15 Best Walks in Windermere (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in Windermere (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

The Lake District is a stunning area of natural beauty and serenity, providing breathtaking views and inspiring landscapes.

If you’re looking for some of the best walks in the UK, then Windermere should be your first choice.

With its impressive mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, and abundant wildlife, it’s no wonder that so many people choose to explore this picturesque part of England.

1. Gummer’S How

Windermere from Gummer's How
Photo by John H Darch

Gummer’s How is a popular walking spot in Windermere that has beautiful views of the lake, countryside, and beyond.

The trail is located just outside of Ambleside and offers stunning panoramic views. It’s the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll or to go for a vigorous hike, depending on your preference.

There are many routes you can take, including a moderate loop around the summit plateau or an extended route that takes you through woodlands and meadows as well as along the lake shore.

Regardless of which route you choose, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding countryside and Lake Windermere.

Whether it’s a morning walk or an afternoon hike, Gummer’s How is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Take time to explore its nooks and crannies – from secluded glades to secret valleys – before heading back along one of its many paths.

With its picturesque views, Gummer’s How is definitely worth visiting on your next trip to Windermere!

2. Orrest Head

The summit of Orrest Head
Photo by David Purchase

Orrest Head is one of Windermere’s most popular hikes. It offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding fells.

Plus, it’s a relatively easy hike with a moderate climb to the summit.

But don’t let that fool you, as the trail meanders around the contours of the hillside, rewarding those who take their time.

The summit is well worth it, providing panoramic views across lake Windermere and its islands.

On a clear day, you can even see as far as Coniston Old Man in the distance.

To cap off your experience, there’s a cafe at Orrest Head where you can enjoy some refreshments and admire the view before heading back down.

So why not make your way up to Orrest Head for a memorable walk in Windermere? You won’t regret it!

3. Windermere Western Shore And Wray Castle

Low Wray Bay, Landing Stage at Wray Castle
Photo by David Dixon

The Western Shore of Windermere is a must-see for those wanting to explore the picturesque English Lake District.

From here, it’s easy to see why this area has been so beloved by hikers and nature lovers for centuries.

The path stretches along the lake, giving you views of stunning landscapes and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife.

You can also take in the peace and quiet as you stroll along the shore, admiring the unique rock formations that line the water’s edge.

At Wray Castle, you’ll find another great walk with even more breathtaking scenery.

This castle was built in 1845 and its grounds are full of lush greenery and peaceful pathways.

There are plenty of benches for resting and taking in the views, making it a perfect spot for relaxing walks or just taking some time out from your day.

For those looking for a longer hike, there are trails that lead up into nearby hills providing even more panoramic vistas of Windermere’s beauty.

Whether you’re after an easy stroll or a more intense trekking experience, these Western Shore and Wray Castle walks have something to offer everyone.

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4. Bowness On Windermere

Bowness on Windermere is a picturesque destination for any outdoor enthusiast.

Located in the heart of the Lake District, it’s the perfect starting point for your next adventure.

Enjoy stunning views of the lake and surrounding countryside as you take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of this idyllic spot.

The area has something to offer everyone; from tranquil walks along the shoreline to challenging hikes up some of England’s highest peaks.

The National Trust offers plenty of guided walks and activities to ensure you get the most out of your visit.

Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll or a more strenuous adventure, Bowness on Windermere has it all.

From here, visitors can explore a range of trails that take them through beautiful valleys, past sparkling lakes, and over-rugged moorland.

Soak up the natural beauty while taking in spectacular views – this is an experience like no other!

With so much to see and do, Bowness on Windermere is sure to leave you with lasting memories that will stay with you long after your visit ends.

5. High Wray And Wray Castle

High Wray and Wray Castle offer a stunning view of the beauty of Windermere. Enjoying a picnic by the lake, visitors can take in the breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding fells.

The castle itself is an impressive sight perched atop its hill, with a wide array of features to explore, including a stone bridge, cave dwellings, and turrets.

The walk around High Wray takes you through picturesque woodland paths, offering glimpses of Lake Windermere at every turn. This is a great hike for those looking to get away from it all and enjoy some peace and quiet in nature.

With several trails available for different levels of fitness, there’s plenty to discover here. Soak up the tranquility as you meander through this magical landscape – you won’t regret it!

Take your time exploring this area; from soaking up the views to discovering curious features along the way, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking for an adventurous hike or just a peaceful stroll, High Wray offers something special that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Whether you’re seeking peace or adventure, this is one spot that won’t disappoint!

6. Sour Howes And Sallows Circular

If you’re looking for a gorgeous walk with stunning views, the Sour Howes and Sallows Circular route is an absolute must. It’s an easy-to-moderate 4-mile hike that starts from the picturesque village of Windermere.

You’ll be taken on a journey along the edge of Lake Windermere and up into the surrounding fells.

The scenery along this route is truly awe-inspiring, as you’ll pass through rolling hills, lush green meadows, and dense woodland – all while taking in breathtaking views of Lake Windermere below.

At its highest point, you’ll reach an altitude of 1,500 feet where you can take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch or simply take time to absorb your surroundings.

On the way back down, you can follow the same path or opt to explore some of the other routes nearby.

No matter which way you choose to go, this walk will stay with you long after it’s over – it’s truly one of the best walks in Windermere!

7. Stock Ghyll Force

Stock Ghyll Force is a popular destination for those looking to get out and explore the great outdoors.

This beautiful walk follows the Stock Ghyl, a stream that cascades down from the fells above Windermere.

The route winds its way through lush green meadows, over rocky paths, and past towering pine trees.

It’s an easy walk that offers spectacular views of the lake and surrounding countryside.

The path leads to a hidden waterfall, Stock Ghyll Force, which could be compared to something you’d see in a fairytale.

The force is made up of several cascading waterfalls that plunge into a deep pool at the bottom.

It’s mesmerizing to watch and makes for a wonderful break in your walk. Pack a picnic or just take some time to relax by the edge of the pool and take in the beauty of nature.

8. The Coffin Route

If you’re looking for a challenging yet rewarding walk in Windermere, then the Coffin Route is the route for you.

This 6-mile trek from Troutbeck to Ambleside is full of stunning views and historical sites that will keep you captivated during your journey.

The route follows an old path that was used to transport coffins from Troutbeck to Ambleside for burial.

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As you make your way, you’ll encounter several sites along the way, including Iron Age Hill Forts and Stone Circles, as well as breathtaking views of Lake Windermere and the surrounding area.

You’ll also have the chance to explore quaint villages like Troutbeck and Skelwith Bridge before making your way up Wansfell Pike.

From here, you can take in some amazing views across Lake Windermere and admire some of England’s most stunning landscapes.

This unique walking experience offers something special that cannot be found anywhere else – a true exploration of history combined with some of the best panoramic views in England.

So if you’re looking for a walk that will take your breath away, then look no further than The Coffin Route!

9. High Sweden Bridge

The next hike along the famous Windermere trail is a must-see. High Sweden bridge, connecting the towns of Ambleside and Grasmere, offers some of the most spectacular views in all of the Lake District.

A walk across this historic bridge will take you through a fairytale-like landscape of rolling hills, lush forests, and tranquil lakes.

The bridge is an iconic landmark known for its distinctive arches, which were built in 1790 by stonemason John Ritson.

As you traverse the High Sweden bridge, take a moment to stop and admire the breathtaking scenery.

Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere as you gaze out into the valleys below, admiring the beauty of England’s largest lake district.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not venture off onto one of the many trails that lead away from the bridge?

These hikes are sure to provide an unforgettable experience that will have you coming back for more.

So don your walking boots and explore what Windermere has to offer!

10. Loughrigg Tarn

Loughrigg Tarn is a stunning piece of nature tucked away in the heart of Windermere.

Its serene beauty is sure to take your breath away, as you discover its hidden nooks and crannies.

It’s the perfect spot for a peaceful, leisurely stroll and provides a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The terrain around Loughrigg Tarn is flat and easy to traverse, making it an ideal walk for anyone looking for an enjoyable outdoor experience.

The walk around the lake takes approximately two hours, giving you plenty of time to take in the beautiful views and soak up some much-needed tranquility.

Along the way, you can also admire the many different varieties of wildflowers that line the banks of the lake.

As you reach the end of your journey, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views across Windermere – a guaranteed pick-me-up after your pleasant stroll.

So why not escape into nature today and explore Loughrigg Tarn? You won’t regret it!

11. West Shore Walk

The West Shore Walk is a must-do for hikers and nature lovers alike.

From the iconic Wray Castle on the north shore of Windermere to the stunning views of Claife Heights, this hike is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.

The trail begins at Wray Castle, which offers visitors an opportunity to explore its ancient walls and stunning grounds before setting out onto the shores of Windermere.

From here, hikers can take in beautiful views of both the lake and surrounding hills as they make their way south along the trail.

Along the way, you’ll pass picturesque villages, including Finsthwaite, where you can stop for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink before continuing your journey.

After admiring the views from Claife Heights, it’s time to make your way back to Wray Castle – a perfect end to an unforgettable day in Windermere’s beautiful countryside.

12. Cathedral Quarry Walk

Leaving the tranquil beauty of the Windermere West Shore Walk behind, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the breathtaking Cathedral Quarry.

This spectacular site is a great place for an easy but rewarding hike. The quarry was carved out of the solid rock by Victorian miners and today provides visitors with an amazing opportunity to explore its unique history.

The walk itself is an easy one, passing through lush woodland and open fields, giving you plenty of opportunity to take in some stunning views and appreciate nature’s beauty.

As you make your way through this remarkable landscape, keep an eye out for the ruins of a former quarryman’s cottage and old blasting equipment – reminders of days gone by.

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In addition to its historical significance, Cathedral Quarry offers some excellent birdwatching opportunities too; look out for Peregrine Falcons soaring above or Redstart singing from the trees!

Once you’ve enjoyed this scenic route and spent time taking in all that Cathedral Quarry has to offer, it will be time to head back home – with memories that are sure to last a lifetime!

13. Helm Crag Walk

The Helm Crag Walk is one of the best hikes in Windermere. It’s a great way to take in the stunning views of the Cumbrian Mountains, as well as the lush rolling hills and valleys that make up the Lake District National Park.

From a distance, it looks like you’re walking on top of the world – and that’s exactly what you’ll feel when you reach its summit.

The route begins at Grasmere, before winding its way up through peaceful woodland to an area known as ‘Lion and Lamb Rock’.

This is where the real challenge begins – but don’t worry, there are plenty of short stops along the way for those who need them.

Once at the top, you can enjoy panoramic views of both Windermere and Grasmere lakes, as well as some spectacular sunsets if you time it right!

Whatever your reason for visiting, this walk is sure to leave an impression and provide memories that will last a lifetime.

14. Brockhole

Brockhole is a must-see destination for anyone taking a walk in Windermere. It’s the perfect spot to take in the area’s stunning scenery and experience the wild nature of the Lake District.

The tranquil parkland surrounding Brockhole provides plenty of opportunity for peaceful strolls, while the lakefront offers up breathtaking views.

The house itself is an impressive building with beautiful gardens, and it plays host to a variety of events throughout the year.

There are also plenty of activities on offer, including boat hire and guided walks around Brockhole’s 30 acres of parkland.

The nearby visitor center offers information about local attractions and experiences, making it easy to find out more about what Windermere has to offer.

No matter how you choose to explore Brockhole, you can be sure that this wonderful spot will provide a memorable experience that you’ll never forget.

From its stunning natural beauty to its wealth of recreational opportunities, Brockhole is a must-visit destination on your journey through Windermere.

15. Red Nab To Wray Castle

The walk from Red Nab to Wray Castle is one of the best hikes in Windermere. It’s a peaceful, picturesque journey that takes you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the area.

From Red Nab, you’ll be welcomed by rolling hills and lush greenery, providing a perfect backdrop for the lake views ahead.

As you follow the path, you’ll come across ancient buildings and forestry that paint an idyllic picture of rural England.

After around 45 minutes, you’ll reach Wray Castle, a stunning 19th-century building that overlooks Lake Windermere.

The castle has been meticulously preserved over the years and provides a fantastic viewpoint of the lake – it’s an ideal spot for taking photos or simply soaking up the beauty of nature.

You can choose to continue further along the trail or make your way back to Red Nab – either route will provide an unforgettable experience!

Best Walks in Windermere – Final Thoughts

The Lakes District of England offers some of the most beautiful and rewarding walks in the world, and Windermere is no exception.

From Gummer’s How to Red Nab, there are 15 of the best walks that Windermere has to offer.

Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike up Helm Crag or a leisurely stroll along the Western Shore of Windermere, these routes offer something for everyone.

I personally enjoyed the views from Orrest Head and the calm waters at Bowness on Windermere.

No matter which routes you choose, you won’t be disappointed by the stunning landscapes and serene atmosphere that Windermere has to offer.

The Lakes District is an inspiring place full of natural beauty, so take some time to explore it – you won’t regret it!

If you’re looking for a unique adventure, then don’t miss out on these 15 amazing walks around Windermere.

You’ll get to experience breathtaking views, peaceful countryside, and plenty of fresh air – all while exploring one of England’s most picturesque regions. So grab your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and enjoy!


What are some easy walks in Windermere?

Some easy walks in Windermere are Loughrigg Tarn, West Shore Walk, and Tarn Hows.

What are the best circular walks in Windermere?

Some of the best circular walks in Windermere are Gummer’s How, Orrest Head, and Stockghyll Force.

What are some good family walks in Windermere?

Some good family walks in Windermere are Brant Fell Walk, Loughrigg Tarn, and West Shore Walk.

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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.