From Ambleside the trail heads North through Rydal Park and impressive Rydal Hall before joining the ‘Coffin Road’ named for the fact that it was originally used to convey the deceased to their final resting place in Grasmere. Gently undulating through trees the trail passes Rydal Mount, home of Wordsworth.
At White Moss Common at the north end of Rydal Water, the views ahead to Grasmere are spectacular and you will see why this was a favourite place of Wordsworth’s sister, Dorothy. Following the trail down into Grasmere you arrive at famous Dove Cottage, also home to Wordsworth, and you may also visit his final resting place at St Oswald’s Church.
Rest StopDove Cottage
Lake Road Kitchen
The Apple Pie
Lucy's of Ambleside
The Jumble Room
Check the weather forecast before setting out and listen to advice locals may offer you. When the route follows a road with no footpath remember to walk on the right hand side so you are facing any oncoming traffic.
If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the OS Explorer Map OL7 - The English Lakes Southeastern Area. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.
Tips and hints
Food & Drink
Shops and cafes at Ambleside, Grasmere and Patterdale. Cafés also at Rydal Hall and Dove Cottage.
Points of interest
Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest along the walk, including recommended pubs/restaurants and tearoom stops. Simply click the icons on the map for more information as you walk.
The Coffin Route
This road was used to convey the deceased of Rydal and Ambleside to St Oswald’s Church. Shortly after passing Dove Cottage, can be found the Coffin Stone, where it is said the pallbearers rested their burden before continuing to Grasmere.
The 19th Century hall was originally in the ownership of the Le Fleming family and now owned by the Diocese of Carlisle. The formal gardens were laid out in 1909 by Thomas Hayton Mawson. It is now a youth and conference centre. It also has a small teashop.
The final home of the poet William Wordsworth who lived here from 1813 until his death in 1850. It is still in the ownership of the Wordsworth family and is open to the public.
Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy lived here from1799-1808. Wordsworth married in 1802 and his wife Mary joined them in ‘plain living and high thinking’. Thomas de Quincey also lived here for a while. It is open to the public and there is a café next door.
Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread Shop
Before you leave Grasmere make sure you drop into Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread shop and buy some of it's amazing freshly baked Gingerbread!
St Oswald's Church and Wordsworth's Daffodil Garden
The final resting place of famous poet William Wordsworth, where you will also find the pretty Wordsworth's Daffodil Garden.
Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes, and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly in the Lake District so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
Please ensure you have plenty of water and emergency food (energy bars/trail mix) with you at all times. Please also ensure you check in advance of Pubs/cafes and shops opening hours on the day you are due to walk, in the Lake District opening hours are varied and they can be closed on certain days of the week (walking post-Covid19 lockdown restrictions means their opening hours could be even more erratic, so please check to avoid disappointment).