Ambleside to Troutbeck and back via Wansfell

Troutbeck, Ambleside, Cumbria

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Watching the world go by © National Trust / CvH

Watching the world go by

Troutbeck nestling in the valley © National Trust / CvH

Troutbeck nestling in the valley

Townend surrounded by the cottage garden in the summer © Matthew Antrobus

Townend surrounded by the cottage garden in the summer

Ambleside is surrounded by the fells © National Trust / CvH

Ambleside is surrounded by the fells

Stock Ghyll is one of the most popular waterfalls in the area © National Trust / CvH

Stock Ghyll is one of the most popular waterfalls in the area

Route overview

An easy walk from Ambleside to Troutbeck along tracks and lanes through woods and fields.

In Troutbeck why not visit Townend? Return to Ambleside via a more challenging route over Wansfell Pike.

From Wansfell you will get great views over the surrounding fells.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Map of the walk from Ambleside to Townend and back over Wansfell
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Market cross, central Ambleside, grid ref: NY376044

  1. From the Market Cross in Ambleside, follow the A591 towards Windermere, out of the town along Lake Road and take the Old Lake Road on the left. After a big carpark there is a small road to the left, signposted to 'Jenkins Crag, Skelghyll and Troutbeck (bridleway)'.

  2. Follow the signposts on this path through Skelghyll woods, past Jenkins Crag, where you can make a short detour to admire the view. Follow the path through the woods to High Skelghyll farm.

    Show/HideJenkins Crag viewpoint

    We have been clearing trees to open up the fantastic viewpoint at Jenkins Crag.

    Watching the world go by © National Trust / CvH
  3. Go across the farmyard at High Skelghyll, following the signposted footpath. At the crossing of paths at High Skelghyll, follow the public bridleway to Troutbeck. This path turns left just across the bridge, through a gate, and goes uphill. At the end of this path, cross the stile onto Robin Lane.

  4. Follow the gravelled track that is Robin Lane, past the pillar, to Troutbeck Post Office.

    Show/HideTroutbeck Post Office

    The Post Office is a Victorian building and was built as the Village Institute. It once was home to a Reading, Assembly and Billiards Room. The post office and village shop are still very much the centre of Troutbeck, and provide invaluable services to the local community.

    Troutbeck nestling in the valley © National Trust / CvH
  5. From the post office you can visit Townend. Turn right and follow the road. Townend is on the right, at the road junction.

    Show/HideTownend

    The Browne family lived at Townend for over 400 years. The were a well-to-do farming family, and their house tells the stories of their social climbing, love of traditions and education.

    Townend surrounded by the cottage garden in the summer © Matthew Antrobus
  6. For the return leg of the walk, return to the Post Office, and continue on the road into Troutbeck village. Between two houses, near the Mortal Man Inn, is a footpath, on the left, up Nanny Lane to Wansfell. The names of the roads and the pubs have a story to tell in themselves.

  7. The gravelled track steadily climbs. Take the footpath to the left, and proceed uphill to reach the summit of Wansfell Pike, with superb views over Ambleside and the surrounding fells. From the summit take the steep path down to Ambleside, until you meet the road.

    Show/HideWansfell pike

    From the top of Wansfell you have great views over Windermere, Ambleside and the Kirkstone Pass.

    Ambleside is surrounded by the fells © National Trust / CvH
  8. Turn left on the road. Take the road marked 'Styrigg' on the left, and follow the footpath back to the centre of Ambleside

    Show/HideDetour: Stock Ghyll Force

    Just before you reach Styrigg road, there is an entrance on the right to Stock Ghyll Force. This magnificent waterfall is worth a visit. A great place if you've brought a flask and a snack.

    Stock Ghyll is one of the most popular waterfalls in the area © National Trust / CvH

End: Market cross, central Ambleside, grid ref: NY376044

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 5.8 miles (9.5 km)
  • Time: 4 hours to 5 hours
  • OS Map: Landranger 97
  • Terrain:

    A lovely walk along country lanes, tracks and footpaths. Some of the walk is on uneven and rocky ground, and can be muddy, but is a great alternative discovery walk.

  • How to get here:

    By bus: Many local buses from Kendal, Windermere, Bowness, Grasmere, and Keswick

    By train: Nearest train station Windermere, then bus to Ambleside

  • Contact us