Stock Ghyll Force

Ambleside / Lakes District National Park, England, UK (Great Britain)

About Stock Ghyll Force

Hiking Distance: 1.4 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 60-90 minutes

Date first visited: 2014-08-18
Date last visited: 2014-08-18

Waterfall Latitude: 54.43268
Waterfall Longitude: -2.95878

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Stock Ghyll Force was a small but attractive segmented and multi-tiered 60ft waterfall that kind of reminded me of a smaller scale version of Sol Duc Falls in the Olympic Rainforests of Washington State. It was one of the more unique waterfalls in that the Stock Ghyll stream had split up into the segments giving the waterfall its unusual shape, then it recoverged 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 though 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 falls.

Being so close to the charming Lakes District town of Ambleside, it took us about 45 minutes to make the walk from the pay and display car parks in town (we parked at the one nearest the Ambleside Museum) then onto the Stock Ghyll Lane before finally climbing up on the dirt trail getting the view of the falls you see pictured on this page. 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, where one would have to go into a store in town and ask for it (said to be free), then display the disc on the dash while parked in one of these designated spots. There were a few disc parking spots right across from the official entrance of the hike as well as a few more just down the hill from the end of the road (where public vehicles were no longer allowed).

Speaking of the short walk, finding Stock Ghyll Lane wasn’t trivial as we had to pass through an alleyway with a one-way street (next to the Market Hall) deviating from the main road through town (A591). On the other side of the alleyway, we found ourselves walking uphill on the Stock Ghyll Lane, which had small and subtle signs with red arrows on them pointing the way further to the falls. Eventually, we’d deviate from the steep and narrow paved road then veer left onto the dirt trail that followed alongside the Stock Ghyll Stream showing hints of the backsides of some buildings belonging to the town of Ambleside along with some artificial waterfalls in the stream itself.

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, but as you can see from the photos on this page, the views we did get weren’t bad either. And when we had our fill of the falls, we then continued on the path as it veered back towards the very top of Stock Ghyll Lane past a turnstile. That made us realize that residents here or those with disc parking could’ve easily parked very close to the falls. But given the amount of traffic in Ambleside, it probably wasn’t worth the trouble if we were going to walk around town anyways. 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).

Ambleside_001_08182014 - After parking the car, we then walked through the town of Ambleside on the way to Stock Ghyll Force
Ambleside_007_08182014 - It was raining when we started our walk through town
Ambleside_009_08182014 - Because Ambleside was such a charming town in its own right, our walk to the Stock Ghyll Force was quite atmospheric to boot
Ambleside_015_08182014 - The A591 curved right before the Market Hall, and the one-way alleyway right next to it was the road we had to take to get to Stock Ghyll Force
Ambleside_012_08182014 - Closer look at the narrow one-way street and alleyway leading to the Stock Ghyll Lane
Stock_Ghyll_Force_001_08182014 - Julie and Tahia now on the road leading us closer to Stock Ghyll Force
Stock_Ghyll_Force_003_08182014 - The parking spaces along Stock Ghyll Lane all were near signs like this saying those spots were designated for Disc parking
Stock_Ghyll_Force_005_08182014 - Julie and Tahia continuing up the narrow Stock Ghyll Lane
Stock_Ghyll_Force_006_08182014 - Julie and Tahia now about to walk on the official part of the waterfall trail
Stock_Ghyll_Force_008_08182014 - As we continued climbing up the Stock Ghyll Force trail alongside its stream, the rain fell even harder
Stock_Ghyll_Force_011_08182014 - Looking across a man-made waterfall on the Stock Ghyll
Stock_Ghyll_Force_012_08182014 - These were the signs and red arrows we were to follow to keep on heading towards the Stock Ghyll Force
Stock_Ghyll_Force_016_08182014 - Our first look at the attractive Stock Ghyll Force
Stock_Ghyll_Force_022_08182014 - A short distance further uphill, we got this view of Stock Ghyll Force, which seemed more official but it seemed we saw less of the falls due to overgrowth
Stock_Ghyll_Force_024_08182014 - Our last look at Stock Ghyll Force
Stock_Ghyll_Force_027_08182014 - Beyond Stock Ghyll Force, the trail meandered back towards Stock Ghyll Lane
Stock_Ghyll_Force_029_08182014 - Julie and Tahia passing by the turnstile leading us back to Stock Ghyll Lane
Stock_Ghyll_Force_030_08182014 - Walking downhill on Stock Ghyll Lane
Stock_Ghyll_Force_031_08182014 - Julie and Tahia making it back to the town center of Ambleside
Ambleside_010_08182014 - Back in the town center of Ambleside
Ambleside_024_08182014 - Having lingering around a bit for dinner in Ambleside, we finally headed back towards the car park when it was starting to get dark


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 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, and continue on Rothay Road as it becomes 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 right 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.

Focused on the segmented waterfall just after the downpour ended

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Tagged with: ambleside, lakes district, national park, cumbria county, england, uk, united kingdom, waterfall

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