Between Grasmere and Ambleside you will find the tiny hamlet of Rydal in the scenic Rothay Valley. It used to be called Routhermere or Rothaymere (after the river which flows through it). It gets its name from Rydal village, although it is not actually in Rydal ‘dale’ at all. As Rydal Water is only three quarters of a mile long, a quarter of a mile wide and only fifty five feet deep, it would be best described as a tarn. Part of this lake is owned by the National Trust.
You could canoe all the way from Grasmere Lake to Lakeside, as the river which flows out of Grasmere enters Rydal, then flows out at the foot down to Waterhead. You will find, in summer, that the ‘beach’ on the south shore is popular for swimming and, although no public launching or boats are allowed on Rydal Water, you may see the odd canoeist.
There are numerous walks on the hills and fells surrounding Rydal Water, as well as a walk around the lake itself. William Wordsworth lived in Rydal for 37 years, and on the western end of the lake you will find steps leading to Wordsworth’s seat – this is apparently considered to be Wordworth’s favourite viewpoint in the Lake District.