Rydal Hall is a Grade 2 listed building which today is used as conference centre and retreat in the village of Rydal, operated by the diocese of Carlisle. It is just across the road from Rydal Mount, William Wordsworth’s home from 1813 up to his death in 1850. The original hall was built in the 16th century and enlarged over the years, with the current front being added in the early 19th century. There are some attractive Edwardian gardens laid out in 1911, but the most interesting feature for landscape photographers is a small waterfall on Rydal Beck which can be viewed from a summerhouse known as the Grot. This tiny building was built in 1694 and has been used by many artists to paint the waterfall – most notably by John Cunstable. The gardens are not particularly large, but are attractively laid out, and at the top of the gardens there is a cafe in a pleasant spot overlooking Rydal Beck.
Higher up on Rydal Beck there are two more waterfalls, however at the time of our visit (April 2016) the path to these was closed, presumably due to storm damage from Storm Desmond in December 2015.
Location and Parking
Postcode : Rydal Mount – LA22 9LX. Pelter Bridge: LA22 9LW
The village of Rydal is on the A591 between Ambleside and Grasmere in the Lake District. There is not much to the village – just a single road climbing to Rydal Mount, with a church, a few houses and Rydal Hall. It is however a very popular location due to its association with William Wordsworth. It is usually possible to park on the left side of the road up to Rydal Mount if a space is available. Part way up the hill, there is a gate on the right leading into the gardens at Rydal Hall. Cross in front of the hall passing a Quiet Garden on the right, until a bridge over Rydal Beck is reached. From the bridge there is a view of The Grot and waterfall. The Grot can be reached by taking the path through the Quiet Garden which leads under the bridge to the summerhouse.
An alternative is to park at the car park at Pelter Bridge, which is on the left side of the A591 if travelling from Ambleside, about 0.2 miles before reaching Rydal Village. Pelter Bridge itself is an attractive spot on the River Rothay.