Walks From Ambleside to Grasmere

Written by Shayle

We love visiting the Lake District and exploring different trails. If you are in the area, there are a couple of fantastic walks from Ambleside to Grasmere.

Ambleside is situated at the northern end of Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England. Beautiful views of the Lake District mountains, including Wansfell Pike and Loughrigg Fell, surround the town. The town also has a range of shops, restaurants, and cafes, making it a great place to relax and explore.

Ambleside is well known for its scenic walking trails, thanks to its location in the heart of the Lake District National Park. We have listed a few walks from Ambleside to Grasmere for consideration.

Coffin Route Ambleside to Grasmere walk

Coffin Route Ambleside to Grasmere walk

Easy | 6.4 km | Takes roughly 2 hours | Dog friendly

Also known as the Coffin Road, this lovely route connects the two Lakeland towns of Ambleside and Grasmere. It can be done by itself as an easy hike or as part of a more considerable horseshoe trek around Helvellyn and Fairfield. The trail offers incredible views of Rydal Water and Grasmere.

The Coffin Route was originally a corpse road used during medieval times to transport the deceased to St Oswalds in Grasmere for burial. Today, the trail is frequented by hikers and nature enthusiasts.

The walk starts by following the road from Ambleside before transitioning onto a well-maintained track that passes through Rydal. From there, you’ll cross Rydal Park and the Nab and enjoy panoramic views of Rydal Water.

Along the way, you’ll encounter two of Wordsworth’s homes: Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage. Rydal Mount was where the poet passed away in 1850 and offers tours and afternoon teas by appointment. In contrast, Dove Cottage was Wordsworth’s first family home and is now a museum.

While hiking the Coffin Route in one direction is easier, you could also walk it in both directions. Alternatively, you could return to Ambleside by following Loughrigg Terrace and returning over the hill of Loughrigg.

Another option is to return along the opposite shore of Rydal Water. You can rejoin the Coffin Route at Rydal or follow a minor road back to Ambleside.

Follow the full route here.

Loughrigg fell walk, Ambleside to Grasmere

Loughrigg fell, Ambleside to Grasmere walk.

Moderate | 10km | Takes 2-3 hours

This 10km loop walk can be accessed from the centre of either town. It takes you through some of the most picturesque spots in the Lake District. This walk is an excellent choice if you want a taste of the fells without too much exertion or scrambling. We parked in Ambleside and started walking towards Vicarage Road to begin this trail.

After walking roughly 1km, the path becomes steep for a short section before levelling out and leading into the countryside. This is when the walk becomes genuinely breathtaking.

The path undulates for a while, then takes a sharp right turn near a small tarn (which can be easily missed if you don’t keep an eye out). From there, it’s an entirely uphill trek until you reach the summit. It’s worth taking a break and looking behind you, as the view of Windermere is stunning.

Loughrigg fell walk, Ambleside to Grasmere.
Watch out for a false summit!

As you ascend, you’ll reach a small plateau. This may seem like the summit due to the large cairn placed on top. But as you glance to the right, you’ll notice another higher peak to conquer. However, this plateau offers an excellent spot to take a break and admire the stunning views of Loughrigg Tarn and Elter Water.

After taking in the view, it’s time to head towards the second false summit, a steep and rocky path upwards! But the effort is worth it, as you’ll be rewarded with a view of the true summit.

From here, it’s just a short walk to reach the top, and you’ll be greeted with incredible views of Grasmere and Helm Crag looming in the background. Be aware it can get very windy at the top! The track down has some scrambly patches that require some care. It isn’t a bad scramble compared to many other Lake District walks.

Back to Ambleside

As you continue along the track, it takes a sharp right and undulates towards Rydal. The path is lined with beautiful bracken and offers a stunning view of Grasmere Lake to the left. One of the most exciting spots to explore on the way back is a vast cave that suddenly appears to the right of the track – it’s impossible to miss! The path eventually circles back towards Rydal Lake until you reach the area of Rydal itself.

After following the path lined with a dry stone wall and surrounded by beautiful trees, you’ll eventually reach a grass area and a river that you follow back to Ambleside.

Follow the full route here.

Where to stay and eat Ambleside

YHA Ambleside.

YHA Ambleside is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable place to stay in the area and explore nearby walking routes. They offer various types of accommodation, including private and shared rooms and a café serving delicious local food. One of our favourite things to do while staying there is to relax on the decked terrace with stunning lake views.

The Waterhead Inn is an excellent option if you’re looking for a comfortable stay in Ambleside. You can enjoy the trendy restaurant and bar onsite, and the cosy rooms are perfect for a relaxing stay. Many of the rooms offer beautiful scenic lake views. Additionally, the inn offers convenient onsite parking and is just a 10-minute drive from Wray Castle and Windermere.

If you’re in the mood for traditional fish and chips, Ambleside Fish & Chips is just a short walk away from YHA and offers casual eat-in and takeaway options with beautiful waterfront views.


We hope this article has given you some walking inspiration! Let us know if you have tried either of these Ambleside to Grasmere walks in the comments.

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