Wansfell - the scenic route from Ambleside to Windermere

Submitted by Timwoods on 05 March 2008
OS Explorer Map: OL7 - The English Lakes: SE area
(27 votes)
A linear, half-day low hills and fells (below 600m) walk in national park Lake District (England) starting at Ambleside, Cumbria, about 9.4km (roughly 5.8 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.
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This dinky little walk is the best way to travel between two of the Lake District's tourist hotspots - Ambleside and Windermere. It certainly beats sitting in a traffic jam on the A591! The route heads past a waterfall, over two small hills and along a river - not bad for a short walk!
Start: Ambleside, OS Grid: NY377045
End: Windermere, OS Grid: SD414986
Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 545m (1789ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 1042m (3418ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 496m (1629ft)
Max. Elevation: 460m (1509ft)

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Nearby Walks

A half-day mountain (above 600m) walk in Lake District from Ambleside town centre, England, 17.5km (~10.9m) long.
A half-day low hills and fells (below 600m) walk in Lake District from Ambleside, England, 12.1km (~7.5m) long.
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OS Grid: NY377044
Start of the walk. From the town centre, follow the signposts to Stockghyll Force waterfall. A clearly marked path takes you through the woods up to the waterfall.
About 1.7 km (roughly 1.1 miles) from 1 OS Grid: NY393042
The footpath continues past the waterfall and out through a farm towards Wansfell Pike. Despite being so close to the town, this summit can feel a long way from anywhere.
About 2 km (roughly 1.2 miles) from 2 OS Grid: NY412034
Follow the path over the Pike and head downhill towards Troutbeck.
About 2.3 km (roughly 1.4 miles) from 3 OS Grid: NY414010
From Troutbeck, pick up the Longmire Road heading South towards Allen Knott.
About 1.8 km (roughly 1.1 miles) from 4 OS Grid: SD415992
The path continues South to Orrest Head, another fine viewpoint with great views across Windermere.
About 0.7 km (roughly 0.4 miles) from 5 OS Grid: SD411987
Drop off Orrest Head to Windermere Station, or if you are travelling by bus, head into the town.
4 comments ...join the discussion!
Annette  commented on 03 December 2013
Prewalk for a club walk
Great walk surprised that it's not more walkers doing this route thanks for the help.
Timwoods  commented on 04 December 2013
It could be its comparatively low height. Often the more modest fells are overlooked by people heading to the bigger ones, but that means they tend to be quieter. I agree, this is a great little hill!
Gabe A  commented on 08 July 2014
Good fun
I did this walk with some friends who weren't particularly sporty and we all had a good time. We did it in reverse, starting from windimere. The paths were all well signposted and the views were spectacular. The route was quiet and it was nice to have the place to ourselves. The mortal man pub was a welcome break just at the foot of nanny lane. The only surprise was how steep the descent from Wansfell pike to Ambleside was.
Les H  commented on 31 March 2015
We were staying in Whitecross Bay, so walked up to Troutbeck and joined this walk via Nanny Lane, and followed it over Wansfell to Ambleside. Weather was poor so no views to speak of but a good walk nonetheless. Will do it again when the weather picks up. As others have said, it's quite steep on the way down at Ambleside, decent footwear recommended.
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