Visiting Ambleside or Windermere and fancy a country walk, but have limited time? Stock Ghyll Force ticks all the boxes.
Stock Ghyll is a 70-foot-high waterfall situated in a lovely, woodland setting. It is absolutely beautiful. The water tumbles down the hill towards Ambleside in a series of cascades. It is a fabulous Lake District scene and yet, it is just a short walk from the bustling village of Ambleside.
How to find Stock Ghyll Force
Stock Ghyll is well-signposted from Ambleside. Look for White Lion Hotel on the main street and take the road, Stock Ghyll Lane, which runs up the side. Walk a couple of hundred meters up this quiet road and the Force is signposted off to the left.
The trail to Stock Ghyll Force
The trail to Stock Ghyll Force is well-marked and easy to follow. It is circular, with a bridge crossing the water, so it really does not matter whether one takes the clockwise or anti-clockwise route. The whole walk is just over a mile so not very long. However, it is important to know that the trail is uphill and quite rough in places with rugged woodland steps. More hazardous are the slippery tree roots which cover the path. After rain, the trail can be quite muddy so boots rather than trainers would be recommended. The trail is accessible for people with reasonable fitness and mobility, but it would not be suitable for wheelchairs or strollers.
There are various view points along the trail, several with railings for safety. There are also a number of benches along the way, great for taking a break to admire the view – or to have a picnic!
The first waterfall on the route, shortly after the signpost, is very pretty, but it is not the main show!
The main waterfall, “the force”, at the far point of the circular trail is around 70 foot high and split into three. It is beautiful and can be quite dramatic if it has rained recently (- we get a lot of rain in the Lake District!)
There are several smaller falls along the trail as the water tumbles its way down towards the village.
How long does it take to walk to Stock Ghyll?
From Ambleside, it takes approximately an hour to cover the whole trail up to and around Stock Ghyll Force. This includes time to stop and take in the view – and to take photographs.
Is it worth walking to Stock Ghyll Force?
Absolutely! The walk to Stock Ghyll Force is short and reasonably easy, but the rewards in terms of the scenery and the views are huge. I would say that Stock Ghyll Force is a must-see for anyone visiting the area around Ambleside.
Other hikes in the area
Stock Ghyll Force is in the heart of the Lake District National Park, one of the most beautiful areas in England. There are many other hikes varying in length and difficulty in the area around Ambleside. I have described three easy walks in the post Easy Walks in the Lake District. One of my favourite trails goes past another, smaller waterfall at Skelwith bridge; you can read about this in A Lake District Walk. Another, slightly longer, walk starting from Ambleside is the walk up to High Sweden Bridge. Longer still is the hike up Wansfell Pike. These last two hikes, which I have described in different posts, offer wonderful views over Windermere and across to the Langdales.
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