Skelwith Bridge near Ambleside is a favourite Lake District location of ours, not least for the excellent cafe at Chester’s. Apart from the bridge itself, there is a short walk to Skelwith Force, which can be continued to Elterwater alongside the River Brathay – just be sure not to park in the Chester’s car park if you are going for a walk. The entrance to Chester’s By the River is next to Skelwith Bridge, so a visit to the bridge can easily be combined with some coffee and cake at the cafe.
To walk to Skelwith Force, there is a path from Chester’s that runs alongside the B5343 for a few hundred metres before reaching some steps down to the waterfall. The waterfall can be viewed from the rocks at the side of the River Brathy, but some care is required when scrambling around on the rocks, as they can become slippery. The waterfall is quite difficult to photograph well due to the large volume of white water against the dark rocks, and the absence of a really good vantage point.
By continuing up the path towards Langdale, a metal footbridge over the river is reached, and it is then possible to return to Skelwith Bridge on the opposite bank – a short walk of 0.5 miles. Alternatively he walk can be extended all the way to Elterwater.
Post Code: LA22 9NN
Skelwith Bridge is on the A593 between Ambleside and Conniston, about three miles from the centre of Ambleside, at the point where the Great Langdale road branches off. Turn off the A593 onto the B5343 towards Great Langdale, and park on the left roadside a few metres up the road. At the time of writing, it is also possible to park in the yard area of the old slate works, on the left side of the road past the Skelwith Bridge Hotel. This is currently for sale, so the parking situation may change in the future. The area can get very busy, however parking in Chester’s car park is discouraged except when actually visiting the cafe and shop.