YHA hopping in The Lake District - Windermere Station to YHA Ambleside

The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 1 Wainwright and 2 interesting pubs.

Technical sheet
No. 3147446
A Cumbria walk posted on 15/04/20 by El Sud. Update : 30/04/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h20[?]
Distance Distance : 13.55km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 498m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 580m
Highest point Highest point : 464m
Lowest point Lowest point : 45m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Cumbria
Starting point Starting point : N 54.380119° / W 2.904031°
Arrival Arrival : N 54.418932° / W 2.961475°
Download : -
View over Windermere and Western Fells from Wansfell Pike View over Windermere and Central Fells from Orrest Head

Description

(D) Leaving Windermere Station, head across the A591 towards a sign that indicates the start of the path up to Orrest Head. There are a few short-cuts but the main path weaves its way up to the viewpoint without much complication.

(1) From Orrest Head, descend through the fields to Crosses Farm to pick up a sign-posted track "Troutbeck 1½ mile". Go through the farm at Far Orrest, turn right then left to follow the old track past Allen Knott. When you reach the road at Fusethwaite Yeat, turn right for 50 yards then left along the track called Longmire Road. Keep straight on until you are above the Limefitt Holiday Park, which you go through, over Trout Beck and up to the A592 Kirkstone Pass road. Go left, down to Jesus Church and then right through the church grounds to find a track that leads across to Troutbeck and the Mortal Man pub.

(2) After a refreshing pot of tea, turn left along the road (heading towards Townend) for about 50 yards the right up the track known as Nanny Lane. This pleasant walled track takes you through a gate just before a single oak tree. About 100 yards further on the route leaves the lane, heading left and upwards towards Wansfell Pike (Wainwright at 487m).

(3) The views from Wansfell Pike are worth taking in and maybe a lunch stop is a good excuse to spend some time there before heading west towards the woods. The path curves north and drops quite steeply heading for Stockghyll Force. At a junction, turn left to follow the ghyll and down into Ambleside.

(4) You might want to get refreshments and food as you pass through the centre of Ambleside (The Golden Rule Pub, grade II-listed building, was voted "Britain's Best Post-walk Pint" in 2019). To get to the pub, turn right at the end of Stockghyll Lane, then right again to go past the Tourist Information Centre, down North Road and turn left at the end. From the pub, carry on down Smithy Brow (Kirkstone Road) and turn left at the junction (mini roundabout). Go past the famous Bridge House (National Trust) and bear right at the junction. Turn left at The Slack and head for The Smithy Fish & Chips shop (check out Ghyllside Cycles next door). Turn right down St Mary's Lane, past the Kelsick Centre and turn right onto Church St. Turn left onto King St and go past the car park and main bus-stop. Turn left up Kelsick Road, then right at the top (indicated Windermere, Kendal A 591). The last section of the route uses a side road, the Old Lake Road, to break up the pavement walk along Lake Road, that funnily enough goes to the lake. When you reach the Lakeside, head for Ambleside Pier (old green and white building) then bear left along the water's edge to reach The Lakeside Restaurant and YHA Ambleside.(A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 131m - Windermere Station
1 : km 1.11 - alt. 227m - Orrest Head
2 : km 7.25 - alt. 182m - Mortal Man, Troutbeck
3 : km 9.46 - alt. 464m - Wansfell Pike
4 : km 11.39 - alt. 70m - Ambleside
A : km 13.55 - alt. 47m - YHA Ambleside

Useful Information

Food and drink is available along the route. There's a supermarket outside Windermere Station, tea and other beverages at the Mortal Man in Troutbeck, plenty of shops and pubs in Ambleside. Book an evening meal and breakfast at YHA Ambleside to avoid carrying extra weight (in the backpack).

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Enjoy the fells, the views, the villages and the pubs. Don't rush but keep an eye on the weather and the time. Plan ahead and have alternative routes if you get into difficulties (go along Robin Lane to High Skelghyll if the weather is unpleasant). Don't leave any rubbish and don't damage the environment. Keep to the Country Code and respect the farmers, vegetation, animals and rivers. Don't take any plants or stones home; take photos (they last longer and you can share them). Say hello to fellow walkers and help anyone who needs it. Take care of yourself and make the most of the moment!

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.