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Walking in the Lake District, UK - Wansfell Pike, Ambleside

A short walk, with remarkable rewards for height climbed





Altitude Gained:



3 - 4 hours

When walking in the Lake District it is easy be lured by the gandure of the big climbs, and full day hikes.   But sometimes there is a place for shorter, less tiresome treks.

Just outside Ambleside, the relatively lowly peak of Wansfell Pike (482m) makes for an excellent 1/2 day walk, with plenty of variety and good views across Ambleside, Lake Windermere and surroundings.

Looking North from Wansfell Pike, near Ambleside

Above: Looking North from Wansfell Pike, near Ambleside - May 2010
© Mat & Niki Adlam-Stiles, 2010

Walk in brief:

To the East of Ambleside, the small peak of Wansfell Pike overlooks Ambleside village, and Lake Windermere.  This relatively short circular walk features a single steep ascent to the summit, followed by  a longer descent.  For those short of time, to climb to the summit of Wansfell Pike, take in the view, and return directly would also make for a worthwhile excursion.

The small town of Ambleside itself has plenty of refreshment options, and an ample choice of outdoor equipment shops.

The start from Ambleside:

Our walk starts at the popular town of Ambleside, where finding parking will probably be your first challenge.  For this walk, the small paid parking to the South of the town (NY376038) is probably the most convenient.

From here go through the car park to pick up the small back road running parallel to the main road, and head North (left).  A right-left-right through the housing estate will take you onto Blue Hill road, to pick up the ascending track/path at NY 381040

(An alternate start would be to head further into Ambleside town and take the lane on the right at the corner at  NY377045 running alongside the beck towards Stockghyll Force waterfall.)

Looking South over Lake Windermere from the summit of Wansfell Pike

Above: Looking South over Lake Windermere from Wansfell Pike, May 2010
© Mat & Niki Adlam-Stiles, 2010

Either way, head for the intersection of paths at the foot of Wansfell Pike (NY 387046) from which a single, steep climb on a clear path will take you directly to the Summit of Wansfell Pike.  From the rocky outcrop of this small summit, excellent panoramic views are to be had - back down over Ambleside to the West, to Windermere to the South, and to the fells to the North.

Walking above Troutbeck:

From the summit of Wansfell Pike (NY394042) a footpath runs alongside an impressive dry-stone wall, winding its way toward the fells to the North.  Follow this, keeping the wall to your left, for ~1.5km

Just prior to a second field boundary, you should see a path doubling back to the right, and heading for a green lane.  Take this path to join the green lane at a stile, then head South on the green lane for ~1/2km to an oblique corner.  From here, take the path Westwards (right) that climbs back towards the summit of Wansfell Pike.  After a very short distance a permissive route on the left with stepping stones will take you across the fell, decending past a small waterfall to the lane, Hundreds Road.


The green lane, Wansfell Pike.

The green lane, Wansfell Pike.
© Mat & Niki Adlam-Stiles, 2010

Easy going down-dip along hundreds Road brings you to another junction, where a sharp right onto the bridleway starts to take you back towards Ambleside.  Follow the bridleway through pleasant open countryside, a farmyard, and then Skelghyll Wood, dropping grandually as you do so.  If you successfully negotiate your way through the foresty tracks (don't be tempted to descend too early) you'll pop out on the back road in Ambleside just a short distance from the small, paid car park.

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