

  1. On leaving Skelwith Fold Caravan Park Shop and Reception Area turn left. Follow the red road to the barrier, through the gate (ignore the path to the left) and on to the junction (by the Post Box). Turn right to Skelwith Fold and continue along the lane ignoring the right turn to Ambleside. Go down the hill to the junction and turn right. Follow along the narrow lane to the corner at the bottom of the hill turning to the right at the Skelwith Community Centre. Continue along the lane to the main road.
  2. Walk onto the bridge and pause in the refuge at the centre to admire the river.
  3. Cross over to the other refuge then continue past the Skelwith Bridge Hotel. Continue to the junction and cross the road with caution to a little lane with the cottages on the left. Continue up the steep hill and pass the entrance to Neaum Crag and up to the junction and turn right.
  4. Take the first turning to the left that follows almost immediately. The track then leads round to the right in front of some cottages. After 70 yards go straight ahead through the gate to Ambleside (a sign and an arrow have been carved on a stone in the wall). Follow this well-defined bridleway and through the next gate (GR NY 395 042).
  5. Continue along the bridleway eventually dropping down to a small ford with large stepping stones. Cross over and climb steadily along the track to the next gate. Continue along the bridleway to a gate and pass, what is believed to be the old golf clubhouse, now a house and other buildings, down to the next gate. The bridleway continues down hill winding its way through woodland and passing numerous properties until it reaches a quiet tarmac lane. Turn left and follow the lane with the River Rothay on the right. Proceed along the lane to its end at Pelter Bridge. Turn left before the bridge and follow the small lane passing a car park on the left. Having passed some cottages the lane soon becomes a track arriving at two gates. Here there is a magnificent view of Rydal Water.
  6. Take the Bridle Path down towards the water and follow it along the water’s edge crossing a small bridge. The path soon begins to climb gently up. Continue along the path until arriving at the a path division. Take the footpath on the right and descend right towards Grasmere Lake.
  7. Descend right along the path down to a weir and Grasmere lakeside (a good place for a pause to admire the tranquillity of the lake and surrounding views). Pass through the gate at the far end of the small beach, then follow the footpath along parallel to the shore for half a mile. The path bends to the left and leads to a gate to the lane (Red Bank). *
  8. Turn right and follow the road for 100 yards to a turning on the left signposted ‘Loughrigg Terrace, YHA’ and Great Langdale’ follow this route. The tarmac drive becomes a rough stone track up passing Nicholas Wood. Then up past a convenient seat to the fingerpost to ‘Elterwater and Langdale’. Continue through the gate and follow the path alongside the wall to eventually arriving at a gate having passed thorough a muddy area! Soon views of Elterwater will appear. Follow the path down to the tarmac lane, cross over then shortly after turn right along the track which eventually rejoins the lane. (There is a small pitched Footpath on the left with three small wooden bridges that cuts off the corner.) Follow the lane to the Village with its famous maple tree, cafe, The Britannia Inn and public loos!
  9. From the car park, adjacent to the bridge and river, take the footpath that follows the River Brathay through the woods passing Elter Water and through the meadows to Skelwith Force. Continue through the former slate works to Chester’s by the River at Skelwith Bridge.
  10. Cross the main road (A593) bridge taking care. Then take the little lane to the left at the corner and follow it passing the Community Centre on the right. Continue on the tarmac road until reaching the first left turning. Turn left up the hill to Skelwith Fold. Pause to admire the view as you reach the top.
  11. Continue through Skelwith Fold ignoring the first turning on the left.
  12. At the post box turn left to return to Skelwith Fold Caravan Park.

*If you wish to visit Grasmere Village continue from here along the lane returning to the sign to ‘Loughrigg Terrace, YHA, Langdale’ and follow directions from 8 above

Rambling and hill walking can be strenuous and it is up to you to approach it with caution and if you are inexperienced, to do so under appropriate supervision. You should also carry appropriate clothing, equipment and maps and wear suitable footwear. Details given were believed to be right at the time of going to press but neither the author nor Skelwith Fold Caravan Park can accept responsibility for inaccuracies or mishaps. Please keep to public rights of way and observe the Country Code.

How to find Grasmere Walk

Opening times: Always open

Distance from park
164 ftles (approx. 1 min)

Dog Friendly location Dog friendly