This circular walk from the popular village of Grasmere visits several Lake District highlights. You'll visit Grasmere Lake, Rydal Water, Rydal Hall and Wordsworth's Dove Cottage on this walk which runs for just over 5 miles.
The walk starts in the centre of Grasmere where you can visit the grave of poet William Wordsworth who is buried in the churchyard of St. Oswald's Church. Right next to the church is the famous Grasmere Gingerbread Shop where you can expect a long queue in the holiday months! From the church you can follow Red Bank Country Lane past the Garden Centre to the lake. The lane bends round the western side of the lake, passing the lakeside Faeryland tea rooms where you can also hire little boats to take out on the lake.
Eventually you will come to a footpath heading down to the lake on your left. You can then follow a lovely lakeside path or climb up to Loughrigg Terrace for great views down to the lake. There's also the option here to head south and climb to Loughrigg Fell for wide ranging views of the nearby lakes and fells. At the eastern end of the lake there is a nice little beach where you will often see people relaxing on a summer's day.
The route continues east towards Rydal Water where you can drop down to the lakeside path. At the eastern end of the water you pass through woodland before crossing the River Rothay to take you up to Rydal Hall. The Grade II listed house is well worth exploring. There's lovely formal gardens with a fountain, a nice cafe next to Rydal Beck and a waterfall with a viewing platform. It's a good spot to stop for refreshments with outdoor seating next to the beck.
From Rydal Hall you pick up a section of the Coffin Route. The old path runs from Ambleside to Grasmere and is so called because it was used to convey coffins on their final journey to St Oswalds Church in Grasmere. You follow it west past Nab Scar to Town End where you will find Dove Cottage, the home of poet William Wordsworth from 1799 to 1808. During this period, William wrote much of the poetry for which he is remembered today, including 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'. You can explore the fascinating old house and then browse the adjacent museum where you will find exhibits, manuscripts, landscapes and portraits.
The final section of the walk takes you back to the village, passing a series of pretty shops and galleries on the way.
Other Walks around Grasmere
- Alcock Tarn - Climb to this pretty tarn and enjoy wonderful views over Grasmere lake on this walk in the Lake District. The walk start from the good sized White Moss Common car park off the A591 near Rydal Water and Grasmere Lake. The route heads north to White Moss Common, passing Lady Wood and White Moss Tarn. You continue past Dove Cottage, through Bracken Fell Wood to Grey Crag. The final section takes you from Grey Crag to the tarn where you can stroll around the water and take in the magnificent views.
- White Moss Walks - This walk follows the footpaths around White Moss Common in the Lake District. The area consists of a series of nice footpaths taking you through woodland and meadows.
- Silver How - This is a fairly easy climb to Silver How fell in the Lake District. It's a short circular walk starting in Grasmere and a nice one to try if you're looking for an introduction to fell walking. The walk passes the National Trust owned Allan Bank, the former home of William Wordsworth. It's a lovely place to stop for a drink or go for a stroll in the pretty garden. From the Silver How summit there are super views of Grasmere village and lake. Many of the famous fells are also visible such as Helm Crag, Steel Fell, Heron Pike and Fairfield. The walk descends from the summit with a woodland section taking you back to Grasmere.
- Loughrigg Fell - The climb to Loughrigg fell from Grasmere is a very popular one. It's a reasonably straightforward climb with wonderful views over Rydal Water and Grasmere Lake. The walk starts in the centre of Grasmere and follows country lanes and good footpaths to the 335 m (1,099 ft) summit. You start by following Red Bank road from Grasmere which runs around the western side of the lake before picking up a footpath to the summit which is effectivley a series of stone steps. The route also passes Loughrigg Terrace which is well worth a short detour. This level path affords wonderful views towards Helm Crag and the Fairfield group and leads to the fascinating Loughrigg Caves.
- Loughrigg Tarn - This circular walk takes you to the lovely Loughrigg Tarn from Skelwith Bridge. The walk starts from the Skelwith Bridge Hotel and follows country lanes and footpaths around the pretty tarn. It's a fairly easy climb to the high point above the tarn with splendid views of the surrounding fells. It's a secluded peaceful spot which was a favourite of William Wordsworth.
- Easedale Tarn - Enjoy a walk to the lovely Easedale Tarn in the Lake District. The walk begins in the popular town of Grasmere and follows the Easedale Road towards the pretty Easedale Beck. You then join footpaths taking you up to the tarn, passing the beautiful Sourmilk Gill waterfalls on the way. The tarn is in a lovely spot between Tarn Crag to the north and Blea Rigg to the south. It is generally quite a peaceful spot and a great escape from the often busy Grasmere town. There is a footpath around the tarn though this may be quite boggy. From the tarn, you return via Cockly Crag, Stenners Crag and Jackdaw Crag, before rejoining the Easedale Road back into Grasmere.
- Coffin Route-Ambleside to Grasmere - Follow the Coffin Route from Ambleside to Grasmere on this lovely walk in the Lake District. The walk is fairly easy with only a short climb and a well defined, signposted route. The path is so called because it was used to convey coffins on their final journey to St Oswalds Church in Grasmere.
- Helm Crag - Enjoy a walk to the summit of this distinctive fell in the Lake District. Alfred Wainwright said of Helm Crag: 'The virtues of Helm Crag have not been lauded enough. It gives an exhilarating little climb, a brief essay in real mountaineering, and, in a region where all is beautiful, it makes a notable contribution to the natural charms and attractions of Grasmere'. The ascent of Helm Crag is popular with walkers as it begins from the lovely town of Grasmere and is an easy/moderate climb.
- Fairfield Horseshoe - This is a challenging horseshoe shaped walk which takes you on a tour of some of the Lake District's most beautiful fells. The walk begins at Ambleside and heads towards Rydal Mount, the historic home of William Wordsworth. You climb to Heron Pike and then onto Great Rigg and Fairfield before returning to Ambleside via Dove Crag, High Pike and Low Pike. The views are spectacular with Rydal Water, Grasmere, Lake Windermere and Coniston Water all visible from the peaks.
- Grasmere to Elterwater - This walk visits the village of Elterwater and its lake from Grasmere
- Grasmere and Rydal Water Circular Walk - A fine circular walk taking you around both Grasmere Lake and Rydal Water from the village centre.
Grasmere Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Grasmere Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Grasmere OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Grasmere Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
In the village we recommend a visit to Tweedies. This nice pub has a very large beer garden with plenty of tables. It's a lovely place to sit out and relax in after a long walk. You can find it in the village, near the lake, at a postcode of LA22 9SW for your sat navs.
Also consider stopping at Rydal Hall for a cup of tea and cake. There's lovely gardens and a tea room with a delightful outdoor seating area with views over a rushing waterfall.
The lake and woodland paths on the route make for a fine dog walk. Tweedies mentioned above is also dog friendly.