Rydal Caves Walk from Ambleside

Rydal Caves  4 miles [6.5 km]
Walk on along main road towards Grasmere and Keswick. The curious Bridge House is passed. Its origin is something of a mystery but one theory is that it was built by someone to avoid paying land rent. Cross over to right hand side of road. When the pavement ends at a drive entrance cross the road again with great care. After half a mile the cricket field is on the left, and after this there is a wood above the road level. At the end of this wood there is a gate into a field. Go through the gate.

There is no apparent path in the field, but slightly to right of front, beyond a slight knoll, is a group of trees. Head for the right of these. There is only a right of way across the field. Continue past the trees on the same line and the river will be reached and the stepping stones. Cross these with care to join road at the other side. Turn right. Go through the gate by the cattle grid and continue along the road to another gate and cattle grid. Turn left down the lane through another. Follow this lane until an iron gate is reached which leads onto fell land and distinct tracks. Take the upper track, and at the seat there is a perfect view over Rydal Water. The crags across the lake are Nab Scar.

Follow the track up, through woodland. After a bend right a conical crag will be seen and Loughrigg Quarry has been reached. If you go to the left of this crag the smallest cave will be seen across a gully. Go back onto the track and continue up, zig-zagging left then right through some attractive larch trees. The big cave can then be seen and entered.

Follow the track back to the view-point scat, then descend towards lake and a kissing-gate will be seen in the wall on the right. Go through this into the wood. Follow it to a footbridge. This brings us onto the main road again. Cross it. Turn right towards Ambleside but go left up the nearby access road. Rydal Chapel is on the left. Wordsworth helped to choose the site where it was built and worshipped here regularly. If it is daffodil season then go through the chapel yard to Dora's Field beyond, to see a golden carpet.

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