High Sweden Bridge
High Sweden Bridge

This is a classic Lake District circular walk, with excellent views over Lake Windermere and the town of Ambleside, and some lovely fell views.

The going is not too strenuous; the steepest parts are actually along the streets and lanes of Ambleside itself. It can easily be combined with longer footpaths to make a walk as long as you like.

Park in the main car park in Ambleside, or the newer riverside park below the church. The starting point for the walk is the photogenic Bridge House, a National Trust property that sits astride the river. Highly unlikely rumour has it that Bridge House was built by a miser too cheap to pay the taxes that would result from building along the river bank.


Take the footpath to North Street, and turn left. Follow the street to a T junction and follow Kirkstone Street uphill. Turn left onto High Sweden Lane. Follow High Sweden Lane straight along until you emerge onto the moor above Ambleside. The going is very clear, and trail rises slightly as you pass old stone walls and a farm building on your right.

Keep on through a gate until you approach the river on your left. Carry on until you come to High Sweden Bridge, a picturesque packhorse bridge.

Go over the bridge, through the gate, and bear left uphill (don't follow the small path to your extreme left). Go over a stile and carry on uphill, past a sheepfold. From the top of the rise, the view over Ambleside and Lake Windermere is simply fantastic.

Follow the obvious path downhill, over Low Sweden Bridge - not nearly so picturesque - through a farmyard, and join the paved road that will take you straight into the heart of Ambleside. The entire walk is about 3 miles in length, and should take no more than 2 hours. The going is fairly easy, though, as with all walks in the Lake District, wet going and mud is always a possibility!

OS map - OL7

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About High Sweden Bridge
Address: Ambleside, Lake District, Cumbria, England, LA22 9LQ
Attraction Type: Countryside - Walk
Location: Park in Ambleside, Lakeside parking area is probably the closest parking lot.
Location map
OS: NY379067
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


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