Skelghyll Woods

The Ambleside Champion Tree Trail

The Ambleside Champion Tree Trail in Skelghyll Woods is a perfect walk for toddlers and young children. Great in every season, its a perfect way to pass an hour or two in the Lake District.

Where are Skelghyll Woods?

You can find Skelghyll Woods on the outskirts of Ambleside in the Lake District.

Driving north towards Ambleside from Windermere, just after entering Ambleside you will see a sign for National Trust Stagshaw Gardens on your right. Take this turning and follow the track up until you come to an open clearing. You will see the gate with a sign for Stagshaw Gardens on it.

This is your parking area. It is National Trust but there isn’t a pay machine.

Skelghyll Woods Ambleside Champion Tree Trail

You will see the sign for Skelghyll woods at the top of the parking area.

Follow the lower loop path marked on the map (you’ll be able to see that the higher loop section goes past Jenkin Crag). You can walk either way round; our favourite is the anti-clockwise route so I’ll describe that here…

The Route

Start by walking along the path that goes straight ahead from the car park, along the bottom of the hill.

Before long you will come to a picnic bench; here is a giant Horse Chestnut tree which gives LOADS of conkers in the first couple of weeks of September.

Continue following the path round, and notice the brass plaques with information about the trees. Skelghyll Woods Champion Tree Trail is full of all sorts of different trees, including England’s tallest fir tree. Enjoy finding it!

The path will start to climb the hill. This is steep but doesn’t last too long. We find it easier going up than going down!

At the top of the hill the path with flatten out and head round to the left. Continue along this path.

Natural Play Area

The natural play area is marked on the map but sadly was destroyed by the recent storms. Hopefully it’ll be repaired soon, but the walk is still fab without it.

The Route continued

Carry on walking until the path reaches the stream, where it merges with a path coming down the hill.

Here are plenty of places to spend time by the water, with lots of stepping stones and parts that children can easily play in. We have spent aaaages here, and our children now plan to bring playmobil boats whenever we tell them we’re walking here!

*As always, please use caution when playing by the water. Children need to be supervised at all times.

Once you’ve exhausted the play here, head down the hill with the stream on your right.

This is the final part of the walk, and you’ll soon be back at the car park.

Congratulations! You’ve completed the Ambleside Champion Tree Trail. I hope you enjoyed it!

About the author

I'm Michelle, Lake District resident and founder of this site. You can mostly find me up a hill, on a lake, or enjoying a hot chocolate by the fire. Feel free to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!

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