Gnigel the Gnome meets the record breaker

After our mascot Gnome Gnigel started tackling the Wainwrights – thanks to our guests who were prepared to take him along with them – he then had an exciting night out at Theatre by the Lake and met his hero.

John Kelly, the new Wainwrights record holder, was giving a talk at the Keswick Mountain Festival, and was very pleased to meet Gnigel (they are friends on twitter and facebook already).

Gnigel’s now done Nab Scar and Loughrigg, by the way. Two down, 212 to go!

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Car-free holidays are best for the Lakes

We are going green here at Rydal Lodge with a welcome for guests who can forget about using their cars.

We want to show visitors that they can have a full Lakeland experience on foot, bike or on public transport. We have an on-site car park, a dream location near lakes and mountains…and a bus stop outside the front door.

We, that is Helena and Mark, share growing concerns about volumes of traffic in the Lakes, and the high price of fuel. And we think you really don’t see the best of the Lake District from behind a steering wheel.

So to persuade our guests to relax and leave their car keys behind each day, we have prepared a series of walking maps with easy-to-follow routes, all of which can be done from our garden gate.

Everyone is aware that they need to act more sustainably, and with a greater concern for the environment, and we are in a position to help Lake District visitors do just that

There are five in the series so far, ranging in distance from two to six miles, and including the summit of Loughrigg fell which rises behind our hotel. And there are walks which include the shore of lovely Rydal Water, which can be reached from our back garden whose gate leads directly to Dipper Bridge over the River Rothay.

But more strenuous walks can also be achieved from Rydal Lodge. Just across the road is the path that leads to the start of the Fairfield Horseshoe, with eight Wainwright summits to be bagged along the way,. It’s also easy to reach Wansfell, Red Screes, Stone Arthur, Silver Howe and Helm Crag from here.

Then there’s the convenience of the bus route which passes Rydal Lodge. We have guests who want to climb Helvellyn. So they take the bus to Swirls, walk up from there, and along the summit ridge, coming down either to Wythburn or to Grasmere to catch the bus back. They all say what a good day out it is.

Rydal Lodge is a former historic coaching inn set in extensive, quiet gardens which reach down to the banks of the River Rothay. It’s an ideal place to wind down after a day on the hills, or to curl up inside with a book in the library, or a bottle of wine from the honesty bar. Across the road, ideal for dinners, is the popular Badger Bar.

As well as having a private car park for guests, Rydal Lodge is also used by travellers who come to the Lakes by train, to Windermere, and then catch a bus to their destination.

There are others who bring bikes, and for them, we can advise on the best routes for road and trails. And there’s a lock-up shed where bikes can be stored.

This is what we want to encourage. Everyone is aware that they need to act more sustainably, and with a greater concern for the environment, and we are in a position to help Lake District visitors do just that.

The five mapped walks available for guests are:

  • Rydal Water and Grasmere circular
  • High Sweden Bridge via Ambleside
  • Ambleside via Rydal Park, returning along the Rothay
  • A walk around Rydal Water visiting Rydal Caves
  • The ascent of Loughrigg Fell

For more information and booking email or call 015394 33208

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Welcome to our blog

We’re Helena and Mark, and we want to help you enjoy your stay here at Rydal Lodge. We will bring you news items about our B&B, we’ll tell you what’s happening in and around Ambleside and Rydal, and we will share our favourite photos and videos with you.

Contact us: or 015394 33208

Gnome aiming for Wainwrights record

John Kelly may have run them fastest, but Gnigel the Gnome is aiming to be the smallest to complete all 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District.

Gnigel is the mascot at Rydal Lodge Country House B&B near Ambleside whose owners, Helena and Mark Tendall, are keen walkers – and enthusiastic run-supporters.

John Kelly at Rydal on his epic Wainwrights run

They were inspired after seeing Kelly, the 37 year old American, on his record-breaking run last week, when he stopped for food in the car park of the pub opposite their guest house.

Gnigel has already been off on adventures with visitors who stay at the Rydal Lodge. But now Helena and Mark are asking their guests to take the gnome with them when they set off on Wainwright-bagging walks of their own.

Gnigel: gnome with big ambitions

Many walkers set themselves a lifetime challenge of summiting every peak in Alfred Wainwright’s seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. Kelly, a data scientist and father of four from Tennessee in the US, completed them all in five days, 12 hours and 14 minutes.

“Our neighbour James Gibson had an attempt on the Wainwrights record a few weeks ago, and had an amazing run in spite of terrible weather,” said Helena. “We are so close to the action here, and saw John Kelly on a brief stop at the Badger Bar. What he achieved is just awesome.”

Gnigel the gnome: making plans with maps

Gnigel is well placed to start his own Wainwright-bagging. Rydal Lodge lies at the foot of the Fairfield Horseshoe (eight Wainwrights) and in the shadow of the small but beautiful favourite, Loughrigg Fell. The 320-mile (515km) challenge, which includes England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, involves a total ascent of 36,000m (118,000ft).

“Gnigel is ready and waiting for anyone who wants to take him along – and take a photo on the summits,” said Helena. “He’s not going to take up much room in a backpack, after all.”

Rydal Lodge: welcoming walkers
  • John Kelly smashed the record set last year by Sabrina Veerjee – who supported him in this attempt – by about 11 hours. He was also assisted by Nicky Spinks, a breast-cancer survivor, who has broken numerous fell running records, Steve Chilton whose own record was beaten by Paul Tierney three years ago, and Rydal’s James Gibson. Kelly had to abort his first attempt at the challenge last July after suffering with heat and foot problems.

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Exploring the area, things to do and see.