Rydal Water

Rydal Water

Rydal Water

Length – 1.2km / Max Width – 350 metres

Thought to have provided the poet William Wordsworth with inspiration for many of his esteemed works, Rydal Water is one of the smaller lakes of the Lake District, and sits between Windermere and Grasmere.

Whilst still popular with tourists, the lake is quieter than its larger neighbours and boasts of pretty scenery as well as a dramatic cave. The A591 between Ambleside and Grasmere runs alongside Rydal Water, making it easily accessible.


There are two car parks on the western side of the lake within close proximity to one another. Both are pay and display and signposted as "White Moss Walks". One is located at Grid Ref NY 349 067, the second is closer to the lake at Grid Ref NY 351 065 and features public toilets, a picnic area, and designated disabled parking spaces.

An additional pay and display car park is available on the eastern side of the lake at Pelter Bridge, a short distance from the shore, just south of the hamlet of Rydal, at NY 365 059.


There are public toilets at the White Moss Walks car parks. At the village of Rydal the Badger Bar is open daily serving lunch and dinner as well as locally brewed ales. Dogs and walkers are welcome. Close to the Pelter Bridge Car Park, the Cote How Organic Tea Room serves a delightful afternoon tea.

Walking Trails

There is a three-mile long circular walk around Rydal Water, though some of it is along the A591. Starting at one of the White Moss Car Parks, join the track leading from the A591 at NY 349 065. Follow this track through woodlands along the side of the stream that links Rydal Water with Grasmere, until you reach a crossing point at NY 344 059. Cross the stream and then take the path to the left. This will lead you past Rydal Cave, part of a disused quarry.

In 2009 several rocks fell from the cave roof, so entering the cave is not advisable. The path will then continue along the shore of Rydal Water, eventually joining a track road that takes you past Cote How and the Pelter Bridge Car Park. From here you can re-join the A591, which will take you back to White Moss.

Alternatively, White Moss Common has a number of trails that are ideal for families with young children and pushchairs or wheelchair users, with picnic tables at various points along the routes.