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It's time to leave the Queens Hotel but day two is really quiet and restful taking in the old lanes and bridleways which weave in and out of all the interesting corners of Rydal, Grasmere, Loughrigg, Skelwith Bridge and Elterwater. Along the way there are plenty of excuses to stop and explore before you reach the comfort of the Langdale Hotel and settle in the cool contemporary bar for a pint of refreshing Cumberland Ale. Silver Medal winner at the International Beer Awards 2009 this ale is a must do when in Cumbria!
Before setting off please make sure you plot the suggested route on OS maps and pack a compass. They are essential for a safe, enjoyable day in the hills!
Ambleside - Elterwater
4 - 5 hours
1. Leave the Queens Head and head out on the A591, passing the mini-roundabout to a path on the right just after crossing Scandale Bridge. Take the path and follow it through Rydal Park and around the back of Rydal Hall to join the lane near Rydal Mount.
2. Follow the lane down through Rydal to the A591. Turn right onto it and follow it carefully for 150m to a path on the left. Take the path, and immediately cross the bridge over the River Rothay. On the other side turn right and follow the path and then the pleasant bridleway alongside Rydal Water. Once past Rydal Water the bridleway splits in a fork. Ignore the path (right branch) and continue on the bridleway (Loughrigg Terrace) as it climbs high above Grasmere giving wonderful views of both the lake and the village. On the northern flanks of Loughrigg Fell, above the bridleway, are a series of caves, the remains of quarrying for high quality slate. Wainwright commented that the biggest could accommodate the population of Ambleside, although he did note that 'many would be standing in water'! As the bridleway enters the trees at the other end it splits. Take the left branch and follow it up to join the Red Bank Road.
3. Turn left on to the road and follow it uphill a short distance to a junction. Turn left again and head down hill for 700m to a track on the left. Join it and follow it as it loops around overlooking Loughrigg Tarn to join the road at Tarn Foot.
4. Turn right, then immediately left and follow the lane down to Skelwith Bridge. Join the A593 and carefully cross the junction of the Langdale Road, past the hotel to join the river side lane. Beside the tea room and passing between the slate cutting sheds is a path to Skelwith Force. Join it and follow it to the waterfalls and the impressive footbridge (Woodburn Bridge). Continue past the bridge and follow the cycleway alongside the River Brathay, past Elterwater to Elterwater village. In front of the Inn turn right and follow the road up through the village to join the main valley road (B5343). Turn left onto it and carefully follow it the short distance to the Langdale Hotel.
5. Get yourself a pint of golden, foam topped Cumberland Ale, page through the history photo albums and step back in time to when The Langdale Estate was still a working gunpowder factory.