In the Footsteps of Wordsworth

  • Popular walk around Rydal Water
  • An inspiration for Wordsworth
  • Pretty woodland scenery throughout

This exceptionally pretty walk around the tranquil waters of Rydal Water is the inspiration for so much of the poetry of William Wordsworth and the words in the diary of his sister Dorothy. It is very easy to see why – Rydal Water itself is tightly enclosed between the steep slopes of Loughrigg Fell and the  Fairfield Horseshoe creating the landscape of trees, lake and mountain which so inspired them.

Much of the walk is through lovely woodland, which clings tightly to the shores of the lake but is not thick enough to cut off the views across the lake. There are some alternatives on the route, particularly on the far side of Rydal Water but it is best to keep to the waters edge where possible with the only exception being a visit to Rydal Cave, a large man made amphitheatre of slate complete with resident goldfish!

Recommend: Add in a trip to the shores of Grasmere and the popular pebble beach at its southern end.

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All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL7 The English Lakes South East Buy Map
Start Point: NY349065. There are 2 National Trust car parks just off the road to the west of Rydal. Away from here parking is very limited.
Height to Climb: 155 ms (508 feet)
Terrain: Easy on good and clear paths.
Eating & Drinking: There are 2 options at the midway point of the walk. At the far end of the walk Cote How is a pleasant tea shop whilst the Badger Bar in Rydal offers stronger stuff.The Wordsworths
Similar Walks Nearby: Loughrigg Fell
A walk around Elterwater
Discover the Grasmere shoreline
Places to Stay:


Old Vicarage, Ambleside