2.9 of 5 (263 votes)

Wansfell - the scenic route from Ambleside to Windermere

A leisurely walk (low hills and fells (below 600m)) in national park Lake District starting and finishing in Cumbria, England, about 8.90km (5.53 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 3:45h. It is unsuitable for families with children, prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 424m (1391ft)
Descent 376m (1233ft)
Max. Elevation 460m (1509ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 800m (2624ft)
Distance 8.90km
Duration ~3:45h
Car Free Walks TeamCreated by Timwoods on 05 Mar 2008
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!

Walk Functions


Nearby Walks

Fairfield Horseshoe from Ambleside

★★★★★ ★★★★★
A moderate, circular walk (mountain (above 600m)) starting in Cumbria, England, about 16.40km (10.19 mi) long, duration: ~7:00h.

Rydal Water and Grasmere

★★★★★ ★★★★★
A moderate, linear walk (low hills and fells (below 600m)) starting in Cumbria, England, about 10.80km (6.71 mi) long, duration: ~4:15h.

Loughrigg Fell and Lingmoor Fell

★★★★★ ★★★★★
A moderate, linear walk (low hills and fells (below 600m)) starting in Cumbria, England, about 13.90km (8.64 mi) long, duration: ~5:30h.

Walk Map

$walk->POI array(0)
Called from .../walk.php:384


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.
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 1.71 km (~1.06 miles) from
OS Grid NY412034
Follow the path over the Pike and head downhill towards Troutbeck.
About 2.01 km (~1.25 miles) from
OS Grid NY414010
From Troutbeck, pick up the Longmire Road heading South towards Allen Knott.
About 2.31 km (~1.44 miles) from
OS Grid SD415992
The path continues South to Orrest Head, another fine viewpoint with great views across Windermere.
About 1.83 km (~1.14 miles) from
OS Grid SD411987
Drop off Orrest Head to Windermere Station, or if you are travelling by bus, head into the town.
About 0.66 km (~0.41 miles) from

4 comments... join the discussion!

Les H
31 Mar 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.

Gabe A
08 Jul 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.

04 Dec 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!

03 Dec 2013
Prewalk For A Club Walk

Great walk surprised that it's not more walkers doing this route thanks for the help.

What do you think?

Comment Headline
Your Name
Your Email
What does the image (right) show?
(Starts with "O" and ends with "rdnance Survey Map")
Please note: Car Free Walks are not responsible for the accuracy of public transport information. close