Rydal Caves! One of our all time favourites with the kids. We’ve done this walk a lot and it never fails to produce a good day out. The first walk is from the car park at the bridge at Rydal, the second starts from the car park at White Moss.
Walk 1: from Rydal
We normally get there early. If you’re there quick enough you can park for free on the side of the road, otherwise there’s a pay and display car park at GR365059. Coming from Ambleside on the A591, turn left over a tiny hump back bridge, then immediately right over a cattle grid to the parking.
From here it’s an easy 20-30 minute walk up to the caves. It’s about a mile each way (out and back, so 2 miles in total). Remember to take the left path at the fork, you want to walk away from the water and up to the caves, not down to the shoreline. As you get closer to the caves, there’s a lot of small rocks to scramble over, which the kids really enjoy.
Here’s a route map:
Once you reach Rydal caves, it’s fun just getting in them! Don’t be fooled into thinking that the first cave you see on the left is the main cave, it’s not! Keep going up and round the corner until you see the huge cave entrance. Then there are the massive stepping stones to jump, which of course, the kids love playing on! I normally take spare socks and trousers, just in case of any slips!
Walk 2: from White Moss
Park in the White Moss car park at GR351065. Head down the main path, crossing over the river at first bridge you come to. Take the left fork (the right fork heads along the rivers edge to Grasmere) and walk through White Moss woods.
Once you reach the end of the woods, turn right and then left to take the higher path all the way along to the caves, which will appear on your right after approx half a mile. Don’t miss the massive rock on your left for some brilliant fun climbing for the kids and adults! Then continue on to enjoy the caves in all their glory (try not to get wet crossing the stepping stones!).
Initially head back the way you came, but take the right fork to drop down to return on the lower path to make it a circular walk. Back through White Moss woods to the car. It’s about 2 miles distance in total.
If you fancy another walk from the White Moss car park, check this one out.
One of our highlights is taking or collecting wood and making a fire in the cave to toast marshmallows (or damp socks!). If you do this, please be responsible and make sure that the fire is completely extinguished before you leave.
We often walk back down to the waters edge to have our picnic and throw stones in the lake, or have a paddle if it’s warm enough. It’s a fantastic spot!
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