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The first part of this route tackles Loughrigg Fell. It accesses it by heading out of Grasmere past Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount (Wordsworth's two residences in the area), along the old Coffin route that links with Ambleside. This is a pleasant, easy warm up and once you have had lunch and a pint of distinctively dark Jennings Bitter at the Queens Hotel you will be well set up to tackle Loughrigg Fells lofty but easy summit. It is not 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 is down to its prominent and isolated position. It sits right at the junction of five major valley systems with no neighbouring peaks to block the views. It affords unrivalled panoramas of every corner of the central fells.
Grasmere - Elterwater
1. The Wordsworth Hotel located right in the heart of Grasmere village is the perfect place to unwind before tackling the surrounding fells. Relax in the bar with a pint of Jennings Cumberland Ale. This award winning beer (silver medallist at the International Beer Awards 2009!) is a must do when in Cumbria!
2. From the hotel turn left and head down the road passing Sarah Nelsons Ginger Bread Shop and St Oswalds Church and out of the village on the B5287. Carefully cross the A591 and join the lane which leads to Dove Cottage, Wordsworth's Home from 1799 to 1808. Continue along the lane and follow it to a junction at How Top at the edge of Whitemoss Common. This was a favourite place of Dorothy Wordsworth and the views of Grasmere, although slightly shrouded by trees, are stunning.
3. Leave the lane and turn left onto the Whitemoss Common track and follow it for 350m to a bridleway junction. Continue straight on following the track as it traverses the hillside to its end at Rydal, close to Rydal Mount (Wordsworth's home from 1813 to his death in 1850). From Rydal take the lane/footpath around the back of Rydal Hall to join the A591 near Scandale Bridge. Follow the A591 to Ambleside. The grade 1 listed building Bridge House is over 300 years old and is thought to have been originally built either as a summer house or a fruit store.
4. Head to Rothay Park, and follow the path to cross the River Rothay and join the minor road at Under Loughrigg. Turn right onto the road then immediately left to follow the bridleway up a private drive towards Brow Head. The bridleway is followed as it winds its way past Miller Brow to a junction of paths at a beck.
5. Turn right off the bridleway and join the path which climbs beside the beck up towards Black Mire. The path now leads past some small tarns to the summit of Loughrigg Fell.
6. Descend from the summit trig point and follow the path down to join the bridleway at Loughrigg Terrace. Turn left and follow it the short distance to the Red Bank road. Turn left onto the road and follow up the rise to a junction. Turn right and follow the road downhill passing the YHA at High Close to another junction. Turn left and continue downhill to the B5343 overlooking Elterwater village which used to have its own gun powder works. Built in 1824 it supplied 'Extra Large Coarse Black' cartridges for the quarrying and mining industries. Turn right and follow the road to the Langdale Hotel.
7. Head down the steps from the car park and into Hobson's Bar to rest tired feet and recover with a hearty meal and a pint of deep golden Jennings Cumberland Ale. Made with pure Lakeland water from the breweries own well this refreshing ale give you the real flavour of the Lake District!