The lakeshore of Grasmere is accessible by a lovely path around the south-western side. The lake attracts a range of waterfowl, including great crested grebes, coots, mallards, swans and red-breasted mergansers. Rowing boats are also available for hire at Faeryland near Red Bank.
Some classic fell walks can be enjoyed from Grasmere, including Helm Crag and the Fairfield Horseshoe, both giving fabulous views of the lake. Loughrigg Terrace, one of the best low level walks in the area, provides stunning views over the lake, across to Grasmere and towards Dunmail Raise. A gentler option is a riverside walk along the River Rothay from Broadgate Meadow to St Oswald’s Church. A level path from White Moss car park leads to the banks of the Rothay and is suitable for use by wheelchairs.
Rydal Water is one of the smallest lakes in the Lake District yet remains very popular due to its famous literary connections. Wordsworth made his home at Rydal Mount and access to Dora’s Field, now owned by the National Trust, can be gained from its gardens, or from the churchyard. Wordsworth planted hundreds of daffodils in the field in memory of his daughter, who died in 1847. Steps lead up from the eastern end of the lake to Wordsworth’s Seat – reputedly the poet’s favourite viewpoint.
The Coffin Route from Rydal across Nab Scar was originally used to carry the deceased from Rydal and Ambleside for burial in Grasmere Church. Now a public footpath, the route provides fantastic views over Rydal Water. On the lake edge is Nab Cottage, once home to Thomas de Quincey and Hartley Coleridge, the son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.