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Loughrigg & Rydal Water

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Loughrigg must be one of the best walks in Lakeland. There’s more than a dozen routes up but this one is a favourite and gives some of the best views. This route starts at Pelter Bridge car park near Rydal but if you're starting from Ambleside, it can be joined by walking along the under Loughrigg road.

Turn right out of Pelter Bridge car park and go back towards the bridge. Don’t cross over but follow the road round to the right, back towards Ambleside. After a quarter of a mile at Fox Ghyll a footpath leaves the road on the right. Follow this path uphill until the angle eases and it comes to a meeting of several paths. Take the main path uphill which eventually brings you to the summit of Loughrigg.

The views from here are extensive, Rydal Water and Grasmere to the north, Windermere, Elterwater and Blelham Tarn to the south and the magnificent Langdale Pikes to the west. Take the descent path that leads towards Grasmere (north west). This is steep in places but it is a well made path and easy to walk. At the foot of this path, turn right and follow Loughrigg Terrace as it crosses the flanks of the fell. Again the views over Grasmere are superb. At the end of the terrace you can take either the upper or lower path path alongside Rydal Water. The lower path drops down to the waters edge, sometimes tricky after heavy rain swells the lake level. The upper path continues past Rydal caves (an old slate mine) which is now fenced off for safety.

The two paths rejoin at the end of Rydal Water. Go through the gate and follow the track back to the car park at Pelter Bridge.

Alternative start. This route can aslo be started directly from Ambleside. Walk across Rothay Park to the footbridge, turn right on the road, then shortly left up what appears to be a private drive but is signposted. Follow this track till it joins the other at the meeting of the paths.