A week off work and a surprisingly good weather forecast so a few days walking seemed the most obvious thing to do!
I ummed and ahhed as to where to go, trawled through a few locations and ended up with a very good deal for a couple of nights at the Lakes Lodge in Ambleside.
Despite travelling on my own, the room allocated was massive. Solo travelers are quite often shoved in the broom cupboard, however, my room (6) was big enough to contain two double beds.
It was good to see a lot of tea, coffee and milk available in the room, more than enough to make a flask up for the day.
Close to the centre of Ambleside so car parking is very useful and had the bonus of being able to leave the car there before and after check in.
The buffet breakfast was lovely and plenty of it. The black pudding in particular was extremely good!
If planning a stay, it’s well worth booking through the hotel directly, there are a few perks to be had.
A big accident on the M6 turned a 2 hour drive in to a journey lasting over 5 hours which meant my original plans for the first day had to be changed. My original walk to Loughrigg and on to Grassmere had to be cut short but still proved to be an enjoyable walk with some fantastic scenery.
Despite being mid October, the weather was lovely and quite mild.
I left the car in the hotel car park and headed towards the recreation ground and Rothay Park.
After crossing the River Rothay, I headed West, reaching Loughrigg Ghyll.
The path continued to Brow Head Farm, Miller Brow and Pine Rigg.
This route then goes North West to Ivy Crag and eventually, after some climbing, Loughrigg Fell. This area offers some great views.
It is at this point I had to change my original plans and I took a shorter route going straight down to Loughrigg Terrace passing Rydal Water and through Steps End wood.
I then headed South following the River Rothay before returning to Rothay Park.
The full walk is around 6.5 miles and is available to download from ViewRanger
After a nice fried, buffet breakfast, I left the hotel and went North to start the Fairfield Horseshoe.
This is one of the classics and it’s not difficult to see why!
Follow Nook Lane until it becomes a path, passing through the farm yard.
Cross Low Sweeden bridge and you’ll soon come across a wall which you’ll follow alongside (either side) for quite some time.
There is some fairly easily scrambling required to reach Low Pike, from where you continue North, following the wall up to High Peak, Dove Crag and Hart Crag where the wall soon disappears and the path begins to head West to Fairfield.
There are some fantastic views from here.
The journey back, not surprisingly, is South to Great Rigg.
Take left at the cairn to follow the ridge to Heron Pike and Nab Scar after which the path changes to a South East direction to Rydal. The route from here is signposted towards Ambleside.
You can view this 11 mile walk on ViewRanger.
I was geared up to head home on the last day, stopping for a quickly arranged walk in Staveley, however, Lakes Lodge kindly allowed me to leave my car in their car park so, after checking out (and eating a lot more of their fantastic breakfast!) I drew up a quick plan for another Ambleside based walk.
Unfortunately, after the lovely weather the previous two days, it was getting a little murky so I wasn’t going to be getting the same great views, that, however, wasn’t going to deter me!
I made my way to Kirkstone Road and on to what was rather worryingly called ‘The Struggle’
Quite an apt name as it is a bit of a steep climb!
The footpath is the first one reached on the left hand side off the road and through two gates. Stay on this path, passing the Kirkstone Quary and reaching the Red Screes.
I’m sure this is a lovely area but by now, the slight murkiness had become fog and the visibility had become quite low. It’s at times like this a map, compass and some basic navigation skills are very useful!
The path to Scandale Pass was difficult to find in these conditions but, from Red Screes, the path initially heads South West before turning North West then take the first obvious left turn near a wall down to Scandale Pass and continue to follow this down hill eventually walking alongside Scandale Beck.
The route passes through some woods before finishing in the North of Ambleside.
As with the previous two routes, this 8 mile walk is available for download.
All in all, a very enjoyable few days and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to do a return trip again soon and definitely recommend the Lakes Lodge to anyone planning a similar short break.