GLW1404 : Ruby Dooby Rydal Round Ramble Preamble v1.0

Saturday 17th May 2014

I have been charged with creating the Ruby Dooby Rambles, a couple of walks for Dinah & Alan's guests to undertake (or not) as part of their 40th wedding anniversary celebrations to be held in September.

Maureen & Michael were staying with us so we used them as guinea pigs for this first iteration of the first venture:
The Ruby Dooby Rydal Round Ramble v1.0, an introduction to the charms of the Lake District.

RDRRR v1.0 covers about 5 miles and includes one long and a few short, relatively gentle, uphill sections.

The total height climbed via all the ups and downs is about 900 feet.  

The ground underfoot is mostly good path or track although there are a few short somewhat rocky sections. Nothing dangerous but where a helping hand might occasionally be welcomed.

Given good weather, the scenery will be superb; looking over Grasmere to Helm Crag (Lion and the Lamb) and beyond to Dunmail Raise being one of the Lake District's iconic views.

Rydal Water also looks attractive, especially from the second half of the walk.

Sadly, in September, the bluebells will have vanished and the rhododendron flowers will be long gone. However, autumnal splendour may be starting to make its appearance.

There are several features en-route. The most spectacular is the cavernous Rydal Cave- quarried out of the hillside and well worth a minor detour to explore the inside. This is quite safe provided you are not silly.  No steep drops and the worst that is likely to happen to you is getting your feet wet or experiencing a drip (of water) on the head.  Just beware of the caves that follow- best avoided.

At the east end of Rydal Water (just over half way round the walk) are several attractions- Cote Howe organic tea room, Badger Bar pub, Dora's Field (but no host of golden daffodils in September), Rydal Church, Rydal Mount (Wordsworth's House and tea room) and Rydal Hall, the Bishop of Carlisle's country retreat (that is a bit unkind- it is a Christian Conference Centre).  Whatever your beliefs, the gardens are attractive and there is a good waterfall to view. And another tea room!

Cote Howe toilet window

Rydal Church

Rydal Mount

The way back to the car is along the "Coffin Route" which means what it says.  It is the path along which the dead were carried from Ambleside to Grasmere for burial.  You will pass a flat topped rock that is reputed to be where the coffin was put down whilst the carriers had a brew.

We reckon that most people of mature years, reasonable health and sociable inclination should be able to walk and talk their way round the circuit in about two and a half to three hours. However, exploration of any of the aforementioned attractions will inevitably delay proceedings.

Clothing- obviously check the weather forecast and dress appropriately!  It could be cold and wet.  It could be sunny and glorious.  Fingers crossed! Regarding footwear, other than in poor conditions, trainers will probably be ok.  Stilettos definitely not recommended.  Especially for men.

You might want to take a walking pole or two but if so, please, please, PLEASE make sure that when not actively using them, you carry them with the sharp ends pointing down to the ground, NOT swinging rhythmically backwards with acute danger of stabbing in the eye the unfortunate person behind you.

Please do not leave the group without letting the convenor know.  We don't want to be delayed by unnecessary searches.

Have a great time!

Don, 17th May 2014


Ruby Dooby Rydal Round Ramble v1.0


Park at the west end of Rydal Water in the car park on the left hand side of the road if approaching from Ambleside.  If this is full, there are couple more parking areas a little further along on the right hand side.

Parking charges are calculated by number plate recognition at time of entry and are payable on departure by cash or card or, alternatively, within 48 hours over the internet. When we visited, despite what was said in the instructions, the machines would not accept cash.


Assembly point is at the White Moss information board at the western end of the lower parking area.


Follow the track west then south-west till you come to a footbridge over the river.


Cross the footbridge and take the right hand path, sign-posted for Grasmere shore, that runs alongside the river.


Follow this path through light woodland until it emerges at the south end of Grasmere lake.


Walk a short distance along the lake shore till you come to a wall with a gate directly in front of you and another a few yards up the hill.



Go through the higher gate and follow the track as it climbs up through the wood, emerging at a gate to a bridle path with a cottage opposite and a road immediately to the right.


Turn left (keeping the cottage on your right) and head along a good track up to a gate that opens to a track going off to the right and a path off to the left.  


Take the path to the left, cross the stream and, ignoring the stepped path to the right that climbs the hill, continue on the good path ahead of you.  This is Loughrigg Terrace.  Enjoy the iconic views over Grasmere to Dunmail Raise.


Continue along the terrace until you reach a fork where the main track leads downhill to the left but there is a footpath climbing to the right. Take this footpath.


After a very short climb, this path contours the hill and is soon joined by one from the left.  Continue until you come to the huge cave with its water filled entrance.  


To explore the cave (well worthwhile and the water is not deep) either use the stepping stones to the dry ground within or take the rocky route to the right hand side.


On leaving the cave, follow the wide track that snakes its way down the hill.


When you reach the open area above the Rydal Water beach, ignore the steep first path downwards.  A little further on, just before reaching a gate, there is a much easier path to the left in the reverse direction that takes you down to the lake side.



Turn right at the bottom and pass through the gate into the lightly wooded area alongside the eastern end of Rydal Water.



The path in this wood separates and rejoins and it doesn't really matter which you take, just keep heading east till you come to a small stream where you will see the bridge across the river, just below the Cote Howe farm organic tea room



Cross the river by the bridge close by , climb to and cross the road then, if you can avoid the temptation of the Badger Bar, turn right along the pavement.



Soon turn left into Dora's field, climb for a short distance then take the path to the right that leads to the church yard.



Pass in front of the church to the lane then turn left uphill where you will find Rydal Mount on the left and Rydal Hall on the right.



Immediately after Rydal Mount, take the bridle path to the left, signed as The Coffin Route.



Follow the Coffin Route for about a mile (passing the coffin resting stone) until, by a stream, there is a good path on your left hand side, heading down towards the lake.



Take this path, soon passing through a gate and then by a waterfall set back a bit on your right, to emerge at the A591.



Cross over the road.  Directly opposite is the option of toilets to the right or, to the left, a footpath back to the car park. The choice is yours!

Don't forget to pay before you leave the car park. The robot eyes are watching you!



Distance: approx 5 miles   
Height climbed: approx 900 feet


Click on the map for an enlargement.

Click for GPX tracklog


 These pages are photo archives of Don and Margaret's
Great Little Walks








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