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The Best Walks and Hikes in the Lake District

Located in the heart of the northern English countryside, the Lake District National Park is renowned for its incredible natural beauty. With its rolling hills, tranquil lakes, and stunning mountain peaks, the Lake District is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. With over three and a half thousand kilometres of pathways, the Lake District is a walker and hiker’s dream. Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll or an epic hike, here’s our guide to the best walks and hikes in the Lake District.

1. The Great Langdale Valley Walk

The Great Langdale Valley Walk is an easy 8-mile route that takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Lake District. Starting and ending in the village of Elterwater, the route follows the River Brathay as it winds its way through the valley. Highlights of the walk include the spectacular views of Lingmoor Fell, the beautiful Loughrigg Tarn and the cascading waterfalls of Dungeon Ghyll. Along the way, you’ll pass quaint hamlets, traditional farmhouses and the ruins of an old mill.

The walk takes around 4-5 hours and is relatively easy, with the only difficult section being the ascent up to Great Langdale Beck. But the effort is rewarded with stunning views and a sense of being truly immersed in the beauty of nature.

The Great Langdale Valley Walk is an ideal route for beginner walkers or those looking for an easy yet rewarding route.

2. Hartsop Dodd

Hartsop Dodd is a 6-mile circular walk that takes in some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District. Starting at the car park in the village of Hartsop, the route follows the Patterdale Valley as it winds its way up to the summit of Hartsop Dodd. Along the way, you’ll pass stunning waterfalls, cascading streams and meadows full of wildflowers. As you reach the summit, the views of the surrounding fells and valleys are simply breathtaking.

The route is moderately challenging, with some challenging ascents and descents, but the rewards are well worth it. The walk takes around 3-4 hours and is an ideal route for those looking for a slightly more challenging walk.

3. Helvellyn

Helvellyn is one of the most popular and challenging hikes in the Lake District. At 3,117 feet, it is the third-highest peak in England and provides some of the most stunning views in the Lake District. The route starts at the village of Glenridding and follows the banks of Ullswater as it winds its way up to the summit of Helvellyn. Along the way, you’ll pass stunning lakes, cascading waterfalls and some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District.

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The route is challenging and takes around 6-7 hours. It is an ideal route for experienced hikers looking for an epic challenge.

4. Catbells

Catbells is one of the most popular and rewarding walks in the Lake District. At just over 2,000 feet, it is the perfect route for those looking for a challenging yet achievable hike. The route starts at the village of Keswick and follows the banks of Derwentwater as it winds its way up to the summit of Catbells. Along the way, you’ll pass stunning lakes, cascading waterfalls and some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District.

The route is challenging but achievable and takes around 3-4 hours. It is an ideal route for those looking for a challenge, but who don’t want to tackle an epic hike.

5. Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England and one of the most challenging hikes in the Lake District. At 3,210 feet, it is the perfect route for experienced hikers looking for an epic challenge. The route starts at the village of Wasdale Head and follows the banks of Wastwater as it winds its way up to the summit of Scafell Pike. Along the way, you’ll pass stunning lakes, cascading waterfalls and some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District.

The route is challenging and takes around 8-10 hours. It is an ideal route for experienced hikers looking for an epic challenge.

6. Haystacks

Haystacks is one of the most popular and rewarding walks in the Lake District. At just over 1,900 feet, it is the perfect route for those looking for a challenging yet achievable hike. The route starts at the village of Buttermere and follows the banks of Ennerdale Water as it winds its way up to the summit of Haystacks. Along the way, you’ll pass stunning lakes, cascading waterfalls and some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District.

The route is challenging but achievable and takes around 4-5 hours. It is an ideal route for those looking for a challenge, but who don’t want to tackle an epic hike.

7. Ullswater Way

The Ullswater Way is an easy 12-mile route that takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Lake District. Starting and ending in the village of Pooley Bridge, the route follows the Ullswater Lake shoreline as it winds its way through the valley. Highlights of the walk include the spectacular views of the lake, the beautiful Aira Force waterfall and the ruins of an old Roman road. Along the way, you’ll pass quaint hamlets, traditional farmhouses and the ruins of an old castle.

The walk takes around 6-7 hours and is relatively easy, with the only difficult section being the ascent up to Gowbarrow Fell. But the effort is rewarded with stunning views and a sense of being truly immersed in the beauty of nature.

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The Ullswater Way is an ideal route for beginner walkers or those looking for an easy yet rewarding route.

8. Blencathra

Blencathra is one of the most popular and challenging hikes in the Lake District. At 2,850 feet, it is the perfect route for experienced hikers looking for an epic challenge. The route starts at the village of Threlkeld and follows the banks of Thirlmere as it winds its way up to the summit of Blencathra. Along the way, you’ll pass stunning lakes, cascading waterfalls and some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District.

The route is challenging and takes around 6-7 hours. It is an ideal route for experienced hikers looking for an epic challenge.

9. Fairfield Horseshoe

The Fairfield Horseshoe is an epic 10-mile route that takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Lake District. Starting and ending in the village of Ambleside, the route follows a horseshoe shape as it winds its way around Fairfield and takes in some of the highest peaks in the Lake District. Highlights of the walk include the spectacular views of the surrounding peaks, the beautiful Red Tarn and the ruins of an old Roman fort. Along the way, you’ll pass quaint hamlets, traditional farmhouses and the ruins of an old church.

The walk takes around 6-7 hours and is moderately challenging, with some difficult ascents and descents. But the effort is rewarded with stunning views and a sense of being truly immersed in the beauty of nature.

The Fairfield Horseshoe is an ideal route for intermediate walkers or those looking for a slightly more challenging route.

10. Coniston Old Man

Coniston Old Man is one of the most popular and rewarding hikes in the Lake District. At just over 2,400 feet, it is the perfect route for those looking for a challenging yet achievable hike. The route starts at the village of Coniston and follows the banks of the lake as it winds its way up to the summit of Coniston Old Man. Along the way, you’ll pass stunning lakes, cascading waterfalls and some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District.

The route is challenging but achievable and takes around 4-5 hours. It is an ideal route for those looking for a challenge, but who don’t want to tackle an epic hike.

11. Langdale Pikes

The Langdale Pikes is an easy 8-mile route that takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Lake District. Starting and ending in the village of Elterwater, the route follows a horseshoe shape as it winds its way around the Langdale Pikes. Highlights of the walk include the spectacular views of the surrounding peaks, the beautiful Stickle Tarn and the ruins of an old Roman fort. Along the way, you’ll pass quaint hamlets, traditional farmhouses and the ruins of an old chapel.

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The walk takes around 4-5 hours and is relatively easy, with the only difficult section being the ascent up to Harrison Stickle. But the effort is rewarded with stunning views and a sense of being truly immersed in the beauty of nature.

The Langdale Pikes is an ideal route for beginner walkers or those looking for an easy yet rewarding route.

12. High Street

High Street is one of the most popular and challenging hikes in the Lake District. At 2,950 feet, it is the perfect route for experienced hikers looking for an epic challenge. The route starts at the village of Troutbeck and follows the banks of Brothers Water as it winds its way up to the summit of High Street. Along the way, you’ll pass stunning lakes, cascading waterfalls and some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District.

The route is challenging and takes around 8-10 hours. It is an ideal route for experienced hikers looking for an epic challenge.

From gentle strolls to epic hikes, the Lake District is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there’s something for everyone in the Lake District. From the spectacular views of Helvellyn to the stunning waterfalls of Dungeon Ghyll, the Lake District is an endless source of beauty and wonder.

So pack your walking boots, grab your map and get exploring – the best walks and hikes in the Lake District are just waiting to be discovered!