No trip to the Lake District would be complete without a trip to Rydal Caves. A man made cavern created in the side of Loughrigg fell, the caves are definitely worth a wander. Loughrigg Fell is a fabulous little Wainwright to conquer. At 355m, it’s not the biggest, but has fantastic 360 views across the Lake District.
Loughrigg Fell and Rydal Caves with kids.
Park yourselves at Pelter Bridge car park, in Ambleside, LA22 9LW. Rydal water is nearby and this area is quite popular, so make sure you get here early enough. The path starts at the opposite end of the car parks’ entrance.
The footpath is open and clear, and as you make your way up a slight ascent, the views of the Fairfield Horseshoe appear over the water. The horseshoe comprises of 8 summits with a total height of 1048m over 10 miles. Maybe one for us another day!
Take a slight left at the first fork you come to, so as not to circle Rydal water, but head upwards straight to the quarry. The caves appear quite quickly from this starting point, which is always a bonus when you have the kids in tow.
Rydal caves are majestic. A rocky cropped entrance beckons everybody inside. Stepping stones lead the way in, through a natural flooded area. Local wildlife have taken residence in the pool, with schools of fish dancing around your feet. The caves are open and wide, and a little bit dark at the rear. Good for the kids to have a mooch around with a torch for a while.
Once you’ve had your fill of the cave and fueled up with a snack and a drink, continue on the path to Loughrigg Terrace. This part is easy and gets a stride going, settling you into a good pace. After a while you will hit a bench with access to a beautiful lakeside vista. Have 5 minutes if you’d like, because the ascent is coming up quick.
This path will stop and you need to turn left onto the Terrace. The way forward is well marked out and it’s a steady climb here until the top. Another slight left hits the steps that are marked out into the hillside for easy grip, but it’s a bit tough on the calves if you’re not used to it. As my mother will vouch for!
Are We There Yet?
As you look up, summits will appear. Yes! You might think. But alas, they are just trickery. False summits pop up, but the end is there. I promise you. The ground becomes softer yet undulates with rocky tendencies. It is not tricky to navigate, but watch your step for lumps and bumps. Several bodies of water pop up into view, with Grasmere on one side, and Windermere on the other. High upon the top of the hill, stands a trig point. Front and centre, waiting for you.
The kids are able to have a roam around as the summit is fairly flat and accessible. If it is raining, there aren’t many places to shelter, and even at that height, it tends to get colder the higher up you go. Don’t be alarmed if it’s a bit damp on the top and sunnier on the bottom.
Loughrigg Fell is a lovely little hill to climb, with a breathtaking panorama. But then, where is there a bad view in the Lake District?! And doing Loughrigg Fell and Rydal Caves with kids is an experience they are likely to never forget.
For more Lake District walks, have a look at;