A short and sweet waterfall walk from the heart of Ambleside. Stockghyll Force is marked on the map but can be a little tricky to find unless you know the secret. Its easy enough to find the beck: its next door to Cunninghams outdoor shop, but the falls are up stream and it isnt entirely obvious how to get there. A friendly local might point you in the right direction or you can use this short guide.

Stock Ghyll is a tributary of the River Rothay, draining eventually into Windermere, it has a heavily industrialised past and used to be nicknamed Rattle Ghyll. Many of the old mill buildings whose wheels it used to turn can still be seen in Ambleside. Some are used as shops. They used to produce bobbins for silk and cotton thread, to process wool so it was warm and tough, as well as grinding corn.

Parking in Ambleside is reasonably plentiful although it does get busy at holiday times. There is the main car park above the town centre on the A591 towards Rydal. And for longer stays the Miller Field car park at the bottom end of town is large and often has space when the other has filled up. There are a couple of smaller car parks dotted around too.

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Paul and Beth

Stockghyll Force, Ambleside

If you need accommodation we have details of 137 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:

4 Sykes Cottages Assessed Cottage

£546-3001 per week
162m (178 yards) away, sleeps 6

4 Sykes Cottages Assessed Cottage

£563-2741 per week
5.0km (3.1 miles) away, sleeps 2

5 Sykes Cottages Assessed Cottage

£864-3598 per week
4.4km (2.7 miles) away, sleeps 4

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Route Description


The walk starts outside the Tourist Information centre at the top of the town centre outside which you will find a stone pillar on a three stepped octagonal base with 1651 carved into the top of it. Head south east following the one way system and as the road swings around to the right continue forward down a narrow lane signposted toilets.

As you reach the toilets a sign on the wall in front of you declares To the Waterfalls, pointing left, and a sign on the wall to your left says Stockghyll and Wansfell Pike. Bear left to follow the lane up the hill and then round to the right. Stockghyll is now on your left.

In 500m (550 yards) bear left for the entrance to Stockghyll Woods.

Entrance to Stockghyll Lane, Ambleside

Stockghyll Lane, Ambleside

Gate to Stockghyll Force, Ambleside


Follow the rough path through the woods. Bear right, keeping the beck on your left, and follow the red arrow marker posts. There are a few precarious viewing places protected by fencing.

Nearing the top, bear left to and cross the footbridge over the beck.

Stockghyll Force, Ambleside

Stockghyll Force, Ambleside


Turn left. There is no other option here as all the land around the falls is private property.

A slightly rougher and wetter path now drops down, the falls over to your left still. A short little detour to the left allows you to get a closer look at the upper falls.

Return to the path and bear left to continue descending.

Stockghyll Force, Ambleside


Drop down to the lower footbridge and cross. Bear right and climb up to the outward path. Bear right again and continue back to the gateway and road. Bear right and walk back into the town.

Lower Bridge, Stockghyll Force, Ambleside

Cascades alongside Stockghyll Lane, Ambleside

A walk by

Inevitably things change on the ground so if you think this walk needs updating please let us know

If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:

High Sweden Bridge Circular*same start point
Red Screes and Middle Dodd from Ambleside****10m (11 yards) away
Wansfell, and Wansfell Pike**14m (15 yards) away
Loughrigg Tarn**22m (24 yards) away
Loughrigg Fell from Ambleside**22m (24 yards) away
Wansfell Pike, Troutbeck, and Skelghyll Wood***31m (34 yards) away
Lily Tarn above Ambleside*50m (55 yards) away
An Ambleside Waterfalls Wander - Stockghyll Force and Blue Hill Wood*63m (69 yards) away
The Fairfield Horseshoe*****180m (198 yards) away
Loughrigg Fell from Rydal**1.9km (1.2 miles) away
Nab Scar and Alcock Tarn**2.0km (1.3 miles) away
Red Bank from White Moss near Ambleside*3.3km (2.0 miles) away
Loughrigg Fell from White Moss**3.4km (2.1 miles) away
Troutbeck Tongue**4.0km (2.5 miles) away
Sour Howes and Sallows**4.0km (2.5 miles) away
Red Screes from Kirkstone Pass**4.3km (2.7 miles) away
Grasmere and Rydal Water*4.8km (3.0 miles) away
Helm Crag**4.9km (3.0 miles) away
A circuit of Grasmere*4.9km (3.0 miles) away
Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar***4.9km (3.0 miles) away
Alcock Tarn**4.9km (3.0 miles) away
An Elterwater Stroll*4.9km (3.0 miles) away
Waterfalls and the Cathedral Cavern, from Elterwater**4.9km (3.1 miles) away
Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag****4.9km (3.1 miles) away

Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011

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