The Lake District: A Guide to hiking Loughrigg Fell

The Lake District, in the north east of England, is an incredibly special place. I think it’s the most beautiful part of the country, and is full of amazing views and walks which will leave you in awe. One such walk that left its mark on me was hiking up Loughrigg Fell, which we did while staying in the wonderful town of Windermere.


Important Hike Information

Location: You can do the Loughrigg Fell hike from either Ambleside, Grasmere or Rydal, all in the south of the Lake District, all a short drive from Windermere.

Hike distance and time: The full round loop is 11km long and will take around 3-4 hours depending on fitness, so makes for the perfect half day trip.

Terrain: The terrain starts on a slope so you have to be comfortable on steep ascents. On the path up there are a few points of scrambling, where you have to use your hands to get up the rocks, but nothing too scary. The descent is similar, having to climb down some quite steep rocks. Overall though the climb is manageable and the ascent a reasonable gradient so anyone of moderate fitness should be able to complete it.

Parking: You can ascend from either Grasmere or Ambleside and descend the other side. I personally recommend going up from Ambleside so utilise one of the car parks there – Rydal Road or Lake Road both work to start the walk from.

Alternatives: If you don’t want any scrambling, another lovely walk from Ambleside could be Stockghyll Force waterfall and Blue Hill Wood or Lily Tarn if you still want some beautiful high views. If a moderate walk isn’t challenging enough for you, then you could try Wansfell Pike or go for the super difficult 17km route The Fairfield Horseshoe.


The Hike

We followed the route guidance HERE for this walk.

A. Start in Ambleside

After parking up, take a little stroll around Ambleside. There are some lovely river views over the bridge, and some nice places for tea, cake or lunch depending on the time you’re arriving. Then head to St Mary’s Parish church and in to Rothay Park, then over the small footbridge spanning the river and then left over the stone bridge.

B. The first climb

After crossing the bridge, turn right along Underloughrigg Road to cross the cattle grid, and then turn left on the tarmac lane that heads steeply up the hill. This is actually the worst part of the walk in terms of incline, and there are some lovely views back across the fields behind you as you climb.

C. Hitting the false summits

Evenutally the tarmac path will arrive at a gate, and turn in to a stone path which wiggles along with a wall to its right. Follow this clear path for a while, as it rounds away from the wall, until you reach some stepping stones across a little stream of water, and the head right. At this point there is no ‘wrong’ trail as there are dozens of zig zagging paths up the fells. For anyone interested a fell is a high place that’s barren – basically big, open hills.

One of the false summits

It can be a bit disheartening once you’re in the zig zag, as you can keep thinking you’re nearly at the top, but it’s just a false summit. The rule is just – if you can keep going up, take the path that goes up. The views on the way are breathtaking, though pick your path as some do require a fair bit of scrambling.

D. Reaching the actual summit

If you keep going up, you will eventually see the ‘Trig Point’ signalling the highest point on the Fell – as high as you can get on this walk. The views from the top span all the way from Windermere on one side, to Rydal Water on the other. The landscape is utterly stunning and I sat here for quite a long time just taking it all in.

E. The descent

Descending from a summit can sometimes be harder than the climb up as it can really put pressure on the knees. I chose to descend on a different route to the one I came up, and headed towards the opposite side of the Fell (north east). Once you’re off the first few hundred metres of zig zag, there becomes just one path to descend on, with fabulous views out to Rydal Water. It’s quite rocky and at points again requires some hands to help climb down, but eventually it comes out on a clear path. It felt great to have completed the descent and get off the Fell!

Looking to Rydal Water

F. Rydal Caves

At the bottom, keep to the right and head down towards Rydal Water. Then again, when the path splits take another right as this curves back around and brings you out to an incredible cave which you can use the stepping stones to go deep in to.

In the cave

G. The return to Ambleside

After the caves, continue following the path you were on, meandering down and following the footpath signs back to Ambleside. It’s another 2 miles from here along a clearly marked path following the river Rothay back to the start point.


This walk was absolutely beautiful, but for only an ‘easy’ walk in the Lakes, it still required a moderate level of fitness and really steep ascents. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but dread to think what the ‘hard’ walks are like!

Thank you so much for reading – what do you think of Loughrigg Fell? Would you like to visit this area of England if you haven’t been already? Let me know in the comments below – stay safe and happy travelling everyone!

35 Comments

  1. Looks like a nice village at Ambleside, then the hike upward for some magnificent summit views! As noted, a perfect half-day trip. And the stepping stones into the cave…how cool is that! Then, finishing along a beautiful river! It looks so wonderful, Hannah ~ thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree on false summits, it’s that excitement of reaching the top being taken away from you every time!!! But yes the views were more than worth it and we were so lucky with the weather. Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoa! From Ambleside to the Rydal Caves, the Loughrigg Fell hike is nothing short of stunning at every step of the way. Such clear, blue skies and equally blue lakes…this is another reason why I’m dying to go to the Lake District someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww your comment made me smile – I wish you could just grab your passport and come to the Lake District because it is so beautiful and such a great part of England to explore πŸ™‚ So pleased you enjoyed following along and have a great evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a gorgeous hike! You don’t have to climb high in the Lake District to get the finest views – a short stroll through the heart of the national park offers rewards aplenty. I am glad to see you gad wonderful weather conditions to enjoy all the splendours of nature. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day πŸ™‚ Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I’d definitely go there. In fact, we’ll have to if we want to climb Scafell Pike. Our goal is to climb the three highest summits in Great Britain. Snowden is the only one we’ve completed so far. The Lake District looks beautiful. I can see why it’s so popular.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you like it. Oh wow that’s a great goal to have and I really hope you can complete that one day soon πŸ™‚ The Lake District is stunning so you will really enjoy Scafell Pike and the countless other hikes all around.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love-love this hike! You had such amazing views – that blue sky and green hills do make some pretty pictures 😊. Yep, I’m with you on the downhills … though uphill is sometimes a challenge, it’s those downhills that work the legs (or rather the knees)!

    Liked by 1 person

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