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Best Walks in the Lake District

Jul 29, 2022
Walking Routes in the Lake District
The Lake District is the perfect place for walking, with a wide range of scenic routes for all experience levels. The region comprises 912 square miles of mountains, rivers, lakes and fens while also being home to some of the quaintest villages in the North West, like Windermere and Ambleside. 


Explore some of the highest peaks in Cumbria and take in an unrivalled wealth of beautiful natural scenery. Below we’ve picked some of the most atmospheric walks in the area, from moderate hiking trails to relaxing strolls. 
 

Greendale and Middle Fell, Western Fells

 

Find the map here.

 

Difficulty: Moderate

Terrain: Moderately rough paths, with ascents and descents

Length: 3.5 miles (5.6 km)

Time: Approximately 3h

 

This National Trust walking trail offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Lake District. Because of its difficult accessibility, it is widely unspoilt, making it even more atmospheric.

 

You will admire Wasdale’s beauty with its screes and Eskdale’s valleys – an exceptional treat. Stop for a picnic at Middle Fell’s summit and enjoy the panorama.

 

Tarn Hows Circular Walk

 

Download the full itinerary here.

 

Difficulty: Easy

Terrain: Well-trodden path

Length: 2 miles (3 km)

Time: Approximately 1h

 

This gentle loop around the Lakes makes for an excellent family walk. It performs a circuit of the shores, offering wonderful views of the grassy moors and Lakeland Fells. Much of the land was Beatrix Potter’s property, who was inspired by Cumbria’s unique landscapes to write her tales.

 

Learn all about the Potter family and their contribution to the National Trust. This walk is also dog-friendly and easily accessible for differently-abled visitors.

 

Ennerdale and Haystacks

 

More information about the itinerary here.

 

Difficulty: Hard

Terrain: Rough surfaces and rubble tracks

Length: 14.2 miles (22.9 km)

Time: Approximately 7h

 

If you are an experienced hiker seeking the next adventure, the walk between Ennerdale and Haystacks could be right up your street. Navigate the narrow roads down to the shores of Ennerdale Lake and enjoy peace and quiet.

 

If you’d still like to visit Ennerdale but are after a more leisurely route, Ennerdale Water is a great option. From Bowness Knott car park, follow the northern shores into Ennerdale Forest, and get ready to be rewarded with fantastic views of the Lakes’ western edges.

 

Grasmere to Helm Crag Circular

 

Full map here.

 

Difficulty: Moderate

Terrain: Rough terrain at times with ascents

Length: 4 miles (7.4 km)

Time: Approximately 2h

 

Despite being the smallest lake in the region, Grasmere is just as majestic as the rest, and this walk is the perfect way to visit it. From Grasmere village, head towards Helm Crag on a well-trodden path.

 

Helm Crag is one of the most suggestive fells, famous for its rock formations. The summit’s southern pinnacles are known as ‘the lion and the lamb’, while the other end as ‘Howitzer’ or ‘the old lady playing the organ’. On the way back, rest your feet at one of Grasmere’s cosy pubs and enjoy a well-deserved treat.

 

Buttermere to Rannerdale

 

Download the map beforehand here.

 

Difficulty: Moderate

Terrain: Strenuous route throughout; grassy paths with a steep descent

Length: 3 miles (4.8 km)

Time: Approximately 2h

 

The walk from Buttermere to Rannerdale provides spectacular views over the three lakes and peaks. From Buttermere car park, walk towards the stile and head to Rannerdale Knotts – a great place for a picnic with a superb panorama.

 

The trees at the southern end of Buttermere are known as ‘The Sentinels’ and are one of the most photographed locations in the country. Walk your way back via the shoreline of Crummock Water and stop for a meal at one of Buttermere’s fine-tasting restaurants.