Lake District Walks
Date: 11th February 2006
Distance: 7.5 miles
Ascent: 2095 feet
Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Start Grid Ref: NY377038
A nice walk from Ambleside up on to Wansfell, just a shame the murky weather obscured some of the views.
Route Summary: Ambleside - Stockghyll Force - Wansfell Pike - Wansfell - Nanny Lane - Troutbeck - Robin Lane - Jenkin Crag - Ambleside
1. Stock Ghyll Force
2. Wansfell Pike
3. Lisa on Wansfell Pike
4. On Wansfell Pike with Windermere below
5. Wansfell's ridge was a series of ups and downs
6. Looking back at Wansfell Pike
7. On Baystones the highest point on Wansfell
8. Windermere from Robin Lane
9. Windermere from Jenkyn Crag
Walk Detail: After my successful trip to Harter Fell two weeks before I really wanted to get back to the Lake District as soon as possible, another dire week at work making me all the more desperate for a good walk. Unfortunately the weather forecast was fairly awful but I stubbornly wanted to go on anyway.
The plan was to get there and if the weather did not look too good then climb Wansfell and if the cloud were higher then to climb Red Screes. As it turned out we did the Wansfell circuit, which probably proved to be the better choice on the day. The initial walk up through Stock Ghyll woods was quite pleasant and the waterfalls were impressive despite the overcast weather making the scene rather gloomy.
The initial climb up on to Wansfell Pike was quite steep in places on a well-made, though icy, path and provided a reasonably quick way to the top. The highlight of the restricted view on the way up was of the cloud covered Red Screes with the lights of the inn atop Kirkstone Pass twinkling in the gloom.
The summit of Wansfell Pike is an excellent little top with a grand view of Windermere which needed a better day to do it full justice. However the promised rain had still failed to materialise so we were able to turn along the path and head to the summit of Wansfell proper. The ridge of Wansfell proved to be an intriguing series of ups and downs and was thoroughly enjoyable. By the time we reached Baystones, the accepted summit of the fell the cloud was getting lower so we did not hang around too long at the top. Instead we found a nice sheltered area and ate our lunch this time combining French Onion soup with the now ubiquitous sausage.
The descent to Troutbeck was a pleasant one, first following a slim cairned path over and round a number of rocky knolls before heading down the enclosed Nanny Lane. Troutbeck itself proved to be a long but scenic village with some fantastic houses and, unusually, a number of roadside wells. Another good track was Robin Lane which contoured round to include some more nice views of Windermere.
The final section of the walk was through some National Trust woodland and included a brief excursion to the top of Jenkyn’s Crag. Apparently this is a celebrated Windermere viewpoint but conditions and the height of some of the trees conspired to make it a bit disappointing. Still it was a nice spot. Just as we reached Ambleside the rain finally made its appearance so we timed our walk perfectly.
This would undoubtedly have been a better walk in nicer conditions and the top of Wansfell Pike would certainly be worth revisiting for some pictures of Windermere. Having said this I’m glad we chose to do this fell on a day like this rather than one of its more distinguished neighbours.