Visiting Rydal Cave

We have lots of ‘lakes’ and fells here, but I do not know of many caves. One such that I read about a few years ago was Rydal Cave, and since then I have always wanted to visit it. Rydal Water and Rydal Cave are not far from us at Blenheim Lodge B&B – approximately 20 minutes’ drive or 5 miles. We decided to visit it (finally!) on Sunday. It was a cold day, with very little wind; great for walking with our now elderly Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Zack.

rydal cave cumbria

There is a pleasant walk round Rydal Water which can also include Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount, two of Wordsworth’s homes, and which also passes Rydal Cave – a large cavern in the hill above the lake.
(Words and photo courtesy of

Rydal Water is one of the smaller bodies of water in the Lakes. It is located just off the A591, touted as the most beautiful motorway in England. We parked in a small car park accessed via a packhorse bridge signposted for Under Loughrigg. From here, we walked uphill toward Rydal Water, keeping to the higher footpath leading to the caves rather than the lower one circling the Water.

Walking to Rydal Water on the footpath from the car park.

Walking to Rydal Water on the footpath from the car park.

There are a few caves at Rydal, remains of a slate mining industry over 200 years ago. Our objective was Rydal Cave, the main cave itself. This, like the other caves, is manmade. Although it is not advisable to enter the cave due to the possibility of rockfall, we saw a couple of tots playing in the cave, yelling with glee in order to hear their voices being echoed back at them. (I have put up a video of Rydal Cave on our Facebook page if you would like to visit it.)

Walking on the higher path at Rydal Water with the mountains beyond.

Walking on the higher path at Rydal Water with the mountains beyond.

The walk to Rydal Cave was pleasant with snow-topped fells surrounding us and pretty water cascades making their rushing way down ancient walls. The water was clear as clear could be. Rydal Water itself is pretty, but I prefer the stunning beauty of Tarn Hows (I wrote a Blog post on this). However, we will likely make our way back to Rydal Water again because there is access from there to Loughrigg Fell, which I have also always wanted to visit.

Rydal Water on 20.11.17 in mid-afternoon.

Rydal Water on 20.11.17 in mid-afternoon.

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