The smallest of three fells in the area, the diminutive Wansfell Pike makes for a wonderful hike for lovers of the Lake District and the natural beauty it offers. Wansfell Pike is relatively small but it is surrounded by deep valleys and is separated by the nearby peaks by a significant distance, allowing unrestricted views across the area. This walk to Wansfell Pike is a six-mile route and it is recommended you allow 4-5 hours to enjoy it fully. There are narrow lanes and steeply pitched paths to navigate as well as hill track, bridleways and valley road.
Start at the centre of Ambleside and travel down Stockghyll Lane which climbs steeply uphill. Pass the college entrance and continue climbing east up the track to find the footpath, approximately 250m along. Once you find the path turn right onto it, follow the gravel and then onto the pitched path which will take you steeply south-east, to the summit rocks of Wansfell Pike. Just before you reach the summit you will have to traverse some rocky ground, which you can either go through the middle of or take a route to the left or right.
The summit allows wonderful views across the area and the chance to enjoy some truly unrestricted sights of the valleys surrounding the pile. To head down on your descent you head east and wind down across open slopes before reaching a wall after 800 metres. Once you pass the wall the path splits and you should keep to the left for 150 metres before reaching another wall and a bend. This is Nanny Lane and you should follow it directly all the way down to Troutbeck. Once you reach Troutbeck you can turn right onto the road and follow it south to the centre of the village. The return leg begins once you pass Troutbeck Post Office and head along Robin Lane. The is a little bit of a climb to get over but once you’ve headed around 600m along Robin Lane the gradient settles and you can remain in the same lane, turning north-west as it reaches a junction. Take the left lane here and enjoy a pleasant and relaxing descent down to a beck which is easily crossed. There is then another short climb and another descent down to Hol Beck. Head west next uphill to High Skelghyll. High Skelghyll is your marker of your final descent down to Ambleside and you head north-west through Skelghyll Woods onto Old Lake Road. This is a popular cycling route so make sure to be mindful and once you reach Old Lake Lane it leads easily north to the A591 from which you can reach the heart of Ambleside.
This is a moderately difficult walk which involves a few tricky paths and steep moments. Fitter, more experienced dogs should have no trouble coming along.