Ambleside - Rydal - Low Sweden Bridge

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This lovely walk encapsulates everything that makes walking in the Lake District so special. It explores the Vale of Rydal, set in a bowl of mountains through which the river Rothay runs and much of the outward route is beside the river. At Rydal it crosses a tributary, Rydal Beck, which tumbles down the mountainside in an impressive series of waterfalls. The valley has many mature trees and there are superb views throughout. Wordsworth knew a beautiful spot when he saw it and his last home, Rydal Mount, lies a few yards off the route so a visit can easily be included in the walk. The route goes through Dora's Field next to Rydal church. In spring this is a mass of daffodils which then give way to bluebells so this is a good time of year to enjoy this walk, though it is lovely at all times of year. The path then passes Rydal Hall, now in use as a retreat and conference centre, but the gardens, designed by the renowned landscape architect Thomas Mawson, are open to the public. The most energetic part of the walk comes towards the end when we climb a short way out of the valley to Low Sweden Bridge and a second waterfall. This climb can be avoided, if you wish, albeit at the expense of some walking along a footpath beside a busy A road and missing the best views of the walk. A glance at the map might suggest that much of the outward route is along a road but this is misleading. This lane is closed to traffic except for vehicles going to the houses and so is easy and delightful walking. The inner walker is not neglected. The route passes two teashops in Rydal, one at Rydal Hall overlooking the waterfalls (open all year) and the other at Cote How, one of the oldest buildings in Rydal, (open in the summer and weekends in winter). There is also a public bar, the Badger Bar, at the Glen Rothay Hotel serving food and real ale.

England - North England - Cumbria - Lake District - South East


Church, Flowers, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Mountains, National Trust, Pub, Public Transport, River, Stately Home, Tea Shop, Toilets, Waterfall, Woodland
04/11/2019 - Paul Philpotts

Lovely walk if you need something easy but still want to see some countryside. Definitely take the detour to the Grot, it is well worth it. 4 Nov 2019

18/08/2017 - Ian Cutler

Just completed this very short walk.. Never has a walk of this length taken so long, one is continually having to stop to look around, a wonderful walk without having to climb. Thoroughly enjoyed it all. If you arrive by bus start the walk from the cinema near to the crazy golf, then you don't have to struggle through the high streets and the strollers..

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19.9 Miles
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