Amongst the craggy mountains, grassy slopes, crystal clear lakes and enigmatic woods, there are lots of walking opportunities in the Lake District. Whether you’re in a family or group and looking for low-key walks to enjoy the scenery, or you’re a serious walker who wants a challenging hike, take a look at this guide to some of the best walks in the Lakes.
You can do guided walks, or follow a route on your own. Incorporate cycling and climbing into your walk and make the most out the various trails, treks and paths. Here are some of the most popular and iconic walks in the Lake District area, if you’re navigating them without a guide.
Coniston Ride is situated along the west bank of the beautiful Coniston Water, which is one of the most popular lakes in the area. The shore offers a wealth of small pebbly beaches, charming woodland and grassy slopes. The area is rural but close to Coniston village, where you can hire bikes and boats. There are many large and small tracks and trails to follow, either on foot or by cycling, which offer spectacular views of the water and mountains beyond. Coniston Ride covers just over 8 miles and has a climb of 200m – most people will be able to complete it in 2 or 3 hours.
Buttermere Valley is another stunning destination that is loved by walkers. There are a few walks to enjoy in this area. One of the most popular walks is set high up, offering spectacular viewpoints all along the mountains and you can move on foot with relative ease from peak to peak. On a sunny day, the light bounces off the lake and illuminates the impressive mountains that surround it. The walk passes across three mountain peaks, with most of the climbing being at the beginning of the walk. The mountain walk at Buttermere ascends a total of 700m. This walk is just under 6 miles long, which will take most walkers between 5 and 6 hours to complete.
Scafell Pike Walk
Scafell Pike is a known for its distinctly craggy and rugged slopes and requires careful planning if you intend to walk up it. In between the wildness of the vegetation, the ancient woods and the soaring craggy outreaches, this mountain is the ultimate challenge for the adventurous walker. One of the most straightforward walks is the Brown Tongue route, which begins in Wasdale and goes via the Brown Tongue path. If you’re looking for a more dynamic walking experience of Scafell Pike, choose the Corridor route and have a circular adventure of the mountain sides before reaching the summit. The main Scafell Pike walk is over 8 miles and will take between 6 and 7 hours.
The Patterdale Walk encircles Deepdale, which offers dramatic and impressive views. The walk weaves between gothic crags and towering cliff faces and is a more challenging experience favoured by walkers who love to sink their teeth into a real expedition. While not offering pretty views exactly, the ruggedness and drama of the scenery creates the aura that you are really exploring uncharted territory, despite being in the English countryside.
There are dozens of walks to enjoy in the Lakes. Other walks to explore include: Skiddaw Ride, Ullswater Walk and Eskdale Walk, all of which offer breathtaking views and a range of flora and fauna.
What to Take on Your Walk
To make your walking experience as safe and comfortable as possible, you need to make sure you take the right gear with you.
Perhaps the most important things to take with you are a map and a compass. Being able to navigate means you can stay on track, and if the weather changes or you get lost, you’ll be able to find your way back.
It’s also essential that you wear high quality walking boots. Good walking boots have plenty of grip to prevent you slipping on wet rocks or uneven surfaces, will keep your feet warm and dry and will be comfortable to wear for hours at a time.
Even if you’re going on a short walk, it’s vital that you take plenty of water with you. Dehydration can be extremely dangerous, especially in hot weather and can cause you to feel dizzy, weak and disoriented. It’s not advised that you drink the natural water straight from the source, but you can decontaminate by using water purification chemicals. Always make sure you sip water regularly while you walk, as you may become dehydrated without knowing it.
Keep yourself safe from accidents by making sure you have a fully charged mobile phone with you to make emergency calls and avoid going out walking on your own. If you insist on a solo trek, make sure someone knows where you are and can send help if something goes wrong.
To find the perfect Lake District walk visit the Governments Lake District walks section on their website.