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Loughrigg Fell might not be the biggest peak in the Lake District but standing by the summit trig point you would hardy guess this. The reason it packs such a punch for its size is down to its prominent and isolated position. It sits right at the junction of five major valley systems and with no neighbouring peaks to block the views it affords unrivaled panoramas of every corner of the central Fells.
For a first time walk in the hills or to acquaint yourself with what the Lake District has to offer you could pick no finer peak. From Ambleside you can step straight out of the town centre and within minutes be heading up its eastern flanks. It is worth getting the hardwork out of the way first so you can get into the views as soon as possible. This is best done by climbing to the summit via the bridleway and paths from beside the River Rothy this leaves the steady descent via Red Bank and Loughrigg Terrace as a gentle end to the walk.
3 - 4 hours
1. From the corner of Compston Road by the entrance to the park take Vicarage Road towards Rothay Park passing St Mary's Church. Follow the path across the park and cross the River Rothay by the bridge to join the minor road at Under Loughrigg. Turn right onto the road then turn immediately left to follow the bridleway up a private drive towards Brow Head. The bridleway is followed as it winds its way West for 1.5km past Miller Brow to a junction of paths at a beck (in a dip) after just crossing a low col.
2. Turn right off the bridleway and join the path which climbs North beside the beck then West up towards Black Mire. The path now swings round to the North West and leads past some small tarns for 1km to the summit of Loughrigg Fell.
3. Descend North West from the summit trig point and follow the path down to join the bridleway at Loughrigg Terrace. Turn right onto the bridleway and follow it as it traverses East high above Grasmere then descends to the shores of Rydal Water. Continue East alongside Rydal Water and follow the bridleway until you join the Under Loughrigg road at Pelter Bridge. Follow the road South then South East to the footpath (bridge) used on the outward leg through Rothay Park. Follow the path through the park back into Ambleside.