As far as small climbs go in the Lake District, Loughrigg Fell is right up there amongst the ones with the most impressive views. Perfect for families, perfect for all weathers and perfect for escapism, even if you only have half a day. From this walk and summit you can see so many of the lakes from near or far. well known peaks are also visible. As good a 360 degree view as you can get, without climbing the top of the highest peaks here.
My favourite place to start this walk up is White Moss car park in between Grasmere and Rydal Water. Not only do you get the views as you climb the actual fell but you can start by passing between the lakes via the woodland or even start of, or even finish off with a walk around the beautiful Rydal Water itself. The woods then open up and you are onto Loughrigg Terrace. Hardly any climbing done and you have absolutely impressive views already over Grasmere and beyond. It is Loughrigg Terrace were they filmed the glorious outdoor view scenes in the Beatrix Potter film.
The zig zag up is not to bad at all, even for children. One of the spots that people can start off and learn the beauty of getting up above but also to appreciate the mountain surroundings. To the summit this way is just a climb of a couple of hundred metres in height. Always a shame to see people never leaving the roadside or towns and villages. I tell you one thing, you will not stop looking back over your shoulder for the huge view of Grasmere.. knowing more is to come. You will see later how and why I choose another route down.
Eventually, as the summit nears, you will look back and see Grasmere has dropped out of view below. That doesn’t lessen the view at all as you see the expanse of the view beyond Grasmere village to the ridge over to Thirlmere and the road to Keswick meandering up in the distance.
Then, you are there. The summit. One last look back down the direction you came, and over Grasmere..
But the views all around has you turning in circles. This is a spot for all weathers, not just sunshine. The mountains, lakes and landmarks appear all around.
Looking south you can see most of Windermere…
Over to the west you see Coniston Old Man appear above the Coniston Fells. Another big favourite. Elterwater nestled below….
Further round to the right the unmistakable Langdale Pikes and the great central peaks.
Yes, a summit you could spend ages on just looking out in wonder. A perfect picnic spot, if the weather is kind of course.
Now then, I personally choose not to go down the way I came up. For one, the summit area is one to be explored. knolls, marshes, tarns and nature is all around you. If you see the Windermere view above you can see tracks off in lots of directions. Head, down and left…. take the route down to Rydal water, amongst the green, damselflies all around. You have the bonus of seeing this lake in full panorama as you descend too.
But…. before you get all the way down, take the time to stop by Rydal Cave! 200 years ago this area was used to quarry the slate for the roofs in the surrounding towns and villages. Rydal cave remains as a huge cathedral type of cave with a stagnant water pool within.
The water is full of little fish and the hugeness and height of the cave tempts you in. (can I say here please, it your own choice to enter, as due to history of falling rocks, the authorities, I believe, would rather you not). Darkness, reflections, swallows flying in and out by the hundreds. Quite an inspiring spot.
Just down below here you can walk back along the shores of Rydal Water and be glad of all you have seen, all you have experienced and how much of the lake District you actually saw! Look back at the peak and look forward to the next visit