Lake District Hikes

The Lake District in Cumbria is one of my favourite places to go. I’m lucky enough that this beautiful part of the country is not that far away from my home. I’ve visited many times and hiked countless trails and tarns from my tent! Below are seven of my favourite hikes.

Glenridding – Air Force Waterfall – Pooley Bridge

9.3 miles on way / 18.6 miles round trip (6.5 hours)

This walk takes you along the edge of Ullswater Lake via the Aira Force Waterfall – probably the most famous waterfall in The Lake District. Ullswater is my favourite lake in Cumbria and has some amazing views. Make it 6 hours and walk all the way around!

Ambleside – Elterwater – Blea Tarn

6.7 miles one way / 13.4 round trip (5 hours)

Blea Tarn is a picturesque mountain lake just a few miles walk from Elterwater. There’s a fair amount of uphill walking through a field to get to the tarn. But once you reach it, it’s a beautiful and extremely peaceful spot. A great place for a picnic on a nice day!

There are three routes either via Skelwith Bridge, Elterwater or Rydal Water. All equally as good!

Windemere – Ambleside – Low Wray

14.5 miles round trip (5 hours)

It’s a long walk but with lots of great stops along the way. Windemere is a popular tourist town right on the lake shore with plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy. One of my favourite places along this walk is Lucy’s in Ambleside. They have some amazing food and such a lovely little restaurant!

Rydal Water – Grasmere – Elterwater – Skelwith – Ambleside

11.4 miles round trip (4 hours)

Rydal Water is a much smaller lake but its beautiful and much quieter than other lakes such as Windemere. It also passes through Grasmere which is famous for its amazing fresh gingerbread shop. You can smell it all over the village! There is also a nice waterfall to see at Skelwith Force.

Derwent Water – Keswick – Castlerigg Stone Circle

4.6 miles one way / 9.2 miles round trip (3 hours – 6.5 hours)

A shorter walk through one of the larger towns in the Lake District to an ancient and well preserved stone circle on the top of the hill. A one way walk is just 1.5 hours.

For a more challenging walk, carry on to the peak of Blencathra.

Ullswater – Red Tarn – Grisedale Tarn

11.3 miles round trip (5.5 hours)

A beautiful walk up the hills from Ullswater to Red Tarn and Grisedale Tarn. A little harder than some of the other walks but I can guarantee the scenery will be worth it!

This walk is better on a clear day. Otherwise it’s likely the tarn will be covered in fog or you’ll be inside a cloud and not be able to see much! The photo taken above was a a few seconds of clear skies between the clouds!

Great Langdale – Loughrigg Fell – Grasmere

7.9 miles round trip (3 hours)

This is a wonderful walk around some lush green fields and not too strenuous. You will get some great views from Loughrigg Fell and there is a lovely country pub at Elterwater for a rest stop.

The Lake District is a great place to visit all year round but especially during summer and autumn when its camping season. It can be really cheap and peaceful! I would recommend The Quiet Site at Ullswater – you can wake up every morning to watch the sunrise over the lake!

If you do manage to take any of these routes let me know what you think.

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Photo of Windermere by Abbasi1111 – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

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