15 Best Walks in the Lake District (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in the Lake District (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

The Lake District is one of the most beautiful and inspiring places in the world.

With its majestic peaks, tranquil valleys, and winding paths, it’s no wonder that this British national park has been drawing people in for centuries.

From leisurely strolls to challenging hikes, the Lake District has something for everyone looking to explore its natural beauty.

To make your experience even better, here are 15 of the best walks in the Lake District – from easygoing jaunts to more strenuous treks!

1. Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows
Photo by Peter Trimming

Tarn Hows is one of the Lake District’s most iconic and picturesque walks.

Situated in the Coniston Fells, this circular route is a perfect way to explore some of the area’s lush scenery and wildlife.

With stunning views of the surrounding hills, valleys, and mountains, Tarn Hows provides an unforgettable walk for everyone from experienced hikers to casual strollers.

The path follows a gentle gradient, making it suitable for all levels of ability.

You’ll be able to take your time exploring the area as you go – if you’re feeling energetic, why not add on a climb of nearby Wetherlam or Coniston Old Man?

Alternatively, if you’re looking for an easier option, why not enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the many grassy spots along the way?

Either way, you’re guaranteed an enjoyable experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.

2. Aira Force And The Gowbarrow Trail

Hillside Path near Aira Force
Photo by Peter Trimming

The next stop on your tour of the Lake District’s best walks is Air Force and the Gowbarrow Trail.

Offering spectacular views and plenty of wildlife, it’s easy to see why this trail is so popular.

Aira Force, a dramatic waterfall, cascades down an old mill, providing a stunning backdrop for your walk.

The trail follows along the River Aira and then gradually climbs up through mixed woodland towards Gowbarrow Park.

As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Ullswater and the surrounding countryside.

Keep an eye out for red squirrels and other wildlife that call this park home.

At Gowbarrow Park, take time to explore its unique history as you wander around its beautiful lake and gardens before heading back down to Aira Force.

With its stunning scenery, peaceful atmosphere, and abundance of wildlife, the Aira Force and Gowbarrow Trail are certainly one of the best walks in the Lake District.

3. Ennerdale Water

Ennerdale Water
Photo by Philip Halling

Ennerdale Water is a dreamy spot for a walk, with its tranquil lake surrounded by lush green hills.

It’s the most western of all Lake District’s lakes and the least visited, making it the perfect place to escape the crowds.

The route around Ennerdale takes you past picturesque woods and along riverside paths, before reaching a viewpoint overlooking the stunning lake.

Wildlife abounds here too; keep an eye out for red deer, curlews, and even golden eagles soaring overhead.

The best part of Ennerdale Water is that its beauty can be enjoyed from many different angles.

Whether you opt for a leisurely stroll around the lake or take on a full-day hike up one of the nearby fells, there’s something here to suit all types of adventurers.

So grab your walking boots and get exploring – you’ll soon fall in love with this wild yet peaceful corner of Cumbria.

With its quiet paths and breathtaking views, Ennerdale Water provides an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after your walk is over.

4. Old Man Coniston

Old Man Coniston is a must-see for any hiker in the Lake District. Rising to an impressive height of 803m, it’s the highest peak in the Southern Fells and offers stunning views of Coniston Water, a beautiful lake that lies at its feet.

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The walk-up Old Man Coniston is easy enough for anyone – from families with children to more experienced hikers – and provides an unforgettable journey through some of England’s most breathtaking scenery.

The walk takes you around the lake and then up to the summit, where you can enjoy stunning views over Coniston Water and all around toward other hills and mountains.

Along the way, you’ll pass through ancient woodland, open meadows, and rolling fells, all of which give this route a special character.

For those looking for something extra special, why not explore some of the old copper mines that remain at the base of Old Man Coniston?

These historic sites provide an interesting insight into a past industry that used to dominate this area.

So why not take some time out to explore this magnificent mountain?

Whether you’re looking for spectacular views or an interesting history lesson, Old Man Coniston has something for everyone!

5. Helvellyn Via Thirlmere

From the historic and majestic Old Man Coniston, why not take a step back in time and explore an even more incredible mountain?

Helvellyn via Thirlmere is one of the most popular hikes in the Lake District.

It’s a tough, yet rewarding climb to the summit of England’s third-highest peak.

This 6-mile route takes you up and around Thirlmere lake, across rolling hills, past ancient rocks, and through wooded valleys.

There are plenty of sights to see along the way – from stunning views over Thirlmere lake to dramatic waterfalls and rugged peaks.

The summit can be reached by following a well-marked path that winds its way through woodland before reaching Striding Edge – arguably one of the most iconic ridges in Britain.

For those who make it to the top, the reward is well worth it – with panoramic views stretching across the entire Lake District National Park.

From here, you can witness some of England’s most spectacular scenery; from shimmering lakes to lush green valleys and towering mountains.

It’s an experience that will stay with you forever!

6. Blencathra

The iconic Blencathra is a popular choice for visitors to the Lake District.

Located in Cumbria, it’s a majestic mountain with stunning views of the surrounding area.

It stands at 868 meters and is part of the Skiddaw Group of mountains.

For those who want an easy walk, there are plenty of routes to choose from, including a 4-mile circular route up and down Halls Fell ridge.

For more experienced hill-walkers, there’s the challenge of tackling Sharp Edge – a challenging scramble along an exposed ridge with tremendous views over Derwentwater.

The summit can be reached by following Gategill Scar or Doddick Fell – two steep but rewarding paths.

Whichever path you choose, Blencathra rewards you with breathtaking panoramas that will stay with you long after your expedition has ended.

Whether you’re feeling adventurous or just looking to relax and take in the scenery, this beloved beauty spot should not be missed!

7. Buttermere And Rannerdale Knotts

Buttermere and Rannerdale Knotts offer some of the best walks in the Lake District.

The area is a paradise for nature lovers, with a wide range of flora and fauna to discover.

The lake itself is pristine and serene, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful stroll or leisurely hike.

From Buttermere, one can access Rannerdale Knotts, a beautiful hillside and wooded area with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

The route around Buttermere is an easy 2-mile walk that takes you around the entire lake.

You’ll pass through lush meadows, woodlands, and picturesque villages along the way.

As you make your way up to Rannerdale Knotts, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views across the valley towards Crummock Water and Grasmoor Fell.

Once at the top, you can enjoy more views of Buttermere below before heading back down to complete your walk.

It’s no wonder why Buttermere and Rannerdale Knotts are some of the most popular walking spots in the Lake District – they provide an escape from everyday life that nourishes both body and soul.

With its sublime scenery and relaxed atmosphere, it’s just what anyone looking for freedom needs to recharge their batteries.

8. Rydal And Grasmere

Leaving the picturesque valley of Buttermere behind, we head to Rydal and Grasmere.

Here, we find some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District.

The two villages are nestled amongst rolling hills and babbling brooks. It’s no wonder that Wordsworth called this area ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’.

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The walk from Rydal to Grasmere is a must-do for any visitor to the region.

This gentle route takes you through meadows, past the tranquil waters of Rydal Water, and over Loughrigg Fell before reaching your destination.

Along the way keep an eye out for an array of wildlife, including roe deer, red grouse, and even wild goats.

When you arrive in Grasmere there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy a well-deserved cup of tea or slice of homemade cake.

From here, you can explore one of England’s smallest lakes – Grasmere – or take a short drive down to Ambleside for some shopping and sightseeing.

No visit to the Lake District is complete without experiencing these two beautiful villages – Rydal and Grasmere – with their postcard-perfect views and captivating walks.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more adventurous hike, this area has something for everyone!

9. Latrigg

Latrigg is one of the most beautiful and accessible hikes in the Lake District.

A short drive from Keswick, it offers spectacular views of the surrounding area, including Derwentwater, Dodd, and Skiddaw.

The circular walk takes around two hours to complete and is suitable for all levels of fitness.

Even those who are not particularly fit can easily manage this hike as there is a good path up to the summit.

At the top, you’re rewarded with breathtaking views over the lake district. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Scotland!

There’s plenty of time to take photos too, so don’t forget your camera!

As well as getting to enjoy an amazing view, you can also experience some real peace and tranquility here – perfect for escaping everyday life for a while.

With its stunning scenery and peaceful atmosphere, Latrigg is definitely one of the best walks in the lake district.

10. Castle Crag Loop

Leaving Latrigg behind, the next leg of your journey takes you to Castle Crag Loop.

This trail is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Lake District from a different perspective.

The loop is a moderate hike and is suitable for almost all levels of expertise, making it perfect for families or just those wanting to stretch their legs.

The trail begins at Castlerigg Stone Circle, an ancient Celtic monument that provides breathtaking views over Keswick and Derwentwater.

As you make your way around the loop, take in the stunning scenery of mountain peaks and lush green valleys.

Keep an eye out for wild animals such as deer or red grouse, which can often be spotted along this route.

Castle Crag Loop is a great way to experience nature at its finest while soaking in some truly spectacular views.

Enjoy peaceful moments of reflection as you wander through idyllic landscapes and explore one of England’s most beautiful national parks.

Whether you decide to complete the full loop or just take in part of it, there’s no denying that Castle Crag Loop will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.

11. Ash Landing And Claife Heights

Ash Landing and Claife Heights offer some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District.

Along with stunning views, these hikes are also some of the most challenging.

With steep terrain and winding pathways, it’s easy to become mesmerized by the beauty of this picturesque landscape.

The path leading up to Ash Landing takes you through a grassy meadow, before ascending up the hillside toward a stunning viewpoint overlooking Lake Windermere.

Once atop the viewpoint, take a break to soak in your surroundings and reflect on all that nature has to offer.

For those looking for a slightly more advanced hike, Claife Heights provides an opportunity for experienced hikers to explore further into the Lake District’s wonders.

The path begins at Far Sawrey and ascends gradually along a pathway surrounded by trees, taking you through fields and forests until you reach the summit.

Here, you’ll be able to take in sweeping vistas across Esthwaite Water, Coniston Water, and Windermere from one of England’s highest points.

Take some time to appreciate nature here before heading back down another route towards Ambleside or Hawkshead.

Enjoying these walks will provide an unforgettable experience that will linger in your mind long after returning home.

12. Seathwaite To Sty Head And Grains Gill

Leaving Ash Landing and Claife Heights behind, the next spectacular walk is from Seathwaite to Sty Head and Grains Gill. This is a stunningly beautiful trek that will amaze even the most experienced of hikers.

The path begins at Seathwaite, a tiny village in the heart of Borrowdale valley.

The route will take you along the banks of Stockley Bridge, past waterfalls and meadows full of wildflowers.

After crossing the bridge, you’ll enter Styhead Pass, with its dramatic views of the Great Gable and Pillar in all its glory.

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The path then continues up to Grains Gill, where you can rest your feet while taking in the breathtaking views before continuing on to Sty Head Tarn.

Here you’ll find more incredible mountain vistas and plenty of opportunities to spot some wildlife.

This magical journey will give adventurers an unforgettable experience they’ll never forget.

With its scenic beauty and breathtaking views, it’s no wonder why this is one of the best walks in the Lake District!

13. Stargazing Stroll At Friar’s Crag

The Stargazing stroll at Friar’s Crag is the perfect way to experience the beauty of the Lake District.

Here, visitors can soak up the views of Derwentwater, with its calm waters and breathtaking mountain backdrop.

With no light pollution around, this is an ideal spot for stargazing. On a clear night, you can observe stars and constellations that are only visible in dark places.

As you take in the view of the lake, you can also admire the stars above, giving you a unique perspective on both nature and astronomy.

The Stargazing stroll at Friar’s Crag is one of those special moments that will stay with you forever.

This is a chance to escape from everyday life and connect with nature in a whole new way.

It’s a peaceful experience that leaves you feeling energized and inspired.

Whether it’s taking in the beauty of Derwentwater or searching for stars above, this walk is sure to create lasting memories that will remain with you long after your visit has ended.

14. Cathedral Quarry Walk

The Cathedral Quarry Walk is a picturesque path located in the Lake District.

The trail takes you to a stunning quarry, where its bright yellow sandstone walls are illuminated by the sun.

Along the way, you’ll find yourself surrounded by rich green pastures and rolling hills.

This walk is ideal for those looking for an escape from everyday life. Enjoy the peace and quiet as you explore this tranquil haven right in your backyard.

The Cathedral Quarry Walk also offers plenty of opportunities to take some stunning photographs.

With its dramatic landscape, rustic pathways, and breathtaking views, it’s no surprise that this walk has become popular among photographers from all around the country.

Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, you’ll find something special here – just be sure to bring your camera!

All in all, this is one of the most beautiful walks in the Lake District – perfect for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike through nature’s paradise.

15. Scenic Ullswater Walk To Aira Force

For a truly awe-inspiring experience, one should take the path from Ullswater to Air Force.

The walk is relatively easy and can be completed in around three hours, but should not be rushed as there are numerous points of interest along the way.

The initial trail winds its way through a forest of tall Scots Pines before emerging onto the banks of Ullswater.

Here, one will encounter idyllic views along with lush meadows and farmlands that are sure to captivate even the most experienced of hikers.

The path then continues on past several historical ruins before eventually reaching Aira Force waterfall.

This majestic fall is an impressive sight to behold and never fails to impress those who visit it.

Aira Force provides an opportunity for visitors to take in more than just its natural beauty; the site has a fascinating history dating back to medieval times when it was an important water source for locals.

Those looking for a peaceful yet rewarding journey through nature will find this walk not only enjoyable but educational as well.

So grab your walking boots and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Best Walks in Lake District – Final Thoughts

I have had the pleasure of exploring some of the best walks in the Lake District.

From Tarn Hows to a Stargazing stroll at Friar’s Crag, I’ve been able to witness spectacular views and explore amazing landscapes.

Each walk has its own unique characteristics that make it stand out from the rest.

The Old Man Coniston was a particularly memorable experience for me, with its stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

I also really enjoyed my time at Aira Force and the Gowbarrow Trail, which provided me with a peaceful escape from my busy everyday life.

Overall, I would highly recommend these 15 best walks in the Lake District for anyone looking for an adventure.

Not only are they enjoyable, but they also provide breathtaking views of one of Britain’s most beautiful regions.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adrenaline-filled hike, there’s something here to suit everyone.


What are some easy walks in Lake District?

Some easy walks in Lake District are Latrigg, Gummer’s How, and Arnside Knott.

What are the best circular walks in Lake District?

Some of the best circular walks in Lake District are Latrigg, Tarn How, and Buttermere.

What are some good family walks in Lake District?

Some good family walks in Lake District are Sale Fell, Castlerigg Stone Circle to Low Rigg, and Brandelhow Bay.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.