Sunday, 25 September 2011

Ambleside & Rydal

Distance 7.5km; with Lynsey, Isabel, Adam, Laura, Gordon, Jim, Rachel, Edward & Rebekah

With several of our friends on holiday in the Lakes for the week, we headed up for the day to join them for a walk.  We met in the main Ambleside car park, put the babies in their carriers and set off walking around 11:15am heading out of town on the Grasmere road.  At Scandale bridge we picked up a footpath through Rydal Park with good views of the autumnal trees and the lower slopes of the Fairfield horseshoe hills, although the higher hills were cloud capped.  Isabel seemed to be enjoying the walk as she was babbling constantly!

On the way through Rydal Park
Soon we reached Rydal Hall where we took a brief detour to see the lower Rydal waterfall.  In the woods around the hall there were some interesting pieces of rock art, which consisted of some sort of mossy mesh filled with large pebbles.

Rydal waterfall
Strange rock art near Rydal Hall
We crossed the River Rothay and headed through the woods to reach Rydal Water, where we found a pleasant flat area for a picnic about half-way along the southern shore, almost opposite a couple of small islands.  The weather remained dry and we had a pleasant lunch admiring the views across the lake (or water as Gordon corrected me, as there's only one lake in the Lakes!)

River Rothay
Rydal Water
After lunch we retraced our steps back eastwards along the lake for a couple of hundred metres before branching right and ascending through the woods to reach the end of a minor road.  We followed this for around 2km as it followed the river downstream.  As the road was prohibited for cars, except for access, the walk was relatively pleasant and Isabel was soon asleep on my back.

On the outskirts of Ambleside we crossed a very narrow humpback bridge and headed for the town centre through Rothay Park, where there was a strange cairn sculpture.  We returned to the car park at around 2pm and headed to the Rattle Gill cafe for tasty crumble before heading home.

Strange cairn in Rothay Park

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