A very varied walk, and all the more enjoyable for it, encompassing, first of all, a gentle stroll from Ambleside up to Jenkins Crag, with its great views across Windermere of the south-western fells; then distant glimpses of the Windermere ‘Chillswim’ event (water temperatures were around 4 degrees!); next, some nifty ‘coppicing’ work by Jim ‘Millican Dalton’ Mercer; then a diversion onto the Troutbeck road and into the village itself (though, sadly, not to the ‘Mortal Man’ or ‘Queen’s Head’ pubs, to avail of Jim’s offer of a guiding allowance!); and then steadily up to, first of all, Wansfell Pike, then along the ridge that connects it to Wansfell, before the final steep descent back to Ambleside.
Of course, it is possible to simply slog straight up to Wansfell either from Ambleside or Troutbeck, but for relatively little extra effort it is much pleasanter and more rewarding to take the more roundabout, ‘Herdwickian’ route followed on this occasion, and to visit Wansfell Pike before Wansfell itself, since the track to the latter is a good deal quieter and the airy ridge connecting the two summits provides a fine opportunity to savour at length the prospect towards the Kirkstone Pass and of Red Screes in particular, the ‘gorge’ extending from Ambleside via Rydal Water towards Grasmere, the southern reaches of Windermere, and, more distantly, the unrivalled panorama stretching from the Langdale fells round to the Coniston massif.
All in all, especially in such fine winter weather, it doesn’t get much better than this!
Highest point (Wansfell Pike): 1597 ft./ 487 m. Distance: 7.5 miles/ 12.1 km. Ascent: 1915 ft./ 583 m.

Photos per row