Lake District Walks

Walks in the Lake District National Park

The Lake District is England’s no 1 fell walking destination. While Snowdonia has the hill walking quality, the English Lake District has both quality and quantity.  Designated as the Lake District National Park in 1951 and extended in 2016 to cover an area of 2363 km2. The Lake District was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. The Lake District is entirely within the county of Cumbria.

The Lake District National Park boasts a number of towns and villages geared up to the walker. From Ambleside to Keswick, Windermere to Coniston,  Borrowdale, Great Langdale and Patterdale. There’s good walking from them all.

Every walk seems to have a pub to hand, and a good one at that. The Lakes excel at catering for the walker, especially the thirsty ones! There’s no destination to compare with Bowness on Windermere, which has all the facilities but doesn’t have any hill walking directly from the town.

How many mountains are there in the Lake District? The hills of the Lake District are best described by using the Wainwrights, a collection of 214 summits that are included for their interest to the walker rather than height and such stuff. Alfred Wainwright featured them in his 7 volume Pictorial Guide to the Lake District fells.

Wainwright also identified 116 Outlying Fells, which we have included in the main category areas below. Click through these areas to see a full list of walks in these areas, with a full list of summits in that area to follow as well as a route to EVERY summit as we add them. If you include the Wainwright Fells (Regular and Outlying) as well as the Nuttalls and Hewitts then you get a total of 396 hills of some description in the Lake District! However, if you look at those over 600m with at least 150m drop each side (known as Marilyns) then you’re down to a modest list of 28 mountains in the Lake Distict. Either way, the Lake District includes the only Furth Munros in England.

The Lake District was split by Wainwright into seven distinct areas:

Lakes Central Fells

The Central Fells are unsurprisingly in the centre of the national park stretching from Keswick to Ambleside. It’s bound along it’s eastern edge with Thirlmere with Langdale to the south and Borrowdale to the west.  The highest point is High Raise at 762 metres. There are 27 Wainwrights here, with Harrison Stickle, Sergeant Man, Ullscarf, Thunacar Knott, Pike of Stickle, Pavey Ark, Loft Crag and High Seat among the highest.

Lakes Eastern Fells

The Lake District’s Easten Fells are bordered at their southern end by Rydal, Ambleside and the Kirkstone Pass. To the East by Ullswater, Thirlmere to the West and petering off towards the A66 in the north. It includes such illustrious peaks as Helvellyn and Fairfield – both classic Lakeland peaks with exceptional walking. Helvellyn boasts the best scrambling in the Lakes, with both Striding Edge and Swirral Edge forming an exciting horseshoe. We’ve dedicated a post to All the Walks up Helvellyn . Among it’s haul of 35 Wainwrights, you’ll also find the summits of Catstye Cam, Raise, St Sunday Crag, Red Screes and Seat Sandal.

Lake District Walks Helvellyn

Lakes Far Eastern Fells

With a higest point of High Street at 828m, the Far Eastern Fells are bound to the north by Ullswater, the East by Haweswater, the Eastern Fells to the West and slowly descending south towards Windermere and Staveley. While it boasts High Street, a true lump of a mountain with many approaches there are a total of 36 Wainwrights. Among these are Rampsgill Head, Kidsty Pike, Harter Fell, Mardale Ill Bell, Ill Bell, Kentmere Pike, Froswick and Yoke – to name just a select few!

All the Walks up High Street will follow soon.

Lakes North Western Fells

Bound to the west by Crummock Water and Buttermere, the east by Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water and the south by the Honnister Pass and Borrowdale. The highest point being Grasmoor at 852 metres, part of the classic Coledale Round. Other notable hills out of 29 Wainwrights  include Grisedale Pike, Sail, Dale Head, Robinson, High Spy and Causey Pike.

Lakes Northern Fells

Lying to the north of Keswick, the Northern Fells of the Lake District contain the Furth Munro of Skiddaw and the complex Blencathra. While the former has the height advantage at 931 metres, Blencathra has a bit more interest with scrambling options such as Sharp Edge. Further north still, an you’re in the wilderness of the Caldbeck Fells.

We’ve All The Walks up Skiddaw and Blencathra coming soon.

Lakes Southern Fells

This is where you can find the highest mountains in the Lake District; Scafell Pike and Scafell. So popular that we think it deserves its own website – Walk up Scafell Pike. It’s a large area, stretching from Wastwater in Wasdale to Coniston Water, with Langdale bordering the north.

It also includes Coniston Old Man, another of the Lake’s most popular summits. Other summits out of a total of 30 Wainwrights in the area include Bowefell, Esk Pike, Crinkle Crags, Lingmell, Glaramara, Wetherlam, Pike of Blisco, Harter Fell and Illgill Head

Lake District Walks Scafell Pike Corridor Route Bad Step

Lakes Western Fells

The Western Fells are an expansive area stretching from Wastwater in the south, to Buttermere in the north. It includes a number of ridges including the Mosedale Horseshoe and High Stile. There’s also the iconic Great Gable that dominates Wasdale. Notable peaks inclde Pillar, Kirk Fell and Seatallan among a total of 33 Wainwrights.

Lower Level Walks in the Lake District

That’s not to mention the wealth of lower level walking opportunities such as the Coffin Route and Catbells, as well as all those ‘waters’ , tarns and ‘meres’ to walk around as there’s only one ‘lake’ as such in the Lake District and that’s Bassenthwaite Lake. There’s the Cumbrian Coast that offers further good walking.

We’ll be adding our Best Easy Fell Walks for Beginners soon.

See our full selection of Lake District walks by scrolling below.

Scramble up Helvellyn via Striding Edge

Best Walks from Glenridding and Patterdale

Glenridding and Patterdale are two small villages close to each other at the southern end of Ullswater in the Lake District. Glenridding is Cumbric in origin, with it’s name loosely meaning Bracken Glen. *Redïn, meaning ‘ferns, bracken’ (or rhedyn in Welsh), and *glinn, ‘valley’ or glen. Patterdale is simply Saint Patrick’s Dale. What’s In Glenridding and Patterdale?  Glenridding …

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Walk up Place Fell from Patterdale

Walk up Place Fell from Patterdale

The summit of Place Fell looms high above Patterdale at the southern end of Ullswater and is one of the most prominent peaks visible from Glenridding. That makes it a compelling half day outing if you’re based here. Place Fell is located between the ranges of Helvellyn and High Street, and so makes a natural viewpoint …

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Buttermere Lakeside Walk

Buttermere Lakeside Walk

This walk around Buttermere lake (as opposed to Buttermere village – don’t get us started on mere/lake – we know!) was voted one of Britain’s favourite walks in a poll in 2018 and is certainly one of the most beautiful and scenic walks in the Lake District. Not only does it have a village that’s …

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Easy Walk Around Brothers Water

Easy Walk Around Brothers Water

There are few lakes as scenic as Brothers Water in the Lake District. This easy Lake District walk along the shores of Brothers Water takes in the best of this picturesque Lakeland gem. Would be an ideal walk to start from either Sykeside campsite or the Brotherswater Inn. Brothers Water was once named Broad Water, but …

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Fairfield Horseshoe from Ambleside

Fairfield Horseshoe from Ambleside

The Fairfield Horseshoe is a high level walk around the valley of Rydal and can comfortably be considered one of the Lake District classics thanks to its combination of ridges, sweeping scenery and no-less than eight Wainwrights – all packed into just over 16 kilometres of superb fell-walking. It is perhaps the most famous circuits …

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