Wansfell Pike from Ambleside

28th February 2013

I was asked was I getting drunk last night… I had every reason to as the 27th February 2013 was the day I left a constitution after 22 years loyal service, a place where a man can earn his crust within a community of friends & work colleagues, notice how I said friends first?

It is time to move on to pastures new, & that is exactly what I am doing as of Monday 4th March.

I could bore you, & get political, but I shan’t, work is work & life is life, we work to live & not live to work correct?

That’s that sorted then…

Twenty two years ago….Got you there didn’t I !

Yes I have changed jobs for the better, I got lucky with a new, more user friendly less dictative & more to the point friendlier company to work for who see’s me as a product to boost an already lucrative business forward & not one to poke, humiliate & degrade my already work ethic demolished soul to dust.

I got out & I got lucky, so did some of my other work colleagues & I will miss them dearly.

Back to the walk eh,  no really, I’ve said enough on the subject.

This wander was the result of a toss up in between Wansfell Pike or Place fell, penned earlier during the week for just a few gentle hours walking as I had something kinda more ambitious shall we say pencilled in on the forth coming Saturday. Today was a great wander from town to fellside & hamlet to lakeside.

No, I didn’t get drunk last night (well maybe just a couple) as I had a better Idea…

Wainwright Guidebook
The Far Eastern Fells

- Wansfell Pike:

Wansfell Pike is in sight throughout the climb from Stockghyll; the slope steepens as height is gained. This is a pleasant approach, but the ridge is less attractive.


Ascent: 2,100 Feet, 640 Metres
Wainwrights: Wansfell Pike
Weather: Warm & Sunny, Highs Of 14°C Lows Of 1°C Feels Like 1°C
Parking: Rydal Road Car Park Ambleside (£6 for six hours)
Area: Far Eastern
Miles: 7.8
Walking With: On my own
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken: 4 Hours 10 Minutes
Route: Ambleside – Stockghyll Lane - Stockghyll Force Wansfell Pike – Baystones – Nanny Lane – Troutbeck – Robin Lane – High Skelgyll – Skelghyll Wood – Ambleside

Map and Photo Gallery



Bridge House Ambleside 08.44am 1°C

Bought by the National Trust back in 1926 for the pricy sum of £450, up until then the Bridge House had remained vacant with the exception of one man named Rigg who died sometime during the 1850’s Other rumours has it that locals built the Bridge House so as not to pay Land Tax, clever eh…

Ambleside although in early morning still has that hustle feel to it, much like looking at a luxury sports car when its stood still, Ambleside it seems, never sleeps.

I have to be careful which way I point the camera as commuters, shoppers & high school kids scurry the narrow paths which at times leaves me ‘in the way’ & that’s not to mention the workmen painting new white lines in the road, the traffic aside me is held up as I get a glance from the stationary drivers waiting for the stop sign guy to turn his sign to go.

Yeah, that’s my cue too.

Not before one more picture.


Bridge House Tax Free.

It’s time to make my way through the hustle & find less bustle me thinks.


Stockghyll Lane.

I took a left at Barclays Bank which then led me here, surreal isn’t it? a couple of hundred yards behind me is an Ambleside in rush hour then this, capture it & bottle it.

The trek along Stockghyll Lane was most definitely one of thee mornings highlights as the sunlight burst through morning dew.


Stockghyll Force.

I decided to take a slight de-tour through the woods sign posted ‘Waterfall’ here the path is clear with slight descent over a rocky pathway.

Stockghyll Force is a magnificent little gem, although it is such a shame that it was so difficult to photograph.


Leaving Stockghyll Lane for this sty signposted ‘Troutbeck via Wansfell’

I pass the first of many walkers I will encounter today just after climbing over the sty, a guy in shorts & T-shirt carrying a small pack on his shoulder, he looks local as we share our good mornings.


In the shadows as I start my ascent.

The path is a fantastic stairway all the way to the summit starting here as a gentle ascent before turning much steeper towards the summit shoulder, with just the one false summit Wansfell really is a pleasant ascent with fantastic scenery surrounding you.


A long distance shot over Ambleside looking towards the Coniston & Langdale Fells.


Turning the camera towards Snarker Pike forming Red Screes at its northern mass.


Red Screes, Idle Hill, Caudale Moor & Gray Crag in the far right of the picture, the dip in the centre is the top of the Kirkstone Pass.


The Coniston & Wetherlam fells from my ascent.


Panning further south on you’ve guessed it, the southern fells from the Crinkle to the Langdales.


Looking back down the path on the last remnants of snow from just beneath the summit.


Windermere from the summit of Wansfell Pike.

Okay, today was about enjoying myself at a leisurely pace, so here I started to play about with the camera a bit. I had the summit to myself for a good ten minutes or so then a couple appeared from the Troutbeck side of Wansfell…good job I had stopped my posing by then.

It was time to pack up & head along the ridge to my next summit of Baystones.

But not before one more shot before I leave.


From the summit, Windermere.


Baystones with a host of Far Eastern Fells.

Wansfell Pike actually has two summits, Baystones being the superior with an altitude of 488 Metres & Wansfell Pike at 482 Metres. It was only the fact that Wansfell was awarded the summit gratification due to its splendid views.

I press on at my leisurely pace.


What a beautiful day it is.


Through a slight haze a cloud inversion over the Pennines with big skies above as far as the eye can see.


Looking back on Wansfell Pike from Baystones summit cairn.

Perfect setting for a wee ponder.


Have you ever wondered who rebuilt & repairs thousand upon thousand miles of stone walls in Lakeland, here’s just one of them. Found just beneath the summit of Baystones as I pick my way down.


Nanny Lane.

I find myself within the trusted stone walls of Nanny Lane after carefully picking my way around frozen marsh over The Hundreds. It is on Nanny Lane do I meet well over a dozen walkers on an ascent on Wansfell & beyond.

‘It must be into double figures’ I say to one elderly chap, referring to the increase in temperature, you’re not wrong there he reply’s – at the same time removing his pullover, I’ve come dressed out for winter & it feels like summer he says, its bloody hard work in this heat.

Behind the Bloc Billy’s I bid him a farewell as I prepare to take in the quiet lanes of Troutbeck & Town End.


Passing this old barn along the way.


And South View Cottage circa 1877


The rolling fields & pastures of Troutbeck.


And St Johns Well, one of three wells that line the lane as I head for Robin Lane.


With spring almost certainly just around the corner.


Lunch Time above Robins Lane at the stone pillar what the Victorian referred to as a viewing station above Windermere.


Coming towards the end of Robins Lane at the top of the brow, here I pass through a wooden gate & take a left, sign posted Ambleside, Jenkins Crag & Skelghyll.


High Skelghyll Farm from Low Skelghyll.

I have vivid memories of Robin Lane & High Skelghyll, in fact the next couple of miles bring back a phantom ache in the sole of my boots as the last time I & two friends (Tim Oxburgh & Stuart Grieg) were here last year, we were on the last legs of completing the whole High Street Roman Road from Penrith to Ambleside, all 26 miles of it!


High Skelghyll Farm after a struggle to fit the whole farm building in the camera’s view finder, but I managed it in the end.


Entering Skelghyll Wood.

Jenkin Crag lies ahead within the woods & I really would love to have paid its tree lined summit a visit but sadly the whole summit viewing area was awash with families & picnickers (sad on my part of course) Oh well not to worry.

Skelghyll Wood is a fantastic place to find yourself within but be careful, the pathways are lined with stubborn & awkward tree roots which when wet can be a real hazard coupling with an ever so slight descent as we all found out last June. Today I didn’t have that problem, my main worry here was just when was this phantom ache at the bottom of my feet was going to disappear!


Windermere from Skelghyll Woods.

The sun played havoc with quite a lot of my photos today hence the lack of quality, this being one of them, that isn’t to say that I didn’t stop to admire the views whilst the camera was still in its bag.

Simply magnificent.

Time to head down to Windermere.


Loughrigg Fell from the Ambleside jetty’s.

Couples walk hand in hand enjoying the lunchtime sun as I take a walk down to the shoreline, I have a nervous feel to me as behind me are row upon rows of benches taken up by said couples, I am being watched so as soon as the white swan stops bottom feeding I take my shot as a seagull comically flies over.

I cant look at a Seagull now since watching the Disney film Finding Nemo, now when I see them they are all croaking…mine,mine,mine,mine!

One more shot before I leave for Ambleside.


Ambleside Jetty.


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