The bluebells of Loughrigg Terrace

Staying at home: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Lake District

At this time, Cumbria Tourism and the Lake District National Park Authority are urging visitors not to visit the Lake District, despite the change in lockdown rules on exercise which come into force on 13 May 2020.

Cumbria and the Lake District have sadly experienced some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the UK, and there are many anxieties related to this (e.g. the Lake District National Park Authority has expressed concern for the welfare of Mountain Rescue Team members, volunteers who often work for front line services).

I am also deeply concerned about the welfare of visitors, with many local walks containing ‘bottle necks’ such as stiles, gates and narrow walled paths, which will not allow for social distancing.

All visitor attractions, cafes and non-essential shops are currently closed in line with government rules.

For guidance and official advice on visiting the Lake District during this difficult time, please take a look at the websites of the Lake District National Park Authority and Cumbria Tourism.


The bluebells from Loughrigg Terrace, overlooking Grasmere

One of the things I like most about spring is that it’s a season of many layers, with each spring flower and plant taking its own star turn – daffodils, camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas and tulips… and now it’s the turn of the delightful bluebell.

Famous places to see great displays of bluebells in the Lake District include Rannerdale Knotts in the north west, and the woodland grounds of Muncaster Castle in the far south-western corner. But a bit nearer to home here in the southern Lakes, I had heard that the bluebells were also worth seeing at nearby Loughrigg Terrace.

Although I’ve always made clear that I’m not a fell walker (and that, therefore, this is not a walking blog!), I still enjoy the odd wander somewhere new – especially if I’m in search of a good photograph. Loughrigg Terrace promised great views across Grasmere lake, so made it onto my photography wish list, and with the weather being so good here this week it was time to pay a visit!

One way to get to Loughrigg Terrace is to park at one of the White Moss car parks on the A591 between Rydal and Grasmere. There are some handy loos near the car park on the side of the road nearest Rydal Water and Grasmere lake, and there’s also a pleasant area accessible by a footpath to the side of the River Rothay which has a small number of picnic benches too.

The walk to Loughrigg Terrace first takes you over a lovely modern footbridge on the River Rothay, and then uphill on a winding footpath through woodland. The sheer number of bluebells you come across as you make your way up through the woods can’t help but make you smile.

A picnic spot by the River Rothay
A picnic spot by the River Rothay
Bridge over the River Rothay
A lovely modern bridge takes you over the River Rothay
The River Rothay from the bridge
Looking upstream on the River Rothay from the bridge
A signpost to Loughrigg Terrace
A signpost to Loughrigg Terrace

Bluebells in the woodland

The woodland walk to Loughrigg Terrace
The woodland walk to Loughrigg Terrace

Woodland bluebellsThe woodland walk to Loughrigg TerraceThe woodland walk to Loughrigg TerraceEventually you come to a stone wall with a gate, after which you can choose to turn left and walk on the path behind Rydal Water, or turn right and head up a steep path towards Grasmere and Loughrigg Terrace – which is of course where I was headed. There’s a particularly lovely moment when you near the peak of a hill and you wonder what the view’s going to be like as you take the final steps over the top.

The path down to Rydal Water
The path down to Rydal Water
The steeper path to Loughrigg Terrace
The steeper path to Loughrigg Terrace
Path to Loughrigg Terrace
And over the top…

Here the paths fork, and you can either take one down towards Grasmere or you can stay on a relatively level path which winds around the side of the fell, which is Loughrigg Terrace. The further you walk along here, the more of Grasmere comes into sight, and carpets of bluebells stretch down to the path in the distance below, as far as the eye can see.

The footpaths at Loughrigg Terrace
Loughrigg Terrace (left) with a path descending to Grasmere (right)

From Loughrigg Terrace overlooking carpets of bluebells towards Grasmere

Grasmere from Loughrigg Terrace
Grasmere from Loughrigg Terrace

There are even a few benches along the path here from which to admire the view, but being a windy day down in the car park, it was of course even windier here, so not particularly restful! But you will want to take some time to absorb the beauty of it all and to take a photo or two.

One of the benches along Loughrigg Terrace
One of the benches along Loughrigg Terrace
Looking back along Rydal Terrace towards Rydal Water (out of view)
Looking back along Loughrigg Terrace towards Rydal Water (out of view)

After this, the choice of route is yours. You may choose to follow the same route back down to the car park, but the more adventurous of you may build your visit to Loughrigg Terrace into a longer walk, perhaps around Rydal Water or Grasmere, or to the summit of Loughrigg itself.

Paths above Rydal Water
Overlooking the paths above Rydal Water, whilst heading back towards the woodland walk
The path leading round Rydal Water
The path leading round Rydal Water

However you choose to explore them, if you too enjoy taking in the seasonal sights, the bluebells at Loughrigg Terrace are definitely one to add to your own list of things to see in the Lake District in May.

A word on safety! None of the posts on Lake District Gems are intended as walking route descriptions. Before setting out, do get hold of the relevant walking guide and/or Ordnance Survey map, make sure you are wearing sturdy and appropriate footwear, and carry plenty of food and water and a mobile phone with you at all times. For walking advice, take a look at the Lake District National Park Authority’s checklist for walkers.

Have you visited a particularly beautiful spot for bluebells in the Lake District? If so, I love to hear your suggestions, so let me (and other readers) know your recommendations by leaving a comment below!

One Comment

  1. Spring is one of the most beautiful times to visit the Lake District – why not also take a look at one of these fabulous spring gardens while you’re here?!:

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