Loughrigg Fell from Grasmere

Loughrigg Fell above Rydal Water

Loughrigg Fell is a popular mountain. It is one of the most accessible Wainwrights and many people's first. It is surrounded by roads on all sides and within easy walking distance from Grasmere, Ambleside or Elterwater. The summit of Loughrigg Fell is only 335m above sea level yet its perfect central location gives it stunning panoramic views of almost the entire Lake District national park. Despite its low height and accessibility it is a wild and rugged mountain with several routes and the added bonus of a fascinating cave. The route starts with a walk through the enchanting White Moss Wood, ascends Loughrigg Terrace with stunning views across Grasmere, then ascends the steep summit path to reach the stone trig point pillar for more stunning views. On the descent you will be amazed by the fascinating Rydal Cave. A great walk to take a first timer on or an easy Wainwright to bag when you have a spare hour or two.

Route Directions

  1. This walk starts from the White Moss Woods car park off the main A591 road between Ambleside and Grasmere. The car park is at grid reference NY350065 a mile south of Grasmere at the western end of Rydal Water.
  2. If you want to reach the start of the walk by public transport there are regular bus services between Ambleside, Grasmere and Keswick. There is a north bound stop at the entrance to the car park on the south side of the road and a south bound stop at the entrance to the car park on the north side of the road.
  3. From the car park head to the wooden footbridge over the River Rothay. Cross the wooden footbridge over the River Rothay. When you reach the other side head straight on to ascend a footpath into White Moss Woods.
  4. After a delightful short walk through the woods you will reach a gate in a stone wall at the back edge of the wood. Head through the gate then turn right along the bridleway track.
  5. The bridleway track ascends bending left then right. Where it splits into two continue ascending Loughrigg Terrace. As you ascend Loughrigg Terrace the views will open up to your right to Helm Crag over Grasmere.
  6. After just over half a kilometre turn left up the summit path. The path is fairly steep and rocky in places. After half a kilometre it flattens out on boggy moorland. Continue along the path for a hundred metres to reach the small rocky knoll that is the summit of Loughrigg Fell.
  7. From the summit of Loughrigg Fell you can see almost every mountain massif in the Lake District national park. To the south are the long waters of Windermere and Coniston Water. To the south west the Coniston Fells. To the west Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, the Scafells, Pillar and Great Gable.
  8. To the north west, along the ridge Loughrigg Fell is a part of, the knobbly Langdale Pikes block the views. To the north Helm Crag over Grasmere is dwarfed by the huge Helvellyn ridge of Fairfield, Dollywagon Pike, Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn itself.
  9. Loughrigg Fell may be a small mountain but when you are stood on its summit on a clear day at any time of the year it feels much bigger. The summit boasts a stone ordnance survey trig point pillar. The summit can be busy at times but just walk off in any direction and you will find a quiet place to sit and take in the stunning views.
  10. Descend from the summit by retracing your steps down the ascent route heading north then north west away from the summit knoll. After the steep half a kilometre descent you will return to the Loughrigg Terrace.
  11. Turn right and descend Loughrigg Terrace heading east. Now the views to Grasmere are on your left over the colourful roof of the White Moss Woods. Before you reach the junction of paths at the edge of the wood a smaller path heads off to the right.
  12. Turn right up this smaller path and follow it until it joins up with the bridleway track coming up from the woods. When you reach the bridleway track turn right and continue heading east.
  13. After half a kilometre you will reach a flat quarry spill area at the front of Rydal Cave. You can go inside the cave, there is a wooden fence but I don't think this is aimed at walkers.
  14. Rydal Cave is fascinating. You don't realise just how big it is until you walk into its huge cavern. It is not a natural cave but the remnants of an old quarry. At the entrance to the cave you will see the cave's permanent small lake with its stepping stones and hundreds of tiny fish.
  15. From Rydal Cave turn left and retrace your steps west down the bridleway track. Descend the bridleway track all the way to the gate in the stone wall at the back edge of White Moss Woods.
  16. Head through the gate in the stone wall and into White Moss Wood. Retrace your steps back through the wood to the wooden footbridge over the River Rothay and back to the White Moss Wood car park.
  17. For refreshments after the walk, heading north you have Grasmere just a mile up the road and heading south you have Ambleside just a few miles down the road. Each has plenty of places to eat and drink to suite all tastes.

Maps for this walk

Paper maps for this walk

Click to buy OS Explorer OL7 Map Click to buy OS Landranger 90 Map Click to buy Harvey Super Walker Lakeland Central Map Click to buy Harvey Lake District Mountain Map

GPS files for this walk

Route map of this walk

Photos & Trip Reports

Loughrigg Fell from Grasmere

Planning for a walk

Check the weather

The weather is a very important part of hill walking. Weather conditions and daylight hours will dictate where you walk, what gear you will need to carry, how far you walk, and may even decide if you go at all. The following links will help you gather information on weather conditions for areas of Britain...

Plan your journey

Planning your journey before you set off for your walk can save you vital hours on the day. You need to make sure you know the area surrounding your starting point as many factors can influence or change the place you park. Don't forget change for parking meters and fees.

Maintenance of your vehicle and being ready for breakdown situations when driving to remote areas is also vital. Pack a full spare petrol can in your boot, and take de-icing tools in winter, including a shovel. The Transport Direct website below is a great resource for anyone wanting to get to the start of their walk using public transport...

Pack the right gear

Carrying and wearing the right gear is essential for walkers to remain comfortable and safe while hill walking in Britain. However, the best gear in the world is of no use to anyone who doesn't know how to use and care for it. Knowing how to use your gear will give you a much more enjoyable experience. The following items are, in my opinion, the essential items to wear and carry for a hill walk in Britain. It would be foolish to head into the hills and mountains of Britain without these essential items and the knowledge of how to use them. Check out the gear section of this site for techniques and gear lists...

  • Footwear
  • Clothing
  • Rucksack
  • Warm Clothes
  • Waterproofs
  • Map & Compass
  • Emergency Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food & Drink
  • Seasonal Gear

Know what to do in emergencies

It is good practise to tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return. If you don't get in contact when you said you would on your return, and those you told can't get hold of you, at least they will be able to provide the search party with your general location.

Emergency equipment in the check list above means items such as a survival bag, whistle, and emergency food rations. This isn't anything special; any whistle will do, the orange emergency bags only costs a few pounds, and basic food rations can consist of a couple of chocolate bars. Carrying a head lamp is also an important component and a vital piece of kit used for signalling when you require rescuing.

You should always try and get out of a difficult or emergency situation using your own gear, knowledge and energy. If you cannot do this, then you should dial 999 and ask for the police. Use all the gear you have to keep any unwell or injured members of your party or yourself safe and warm, and use your signalling devices to let the rescuers know your whereabouts. To do this blow six good long blasts on your whistle, or flash six flashes of your torch. Stop for one minute. Repeat. Carry on with the whistle blasts until someone reaches you, and don't stop because you've heard a reply.

Never contact mountain rescue unless absolutely necessary, but on the other hand don't ever feel guilty for having to do so, especially if you are a prepared walker. The Mountain Rescue teams are full of fantastic like-minded souls who love nothing more than people who are prepared for being safe in the mountains.