8 Epic Lake District walks you need to do banner image

8 Epic Lake District walks you need to do

Jamie Knop By Jamie Knop

It’s no secret that the Lake District is one of the most beautiful places in England with some epic walks to boot. Walker and cyclist Jamie Knop has listed eight of the most epic Lake District walks you need to tick off your bucket list.

The Lake District National Park has a diverse landscape that attracts tourists all year round and ranges from picturesque lakes to craggy fells. One of the best ways to explore the Lake District is by foot, and there are plenty of walks to choose from. These vary in terms of difficulty and there's routes to suit people of all ages and abilities. Here are eight of my favourite.

Click on the relevant Lake District OS Explorer map to work out your exact route and navigate whilst you're there, or find/plot routes online in OS Maps.

Lake district maps

1. Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike

At 3,209ft, the famous Scafell Pike is no easy feat. However, the mountain provides breath-taking views of the valley of Wasdale, which is not to be missed. Although the most popular route (corridor route) up Scafell Pike is not particularly difficult, it is fairly long, and you can expect to be walking for five hours or so. The best time to visit Scafell Pike is at the end of September when the sky is clear and it’s not too humid. On a clear day you can even see Scotland!

OS Explorer map OL6 A guide to Scarfell Pike

2. Helvellyn

Helvellyn

Helvellyn

Helvellyn is the Lake District’s second highest peak, reaching an impressive 3117ft. Walkers come to Helvellyn to see its twin ridges, Striding Edge and Swirral Edge, which aren’t for those with a fear of heights! Don’t let that put you off though, it’s climbed by thousands of people each year. It's most common to start your route in Glenridding or Patterdale, depending on which trail you want to take. Whether you're up for tackling the famous twin ridges or opting for an easier route, it’s recommended that you allow five to six hours to reach the summit and back.

Os Explorer map OL5

3. Old Man of Coniston

Old Man of Coniston

Old Man of Coniston

Old Man of Coniston is not much smaller than Helvellyn, peaking at 2,634ft, and was the inspiration for Kanchenjunga, the mountain featured in Swallowdale, one of the books in the Swallows and Amazons series. Start your route on the east side of the mountain and make your way up, passing through the old copper mines, slate quarries and flocks of sheep. If you have time, be sure to explore the back of the mountain – you might just be able to make out the Isle of Man on a clear day!

Os explorer map OL6

4. Gummer’s How

Gummer’s How

Gummer’s How

For even more stunning scenery, head to Gummer’s How in the south of Windermere. Start in the Gummer’s How Forestry Commission car park, before reaching a cluster of pine trees. Climb up the steps leading to the summit, which overlooks Dollywagon Pike, Fairfield, Scandale Pass and other noteworthy points in Lakeland Fells. As it’s a fairly short walk, Gummer’s How is ideal for a family day out and a picnic.

OS explorer map OL7

5. The Coledale Horseshoe

The Coledale Horseshoe

The Coledale Horseshoe

The Coledale Horseshoe is one of the most challenging walks in the Lake District. It spans across 9.3 miles and takes around 5 hours to complete, taking you through Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Crag Hill, Sail and Outerside. If your up for an adventure you can extend your walk to other parts of the Wainwright Fells, such as Grasmoor, Wandope, Scar Crags and Causey Pike. The Coledale Horseshoe is reasonably even, but there are some rocky steps which require a bit of effort.

OS Explorer map OL4

6. Greendale and Middle Fell, Western Fells

Greendale and Middle Fell

Greendale and Middle Fell

If you want somewhere off the beaten track, head to Greendale and Middle Fell in Western Fells. The scenery is spectacular and you’ll instantly feel like you’re in a different world. One route I recommend in this area is through Greendale, Wasdale, Greendale Gill, Greendale Tarn and Middle Fell. Greendale and Middle Fell are quite steep so remember so make sure you have your hiking boots on!

Os explorer map OL6

7. Latrigg

Latrigg

Latrigg

If you’re in Keswick, it’s worth taking a walk up the nearby Latrigg. This is one of the most popular routes in the Lake District and covers around 5 miles of hilly countryside. Begin your walk in Keswick, head towards Spooney Lane, and cross the A66 to a wooded area. Once you’ve reached the woods, make your way through Whinney Brow and Brunholme Wood, until you reach the bottom of Latrigg. Ascend the hill and take a breather at the top to admire the views of Derwent Water and the Vale of Keswick.

os explorer map OL4

8. Wasdale Head

Wasdale Head

Wasdale Head

Once named as Britain’s favourite view , I had to include Wasdale Head! Not only does the area attract many avid hikers, but it has also inspired many painters and poets. Wastwater is England’s deepest lake and is a moderate stroll, which is suitable for casual walkers. As it is a fairly rocky route, be extra careful in wet or icy conditions.

OS explorer map OL6

So there we have it, the most epic walks in the Lake District! Feel free to leave a comment below if you want to recommend other great walks people should try.

Remember to take care of the great outdoors and follow the Countryside Code at all times.

Get Lake District Maps More on the lake district Prepare for your walk

Edited: 15/06/2021

Jamie Knop By Jamie Knop

About:

Jamie Knop is a big out doors enthusiast working with Visorando. You’ll usually find him hiking or biking somewhere high up in North Wales or the Lake District with his camera. You can find out more about Jamie’s adventures and photography on his website or on his Instagram page.

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