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Hiking trail

Ambleside to Patterdale/Glenridding

Hiking trail · South Lakeland
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  • The Grot at Rydal Hall
    / The Grot at Rydal Hall
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Ambleside
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Leaving Ambleside
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Rydal Hall
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Grisedale Tarn
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Ruthwaite Lodge
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Open green valleys
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 800 600 400 200 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km

Starting from Ambleside pass Rydal Hall and walk into Grasmere, then following the Grisedale Pass with the majestic Helvellyn skyline to your left.

19 km
5:00 h
675 m
585 m

 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.

Author’s recommendation

Try some of "Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread", you won't have any trouble spotting the queue outside this tiny white cottage on your route through the town.

Highest point
605 m
Lowest point
49 m
Best time of year

Safety information

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.


Along with your usual gear for a day out in the hills remember to pack a wind/waterproof and an extra layer. The weather can change fairly quickly up on the peaks.

Tips, hints and links

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.

Rydal Hall

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.

Rydal Mount 

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.

Dove Cottage 

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.



Ambleside Tourist Office (61 m)
54.432260, -2.962549
30U 502429 6031617


Centre of Patterdale

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km - With your back to the Post Office and Information Office TURN RIGHT along the A591 towards Grasmere. Walk on the left hand pavement as this is continuous to Scandale Bridge.

1.00 km - TURN RIGHT, to leave the main road, by bus stop and footpath sign. Walk along this vehicle track between fences and scattered mature trees. As you approach Rydal Hall follow signposts (Coffin Route) to your right through buildings and left over bridge and then right round Rydal Hall to reach minor road junction.

2.70 km - TURN RIGHT up a steep road for 100m then TURN LEFT (signed Coffin Route). Now follow this bridleway as it wanders up and down, in and out of trees ignoring paths left and right. Past some houses the route BEARS RIGHT onto a straight section by a narrow water feature. This track becomes a metaled road and BEARS LEFT downhill to How Top. TURN RIGHT and in 200m reach Dove Cottage.

5.35 km – Continue STRAIGHT AHEAD to the main road. Cross by mini roundabout and walk into Grasmere village where there are many shops and cafes. Go through the village until you reach a small square park by Heaton Cooper studios and a bookshop.

6.35 km - With your back to Heaton Cooper TURN LEFT and LEFT again along Easdale Road past a Youth Hostel. Follow this road until the junction at Goody Bridge.

7.00 km - TURN RIGHT to follow sign post for Thorney How. Walk along this road to a T junction, ignoring the turning to Thorney How.

8.20 km - TURN RIGHT and go up to the main road.

8.40 km – Cross the road and go STRAIGHT AHEAD on this popular bridleway past white cottages. The bridleway rises and in 800m passes through gates and BEARS LEFT as it steepens.

10.30 km - TURN RIGHT to walk above some crags. At this point the path levels out, crossing a gully. It then BEARS LEFT through Hause Moss before a short steep ascent to Grisedale Hause.

11.80 km - Go STRAIGHT AHEAD. Path descends towards Grisedale Tarn, keeping the tarn to your left, cross the outflow and follow the path as it descends with the valley

bottom below and to your right to reach Ruthwaite Lodge (Climbing Hut).

13.90 km - Go STRAIGHT AHEAD down the path to the footbridge.

14.20 km - Go STRAIGHT AHEAD without crossing this bridge to a second footbridge. TURN LEFT over this bridge and follow this track down the valley to a zig zag.

14.90 km - The main track turns LEFT and immediately right. The track then continues down the valley with trees on your left to become a farm track through farm buildings and then a road which is followed down to the main A592 at Grisedale Bridge.

18.30 km – At Grisedale Bridge TURN RIGHT then follow the road into Patterdale. However if you are staying in Glenridding, then you would need to TURN LEFT here and walk directly into Glenridding.

19.00 km – Your walk finishes here opposite the White Lion Inn.


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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19 km
675 m
585 m
In and out Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical value Geological highlights Healthy climate


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