Walk: Kirkstone Pass

Kirkstone Pass sign.
Kirkstone Pass sign.

The Kirkstone Inn is located at the top of the Kirkstone Pass and claims to beat 1480ft Britain’s fourth highest pub. Below I describe the route o of this walk in detail but it has to be said that it would be far easier in reverse.

Start: Ambleside Tourist Information Centre LA22 9BS

Finish: The Kirkstone Inn

Distance: 3 miles 5k to Kirkstone Inn

Time: 1 1⁄2 ­ 2 1⁄2 hours

Summary: With just under 1300ft (400m) of ascent I’ll call this strenuous.

Map: OS OL7 The English Lakes South­eastern area

From the TIC walk along Rydal Road towards the town centre. After crossing North Road keep ahead to the corner of the Market Place.

Here turn left onto Stockghyll Lane. Signed for Stock Ghyll Waterfalls this soon bends to the left and climbs up a leafy lane.

After 400yds a sign on theleft indicates entrance to the falls.

After wet weather these can be dramatic and even in the height of summer are worth a diversion.

The path through the woods leads to a viewing platform below Stock Ghyll Force with its 70ft drop. From here the path leads back to the lane. Turn left to continue the climb.

Underfoot the walking is easy – a tarmac lane taking you to Middle Grove once a farm now holiday lets with breath­taking scenery to the west as you gain height.

At Middle Grove pass thebuildings to a gate leading onto a grassy track. Soon this reaches the bare fellside 
and continues to the ruins of High Grove set in an isolated holt.

Keep ahead on the track as it leads across the upper reaches of Stock Ghyll to reach the road leading up from Ambleside. Turn right.

The final part of the walk to the junction with the A592 is labelled “The Struggle” on the OS map and this will give you some idea of gradient. Just remind yourself there is a friendly inn at jouney’s end.