BB1419 : Ruby Dooby Ramble Rekkie v2.1

Wednesday 28th May 2014

This is the second Ruby Dooby Ramble.

Or to be more precise this is its reconnoitre, the first iteration of the second Ruby Dooby Ramble henceforth to be known for convenience as RDRv2.1

"What" I hear you ask, "on earth is a Ruby Dooby Ramble and what happened to the first one?"

Quite simply, the Ruby Dooby Rambles are events to be held during the Ruby Wedding celebrations of Margaret's cousin Dinah and her husband Alan.

RDRv1 is to be a gentle(ish) circuit around Rydal Water and its first iteration be seen by clicking on RDRv1.1.

RDRv2 is to be somewhat more challenging- the ascent of Wansfell from Ambleside to Troutbeck and return along Robin Lane.  

It is to be hoped that the weather for the RDRs is rather better than today, although as often seems to be the case recently, the actuality was nowhere near as bad as the forecast.

BOOTboys reports are not normally published in the form of directions but, for the reasons explained, this is an exception.  However, if you are attempting to follow these instructions, remember this is just a prototype.  It would be prudent to check with me first so that any problems which subsequently come to light can be advised.  Not that it is particularly difficult to navigate.  Even so, if you use these notes to guide you, it is at your own risk and no liability whatsoever shall be construed against me or any other BOOTboy for the consequences of following any directions (or lack of directions) published in good faith!

I reckon that most people of mature years, who are reasonable walkers and of sociable inclination should be able to walk, talk and snack their way round the circuit in about 5 hours. Speedy ones, much quicker.  Exploration of any of the attractions will inevitably delay proceedings.

Now to state the obvious:  

  • Do check the weather forecast and dress appropriately!  It could be cold and wet.  It could be sunny and glorious.  Fingers crossed! Regarding footwear, be aware that some sections are fairly steep and some of the ground underfoot can be very slippery in wet conditions.  Stout footwear preferred to Stilettos.  
  • 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.

Unlike our walk today (in which we did the circuit from Troutbeck), these notes start from the Salutation Hotel in Ambleside, which will be the meeting point for RDR2.

As they irritatingly say in restaurants these days, "enjoy".

Don, 28th May 2014



Turn left out of the entrance of the Salutation Hotel and, almost immediately, left in front of The Market Hall.


Head up the hill following a sign to Stockghyll and Wansfell Pike and also one to the Waterfalls.  The road has double yellow lines; don't be tempted by any side roads.


Carry on up the hill till you reach a gate to a good trail signed "THIS WAY TO THE WATERFALLS"


The route is clearly marked by posts with red arrows point the way to the falls.


There is one minor detour worth taking.  When you see a short track to the left that is guarded by iron railing and metal arches, go to the end to see the falls in the distance.


Go back that short distance and follow the arrows to another railed point at which a closer view of the falls can be seen.

This photo does not do them justice.


From here STOP following the red arrows.  Instead, take the path signed for The Revolving Gate Exit.


At the exit chose whether or not to go through the revolving gate or the wooden one then turn left into the tarmacadamed lane.


Continue beyond the cattle grid and its sign for Grove Farm until you reach a construction behind the wall on your right that is an inspection chamber for the Thirlmere Water Pipeline.


Immediately after this, climb the stone steps and stile on the right hand side clearly marked Footpath to Troutbeck via Wansfell.  

Beyond the trees you can see the summit of Wansfell.


Head up the hill on a chipping-ed path and pass through a stile in a dog-legged section of the stone wall


Continue up the hill, now on a path of stones inset into the hill  This will take you up to a gap in the wall through which you must pass.


As you near the summit you will see paths going off to either side and these will lead you round to the summit if you wish.  However, much more fun is to climb the short rock gully.

It is not dangerous but you will need to have your hands free so it would be better if you could stash any poles into your rucksac.  Otherwise, you may find them an encumbrance.


You emerge to see a gate beyond which are the summit rocks.  

On a good day, it is a splendid viewpoint.


Descend by the distinct path that descends on the eastern (i.e. the other) side of the hill.

Wainwright baggers may prefer to continue along the summit wall to knock off the actual summit, Baystones. In terms of effort to reward ratio, I can't recommend it.


Pass through a gate in the wall and carry on straight ahead, ignoring the lesser "Permitted" path going off to the right.


You will soon reach a metal gate that takes you into Nanny Lane, a rough track that is walled on each side.

Turn right and follow this all the way down.  

When we were there, we met a couple with a large billy can and stove but no matches to light it.  If they are still there and you have a light, you never know, they might offer you a cuppa.


When you eventually reach the road that runs through Troutbeck village, turn left (there is a sign for the Mortal Man).


Continue along this road, ignoring all temptations to the right, including the misleading sign for FREE BEER at the Mortal Man (look more closely at what it really says).


This road ends with a STOP sign at the junction with the A592, the main road up the valley.  Turn right.


Shortly you will be at the Queen's Head.  This is an interesting old pub; your beer will be served from a bar inside an old four-poster bed.


Emerge from the QH (if you have indeed been inside) and continue along the A591 for a couple of hundred yards or so until you reach a footpath on your right hand side.  

If in doubt that it is a footpath, look in the hedge on the right hand side of the path where you should find confirmation.


This takes you back up into the village; you should turn left then right at the minor intersections.


When you arrive back at the road that you used earlier (i.e at the top of the lane you have just climbed), turn left,


Continue south past (or into) the Mortal Man then beyond the entry point where you emerged from Nanny Lane. 


Continue past the old Village Hall (now a post office / shop / cafe) and, immediately beyond it, ignore the bridle path off to the right.  

Similarly ignore what seems to be a path that climbs steps up to a gate on the right.


Soon you will reach the old National Trust property, Town End.

Don't be fooled by the road sign saying Town End. That is intended for its car park.  If you see it, you have gone too far.

Visit Town End, or not, then return in the direction from whence you came.


Immediately after its grounds DO NOT be fooled by the steps on the left leading up to a gate- this is not a public footpath.

Instead continue a little further along the road to a sideways-on white house called Glenside (note the words above its door) on your left hand side..


Here you will find a bridle path leading up between the buildings.  If this climbs steeply alongside a stream you are on the right one.


At the top, there is a recovery seat just before you turn left into Robin Lane.

This will take you back to Ambleside.  From here onwards, unless told otherwise, ignore any tracks off to the left.


At the second track off to the left to be ignored you will see, over the wall on your right and on a small knoll, what looks like a large stone cairn.  

Cross the stile to climb to it.


This was a sighting point for the construction of the Thirlmere viaduct.  According to the map there are two more towers off to the north-west of where you now are and if you have good imagination you might actually see one of them.

Go back down to the lane and continue as before towards Ambleside.


Do not be tempted by a good track leading off to the right- instead go through the left hand gate.  

A slate marks the direction as Skellgyll, Ambleside and Jenkins Crag.


You will soon see the serpentine path to High Skeghyll Farm but first you need to drop down to the bridge across Hol Beck.  Ignore the two paths to the left.


Pass through the farm yard (your gate is the rightmost gate once past the house) and carry on into the wood.


Soon you will find an opening in the wall on the left hand side and a sign for Jenkin's Crag.


Make the short detour to the crag.  It is a fine view point but do take care as the rocks can get a bit slippery and, at the far end, there is a steep drop.

I don't want to put you off- it is ok as long as you are not daft and it is would be a shame to miss it.


Return to the path and continue in the same direction as before.

At the path junctions, always take the right hand option until .......


..... you reach the walled bridge over Stencher (sic) Beck, immediately after which there is a confusion of tracks.

Don't take the track on the right- it just leads to a field.  Take the second highest track..  This will take you down to Ambleside.  

Again beware slippery rocks.


The track turns into a minor road.  Keep heading downwards.  At the bottom you can turn right into the back lane or carry on a few more yards to turn right onto the main road opposite Hayes Garden centre.  


Either will lead you back to the Salutation Hotel, possibly delayed by the abundance of flesh pots and mountain shops.


Bonus Pictures:






Wednesday 28th May 2014

Distance in miles


Height climbed in feet





Bryan, Don, Mike, Tony


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1419  .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.


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