Elter Water

  • Lovely lake with stunning views
  • Two secluded waterfalls
  • Excellent paths by the lakes

Elter Water had passed me by (or I it) for many years as I sped up Langdale and the famous set of fells that circle it. However Elter Water is rightly a popular spot and the walk around the north side is as pretty as anything in the Lakes. The National Trust have maintained an excellent path from Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge but look out for the Scandinavian swans from which the lake is named, they are very very big!  Elter Water is the smallest of the 16 lakes in the Lake District and is rapidly silting up but will always be a well visited spot due to the tranquility of the area, its easy access and the spectacular views of the Langdale Pikes.

Earlier in the walk a short detour took me to Colwith Force which is an idyllic spot and further on to Skelwith Force which lies on the River Brathay. The land to the south and west of Elter Water is sadly privately owned so access to the lakeside is not available which is a shame; therefore the best bet is to take detours in to the woods from the road. To be fair the road is quiet and there are tantalising glimpses of the lake but I do prefer to take this section first…from there the walk gets better and better.

Recommend: A cup of tea in the Eltermere Hotel is worth it for the views which are not really experienced from anywhere else on the south and west shores.

Download GPX file

Elterwater map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL7 The English Lakes South East Buy Map
Start Point: NY 329049. Elterwater village. There seems no objection to roadside parking at Elterwater and to be fair for once the views are not compromised.
Height to Climb: 61 ms (200 feet)
Terrain: Good paths or road walking on quiet roads
Eating & Drinking: The Brittania Inn has retained much of its charm despite being in a village where 1 in 4 houses are holiday cottages.
Similar Walks Nearby: Easedale Tarn from Grasmere
In the Footsteps of Wordsworth
A walk around Grasmere
Places to Stay:


Rooms at the Apple Pie, AmblesideOld Vicarage, Ambleside


Colwith Cottage, LangdaleCuckoo’s Nest Cottage, Ambleside


Ambleside Backpackers