route 45

Miles Without Stiles 45: White Moss Common to Steps End

Miles Without Stiles

This lakeside and woodland walk (1.5km each way) with some steep slopes gives access to the shore of Rydal Water - OS Explorer Map OL7

Route for some. 3km distance.


The route starts at the bottom corner of the lower White Moss Common car park, beside the White Moss Woods Walks information panel.  From here, follow the wide, smooth stone path and cross a footbridge.

The River Rothay is beautiful here, often sun dappled as the light passes through the trees, and is alive with ducks, dippers and herons. In spring, the woodland is carpeted in bluebells. The steep fell to the north is Nab Scar and Loughrigg Fell rises to the south.

Continue along the path and then cross the White Moss Bridge over the River Rothay. This stunning new metal bridge is now wheelchair and pushchair accessible.

The improved path winds up through White Moss Common Wood, where it crosses a small ford and is steep in places. At a fork near the top take the left path until you reach a gate in a stone wall. Go through the gate, turn left and follow the path downhill. There are three more fords across small streams to go through but for most of the year you should be able to get across these without getting too wet! The first two are only 1.5 to 2cm deep but the third one can be up to 4cm deep.  At the lakeshore you’ll pass Jobson’s Close, where a new causeway has been constructed to allow access around a large rock.   Enjoy a picnic by the beautiful Rydal Water and then retrace your steps back to White Moss Common.

An alternative starting point is Pelter Bridge car park, from where you follow the minor road steeply uphill (up to 1:5) until you reach a gate. Go through this gate and take the track down to Rydal Water before following the above route in reverse.


Start point:

White Moss Common car park south of the A591. Dedicated disabled spaces are available

Postcode: LA22 9SE
Grid reference: NY 351065
W3W: ///shifts.coast.stole

Turning point:

Grid reference: NY 358060
W3W: ///regulates.carbon.staining


Toilets with baby changing facilities 40 metres from car park. Ice cream van across the road (seasonal).

Getting there:

Bus: regular 555 and 599 services along the A591 from Ambleside and Keswick.
Car: A591 for 3.5 km / 2.25 miles north of Ambleside