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Friend and I had the same holidays off so we decided to book a night at Ambleside, spending a couple of days exploring the area. I have been on a few walks before from here, but I have never stayed over.
My friend does not mind walking but she is not into the crazy long hill hikes I normally do. So the first day, she agreed to do a leisurely walk to Wray Castle. I have visited Wray Castle before with family, its a nicely pathed walk all the way. At the castle cafe shop they do lovely coffees too, I think that persuaded her 😊
Total Distance: 8 Miles Steps: ~21,000 Steps Highest Point: 233 Feet Total Realistic Time: ~4 Hours
Ambleside is a town and former civil parish, now in the parish of Lakes, in Cumbria, in North West England. Historically in Westmorland, it marks the head (and sits on the east side of the northern headwater) of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake. In the Lake District National Park, it is south of the highest road pass in the Lake District, Kirkstone Pass and both places are the meeting point of well-marked paths and mountain hiking trails. In 2020 it had an estimated population of 2596. In 1961 the parish had a population of 2562.
Wray Castle is a Victorian neo-gothic building at Claife in the English county of Cumbria. The house and grounds have belonged to the National Trust since 1929, and house has opened to the public on a regular basis since 2013. The grounds, which include part of the shoreline of Windermere, are open all year round and are renowned for their selection of specimen trees – Wellingtonia, redwood, Ginkgo biloba, weeping lime and varieties of beech.
As we were staying over we parked at Rydal Car Park for 3 days in the centre, there is car parking at the hotel however this was also a paid for parking area, it was cheaper and more convenient parking at the centre. Toilets are available here too.
We got to Ambleside at 1pm so we decided to have some lunch first before setting off to Wray Castle. We decided on Tap Yard as we both fancied a pizza, and I have been raving on about it to her too. It was good, she also agreed. Phew.
After filling our faces, we set off on the trail to Wray Castle.
Here is the route we took:
The route was mainly paved with tiny parts on the road, but mostly on a path which ran alongside the road.
Head towards Bronwen Nixon foot bridge
It was a cloudy day with glimpses of the sun, good weather for the leisurely walk.
Just before you get to Wray Castle you go through some lovely parts of the woodland, there was some maintenance going on at the time too.
When we got to Wray Castle it was closed for visitors, the coffee shop was still open and the outer area was still open for visitors to take in the views. We grabbed ourselves a tasty coffee and sat outside of the castle on one of the many picnic benches and taking in the sights, we could see many of the Lake District hills in the distance.
Then after spending some time, we headed back into Ambleside on the same route before it got dark.
We decided on a takeaway then back to the hotel to finish the day. We got a good bargain and stayed at Brathay Lodge just 5 minutes walk from the centre of Ambleside. Had the best night sleep, it was quiet and the bed was so comfortable. A help yourself continental breakfast was also included. 👍
I love this route to Wray Castle, safe, peaceful and picturesque views along the way. It is just a nice leisurely walk with no crazy hills or challenges, my friend enjoyed it too, that was a relief.
- Apple iPhone 12 Pro (for taking photos/videos and mapping using OS Maps)
- Comfy walking shoes (most important)
- Flask with Hot/Cold drink (a good cuppa is always welcome)
- ibuprofen (helping hand if you have any aches and pains)
- Food and snacks (fuel to keep you going)