Parking: Pelter Bridge Car Park postcode LA22 9LW
Distance: 4.0 miles / 6.5 km
Loughrigg Fell height: 335 metres
OS grid reference: NY366059
Grade: Easy to moderate
Time: Approx. 3 hours
At a modest height of just 335 metres, this Loughrigg Fell walk from Pelter Bridge is one of the easiest fell walks in the Lake District. But that doesn’t mean the views from the summit are any less impressive than some of its taller neighbours. Weather dependent, Loughrigg Fell in the Lake District rewards you with far-reaching panoramas across Rydal, Grasmere, Ambleside and Lake Windermere. It’s well worth starting your Loughrigg walk early in the morning on a clear day to reach the summit in time for sunrise over Windermere.
Loughrigg Fell Walk from Pelter Bridge
Start this Lake District walk from Pelter Bridge Car Park. Arrive early to get a parking spot as it’s only small and fills up quickly. Follow the country lane that goes slightly uphill to the left from the car park. You’ll pass some cottages on the way before you reach a gate. From here the path forks. Take the higher path up to the left and a bench will come into view. This is a great place to enjoy the views across Rydal Water.
Continue along the path until you reach Rydal Caves on your left. The first cave you reach isn’t really accessible but if you carry on around the corner, you’ll be greeted by an immense cavern known as the “Great Cave”. There are huge stepping stones that let you access the cave and explore inside. The view looking out of the cave is possibly one of the most photographed in the area.
As you leave Rydal Caves walk to your left and continue on the same path as before with Rydal Water to your right. It soon joins Loughrigg Terrace where fabulous views across Grasmere and the Helvellyn Range open up. As you get closer to the end of Loughrigg Terrace, you’ll notice a bridge ahead, here you need to take a left uphill (don’t cross the bridge).
Reaching Loughrigg Summit
You’re now en route to the summit of the Loughrigg Fell walk. There’s a bit of a steep climb up to Grasmere Tarn but it’s only a fairly short walk. From here the landscape becomes very hilly with lots of ups and downs. Eventually you’ll spot the trig point at the peak of Loughrigg Fell. The summit of Loughrigg Fell is almost lunar looking with its tarns and rocky, undulating surface. On a clear day the views are incredible, and you’ll probably want to take a while to soak up the scenery. To the east of Loughrigg Fell the Wainwright Far Eastern Fells pierce the horizon. To the south, you have a breathtaking view of Lake Windermere, and to the northwest, Fairfield Horseshoe and the Helvellyn Range dominate the skyline. Look to the west to see the Langdale Pikes, Bowfell, and Crinkle Crags.
Descending Loughrigg Fell
To descend from the summit, follow the main path that leads to the southeast from the trig point. You’ll see Loughrigg Tarn below before hiking over several small hills which eventually lead you down the side of Rydal Caves to rejoin the path you started on. Take a right and continue until you reach Pelter Bridge Car Park to complete the Loughrigg Fell walk.
Although this is one of the easier Lake District walks, it still requires a certain degree of fitness and it’s advisable to be equipped with suitable hiking gear, map and a compass. Unless you’re highly experienced and are very familiar with these kinds of Lake District hikes, don’t attempt to climb in bad weather especially when there’s poor visibility as it’s easy to lose your sense of direction in low clouds and mist.