Elterwater is a lovely spot just past Ambleside. We call this the cuppa and cake walk – or a pint and a sandwich and chips depending on where you choose!
A gentle walk from Skelwith Bridge, this walk is listed under the National Park’s ‘Miles without Stiles’ so it’s great for young families, or folk who need a more steady footpath.
Park up at Skelwith Bridge – ideally on the side road next to the hotel there. If you want a drink and food before you set off, choose from Chester’s by the River, the Skelwith Bridge Hotel & Talbot Bar. After a short time you reach the shores of Elterwater, which is a great area for spotting wildlife, and of course, the iconic view of the Langdale Pikes are right in front of you. There’s lots of places to run around, the path is well maintained, and there are spaces to sit and enjoy the view, and relax on your way through. Watch out for sheep or cattle on the grassy areas if you have your dog with you, and please keep them under control; though you can use your common sense if they need a bit of a run to let off steam and there are no stock around.
As you come into the village at Elterwater, walk through the National Trust car park, and you’ll see the village green right ahead of you. The Britannia Hotel is a traditional inn, with good food and ale; and there is a village shop, and public toilets nearby. Most places are dog friendly and all welcome families of all ages!
There are lots of other walks from here, right up to Little Langdale if you want to go further, or simply retrace your steps along the river and back again to where you’ve parked up.
At the end of this walk you will reach Chester’s by the River situated next to Skelwith Bridge. Chester’s is a delightful café with outdoor seating overlooking the beck as well as a boutique shop selling lovely things. It can get very busy at weekends and during school holidays but it’s worth the wait – its veggie only but the menus are so good you don’t notice it… Do read the lovely story behind Chester’s ‘Bad dog, no biscuit’ it will make you smile! You can take your dog as there is plenty of outside seating.
Hint: During particularly wet times the path and area can become a little bit flooded and boggy in parts. Parking is limited at Chester’s – and even if you’re a customer, parking and walking clogs up the car park. Have a look instead, if there are spaces just on the road to Langdale, next to the Skelwith Bridge Hotel.