Stock Ghyll Force is well signposted from Ambleside and you only need to allow 10-15 minutes for the walk from the town centre to the start of the falls. A waymarked path leads you through the lovely forest of Stock Ghyll Wood to various viewpoints along the river. We particularly love this walk during the winter months – not only has all the foliage died back giving better views of the falls, but the fuller flow of water allows you to enjoy this spot at its best.
For a simple circuit, follow the trail to the top of the falls and cross over Stock Ghyll on a wooden footbridge to the far bank. The trail then descends along the stream to a second footbridge, making for a nice circular loop back to the start of the trail. We allowed our dogs to run free as there was no livestock around, but do watch out for some very steep drops (though these are generally fenced off).
If you’d like to continue your walk and tick off a Wainwright with your pooch, a climb up to Wansfell makes a great extension to this walk. Take the steep but straightforward route from Stock Ghyll Woods to the summit and you’ll be rewarded with fabulous views of the Coniston Fells, Fairfield, Lake Windermere and Red Screes. Otherwise, reward your efforts with a stop at our favourite dog friendly spot in Ambleside – The Copper Pot. It’s such a lovely cosy little place with an open fire and absolutely delicious food. Their dirty fries are well worth the calories!
If you’re a more challenging walk, take a look at this a circuit of Loughrigg Fell and Rydal Cave from Ambleside offers a brilliant loop that gives you a real flavour of the best that the Lake District has to offer. With fells, lake views, swimming spots and an impressive cave on the list of things to explore, this varied walk ticks all the boxes for a perfect dog friendly day out.