England is full of rich and vibrant countryside, the perfect setting for wonderful hiking routes for those that care to look for it. The Lake District is a place so famously praised for the endless supply of beauty that it brings to our country, attracting visitors from all around the world. The issue many people face is, when beautiful scenery is everywhere, where do you look? Read on to discover our 7 favourite Lake District walking routes, to help you make the most of your trip in this magical region!
Catbells Lakeland Walk (Keswick)
Awarded the prestigious ‘Certificate of Excellence’ on tripadvisor, Catbells Lakeland Walk more than earns its spot on our list of favourite Lake District walking routes, and here’s why. A relatively short distance (3.7 miles/ 6 KM) and listed by Walk Lakes as one of the easy walks in the Lake District, this would be a perfect trip out for anyone who wants to enjoy the stunning landscape, but not take on too much of a challenge. If walking on a clear day, upon reaching the top of the ridge you will be presented with some stunning views of the Derwent Water lake. To the North, you can see the quaint market town of Keswick and some (occasionally snow-capped) hills in the distance. If you have time, make sure to take your campervan down to Keswick and explore novelty local attractions, such as the Derwent Pencil Museum (yes that is a real place).
Scafell Pike Mountain Corridor Route (Seathwaite)
For those adventure seekers out there, Scafell Pike provides a bit more of a challenge. The aggressive-sounding name is not just a front for this 978 Meter high mountain, as it is the tallest mountain in England and often considered the most difficult mountain to climb in the ‘Three Peaks Challenge’. This particular route is one of the most popular and starts in the small hamlet of Seathwaite, in the Lake District’s Borrowdale Valley. There is plenty of free parking and the paths are of high quality, making it possible to use even in bad weather! While climbing Scafell Pike certainly cannot be categorised as an easy walk in the Lake District, the Corridor Route is the best option for less experienced hikers with gentle gradients. Take time to enjoy the views along the way, making sure to stop at Great End, Ill Crag and Broad Crag for breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and rocky streams.
Skiddaw – Dodd
If you are looking for great circular walk in the Lake District during the winter months, look no further than Dodd! The area is a beautifully decorated fell that can be found just four miles north of Keswick. Dotted with various species of evergreen trees, it is described as the ‘perfect winter walk’. This makes it suitable for anyone who is eager to venture into the outdoors, and cannot bear to wait until spring. For those eager to get out of hibernation, the walk up Skiddaw mountain to the Dodd summit is a gentle and refreshing way to burn off those Christmas calories.
The famous fellwalker Alfred Wainwright once described Borger Dalr as the “finest square mile in Lakeland”, this walk is definitely a step in the right direction! This is a fantastic circular walk in the Lake District which includes the the fascinating summit of Castle Crag, believed to be the site of an ancient fort over 2000 years old. Along the way you will also encounter Peace How, a small summit which was famously used as a place of tranquility by soldiers returning from battle during the First World War. The views across the landscape on this Lake District walking route are breathtaking, with particular emphasis on the geological history of the area.
Greendale and Middle Fell – Western Fells
If you want to avoid the flocks of hikers and nature lovers, you can head to a more discreet location in the west of the Lake District, known as the Western Fells. Here you can find a 3.5 mile walk through Greendale and Middle Fell, including a stiff 570m uphill climb and moderately rough paths. There are great rewards when you reach the top, especially if there is clear visibility, as you will be able to spot the Isle of Man. This circular Lake District walk is relatively difficult to access through public transport, but can easily be found if you have a car or campervan. Simply take the A595 turnoff for Gosforth, and then follow signs for Nether Wasdale, then Wastwater Lake shore.
Tom Gill to Tarn Hows, Coniston
We feel that amazing experiences are for everybody, and that is one reason why Tom Gill to Tarn Hows is included in our top seven favourites. With free parking for National Trust members and mobility scooter and pushchair friendly paths, this is a nice easy walk in the Lake District. This is shortest route on our list at just 1.6 miles, but this does not mean you will miss out as you will find yourself immersed in the vast beauty of the landscape. If you decided to pop along in the summertime, you might even be lucky enough to find an ice cream van waiting in the carpark!
Friar’s Crag, Keswick
Last but definitely not least, we have Friar’s Crag. Described by John Ruskin as one of the three most beautiful scenes in Europe, Friar’s Crag boasts clear views over to Derwent Isle, and across the lake to Brandlehow woods. Stop by a bench to sit and enjoy the awe-inspiring views, have a picnic on the shore or even go for a swim in Derwent Water. This area is also recommended for nighttime expeditions, as the lack of light pollution makes an excellent location for stargazing. So park your telescope and a good torch and discover the night sky like never before!
Where to camp in the Lake District
Located in 25 acres of the picturesque Lake District landscape a short distance from Lake Windermere, award winning Park Cliffe is the perfect base for exploring England’s largest lake and the southern part of the national park. The site has amazing environmental credentials and has won David Bellamy’s Golden Conservation Award, so if you are looking to relax and experience the wonders of nature then this is the campsite for you! Guests can make use of the wonderful shower and toilet facilities (including underfloor heating and dedicated family areas), stock up at the licensed shop selling local produce, enjoy local fare at the bar and restaurant and kids can make the most of the outdoor play area and games room. You may even get to meet Taylor the campsite cat!
The Quiet Site
Situated in the heart of the Lake District, the multi-award winning Quiet Site campsite is surrounded by the stunning scenery of Ullswater and makes the ideal base for a host of outdoor activities. One of the campsites biggest attractions is the cosy Quiet Bar. Set in a 17th century barn and offering regular live music performances, the bar has a fantastic atmosphere perfect for creating those holiday memories (there are even areas for children)! Most of the hot water is heated by solar power and showers and even baths are free of charge! There are hard standings available, electric hook-ups, water points, a laundry room, a motorhome service point and much more.
With panoramic views of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake, Castlerigg Hall campsite is ideally situated just outside Keswick making it the perfect base for many of the hikes in this blog! The campsite has a variety of pitch options, some with lake views, others amongst the trees and there is also the option of hook-up only, standard and superior pitches each with its own benefits. Castlerigg Hall has a fully tiled amenity block with underfloor heating, a shop offering a wide range of products, a laundry room, a campers kitchen and is dog friendly.
There is also the option to take part in the ‘3 Lakes Tour’ offered by us and our friends at The Quiet Site and Castlerigg Hall, giving visitors the opportunity to experience staying at the three lakes of Derwentwater, Ullswater and Windermere and enjoy discounts on various lake cruises.
Have a fun and active time in this beautiful corner of the world and stay safe. If you want to find a motorhome or campervan in the area you can find them with Goboony!