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.
Moving out of Grasmere, the trail follows the Grisedale Pass, with an exhilarating walk up to Grisedale Tarn affording wonderful views back down to Grasmere and North toward Ullswater. The impressive craggy heights of Helvellyn fill the skyline to your left as you descend along the valley into Patterdale.
Safety informationCheck 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.
Tips and hints
Food & Drink
Shops and cafes at Ambleside, Grasmere and Patterdale. Cafés also at Rydal Hall and Dove Cottage.
Points of interest
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.