A steady climb up to Grisdale Tarn, descending by Tongue Gill to Grasmere. Then a pleasant meander through fields and parkland into Ambleside.
From Patterdale you follow the Grisdale valley, with Helvellyn looming large on your right, up to the tarn above. At the summit cairn you descend by Tongue Gill down to the valley of the River Rothey, leading to the tourist honey pot of Grasmere. From here you follow in Wordsworth's footsteps above Rydal Water along the Coffin Route to finish in Ambleside.
There is a real sense of achievement on the ascent into Grisdale, looking back from the corrie summit towards the tarn and the isolated and glaciated valley below. This is a marked contrast to the walk through Grasmere and Rydal which you will share with more people than you have probably seen on the walk all week!
Some of the sections in Grisdale are rocky and can be slippery in wet weather. A number of the streams seem to follow the path at times. Care is needed crossing the main roads, especially in the busy tourist area of Grasmere.
There is a shop and post office in Patterdale for food & drink, but then nothing else until Grasmere, which has a wide choice of cafes, pubs, shops and restaurants. There is also a coffee shop at Rydal Hall en-route.
Points of Interest
Wordsworth Museum & Dove Cottage.
Dove Cottage was Wordsworth's home from 1799-1808 and where he wrote much of his poetry. The Museum has one of the largest collections of manuscripts, books and paintings relating to British Romanticism.
Once the home of the Fleming family, the hall is now a conference and study centre. Red Squirrels can be seen in the surroundings woods and the waterfalls were described by Wordsworth in some of his works.
Coffin Route & Resting Stone.
The path used to carry the deceased of Rydal & Ambleside to St Oswald's Church in Grasmere. The Resting Stone can the found in the lane shortly after passing Dove Cottage.
Boots, waterproof clothing and extra layers are essential for the section over Grisdale. Walking poles may be preferred on the rocky paths and descents.