A short circular walk taking in the two tops of Wansfell, Ambleside’s very own Wainwright. We were en route to Grasmere for the weekend so Troutbeck made a convenient starting point after the drive over Kirkstone Pass. The trusty Met Office forecast suggested a decent afternoon with rain sweeping in so there was just enough time for the walk followed by beer and a nice cuppa tea in Baldry’s.
- Distance = 4.5 miles (7.24 km)
- Duration = 2 hrs 54 mins, (start 11.34am, finish 2.30pm)
- Total Ascent = Only 1,185ft (361m), max height Baystones 1,597ft
- Start/Finish = Troutbeck – there’s very limited parking along the roadside
- Date = Friday 25th April 2014, cloudy, breezy, improving then not
- Click on my Route Map below to zoom in/out
Troutbeck, a pleasant small hamlet just south of the Mortal Man Inn. There’s very few parking places around so we ended up a little further south outside an empty holiday cottage. There were more holiday cottages being renovated here which means the place might be empty come winter.
Route Summary – in 3 stages (plus 20 mins on each top)
- Troutbeck to Baystones; (1 hour 5 mins)
- Baystones to Wansfell Pike; (25 mins)
- Wansfell Pike back to Troutbeck; (35 mins quickly)
- Bonus stage, a pint in the Mortal Man (time optional)
Route Detail & Pics from Friday 25th April 2014
Stage 1 – Troutbeck to Baystones; (1 hour 5 mins) – After eventually finding a parking slot we laced up the boots and walked back up the road to Troutbeck, turning off west between buildings at a small footpath sign. This is the Nanny Lane path and oddly enough we soon passed some elderly ladies, weird. You do get the feeling this is a very old track as it zig zags gently upwards flanked by walls either side. The landscape quickly opens up with good views back.
After 20 mins the gate above is the turn off for Wansfell Pike, however we were carrying straight on to make an anti clockwise circuit. Another 20 mins later and we reached the point below where we vaguely angled off up to the highest ground and Baystones cairn.
It had taken a very leisurely 60 mins to reach Baystones and the errant traveller is rewarded with a grand sight that pleases the soul. Oh sorry, slipped into Wainwright mode there, anyway there’s pleasant views despite the relative low height (1,597ft). It was quiet too with the nearest figures over on Wansfell looking like giant ants. Although the whole fell is known as Wansfell, Baystones is slightly higher than Wansfell Pike but the latter has the better views. After a relaxing stop for food and photos it was time to join the giant ants.
Stage 2 – Baystones to Wansfell Pike; (only 25 mins) – From Baystones it only looks a quick 5 minute walk across to Wansfell Pike yet somehow it took 25! Had to double checked my photo timings to confirm this. The route’s straightforward enough keeping to the high ground with a few dips then following a wall to join the tourists above Ambleside.
Wansfell Pike is understandably busy, there are two cairns either side of the wall both providing slightly differing views. The best is the western one looking across to the heart of Lakeland and down to Ambleside with people huffing & puffing their way up the well worn path. Better views than Baystones but lacking the solitude, however hills like this play an important part in encouraging people to venture up onto the hills. Good to see people enjoying themselves – but wish they’d bugger off so I can enjoy it on my own. Oh come on we’ve all thought it 🙂
Stage 3 – Wansfell Pike back to Troutbeck; (35 mins quick walk) – Remember at the start I mentioned the weather forecast? Well we suddenly remembered it too as there’d been a definite deterioration whilst we were sat up on top enjoying the expansive views. Of course Alan had been claiming the weather had been deteriorating earlier, probably since childhood. Thoughts of beer, a cuppa tea in Grasmere and then check in at the hotel. But first we had to get back to the car and hopefully beat the rain. We soon rejoined the Nanny Lane path and dropped down quickly into Troutbeck, it’s a good easy descent.
PS An alternative Wansfell route is a circuit from Ambleside up and across to Troutbeck then back round to Ambleside here.
Stage 4 – Bonus Stage, pint at the Mortal Man; – As we unlaced our boots we felt the first drops of rain, now how was that for timing! We had sensibly decided to walk straight back to the car, get changed then drive back through Troutbeck to the nearby Mortal Man Inn.
Raining properly now so we resisted the charms of the beer garden to enjoy a pint of Loweswater Gold in the bar. They had wireless too so I could be social and Tweet pics 🙂
Grasmere The annual birthday weekend had begun. We drove through Ambleside remembering to look back up at Wansfell as we passed; I also remembered to look out for pedestrians. Arriving in Grasmere we parked at the hotel then had a nice cuppa leaf tea & creamy jam scone at Baldrys, as you do. We are real mountain men you know!!
Next day the forecast looked positive and some missing Wainwrights around Fairfield beckoned, exciting blog to follow; – please be patient…….it’s finally here;- A Fine Fairfield Round from Grasmere – guest starring Rydal Water, High Pike, Hart Crag, Dove Crag, Fairfield and introducing Stone Arthur!