This week I’m introducing a new series on the blog: Tiny Walks in the Lake District.
These are my go-to walks when you still want that little hit of Lake District magic but without the big adventure.
You want a walk with a view, to give you a taste of Lake District life. Perhaps you’ve just arrived or you’ve got an hour before you need to catch the bus or you’re just a bit tired and don’t really feel like a mega hike.
All the walks will be under an hour, with most of them even less but I’ll also give options on how you can extend the walk if you have more time or energy.
So I’m kicking off the series with one in my current home village of Ambleside. I discovered this little gem on the day I moved to the village in 2020 and it’s the walk I do when I’ve been working from home all day but need a bit of fresh air.
Despite it being tiny, I love the variation – wandering up Nook Lane with its Parisian style lamposts, the sweeping views over to Fairfield Horseshoe fells and the mini waterfalls at Low Sweden Bridge.
I’d love to hear from you if you do the walk and enjoy it – drop me a message on Instagram and let me know what you think!
Walk Details 1.2 miles, 50m ascent
Starting Point & Finishing Point // Ambleside Bridge House
Start the walk at the Bridge House, originally built in the 14th century by the Braithwaite family to access their land on the other side of Stock Beck. The house has had various uses over the years from a counting-house for the neighbouring mills to a cobblers, a weaving workshop and a tearoom.
Walk away from the village down Rydal Road. When you see the mini-roundabout, turn right and then immediately left onto Nook Lane.
Nook Lane has a beautiful array of houses many of which are made in the famous vernacular slate architecture of Lakeland which you will notice frequently after Ambleside. Continue up the steep hill past the University of Cumbria campus
Nearing the top of the lane, the views open out over to the Fairfield Horseshoe, a day-long hike around 8 hills behind Ambleside.
On reaching the farm outbuildings, carry straight on through where you will see a green gate, go through this gate and continue to follow the footpath.
Carry on around the corner and through the wooden gate which will take you to Low Sweden Bridge.
Take a pause to admire the little waterfalls, then continue on to the corner for sweeping views towards Rydal and the Grasmere fells.
On reaching this point you now have a few options
- Return to Ambleside on the same path in which you came, this time with glimpses down to Lake Windermere
- Head to Rydal, by taking small path veering off to the left on the corner just after Low Sweden Bridge This will lead you down past a series of secret pools on the left which are perfect for a wild swim dip in summer. This dirt path finishes at the bottom of the hill and meets the gravel path which continues to Rydal (by turning right).
- Continue up the steeper path, with views streching out towards Windermere. At a plateau, you will see another footbath which veers off to the right going downhill. This will take you to the old packhorse bridge of High Sweden Bridge. You can continue back down to the Scandale Valley to Ambleside (around 3.2 miles)
- Continue up the steeper path all the way to Low Pike
For even longer walks that extend on from this path
High Sweden Bridge Circular 3.2 miles / 226m ascent
Low Pike 2.5 miles / 451m ascent
Fairfield Horseshoe 10.2 miles / 1,080m ascent