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.

18 - Red Screes - The Highest Mountains In England - The Top 25

Red Screes from Kirkstone Pass

Red Screes is a peak easily reached from the Kirkstone Pass. You’re already an impressive 445m up, which is practically at the summit. Not quite, but only 350m of ascent will find you up top. There’s an easy path for the entire route, despite not appearing on the OS maps. This is can also be …

Red Screes from Kirkstone Pass Read More »

Coniston Old Man Jack Diamond Path

An alternative route up Coniston Old Man rather than taking the busier tourist path and just as quick. Returns via  Dow Crag and Buck Pike and the Walna Scar Road. The Route Click here to view the full description and download the route in a new window (external site).

Great Gable via the Passes

Some mountains, such as Cnicht, tend to be worth viewing in the main from just the one direction. A bit like an optical illusion, move a little to either side and the effect is lost. Some mountains, however, seem to have an ever changing facade as you view them from different directions. Great Gable is one such …

Great Gable via the Passes Read More »

Grasmoor and Rannerdale Knotts

This shapely fell rises steeply above Crummock Water, but is easily ascended by the path that skirts around Gasgale Gill. Easily add on the fells of Whiteside and Hopegill Head on the ascent, or just Crag Hill which this route inexplicably omits. The Route Click here to view the full description and download the route in …

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Black Combe Walk from Silecroft

The fells to the far south of the Lake District are less rugged and barely scrape the 600m contour. Black Combe can be ascended from sea level, which somewhat makes up for the lack of altitude. The Route Click here to view the full description and download the route in a new window (external site).

High Raise and Ullscarf from Borrowdale

A fine fell walk over Ullscarf and High Raise, and fine views owing to their central location. The Route Click here to view the full description and download the route in a new window (external site).

Wansfell Pike Walk

Whilst there are better ways to spend a full day’s walking from Ambleside, this easier route over Wansfell Pike to Troutbeck and back, provides a less strenuous alternative. The Route Click here to view the full description and download the route in a new window (external site).

Scandale and Red Screes Walk from Ambleside

The outlier of the Fairfield group, Red Screes is just enough for an easy day out if you can’t tack it onto a longer day from Fairfield. The Route Click here to view the full description and download the route in a new window (external site).

Scafell Pike via Cam Spout

A slightly longer than usual approach to Scafell Pike that starts from Eskdale. It’s a wilder walk, with the long approach from Eskdale and the crossing of the boggy Great Moss and finishing off with an easy scramble up the Cam Spout just for good measure. The Route Click here to view the full description and download …

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Harter Fell from Hardknott Pass

The hardest bit about this trip may well be the drive up the Hardknott Pass. An ideal way to clear the smell of burning brakepads from your nostrils. The Route Click here to view the full description and download the route in a new window (external site).