Trail submitted by Phil Kirby
Short and sweet - the circuit of Loughrigg. Here's an interesting trail that's great for a summer evening.
The route is described in a clockwise direction. Start from the small car park near Pelter Bridge in Rydal, about a mile north from Ambleside. Leave the car park and turn south and follow the minor road alongside the the river Rawthey almost back to Ambleside. A bridleway on the right, leads steeply up the fellside. This is tarmaced to start with but becomes stoney further up. Follow this up through a couple of gates until it comes out on Loughrigg fell.
Shortly after gaining the fell, the track becomes narrower and drops down to cross a small beck. It then drops down again fairly gently towards the Langdale valley. A short technical section ends this descent which comes out by some cottages. Turn immediately right, almost back on yourself and follow the fenced track that contours around Loughrigg Tarn. At the end, rejoin the road and follow this to the top of Red Bank. A gate on the right leads into woodland and then out onto the northern flank of Loughrigg, overlooking Grasmere.
This is the start of Loughrigg terrace, a long swooping descent with only a few obstacles to disturb your passage. When you reach an obvious corner, keep to the upper path and follow this along above Rydal Water to Rydal caves. These are now fenced off as being potentially dangerous but are still with a few minutes to explore. From the caves, the path drops down again, rejoining the road for the final few hundred meters back to the car park.
This is only a short trail, it takes just an hour but you do have to get the timing right. Don't bother going at the weekend. There will be just too many pedestrians around. Save it for a nice summer evening, then you'll have the descents, particularly that fine one down Loughrigg Terrace all to yourself.
Photography from the route:
Small Print: No author nor the editor shall bear any responsibility for any mishap, injury, death or other incident or inconvenience suffered whilst riding any of the routes described. Anybody following any such route does so entirely at their own risk. Anybody wishing to ride on footpaths or other non-permitted routes does so entirely by their own risk.