Walking around Grasmere
Great walks around Grasmere like the popular Grasmere Loop walk around Grasmere Lake and Rydal Water follow in the footsteps of Dorothy and William Wordsworth, taking in the famous historic Wordsworth homes – Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount. Many beauty spots along Grasmere walks inspired Wordsworth like Dungeon Ghyll Force waterfall and Loughrigg Tarn. Grasmere makes a great walking holiday base, offering easy access into the Langdale Valley west of the village as well as as the many varied local walks.
A popular walking holiday base, Grasmere is surrounded by some wonderfully scenic gentle trails like the Grasmere Loop – easily more of a challenge by branching off and heading up to favourite fell race summit Silver Howe or Wainwright summit Helm Crag just north of Grasmere. The village is one of the most popular areas in the Lakes for Fell Racing, with top events including the Fairfield Horseshoe Fell Race in May and the legendary Grasmere Sports and Show in August.
Walks around the Grasmere Valley
Walking in the fells around Grasmere Valley is to walk in the footsteps of Dorothy and William Wordsworth who spent many hours walking around Dove Cottage. Dorothy Wordsworth walked between Grasmere and Ambleside several times weekly to post letters!
Challenging and gentler walks around Grasmere include the popular Grasmere Loop taking in Grasmere Lake, Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage. Grasmere is also a popular base for challenging walking holidays in the adjacent Langdale Valley with classic walks like the walk up to Stickle Tarn and the summit of Harrison Stickle which descends via the dramatic deep Dungeon Ghyll ravine.
The Grasmere Loop and Old Coffin Trail
The Grasmere Loop and Old Coffin Trail Walk direct from Grasmere village takes around 2 hours and is approximately 3.5 miles in length. A relatively gentle circuit walk around Grasmere and Rydal Water yet still offering spectacular views, the Grasmere Loop winds south around the scenic shores of Grasmere Lake towards Rydal Water, past caves and onwards to Wordsworth’s historic home Rydal Mount.
From Rydal Mount just behind the Wordsworth house the signposted Grasmere bridleway moves west along the Old Coffin Trail, so named because coffins were taken to Grasmere church along this route, towards Dove Cottage and St Oswald’s churchyard in Grasmere. For a more strenuous walk you can branch off the loop at Grasmere Lake up to beautiful Loughrigg Fell for spectacular panoramic views across to both Windermere and west towards the Langdale Pikes.
Dungeon Ghyll Force Waterfall Walk
Other favourite gentle walks around Grasmere include the walk around Dungeon Ghyll Force waterfall, a favourite Wordsworth beauty spot just west of Grasmere in the Langdale Valley. Wordsworth makes reference to this beautiful waterfall in his poem ‘The Idle Shepherd Boys’.
A handy car park sits at the foot of Harrison Stickle off the B5343 for the walk up to Dungeon Ghyll Force and the legendary Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel restaurant is located nearby for fine Lakeland food and drink.
Gentle Walks around Grasmere
To the south of Grasmere are pretty walks around Elterwater and Loughrigg Tarn, another favoured spot of Wordsworth affording stunning views towards the Langdale Pikes.
Silver Howe & Helm Crag Walks
The demanding fell walk to Silver Howe summit west of Grasmere is another favourite walk direct from the village via Allan Bank. A Silver Howe fell race is one of the highlight events in the annual Grasmere Sports and Show. North of Grasmere another popular walk, especially with famous fell walker Wainwright, is up to the summit of Helm Crag, affectionately known as the ‘Lion and the Lamb’ after its feature twin crags on the summit.
More popular Wainwright Walks into the fells surrounding Grasmere include walks to Blea Rigg and Stickle Tarn, the Steel Fell walk and the ascent up to Tarn Crag.