About Stock Ghyll Force
Stock Ghyll Force was a small but attractive segmented and multi-tiered 60ft waterfall in a lush setting by the Lake District town of Ambleside.
The shape of this waterfall combined with its thick surrounding foliage kind of reminded me of a smaller scale version of Sol Duc Falls in the Olympic Rainforests of Washington State.
Indeed, it was one of the more unique waterfalls in that the Stock Ghyll stream had split up into segments, which gave the waterfall its unusual shape, before recoverging towards the bottom.
We happened to visit this waterfall under some pretty nasty and heavy downpours so the scene was lush with green all around.
That said, we had to exercise caution given the slippery and muddy terrain the weather had caused.
Fortunately for us, the weather calmed down just as we started to enjoy viewing the Stock Ghyll Force.
A possible way to reduce the walk to Stock Ghyll Force
Being so close to the town of Ambleside, it took us about 45 minutes to make the walk from the pay and display car parks in town to the Stock Ghyll Falls and back.
We happened to park at the car park nearest the Ambleside Museum.
However, it turned out that we probably could have significantly reduced the amount of walking to get to the falls had we exercised the option of using “disc” parking.
“Disc” parking is where one would have to go into a store in town and ask for a free disc to put on the dash of a parked car.
Then, you’d have to find parking in one of the designated disc parking spots, which were pretty much along the Stock Ghyll Lane, including right across from the entrance of the Stock Ghyll Falls entrance.
When we did our hike, there were plenty of open spaces along Stock Ghyll Lane, but I do wonder about how available these are for walkers to the waterfall.
In hindsight, I have a feeling that the intent of these spots was to facilitate parking for patrons to the neighboring Ambleside businesses.
Experiencing the Stock Ghyll Force
First and foremost, we had to find Stock Ghyll Lane, which wasn’t trivial because it was an alleyway with a one-way street (next to the Market Hall) deviating from the main road through town (A591).
From the car park near the Ambleside Museum, we then had to walk through the town towards Stock Ghyll Lane.
Once we were on the alleyway, we then walked uphill along the road, which had small and subtle signs with red arrows on them pointing the way further to the Stock Ghyll Force entrance.
Eventually, we deviated from the steep and narrow paved road before veering left onto a dirt trail that followed alongside the Stock Ghyll Stream.
On the other side of the stream were hints of the backsidees of some stone buildings belonging to the town of Ambleside, which felt as if we were still right by the town itself.
Within the stream, we noticed some artifical and man-modified waterfalls.
Eventually, we’d get up to the main lookout where we got some partially obstructed views of Stock Ghyll Force.
No matter which position we were at, we never really got totally clean looks at the falls.
However, as you can see from the photos on this page, the views we did get weren’t bad either.
After having our fill of the Stock Ghyll Force, we then continued on the path as it veered back towards the very top of Stock Ghyll Lane past a turnstile.
Once back on Stock Ghyll Lane, we walked back down the street into Ambleside to return to the car park as well as take our time enjoying the charming Lake District town along the way.
All in all, we spent about an hour on the trail and this didn’t include the additional walking from the Market Hall area to the car park (probably an additional 30 minutes round trip).
Stock Ghyll Force resides in Ambleside in Cumbria County, England. It may be administered by the town of Ambleside. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
To drive to Stock Ghyll Force from Windermere (which was about a 10-mile drive northwest of Kendal), we would have to head up the A591 north for a little over 3 miles towards the A593 road on the left.
Then we’d follow the A593 road north Wansfell Road.
Turning left onto Wansfell Road because the A591 is one-way going in the opposite direction further north towards Rothay Road, we’d then continue on Rothay Road as it became Compston Road (veering away from the main restricted traffic area at Church Street).
Eventually, Compston Road would rejoin the A591 at a roundabout, where we went left towards a public car park near the Ambleside Museum about a 1/4-mile to the northwest of the roundabout.
That was where we paid and displayed, then walked the rest of the way through Ambleside towards Stock Ghyll Force.
This drive should be around 15 minutes or so.
Conversely, from Keswick, we went about 15.4 miles south on the A591 right into the busy town of Ambleside.
The car park was on our right directly across from the Ambleside Museum.
The drive from Keswick to Ambleside took around an hour mostly because there was a bit of a traffic jam around Ambleside.
Lastly, to give you some geographical context, Kendal was 87 miles (over 2 hours drive) west of York, 73 miles (90 minutes drive) north of Manchester, 236 miles (4.5 hours drive) north of Bath, and 271 miles (over 5 hours drive or 3-4 hours by train) northwest of London.
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