Rydal Water and Grasmere

Walk date – 10th February 2021

Distance – 7 miles

Weather – sunny, very cold

The weather since our last walk has been grim and you’ve all probably experienced much the same so no need to elaborate. Anyway something better turned up today but with a forecast for very strong east winds at even moderate height, and the accompanying wind chill factor, we opted for a low level, and sheltered, walk around Rydal Water and Grasmere. The outward leg kept us in the lee of  Nab Scar so we were well protected from the wind and it was quite warm along there during the many sunny spells. The wind was a little more pronounced on their western shores but it wasn’t strong enough to put a damper on the walk so we had a good dollop of exercise and a very enjoyable walk.


A591 lay-by – Dove Cottage – How Top – White Moss Common – Old Coffin Road – Rydal Mount – Rydal Water – Deerbolts Wood – Grasmere – Hunting Stile – Grasmere village – A591 lay-by

Cloud bubbling up over Blencathra as we drive along the A66. The snow line has retreated quite a lot over the past few days.

Helm Crag and Steel Fell from the lay-by on the A591 just outside Grasmere village. No snow on these east facing slopes now.

A view of Silver How as we walk down the A591 towards the Grasmere roundabout.

Looking along one of the little back lanes as we walk past Dove Cottage. The white stuff isn’t snow it’s just last night’s heavy frost.

At the signpost at How Top we take the White Moss Common lane. We could have walked a little further up the hill to the left to the start of the old coffin road but reaching the coffin road via this lane offers better views of Rydal Water.

Silver How across Grasmere from the back lane to White Moss. A little further along, where the lane begins to descend towards the White Moss car parking area, we turned off to the left and followed a narrow footpath over White Moss Common to the coffin road. The footpath can be found opposite a small parking area at the top of the rise on this back lane.

A frozen pool, marked on the OS map as a reservoir, on the way across White Moss Common.

A full length view of Rydal Water from White Moss Common, shame the sun was obscured by a very big cloud while we were there. You don’t get this full length view from the old coffin road.

You don’t get this view of Nab Scar from the old coffin road either as the path passes alongside and below it. To the right of the tree in the centre is a white van parked by a house. The van is parked beside the old coffin road and that’s where we’re heading.

We dropped down from the higher ground of White Moss Common and on to the old coffin road. On the way we passed the white van which probably belonged to the workmen doing some work on the house. Beyond the house we passed by Dunney Beck, the path alongside it is another route up to Alcock Tarn which we keep meaning to use, one of these days we’ll get round to it.

Loughrigg across Rydal Water …..

….. and the view back along the old coffin road from the same spot. Empty of walkers at the moment but we did meet about a dozen or so people along the way.

A glimpse of Wansfell between the trees …..

….. and a look at the route ahead. It looks flat but there are a few ups and downs along the way. None of them involve a serious and/or strenuous climb though but they do add a degree of interest.

At the bottom of Rydal Mount is St Mary’s Church. When we reached the A591 at the bottom of the hill we turned right, crossed the road and …..

….. made our way along to the Badger Bar and Restaurant. Opposite the building is …..

….. this pathway. The handrail on the wall came in handy this morning.

The path leads down to the bridge over the River Rothay .

The river Rothay from the bridge.

I had just taken this shot when a lady walking her dog came along and the minute the lead came off it headed straight for the water and plunged right in. It didn’t seem to be bothered by the chilly water at all while it had a bit of fun chasing some ducks. We passed on the opportunity to have a paddle.

We followed a path leading towards the water …..

….. and followed the shoreline for as long as possible. Another large cloud obscured the sunlight on the water but there was a decent enough view of Nab Scar on the opposite side.

The path eventually swings away from the shoreline so here’s a look back before the view disappears.

Looking ahead where Silver How is just peeping up on the skyline. We met a few people along the path, mostly folk walking their dogs.

Heading up the hill past the old derelict barn …..

….. and at the top a view of Silver How on the right skyline.

We climbed a short distance up this slope where we could plonk ourselves on some rocks and get the hot soup out. This was the view along Rydal Water from the soup stop …..

….. and in the opposite direction we had a view of Helm Crag and Steel Fell above the treetops. After our break we dropped back down to the path again and …..

….. began descending down to Deerbolts Wood via this path.

The path brings us out at the weir where the water flows out of Grasmere into Rydal Water. A busy little junction today with walkers arriving and departing from various directions.

Dunmail Raise from the shoreline path around Grasmere. Lots of big clouds around today but we had plenty of sunny spells in between them.

Same view now framed by tree branches.

A view along Grasmere with Helm Crag on the left and Seat Sandal on the right. As you can see it was quite windy and you could have your pick of the lakeside benches today, it was far too cold to sit and admire the views.

Heading back along the Red Bank road to Grasmere village.

Walking back to the lay-by with a view of Seat Sandal and Stone Arthur …..

….. and back at the lay-by with a view of Helm Crag and Steel Fell. A very enjoyable medium length walk with plenty to offer and a good one to fall back on, especially as the high fells are not the most hospitable of places when strong winds are a-blowing.