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: -2.95123

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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.

Stock_Ghyll_Force_018_08182014 - Stock Ghyll Force
Stock Ghyll Force

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.

Ambleside_007_08182014 - Walking through Ambleside from the car park by the Ambleside Museum en route to the Stock Ghyll Lane and eventually the Stock Ghyll Force
Walking through Ambleside from the car park by the Ambleside Museum en route to the Stock Ghyll Lane and eventually the Stock Ghyll Force

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.

Stock_Ghyll_Force_005_08182014 - Julie and Tahia walking up Stock Ghyll Lane in pursuit of the Stock Ghyll Force
Julie and Tahia walking up Stock Ghyll Lane in pursuit of the Stock Ghyll Force

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.

Stock_Ghyll_Force_008_08182014 - The trail leading alongside the stream separating the forest containing the Stock Ghyll Force with the town of Ambleside with some intermediate waterfalls in it
The trail leading alongside the stream separating the forest containing the Stock Ghyll Force with the town of Ambleside with some intermediate waterfalls in it

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.

Stock_Ghyll_Force_022_08182014 - Finally getting a pretty clean look at the Stock Ghyll Force just as the rain had let up and allowed us to enjoy the waterfall
Finally getting a pretty clean look at the Stock Ghyll Force just as the rain had let up and allowed us to enjoy the waterfall

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.

Stock_Ghyll_Force_029_08182014 - Julie and Tahia passing around the turnstile at the top of the Stock Ghyll Lane after having visited the Stock Ghyll Force
Julie and Tahia passing around the turnstile at the top of the Stock Ghyll Lane after having visited the Stock Ghyll Force

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).

Authorities

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.

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 - Approaching the narrow one-way street and alleyway leading to the Stock Ghyll Lane next to the Market Hall in Ambleside
Stock_Ghyll_Force_001_08182014 - Julie and Tahia now on the Stock Ghyll Lane 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. It might have allowed us to significantly reduce our hike to the Stock Ghyll Force had we taken advantage of this
Stock_Ghyll_Force_006_08182014 - Julie and Tahia now about to walk on the official part of the waterfall trail to Stock Ghyll Force as they left the Stock Ghyll Lane
Stock_Ghyll_Force_011_08182014 - Looking across a man-made waterfall on the Stock Ghyll en route to the Stock Ghyll Force
Stock_Ghyll_Force_012_08182014 - These were the signs and red arrows that 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_024_08182014 - Our last look at Stock Ghyll Force before resuming our walk to get back to Ambleside
Stock_Ghyll_Force_027_08182014 - Beyond Stock Ghyll Force, the trail meandered back towards Stock Ghyll Lane though it was raining again so the umbrellas were out
Stock_Ghyll_Force_030_08182014 - Walking downhill on Stock Ghyll Lane to return to Ambleside
Stock_Ghyll_Force_031_08182014 - Julie and Tahia making it back to the town centre of Ambleside thereby pretty much ending our Stock Ghyll Force part of the walk
Ambleside_010_08182014 - Back in the town centre 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
Ambleside_025_08182014 - Heading back towards the Ambleside Museum, which was by the car park where we had to regain the car after paying and displaying there

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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).

Ambleside_001_08182014 - The car park where we left the car in Ambleside was near this charming part of town by the Ambleside Museum
The car park where we left the car in Ambleside was near this charming part of town by the Ambleside Museum

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.

Ambleside_027_08182014 - Julie and Tahia walking back towards the car park in Ambleside by the Ambleside Museum, which was just beyond the last building in this photograph
Julie and Tahia walking back towards the car park in Ambleside by the Ambleside Museum, which was just beyond the last building in this photograph

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.

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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