The Lake District boasts some of the best mountain days in the UK. From Striding Edge on Helvellyn, to Scafell Pike, The Fairfield Horseshoe and Skiddaw; the list goes on. These may be an ambition for those starting out with fell walking, and the list of easier circular walks in the Lake District that follows are more suitable for fell walking beginners. These are all mid-level walks in the Lake District, ideal for families as well as mountain novices, but remember that these are still FELL Walks.
We’ve selected these as they provide a great walk, views, without being neither too long or ascending to high. You may still need some navigational skills if the mist descends, so remember that these are ‘relatively’ easy compared to the high fells,
Recommended Maps for the Easier Lake District Walks: The Lake District is split into 4 Outdoor Leisure maps, so we suggest that you check the individual routes as to which map you specifically need. Though with some popular areas crossing maps, you’re best just getting the set and be done with it.
We also highly recommend the Lake District BMC Mountain Map from Harvey that covers these walks on one 1:40:000 scale map. Of course, you’ll need to know how ti use it, so check out our free online Navigation Course.
Recommended Lake District Guidebooks: We recommend either the Lakeland Fellranger series by Cicerone or the Wainwright’s Illustrated Walking Guides to the Lake District which will include most, if not all these summits as each walk includes a Wainwright summit or two.
Check the weather forecast before you set off – Met Office Lake District Mountain Weather
Height Gained – 340 metres , Distance – 6.5 km, Time –3 hours
With views across Windermere and into the fells of Lakeland, this walk provides the breathtaking vistas that make the exertion worth it. THe walk up Wansfell Pike is on largely good paths, and can be made easier by excluding the summit of Baystones.
Height Gained – 370 metres , Distance – 7 km, Time –3 hours
The summit of Helm Crag is a modest 405m in height, but gives the novice hill walker a real feel of the mountains. Views down towards Grasmere and beyond are a bonus!
Height Gained – 400 metres , Distance – 9.4 km, Time –3 hours
The summit of Loughrigg Fell is centrally placed, so has views down Windermere in one direction and Rydal Waterand Grasmere in the other. Loughrigg Fell is served with some excellent tracks, especially along Rydal Water.
Height Gained – 400 metres , Distance – 6.3 km, Time –2-3 hours
The ascent of Catbells is probably one of the most popular easy fells in the Lake District for beginners, and for good reasons. It’s got the feel of a mini mountain, and views of the surrounding mountains and Derwentwater to boot. A must do route.
Height Gained – 200 metres , Distance – 3.6 km, Time –1.5 hours
If Catbells is too much, or time short, then a stroll to Walla Crag from near Keswick might fit the bill. It’s still 376 metres in height as well as being an alternative viewpoint over Derwentwater.
Height Gained – 470 metres , Distance – 7 km, Time –3 hours
Steel Fell is perfectly poised to provide views over Thirlmere to Blencathra in one direction and straight down Grasmere in the other. It’s the highest hill on this list at 553 metres in height.
Height Gained – 90 metres , Distance – 2 km, Time –1 hours
From the tallest to the one requiring the least amount of ascent – the summit of Latrigg on the slopes of Skiddaw. At only 2km, with a negligible 90 metres of ascent – this is an ideal starter hill.
Height Gained – 100 metres , Distance – 2.3 km, Time –1 hour
If we’re talking about ideal first summits, then Orrest Head from Windermere is in some respects the first Wainwright. It was the first summit he climbed and inspired him to walk them all, and may well have the same effect on you.
Height Gained – 300 metres , Distance – 8.4 km, Time –3 hours
The summit of Black Fell is somewhat secondary to the scenic Tarn Hows in this mixed walk. Variety is something to welcome on a walk, and this one has everything from hills to forests to one of the Lake District’s most popular tatn.
Height Gained – 450 metres , Distance – 7.5 km, Time –3 hours
Similar to the previous route, this one includes a mountain tarn that outshines the summit somewhat. Views from this walk across Great Langdale will certainly whet your appetite for those tougher hills.
Height Gained – 410 metres , Distance – 8.3 km, Time –3 hours
This walk could easily be split in two for those wanting an even easier option. These are quiet fells for avoiding the crowds boasting views across Bassenthwaite Lake to Skiddaw.
Height Gained – 425 metres , Distance – 7.8 km, Time –3 hours