The 25 Best Walks in the Lake District

January 27, 2020

I have listed the 25 best walks in the Lake District. The walks are a mixture of longer walks across some of the higher mountains and shorter ones taking in the beautiful lakeland scenery. If you complete all these 25 walks you will have a full understanding of this wonderful walking country.

The choice of the best walks in the Lake District is only of course my opinion. However these 25 walks are excellent but there are over 150 walks elsewhere on this website.

25. Coledale Round, Braithwaite

13.5 miles

A fine circuit between Keswick and Buttermere using Braithwaite as a base. The walk is enhanced by continuing along the narrow ridge of Hopegill head to Whiteside.

Grisedale Pike from Grasmoor
Grisedale Pike from Grasmoor

Full Walk Details

24. Kentmere & Troutbeck

8.5 miles

I was surprised about how enjoyable and interesting this low level walk was. It crosses between the quiet valley of Kentmere and the more popular valley over Troutbeck returning over the old drovers road at Garburn Pass.

Looking towards Kentmere Round
Looking towards Kentmere Round

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23. Styhead and Sprinkling Tarns

6.5 miles

A walk which takes you in to the heart of the Lake District without tackling the higher fells. The two tarns are idyllic in any conditions, mysterious in the cloud and picture perfect in the sun.

Styhead Tarn
Styhead Tarn

Full Walk Details

22. Fells over the Duddon Valley

5 miles

My favourite valley in the Lake District is Dunnerdale. Quiet and unspoilt the valley is ringed with rocky lakeland knolls and hidden tarns and other delights. Explore at your leisure.

Stickle Pike in Dunnerdale
Stickle Pike in Dunnerdale

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21. A Fistful of Dodds

8.5 miles

North of Helvellyn is a long wide and grassy ridge which offers some of the most perfect walking in the Lake District. Facing north as you walk the views of Blencathra and Skiddaw draw the eye.

Dowthwaitehead below the Dodds
Dowthwaitehead below the Dodds

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20. Rannerdale Knotts

3.5 miles

Hidden away on the west banks of Crummock Water lies Rannerdale and its associated hill Rannerdale Knotts. Rannerdale in June fills with bluebells and the stroll to the summit offers views that belie its height.

Rannerdale
Rannerdale

Full Walk Details

19. Hayeswater & Angle Tarns

10 miles

The fells to the east of the Lake District offer some of the easiest walking (look at the Gray Crag ridge below) and the miles pass very quickly. High Street is included in the circuit of Hayeswater.

Gray Crag & Hayeswater
Gray Crag & Hayeswater

Full Walk Details

18. Black Combe

5 miles

Black Combe takes a bit of getting too as it is perched on the south west peninsula of the Lake District. The views towards North Wales and Ireland on a summer evening are well worth seeing.

Black Combe to the Irish Sea
Black Combe to the Irish Sea

Full Walk Details

17. Seatoller to Keswick via Catbells

9 miles One Way

One way walks can be the most satisfying and this is a classic. Whether you go over Catbells or keep to the path which flanks the fell is your choice but both are excellent.

Summit of Catbells
Summit of Catbells

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16. Haystacks

8 miles

To enjoy Buttermere walk round the lake and take to the rough slopes of Haystacks. The summit area is full of interest, rocky knolls and hidden tarns have charmed more than the guide book writer Alfred Wainwright.

Innominate Tarn
Innominate Tarn

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15. Place Fell over Ullswater

7 miles

Not dissimilar to Haystacks the circuit of Place Fell includes a steep climb up to the rocky summit and a return along a lovely section of riverside walking. Place Fell is often seen but ignored which is a shame.

Place Fell over Ullswater
Place Fell over Ullswater

Full Walk Details

14. Gummers How on Windermere

2 miles

A little gem with good views on the south shores of Windermere. It is often described as the walk those who cannot physically go higher revert to in their dotage in order to keep the memories alive. Nothing wrong with that!

Approaching Gummer's How
Approaching Gummer’s How

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13. Circuit of Ennerdale Water

7.5 miles

Ennerdale is difficult to get to. However on arrival the lake opens up and a lovely lakeside path undulates along the southern shore. The mountains beyond may entice you but there is no shame in this lakeside circuit.

East shore at Ennerdale
East shore at Ennerdale

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12. Helvellyn via Striding Edge & Raise

8.5 miles

A lakeland classic and must be included in any list of the best walks in the Lake District. However on the return do not go down Swirral Edge but carry on the ridge to Raise and down to Glenridding from there.

Red Tarn & Striding Edge
Red Tarn & Striding Edge

Full Walk Details

11. Angletarn Pikes

7.5 miles

Probably the best picnic spot in the Lakes. Angletarn Pikes and tarns is set in a lovely bowl of typical lakeland scenery above Ullswater.

Angle Tarn
Angle Tarn

Full Walk Details

10. Newlands Round

10 miles

The mountains in the northern lakes tend to be smoother, grassier and easier to walk on than those further south. Newlands is a pretty valley and this combination makes for one of the best days walks in the Lake District.

Crummock Water from Robinson
Crummock Water from Robinson

Full Walk Details

9. Beatrix Potter Country

5.5 miles

The scenery on Claiffe Heights is not typical lakes but very pleasant and varied. Beatrix Potter fell in love with the lakes here but whether she ever found the high point of Claiffe is debatable! It is not easy.

Moss Eccles Tarn
Moss Eccles Tarn

Full Walk Details

8. Mellbreak & Crummock Water

6 miles

I have had an affinity for Crummock Water ever since childhood when we used to swim and canoe on its waters. Mellbreak stands impressively overlooking its west banks and offers a lovely stretch of ridge walking.

Lakeside path under Mellbreack
Lakeside path under Mellbreack

Full Walk Details

7. The Pillar Round

8.5 miles

Dramatic and legendary, the Pillar Round is tough. Arriving in Wasdale is always uplifting but rather than follow the crowds on the slog up Scafell Pike turn left and enjoy the wonderful scenery and mountains around Mosedale.

Steeple over Ennerdale
Steeple over Ennerdale

Full Walk Details

6. Woodland Fell & Beacon Tarn

5 miles

An idyllic tarn lies nestled between some vertically challenged rocky fells to the south end of Coniston. Explore the area and find your own perfect spot.

Beacon Tarn
Beacon Tarn

Full Walk Details

5. Bowfell & Crinkle Crags

9.5 miles

I often quote Crinkle Crags as my favourite mountain to walk along in the Lake District. Its rocky ridge offers some excellent scrambling and, combined with Bowfell, offers a memorable day’s walking.

Rough walking on Crinkle Crags
Rough walking on Crinkle Crags

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4. The Beauty of Ullswater

8.5 miles One Way

Take the steamer to Howtown and return along the rocky shores of Ullswater. The path is rough in places and in places climbs from the lake making it a tougher walk than most lowland walks. Add Hallin Fell to improve it further.

Ullswater at Glenridding
Ullswater at Glenridding

Full Walk Details

3. Dow Crag via Seathwaite Tarn

8 miles

From the Duddon Valley climb past Seathwaite Tarn and on to the col below Coniston Old Man. Turn right on to the ridge of Dow Crag with its breathtaking views.  End the day with a relaxed descent of the Walna Scar Road.

Blind Tarn on Dow Crag
Blind Tarn on Dow Crag

Full Walk Details

2. The Upper Esk Valley

7.5 miles

If you ever want to wild camp this is the place. Rarely visited because of its remoteness it typifies so much of what makes the lakes the best place to walk in England. Tumbling streams, rocky outcrops, hidden valleys and all surrounded by imposing mountains. Great.

Upper Esk
Upper Esk

Full Walk Details

1. Blencathra via Halls Fell

5 miles

My favourite and surely the best walk in the Lake District. The Hall’s Fell ridge is a perfect way to approach a perfect summit. Improve the walk further by heading over Mungrisedale in to the remote lands to the north before heading back along the Glenderamackin valley.

Blencathra from Threlkeld
Blencathra from Threlkeld

Full Walk Details

Enjoy the best walks in the Lake District.

Jonathan

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“Best of” Blogs from the past

20 Best walks in the Yorkshire Dales. A selection of my favourite walks from shorter to classical longer ones.

15 Tips on Planning a Walk. Thinking about a walk before going makes it so much more fun

20 Hidden Gems . Walks that are off the beaten track making them even more enjoyable

My Favourite 10 Mountains in Britain. A list and why I like them.

10 of my favourite Easy Fells.  Fells that are close to the road with great views and an enjoyable climb.

10 of my favourite short walks. Walks for a few hours that anyone can do.

10 Reasons why I enjoy walking . The main reasons that drive me out and about

My Favourite Short Walks pt 2. There are so many great shorter walks here is a 2nd selection.

10 of the best Riverside Walks in the Dales The Dales does rivers perfectly.

10 Unusual approaches to Lakes Classic Walks. Says it all

10 Favourite Dales Villages  Includes favourite walks from the villages

Hidden Delights . Walks and walking areas away from the crowds

10 Reasons to Walk in the Dales. Self explanatory!

Top 10 tips on Navigation. Make walking more enjoyable with a map & compass

Other Blogs

For a full list of all my blogs please click here

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