Best Easy and Low Level Walks in the Lake District
By Dave Roberts
on November 11, 2018 5/5 (1)
Best Easy and Low Level Walks in the Lake District
The Lake District is best known for it’s fell walks and Wainwrights, but there are easier and low level walks that are suitable for all abilities. Whether you’re looking for an easy walk in the Lake District suitable to your group’s abilities, or a low level walking route for when the fells are too wet, windy or wintery for your liking. That said, these shouldn’t be seen as second best to the hills, with some of Britain’s favourite walks to be found among them.
This post compliments our Easier Lake District Fell Walks for Beginners which details some of the easier lower summits in the Lake District and 10 Harder Walks in the Lake District as well as our Best Walks in the Lake District. We’re sure you’ll find something you like in that lot!
Height Gained – 170 metres , Distance – 7 km, Time – 2 hours
This was voted one of Britain’s favourite walks, and the circular route around Buttermere is certainly a classic walk with superb scenery. It’s been a favourite since the Victorians started visiting the area and it’s not hard to see why. Views towards the hils of Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks dominate the view. There’s the added bonus of finishing off with a cream tea or pint at Buttermere at the walk’s end.
Height Gained – 190 metres , Distance – 6.5 km, Time –2 hours
This low level walk between Ambleside and Grasmere is another of Britain’s favourite walks, boasting lakes, woodland and as this is Wordsworth Country; two of his homes at Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage. Boasting both Rydal Water and Grasmere on the way, the only question is how you can get back to the start. You can easily return on the far end of Grasmere via Dale End and follow the Loughrigg Terrace to return to Ambleside.
Height Gained – 100 metres , Distance –3.6 km, Time –1hr 30min
This short walk provides part of the return Coffin Route, with Rydal Cave and Rydal Water the main highlights of the walk. Note that Rydal Cave is man made, but nevertheless well worth the short diversion.
Height Gained –200 metres , Distance – 6 km, Time –2 hours
With this being the Lake District, it’s no surprise that yet another walk involves a walk along a body of water – Ullswater in this instance. This is a short circular walk from Patterdale that can easily be extended to Howtown along the Ullswater Way. You can return using the Ullswater Steamers that travel between Pooley Bridge, Howtown, Glenridding, and Aira Force.
Height Gained –300 metres , Distance – 8.4 km, Time –3 hours
Tarn Hows near Consiton is one of the most popular tarns in the Lake District, and not surprising. What may be surprising is that it’s largely man made. It was originally three smaller tarns that were merged in the 18th century to create the tarn we see today. The route also includes Black Fell, but the walk can easily be kept low along bridleways to keep the ascent and distance down.
Height Gained –450 metres , Distance 7.5 km, Time –3 hours
Blea Tarn near Great Langdale is one of the most scenic locations in the Lake District, and is exceptionally popular. This walk also includes Lingmoor Fell which you can exclude if you wish for a much shorter circuit around the lake. The views towards the nearby Langdale Pikes are quite stunning.
Height Gained – 180 metres , Distance – 4.7 km, Time –2 hours
This walk has a bit of a climb to start with, but despite that is an easy enough walk. There’s plenty of exploration to be had up here, with Lily Tarn being the largest of the many tiny tarns to be found on this rocky shoulder. Some will be easy to find, others might be hidden behind a knoll. An ideal family walk to see how many you can find.
Height Gained – 280 metres , Distance – 14.5 km, Time –4 hours
From a tiny tarn to the much more substantial Derwentwater – with a longer low level circular walk. Those looking for an easier option aren’t left out, as you can shorten the walk to join two of the stops on the Keswick Launch as a shorter walk. There are 8 jetties in all – so plenty of scope to walk only the section of lakeside that you want.
Height Gained – 500 metres , Distance –15 km, Time –5 hours
This may be a slightly longer walk, but remains low for most of the distance and you could also walk sections of the route if you’re looking for shorter options. Highlights of the routes are many, but include Great Langdale, Blea Tarn and the views to the Langdales, Little Langdale and it’s Cathedral Cave and Slater Bridge.
Height Gained – 55 metres , Distance – 4 km, Time – an hour or so
This is a very easy walk along a good path along Brother’s Water at the head of Patterdale. This lake is named after two brothers who drowned while ice skating on the frozen lake in 1812 and was previously named Broad Water. This is an out and back walk – with the Brotherswater Inn being the convenient turning point.
Height Gained – 390 metres , Distance – 6.5 km, Time – 3 hours
While we’ve included plenty of lakes, on each walk so far, we’ll end with a waterfall. Aira Force is one of the most popular waterfalls in the Lake District and can be found just off Ullswater between Pooley Bridge and Glenridding. This route includes Gowbarrow Fell, but just walking to Aira Force is an easy walk of under 1km.
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