Windermere to Ambleside Walk
This is a nice scenic route between two of the Lake District's premier towns. It takes you from Windermere to Ambleside via Orrest Head, Troutbeck and Wansfell Pike. It's a nice one to do if you've just come into Windermere on the bus or train and want to reach Ambleside without any further travelling. It's a fairly moderate route until the climb to Wansfell which is more of a challenge.
The walk starts near the train station in Windermere and climbs to Orrest Head just to the north. It's a lovely viewpoint with views to Lake Windermere, the Old Man of Coniston, Scafell Pike, Great Gable, Fairfield and the Langdale Pikes.
The route then continues north to Allen Knott. Around here you can take a small detour and visit the lovely Holehird Gardens. It's located just to the west of Allen Knot, near Troutbeck Bridge. The 10 acre site is the home of the Lakeland Horticultural Society and one of the nation’s favourite gardens. It includes a walled garden, heather gardens, alpine houses and herbaceous borders.
The next stage takes you to the village of Troutbeck. It's a good place to stop for refreshments at the popular Mortal Man Inn. The pub has a beer garden with splendid views to the surrounding fells. Just to the south of the village is the National Trust Property of Town End. The interesting 17th century farmhouse tells the story of the Brownes of Townend. It includes old carved furniture and tools, a library and a pretty garden.
From Troutbeck the route continues west to Wansfell. It's a fine spot with views of the Coniston Fells, Fairfield, Lake Windermere, Red Screes and the coast.
The final section takes you past Stock Ghyll Force, waterfall. You'll pass through a shady wooded gorge with viewing platforms for the 70ft falls.
The path then descends into Ambleside where there are lots of other walks to try.
Windermere to Ambleside Walk Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Windermere to Ambleside Walk Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Windermere to Ambleside Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Windermere to Ambleside Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
On the route you could stop off at the excellent Queens Head in Troutbeck village, just over half way along the walk. It's set in a former 17th century coaching inn, nestled on the side of the fells over looking the Troutbeck Valley. There's a decent selection of ales and they do good homely classic pub food with a Cumbrian flair. There's outdoor seating where you can enjoy your meal with a wonderful view on finer days. You can find the inn at Townhead Brow with a postcode of LA23 1PW for your sat navs.
It's a fine walk for fit dogs and the Queens Head mentioned above is also very dog friendly and will provide water for your pet.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
In Troutbeck you can start the circular Troutbeck Tongue Walk. This will take you to a fell just north east of the village where there are some excellent views down the Troutbeck Valley to Lake Windermere and the coast.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Lake District Walks page.