Loughrigg Fell and Rydal Cave Walk

Loughrigg Fell and Rydal Cave Walk

We’ve been up on Loughrigg Fell before (pre-Poppy) and ended up getting  VERY lost, but remembered how lovely the views were. We decided to give it another go on our latest Lake District trip, armed with our trusty OS map and a clear plan of the route we wanted to take!

This isn’t really a difficult walk and you get such incredible 360 degree views from the top over the snow topped mountains that it’s worth the climb in the first part of the walk. It’s also really nice and varied, with fells, lakes and an impressive cave on the list of things to explore. Definitely one for a nice day – the summit of Loughrigg Fell is a big plateau so could be difficult to navigate in bad weather.

Distance: 6.5 miles
Time: 3.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Sheep Watch:  None
Parking: Rydal Road Car Park (LA22 9AY) £5 for 5 hours
Head to the Copper Pot in Ambleside to warm up by the fire after the walk!

Download file for GPS
The Route

From the car park, head towards the stream and turn right to walk past the iconic Bridge House. This teeny tiny 1 up 1 down cottage (now owned by the National Trust) used to sleep 8 people!

Take the right fork once you reach the traffic lights and carry on until you reach a right turn opposite Esquires coffee shop. Take this right turn then immediately turn left into Vicarage Road to head down towards the church. Follow this lane past the schools, church, and into Rothay Park. Head straight on through the park then over the stone packhorse bridge on your left.

Turn right along Underloughrigg Road to cross the cattle grid, then take the first left heading steeply uphill. You’ll follow this lane up for about a mile until you reach a gate leading to the open fells. Take the obvious path as it eventually bears round to the right towards the summit. It can be a bit boggy in areas so make sure you’re wearing good walking boots!

If you see any paths bearing off in either direction, just keep to the main path heading for the notch on the skyline. Once you reach the cairn it is a bit of a false summit (we thought once we reached the cairn that was the top!). However it is a good place to catch your breath with stunning views. 

Carry on past this cairn, down through a small valley and head for the trig point on the summit should come into view. There are loads of different paths to get to the trig point, but as long as you head straight ahead towards the summit you can’t go too wrong with which one you take. The views over the snowcapped mountains are truly breathtaking and they were a real highlight of our trip.

From the summit trig point, head straight on and downhill before reaching a path that drops quite steeply downhill. A couple of areas of this path are a little rocky and scrambly, but it wasn’t too bad at all even though the stone was wet.

Continue downhill until you reach a wide, gravelled path called Loughrigg Terrace overlooking Grasmere lake. Turn right and continue along here until you reach a right turn heading slightly uphill. This leads you to Rydal Cave.

The cave is a great place to explore, with stepping stones leading right to the back of it. Be careful on them though, I managed to take a tumble, camera in hand, straight into the water resulting in very squelchy boots for the rest of the day!

With your back to the cave, head downhill then round to the right until you reach a gate, go through this and follow the lane all the way down to a bridge.

Do not cross the bridge but turn right onto the Under Loughrigg road. Follow this quiet country lane back to the stone packhorse bridge you crossed at the beginning of the walk . Turn left to cross the bridge into Rothay Park and retrace your steps back to the town centre.

If you have time, the Copper Pot in Ambleside is well worth a visit! It’s such a lovely cosy little place with an open fire and delicious food. 

Thanks for reading,
Cara, Andy and Poppy x
An easy 6.5 mile walk up Loughrigg Fell and to Rydal Cave. With lakes, caves and mountain views along the way.