Ambleside, The Lake District, is a beautiful little town! People come from all over to enjoy the cafes, shops, and spectacular hiking in the area. Ambleside, and the Lake District in general, is paradise for nature lovers. There are plenty of long hikes, and mountain routes. However, sometimes you just want a short, scenic stroll. Stock Ghyll Force is a lovely, easy walk from Ambleside. Easily reached from the town centre, and perfect for all ages and abilities! I highly recommend the short walk to Ambleside Waterfall!
How to get to the waterfall from Ambleside
Ambleside itself is very small, so you can reach the waterfall wherever you are based in the town. To find the start of the walk, head to the market cross. This is where the tourist information and taxi rank is! From here, you can see the Salutation hotel. Head towards it, and you should find a side street passing down the side of Doi Inthanon Thai restaurant. It will look like this:
Now you are on the right track. Once you find this street, it is extremely difficult to go wrong! The waterfall is now signposted the whole way. You should see this sign on the wall, pointing up the road.
Follow this road for about 10 minutes. It is a very quiet road, but be aware there can still be traffic. You should be able to see down to Stock Ghyll river below you on the left. Keep your eyes peeled for squirrels too. Chances are you will see a few grey squirrels, but if you are lucky, you might see the elusive red squirrel! After 10 minutes walking up the road, a path will join the road to your left. It looks like this:
Now you are heading off the road and walking on a track. Much more scenic, you can now hear the river! It is a slight incline here, but the walk is nothing too strenuous. People of any age and level of fitness should be fine to walk from Ambleside to the waterfall. Just be careful as it can be uneven and slippery underfoot, particularly if it has been raining. Once you have turned off the road and are entering Stock Ghyll Woods, you should see some red arrows painted onto stumps. These will keep you on track, pointing you up to the waterfall.
As you continue, you will be gradually heading up hill. There are a few benches along the way so you can stop if needed. The path will fork eventually, with a path heading down. I suggest continuing on upwards, following the red signs. You will make a loop and come back to this junction later. After a few minutes you will reach a little lookout point. Here, you get your first view of Stock Ghyll Force! It is always that bit more spectacular if it has been raining!
On the rails here, you will see people have started to attach padlocks. Continue on for a further 5-10 minutes. You then reach the top of the waterfall. A small wooden bridge takes you over the river, giving you a view down the waterfall. You can continue over this bridge to walk down the other side of the river. You will, in about 5 more minutes, come to the bottom of the waterfall, and cross another bridge. Then, the path joins the track near to where you came off the road, making it a nice little circular walk! You are now pretty much where you started, and just need to walk back down the road to the town centre!
Is the walk from Ambleside to the waterfall difficult?
This is a fairly easy walk. From the town centre, to the waterfall and back again should take around an hour at a leisurely pace. It is all uphill, but it is not particularly steep. It is worth noting, there are no shops on the way, so perhaps bring water. Thanks to the scenic placement of a few picnic benches, it is a great place to bring your lunch!
Where can I park in Ambleside?
Parking in Ambleside can be busy, especially at peak times such as Easter or Summer. The main car parks (both pay and display) can be found on Rydal Road heading north out of Town, or on Lake Road, opposite Hayes Garden Centre. There are a few smaller pay and display car parks dotted around too.
Ambleside has a rather unique parking disc system for on street parking. You will see signs saying “1 hour, disc only” on most street parking in Ambleside. You must take a parking disc from one of the local shops. They are free and available in enarly all shops and hotels in Ambleside. It is like a small clock. You need to set it to the time you park your car, and then come back within an hour. Be warned, there are many traffic wardens in Ambleside! There is some on street parking behind Doi Inthanon, on the way to Stock Ghyll Falls. There is also some spots further up the road, just before you turn off the road and onto the track through Stock Ghyll Woods. On busy days, these spots will probably be full, but it is worth a try!
Can I take my dog to Stock Ghyll Force waterfall?
Yes! Ambleside is so dog friendly! And there is certainly no restriction on taking your dog to Ambleside waterfall! Just be sure to clean up after your dog, and keep on a lead if needed! If you are in Ambleside with your four legged friend, check out some of the best dog friendly restaurants in Ambleside.
What else is there to do in Ambleside?
Ambleside is such a beautiful town, and geared towards visitors. I have an in depth guide of all the things to do in Ambleside, which I recommend you check out if you will be in the area!
Click the images below to check out these products I recommend!
Collapsible walking poles – lightweight, great for keeping knees pain free, and easily packed away!
Lightweight, breathable waterproof. This comes in a variety of colours and can be packed up small!
Stainless steel water bottle. Lake District tap water is the best in the country, plus you save on plastic!