The craggy peaks, sheep strewn valleys, dry stone partitions and glistening lakes of the Fells are finest seen on foot. Hit the path with our information to the very best walks within the Lake District.
There is no such thing as a higher technique to see the Lake District than to set off on foot. With a whole lot of paths to discover, you’ll be able to select from light strolls round glistening lakes to hardy hikes excessive up within the Fells. Some paths minimize throughout rolling meadows and are simple to comply with, others clamber alongside slim ledges and into rocky crevasses.
Lakeland author Alfred Wainwright documented routes up 214 mountains on this beautiful part of northwest England. These Wainwrights vary from the diminutive 290-metre Fortress Crag to Scafell Pike at 978 metres.
Our checklist is a bit shorter. It consists of our favorite Wainwright walks within the nationwide park, but additionally some simpler hikes that go to our favorite views within the Lake District and a few difficult ridges just like the formidable Striding Edge.
We’ve spent numerous time mountaineering within the space, and in our opinion, these are the very best Lake District walks that showcase the exceptional panorama. We have now break up the walks into simple, medium and difficult so you’ll find a stroll that’s simply best for you.
Every of the walks have detailed maps that you could obtain and take with you.
IN THIS GUIDE
BEST WALKS IN THE LAKE DISTRICT, UK
MAP / BEST WALKS IN THE LAKE DISTRICT
Our favorite hikes within the Lake District are unfold over the nationwide park, so we’ve got included all of them on the beneath map that will help you get your bearings. Inexperienced are the straightforward walks, yellow are the medium, and purple are the harder walks.
Beneath the outline of every stroll, we’ve got additionally offered a map with the particular route we advocate. Please needless to say it’s best to these route maps as indicative, particularly when the paths head over slim ridges.
The kind of strolling you wish to do will decide the place you wish to base your self. Our information to the completely different areas of the Lake District explains the area in additional element that will help you determine the place to remain. For extra than simply mountaineering, learn our information to the opposite nice issues to do within the Lake District.
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EASY WALKS IN THE LAKE DISTRICT
All of our simple hikes within the Lake District Nationwide Park are underneath 8 kilometres and might be accomplished in 2 hours or much less. They’re comparatively flat (rising and falling not more than 150 metres), comply with low mendacity floor, and the paths are typically good and straightforward to comply with. They’re good walks for freshmen.
1 – LATRIGG
Problem – Simple | Distance – 2 kilometres | Time – half-hour | Elevation – +/-80 metres | Begin – Underskiddaw Automotive Park | Instructions – Clockwise on our Latrigg Loop Map
There is no such thing as a simpler Lake District round stroll that delivers such spectacular views than this very simple stroll as much as the summit of Latrigg. From the parking at Underskiddaw, it’s a easy 15-minute stroll up a grassy financial institution to the summit.
Whereas the stroll up is perhaps fast, you’re sure to spend loads extra time on the high admiring the views. To the north are the rounded summits of Skiddaw. To the east the waves of Blencathra’s ridges hover over the distant Pennines. And to the south, the city of Keswick rests peacefully on the sting of Derwentwater on this stunning nationwide park.
Come at daybreak or nightfall for an outstanding Lake District expertise.
2 – TARN HOWS CIRCULAR WALK
Problem – Simple | Distance – 3.2 kilometres | Time – 1 hour | Elevation – +/-80 metres | Begin – Nationwide Belief Tarn Hows Automotive Park | Instructions – Comply with this map
The Tarn Hows round stroll solely takes one hour to finish, however it’s probably the greatest days out within the Lake District for households searching for a soothing escape in nature by way of a nice stroll.
Grassy slopes on the financial institution present loads of area for a relaxation on the quick stroll and the views as much as the rugged Langdale Pikes within the distance are nicely value stopping to takin in.
The Nationwide Belief runs the parking on the Tarn Hows. Additionally they promote primary meals provides and might present a useful map of the world. The paths are nicely marked and straightforward to comply with and with rest room services accessible it’s the right Lake District stroll for households.
It is a common location within the Lake District Nationwide Park and it may get very busy in peak season.
Learn Subsequent — The place to remain within the Lake District
3 – BUTTERMERE CIRCULAR WALK
Problem – Simple | Distance – 7.5 kilometres | Time – 2 hours | Elevation – +/-140 metres | Begin – Nationwide Belief Parking in Buttermere | Instructions – Clockwise on our Buttermere Round Stroll Map
My favorite of the straightforward walks within the Lake District Nationwide Park, this sensational loop of Buttermere passes via among the most interesting surroundings within the area.
Beginning within the very enticing Lake District village of Buttermere, this 2-hour round stroll navigates the superbly set lake with pristine mountain reflections. Alongside the best way you move deep minimize ravines, craggy mountains, historical woods and gorse-lined roads.
A stand of timber on the south-eastern finish of the lake resting underneath the craggy buttresses of Haystacks – Wainwrights favorite mountain – gives considered one of our favorite picture spots within the Lake District.
Finish with espresso and a cake from the Croft Home Farm Café or if the solar is shining, the top-notch do-it-yourself ice cream from Sykes Farm.
4 – RYDAL WATER CIRCULAR WALK
Problem – Simple | Distance – 4.7 kilometres | Time – 1 hour half-hour | Elevation – +/-200 metres | Begin – White Moss Parking | Instructions – Anti-clockwise on our Rydal Water Round Stroll Map
The round stroll round Rydal Water has a bit extra ascent than the primary three simple Lake District hikes, however it’s nonetheless comparatively simple. It could possibly be accomplished in simply 90 minutes, however it’s nicely value spending for much longer as there’s a lot to see.
Pop into Rydal Mount, Wordsworth’s ultimate residence earlier than he died, discover Rydal Cave, a big gaping gap within the rock, and take a dip in probably the greatest wild swimming spots within the Lake District.
Midway across the quick stroll, take a complicated break at Rydal Corridor which serves excessive tea within the superbly manicured gardens. Should you fancy one thing much less formal, the pleasant Badger Bar is a superb choice.
Even in the event you do none of that, the path that ambles via beautiful woodland and bluebell crammed slopes affords glorious views of the Rydal Water with rugged Loughrigg Fell behind. It’s a enjoyable half-day out and a completely nice stroll within the Lake District.
5 – CASTLE CRAG LOOP
Problem – Simple | Distance – 5.5 kilometres | Time – 1 hour half-hour | Elevation – +/-170 metres | Begin – Rosthwaite Parking | Instructions – Anticlockwise on our Fortress Crag Round Stroll Map
This comparatively simple round stroll has a little bit of all the pieces the Lake District Nationwide Park has to supply. The path begins within the village of Rosthwaite earlier than heading downstream alongside the River Derwent. A packhorse bridge carries you to the opposite facet and into a stunning forest. Being the wettest valley in England, moss covers stone partitions and rocks in an excellent coating of luminescent inexperienced; good circumstances for Lake District pictures.
There are caves to discover and piles of slate to barter earlier than the trail drops again to the river offering a possibility to paddle and picnic subsequent to the river.
The path now circles round Fortress Crag and steadily rises for 20 minutes to supply beautiful views over Borrowdale and among the mightiest mountains within the Lake District. Simply ensure you verify for rain earlier than you go.
MEDIUM WALKS IN THE LAKE DISTRICT
Our 5 medium walks within the Lake District Nationwide Park are both longer in distance or require extra ascent and descent, making them barely extra bodily demanding. They embrace among the smaller however stunning Wainwrights for which you will have an affordable degree of health.
6 – RANNERDALE KNOTTS
Problem – Medium | Distance – 4.8 kilometres | Time – 1 hour 45 minutes | Elevation – +/-280 metres | Begin – Nationwide Belief Automotive Park in Buttermere | Instructions – Anti-clockwise on our Rannerdale Knotts Round Stroll Map
There are some mountains within the Lake District that aren’t that top, however by dint of their glorious place present magnificent views. The Rannerdale Knotts round stroll is considered one of them.
The path begins in Buttermere and heads up a steep climb on a grassy slope. It would look somewhat difficult in the beginning, however after about half-hour of arduous work you’ll have reached the highest of the ridge and the remainder of the stroll is an excellent exploration of all that’s finest concerning the Lake District.
A stunning stroll alongside the ridgetop has positive views to Crummock Water in entrance, and Buttermere behind. There may be the odd rocky crest to summit as you make your means, however nothing arduous, and after one other 20 minutes you attain the wonderful summit. Views of the north-western fells open up earlier than you and on a transparent day Scotland glimmers within the distance. It’s an exquisite Lake District exercise.
Fastidiously choose your route down off the summit, earlier than descending alongside one other grassy slope to the sting of Crummock Water. In case you are feeling courageous then take a dip at Crummock’s southern seaside, in any other case wind via the forest again to the parking.
7 – CATBELLS
Problem – Medium | Distance – 4.8 kilometres | Time – 1 hour 45 minutes | Elevation – +/-320 metres | Begin – Gutherscale Automotive Park | Instructions – Clockwise on our Catbells Round Stroll Map
Catbells isn’t one of many highest peaks, however it stands imperiously over Derwentwater. Considered from Keswick its sides are steep and glossy and from its summit, the 360-degree views are glorious. It’s rightly some of the common walks within the Lake District. As Wainwright wrote, “There may be magnificence in all places – and nothing however magnificence.”
Parking might be tough. There are a couple of areas within the small Gutherscale parking location and a few extra on the highway resulting in it. Parking can be accessible at Hawse Finish, a bit additional away. In case you are staying in Keswick, get the ferry throughout to the Hawse Finish Jetty and begin the stroll from there, this can add 1 kilometre and 20 minutes to the stroll, however considerably cut back the trouble.
The path to the summit is brief however it’s a steep climb. Rising in two phases it zigzags up alongside the crest of the mountain. You could want your fingers in a few locations, however nothing is simply too troublesome, and you’re rewarded with beautiful views all the best way.
There few simpler methods down a mountain than from this glorious round stroll. A delicate sloping path curls proper till it returns to the place you began. This Lake District stroll might be accomplished in lower than 2 hours and is a superb one to save lots of for sundown.
8 – HELM CRAG
Problem – Medium | Distance – 7.5 kilometres | Time – 2 hours, 20 minutes | Elevation – +/-340 metres | Begin – Grasmere Automotive Park | Instructions – Linear return stroll on our Helm Crag Stroll Map
The summit of Helm Crag is an oddity. An odd finger of rock reaches into the sky from the summit. You could discover getting on high of the precipitous finger a step too far, however don’t fear the remaining is value it.
There are three issues that make this stroll enticing. First, it begins in Grasmere, one of many prettiest villages within the Lake District. In every single place you look charming slate-buildings are dwarfed by the hills towering over them.
Secondly, the trail to the summit (though not that lengthy) feels just like the path to Mordor. A monitor of rock and stone winds its means via slim cracks and round rocky towers. Thirdly, the views from the summit in the direction of Grasmere are a pleasure.
Enable simply over 2 hours for the return route, however plan for a bit longer as a result of The Good Sport in Grasmere brews its personal ale and it might be mistaken to not help their efforts.
9 – LOUGHRIGG FELL
Problem – Medium | Distance – 8 kilometres | Time – 2 hours half-hour | Elevation – +/-360 metres | Begin – Pelter Bridge Automotive Park | Instructions – Clockwise on our Loughrigg Round Stroll Map
Loughrigg is somewhat lump of a mountain which packs a punch. It sits on the centre of a number of enticing valleys within the Lake District, and though solely somewhat greater than a thousand ft excessive (335 metres), it has surprisingly wide-ranging views. Lakes and tarns stretch off in all instructions, fairly villages sit underneath its flanks, and better mountains kind an amphitheatre round it.
However the actual highlights are the slopes of Loughrigg themselves. Bobbling mounds of grass strewn with sheep, heather-covered hillocks break up by zigzagging dry stone partitions, and paths main over wood stiles all the way down to shimmering lakes.
My favorite within the medium problem Lake District hikes, there are many completely different routes up and down. Some solely take 90 minutes however I’ve picked my favorite which passes by Rydal Water, stops off at Rydal Cave and takes about two and a half hours. Click on on the map to view all the small print.
10 – ULLSWATER STEAMER HOWTOWN TO GLENRIDDING WALK
Problem – Medium | Distance – 11 to 12.5 kilometres | Time – 3 to 4 hours | Elevation – +/-290 metres or 470 metres | Begin – Ullswater Steamers in Glenridding | Instructions – Comply with our Howtown to Glenridding Strolling Map
Not one of the different finest walks within the Lake District start higher than this one. Hop on the Ullswater Steamer at Glenridding and chill out on deck because the boat glides the 40 minutes throughout the lake to Howtown. From right here all it’s important to do is trek again.
The rocky path that undulates alongside the jap facet of the lake, is an exquisite stretch of path. It cuts throughout steep slopes, meanders out and in of forest and friends up at huge clumps of moss. On a sunny day you drift out and in of dappled daylight and there are lots of nice spots for a picnic or espresso cease perched above the glistening water. After reaching the top of the lake, head throughout to Patterdale. Sadly, the final 10 minutes require strolling alongside the highway again to Glenridding, however it’s value it.
A superb detour is to move as much as the summit of Hallin Fell, one of many decrease Wainwright mountains. It not solely has stupendous views over Ullswater but additionally over the Martindale valley the place the grassy fields distinction superbly with the craggy moor lined tops.
It takes about 3 hours to stroll again with out heading up Hallin Fell, or 4 in the event you go by way of the summit.
CHALLENGING WALKS IN THE LAKE DISTRICT
The final 5 walks sort out among the highest Wainwright mountains within the Lake District Nationwide Park. They’re lengthy and tiring with appreciable ascent and descent. Every of them would require you to make use of your fingers periodically. Particularly, the routes up Helvellyn and Blencathra are thought of Grade 1 scrambles so certain footing, good circumstances and a head for heights are extremely really useful. We have now extra adventurous walks in our greatest scrambles within the Lake District information.
11 – BLENCATHRA
Problem – Difficult | Distance – About 8.5 kilometres | Time – About 4 hours | Elevation – +/-730 metres | Begin – Scales Farm Parking | Instructions – See our Blencathra information – please deal with routes marked on the ridges as indicative
Blencathra sits on their lonesome within the northeast of the Lakes. At first impression, it seems little greater than a big hill. However seems to be might be deceiving, and ascending this unobtrusive mountain is likely one of the finest hikes within the Lake District.
The reason being the superb selection of routes to the summit. The primary, by way of Scales Fell, is a gradual climb that shortly after the start, rewards you with positive views of the North Pennines and Helvellyn.
The second route is Halls Fell Ridge, a steep, rocky ascent alongside a sinuous ridge. This is a superb selection for anybody new to scrambling. The ridge isn’t too sheer or too slim – over a few meters huge in most locations – however it’s possible you’ll want your fingers for help. Should you’re good with heights, you’ll be able to largely simply stride throughout the highest.
Third is Sharp Edge. The toughest and most difficult Grade 1 ridge within the Lake District. There’s a ‘unhealthy step’ the place it’s important to shuffle off a slab of rock onto a slim ledge and precipitous sections alongside the best way. It is best to have some scrambling expertise behind you and an excellent head for heights. Don’t try Sharp Edge moist or windy circumstances. Even on a nonetheless, sunny day, it’s an actual coronary heart starter.
Learn Subsequent — Our information to Blencathra
12 – LANGDALE PIKES
Problem – Difficult | Distance – 8.7 kilometres | Time – 4 hours quarter-hour | Elevation – +/-870 metres | Begin – Sticklebarn Automotive Park | Instructions – Clockwise on our Langdale Pikes map
The Langdale Pikes are a dramatic assortment of 5 peaks whose rugged summits drop precipitously to Nice Langdale Valley. The views from every of them are glorious and particularly in the direction of Bowfell and the mighty crags of the Scafell Vary.
From the Outdated Dungeon Ghyll resort, it’s a steep hike up a well-trodden path to Stickle Tarn, a excessive lake sitting underneath the craggy façade of Pavey Ark, the biggest and most imposing cliff within the Lake District.
The trail heads east and winds across the fringe of the cliff face till reaching the summit. It then heads throughout a surprisingly flat panorama to go to the opposite 4 peaks earlier than dropping again into the valley. Finish the day with a drink on the Sticklebarn and take a look at their carbon-friendly menu of vegetarian and regionally farmed lamb dishes.
There’s a extra adventurous route up the face of Pavey Ark known as Jack’s Rake. A grade 1 scramble, it clambers alongside a groove reducing diagonally throughout the huge cliff. If that feels like your sort of enjoyable, learn our greatest grade 1 scrambles within the Lake District information.
13 – HAYSTACKS AND FLEETWITH PIKE
Problem – Difficult | Distance – 14.2 kilometres | Time – 5 hours quarter-hour | Elevation – +/-830 metres | Begin – Buttermere Automotive Park | Instructions – Clockwise on our Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike – please deal with routes marked on the ridges as indicative
This pleasant stroll to Haystacks (Wainwright’s favorite mountain within the Lake District) and Fleetwith Pike, not solely consists of the superb views of the Buttermere loop, however it additionally collects two nice summits.
Haystacks is all nobbles and bumps. Little tarns dot the summit and paths disappear into tiny canyons. In September the heather glows purple within the later afternoon solar.
The views from each peaks look as much as imposing Nice Gable and imperious Pillar and all the way down to attractive Buttermere. The route again is alongside Fleetwith Pike ridge. It’s a bit steep in locations however the virtually 360-degree vistas make it worthwhile.
There may be nothing technical or troublesome right here, only a lengthy (5 hours quarter-hour) however unbelievable stroll in nice surroundings. If you wish to shorten it, skip the Buttermere loop and depart from Gatesgarth automobile parking spot (3 hours half-hour). Should you additionally wish to skip the climb up Fleetwith Pike, then head up Haystacks and are available again by way of Warnscale (3 hours). See route choices on the map beneath.
14 – HELVELLYN VIA STRIDING EDGE AND SWIRRAL EDGE
Problem – Difficult | Distance – 13.5 kilometres | Time – 6 hours | Elevation – +/-840 metres | Begin – Glenridding Automotive Park | Instructions – Clockwise on our Helvellyn Strolling Map – please deal with routes marked on the ridges as indicative
This magnificent stroll ascends the third highest peak within the Lake District and it’s some of the thrilling walks within the space and, due to using two glorious ridges, an exhilarating journey exercise within the UK.
Striding Edge is an exhilarating slim, uncovered ridge. You’ll want a head for heights and a few confidence to navigate the tough drop over ‘the chimney’ close to the top. Nevertheless, it’s one of many simpler Grade 1 scrambles within the lakes and an ideal introduction to the more difficult hikes.
Should you don’t fancy tackling Striding Edge, there’s a path operating just below it. This lets you keep away from essentially the most tough and precipitous sections.
The return route is by way of Swirral Edge, one other positive Lake District ridge that’s not as slim or as scary.
However the two ridges are simply the icing of a grand stroll. Views stretch in all instructions, Ullswater glistens beneath, and it ends on the Travellers Relaxation for a well-earned pint.
15 – SCAFELL PIKE VIA CORRIDOR ROUTE
Problem – Difficult | Distance – 14.8 kilometres | Time – 6 hours half-hour | Elevation – +/-980 metres | Begin – Seathwaite Farm in Borrowdale | Instructions – Scafell Pike Hall Route information
It’s all the time a thrill to climb the best mountain in a area and Scafell Pike is not any exception. The most well-liked route is essentially the most direct ascent from Wasdale Head. However a way more satisfying route is my favorite difficult stroll within the Lake District.
Scafell Pike by way of the Hall Route traverses underneath the craggy flanks of Nice Finish, because it winds its means as much as the Scafell Pike’s summit. There’s nothing tough right here, only a unbelievable stroll (however lengthy). The wonderful path crosses mountain streams, rises over stony summits and skirts the highest of deep craggy ghylls (ravines). Always (climate allowing) the views throughout to Nice Gable and as much as the rocky faces of Lingmell Fell and the Scafells are distinctive.
The return path runs alongside Ruddy & Grains Gills the place somewhat stream has minimize a small canyon making a collection of enticing waterfalls. Two giant tarns – Sty Head Tarn and Sprinkling Tarn – present glorious choices to get pleasure from some bracing wild swimming on the return journey.
The Langstrath Nation Inn in Stonethwaite is a conventional Lake District pub and considered one of our favourites for a post-hike pint after Scafell Pike. It’s only a few minutes’ drive from the top of the hike at Seathwaite Farm.
Learn Subsequent — Our Scafell Pike Route & Map
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PLANNING YOUR LAKE DISTRICT TRIP
We’ve been to the Lake District many instances and by no means run out of unbelievable issues to do. From adventurous scrambles to stress-free wild swimming, it’s some of the various and attention-grabbing locations within the UK.
WHERE TO STAY
The very best locations to remain within the Lake District
LAKE DISTRICT HIKES
Discover the distant and rugged Langdale Pikes
Conquer knife-edge ridges on this stroll up Blencathra
Stroll Scafell Pike by way of the Hall Route
OTHER THINGS TO DO
Most stunning Lake District views and pictures spots
Our favorite issues to do within the Lake District
Finest distant spots for wild swimming within the Lake District
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