Rosthwaite to Grasmere (High Route)
Macs Adventure Geverifieerde partner Keuze ontdekkingsreizigers
View from Lining CragFoto: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
Rosthwaite and Grasmere sit in separate valleys. To navigate between them you must climb Lining Crag and Greenup Edge; from these viewpoints, you can enjoy (weather permitting!) wide, dramatic views of Derwent Valley as you leave it behind, and glimpses into the next valley and down to Grasmere village itself.
Much of this walk is spent beside rivers and streams that tumble down from the surrounding mountains. There are numerous river crossings; sometimes a bridge is provided, but other times demand a little adventurous spirit to leap from one stepping stone to the next. Keep your eyes peeled for waterfalls, especially if it has rained recently!
This track is the high route option, which turns left after 7.3 kilometres to continue along a ridgeline instead of descending into the valley. This ridge is fairly flat and doesn't require too much more ascent, but it offers vastly greater views and passes several craggy outcrops, so therefore it is our recommended route unless there is heavy rain and wind or low visibility, in which case the lower route will provide more shelter. A good website to check the forecast is the Mountain Weather Information Service: https://www.mwis.org.uk/forecasts/english-and-welsh/lake-district
Grasmere is a perfect spot to finish your day, frenetic with the buzz of other walkers and day tourists in what Wordsworth called ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’.
Tip van de auteur
There are a few stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement or verge. Walk on the right side facing the oncoming traffic.
There are lots of river crossings in today’s walk. There were always stepping stones available but these may be slippery. Take extra caution on these crossings.
At the top, just before reaching Greenup Ridge, the path becomes less clear and harder to follow. There are cairns (pile of stones) to help guide the way. In addition, check the map regularly to be sure you are going the right way.
There are steep drops and exposed edges at points along the ridgeline. Be sure to stick to the marked path to avoid these.
If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the Harvey Coast to Coast maps (East and West for the full route). Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.
If you wish to bring a guidebook, we would recommend the Trailblazer Coast to Coast Path by Henry Stedman & Daniel McCrohan
Tips en hints
Points of Interest
Renowned English poet William Wordsworth produced some of his most famous poems in Dove Cottage, inspired the beauty of Grasmere and its surrounds. Today the museum recreates what life would have been like for Wordsworth living here at the end of the 18th century, and provides information about his life.
More information available here: https://wordsworth.org.uk/your-visit/planning-your-visit/
Allan Bank is a villa built in 1805 on the edge of Grasmere and was home to English Poet, William Wordsworth, and poet and founder of the National Trust, Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley. There are plenty of walks and picnic spots here, and the grounds are perfect to spot red squirrels; the National Trust supposedly spends £900 per year on feed to encourage them. Tea and Coffee refreshments are available.
More information available here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere
Food and Drink
There is no food and drink available between Rosthwaite and Grasmere so be sure to bring enough food with you for this section. Packed lunches are available in Rosthwaite.
*** To help you follow this section with confidence we have provided full written turn by turns to aid you on your walk from Rosthwaite to Grasmere (High Route) today. The High route can become featureless and tricky to navigate so we strongly suggest that you always follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day. The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***
0.00km – Start at the Village Hall and Car Park. Facing the car park TURN RIGHT to pass the toilets on your left. After 85 metres TURN LEFT to walk along the road towards the bus stops.
0.12km – TURN RIGHT down the public bridleway between the bus stops towards a stone bridge. This bridleway is signposted towards Stonethwaite. Immediately after crossing the bridge TURN RIGHT onto the stone path running parallel to the river.
0.75km – BEAR LEFT as the path makes a left turn to pass through a gate and to keep the moss-covered wall on your right. After 500 metres CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON through another gate so the river is again on your right.
1.50km – At the wooden signpost CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON towards Grasmere, ignoring the path to your right heading towards Stonethwaite. After 300 metres the path forks again; BEAR RIGHT going downhill on the established stony path, ignoring the yellow arrow.
2.50km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON past the ruins of two stone buildings.
3.00km – As the path forks, BEAR LEFT away from the bridge that crosses a stream. This is the start of the climb up to Lining Crag.
3.40km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON using the stepping stones to cross several streams. Take caution as these rocks may be slippery.
4.00km – There is a waterfall to your right and impressive views behind you, looking back down through the valley. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the path which is easy to follow, and walking parallel to the stream on your right.
4.70km – As the path plateaus in a grassy clearing with several large rocks, BEAR LEFT onto the stony path, and head for the steps that climb to the left of the rocky cliffs.
5.10km – The climb is rocky in places. Take your time and remember that rocks may be slippery when wet.
5.40km – Congratulations! You have reached the top of Lining Crag. There are great views from here looking back down the way you climbed. From Lining Crag BEAR LEFT onto the wide grassy path between the heather. After 30 metres this will become a rocky path.
5.80km – The path becomes vague here. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON the trodden grassy track, using the regular cairns (pile of stones) as a guide. If visibility is bad, keep searching for the cairns and check the map regularly. You should pass several rocky outcrops on your left, and none on your right.
6.10km – At the vague grassy crossroads beside a fence post, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to begin heading downhill. After 50 metres you will pick up the gravel path.
7.00km – As you reach the river, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, using the stepping stones to cross the stream on the bend. Once across, walk keeping the stream on your right, and after 100 metres cross the stream again, and after 20 metres you cross the same stream a third time as it makes a large S-bend. Then CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON the grassy slope heading uphill towards the saddle (the low-point between two mountain peaks).
7.30km – As you reach the saddle between two metal fence posts a metre apart you will see a crossroads. This is where you turn off for the high route; TURN LEFT onto the stony path that curves uphill to pass the grassy hump on your left. If your legs have had enough for today you can opt to switch to the Low route and continue on, on the path instead - ensuring that you also switch to the Low route on the Macs App for the remainder of today's walk.
8.10km – From the top of Calf Crag you have great views down the valley towards Grasmere. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON. The path walks along this ridgeline and though it is grassy in places, it is generally easy to follow. In poor visibility check the map regularly.
9.70km – BEAR LEFT as the path forks to remain on the stony path, ignoring the grassy right fork. After 50 metres BEAR RIGHT across the grassy area to continue heading uphill.
10.90km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the footpath heading uphill towards Helm Crag. Ignore the grassy path on your right.
11.40km – As the path forks just below a rocky outcrop, BEAR RIGHT to head downhill and remain on the stony path.
11.70km – BEAR RIGHT as the path forks into two grassy tracks near a wide cairn. You will pass a cairn on your left after 100 metres and then the path will snake its way downhill.
12.50km – As you reach a dry-wall TURN RIGHT to descend on steps between trees, keeping the drywall on your left. After 100 metres TURN RIGHT at the stony track T-junction with a dry-wall ahead, then after 50 metres TURN LEFT onto the path with dry-wall on both sides.
12.80km – At the junction TURN LEFT to head towards a wooden gate. Once through the wooden gate, immediately TURN LEFT through a metal footpath gate and up some stone steps, passing a tree stump with a carved bird on your left.
12.90km – As the path forks BEAR RIGHT following the sign to Langrigg and passing a pond on your right.
13.20km – Shortly after passing the children’s play park BEAR RIGHT to head away from the hotel. After 100 metres, immediately after passing a gap in the drywall, TURN LEFT.
13.40km – As you reach the gravel crossroads CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON passing the Langrigg Hotel entrance on your left. After 200 metres TURN RIGHT to walk on the paved lane. Stay alert for vehicles.
13.90km – TURN LEFT at the T-junction. This road will take you into Grasmere. Walk on the right-hand side facing the oncoming traffic. After 100 metres there is an opportunity to BEAR RIGHT to walk on a footpath that runs parallel to the road. After 300 metres BEAR LEFT back onto the road.
14.60km – Finish in Grasmere on the Village Green. Enjoy wandering the busy streets of the village, which Wordsworth once called ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’.
*** This is the end of our Rosthwaite to Grasmere (High) route, use your included documentation to find your overnight accommodation - for those doing one of our shorter walking itineraries you are likely to be walking onward to overnight in Patterdale/Glenridding - please move onto the next route in the Macs App which is Grasmere to Patterdale/Glenridding ***
Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly 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.
This walk is isolated with few opportunities to buy food or water so be sure to bring enough with you.
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