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The Lake District and the surrounding area

 

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Birkhouse Moor, Helvellyn via Striding Edge, Lower Man, White Side, Raise, Stybarrow Dodd and Green Side walk from Glenridding
A walk around the Glenridding skyline climbing Helvellyn by way of Striding Edge. The initial walk up Miresbeck to Birkhouse Moor affords wonderful views back down Ullswater, before the walk heads on over probably the best ridge walk in Lakeland over the airy Striding Edge to reach the summit of Helvellyn. With the majority of the days climbing behind you, the walk continues over Lower Man, Whiteside Bank, Raise and Stybarrow Dodd, before turning Eastwards over Green Side and starting its descent back down to Glenridding. This walk is quite long and strenuous, but the views reward the effort!

Circular walk around Buttermere from Buttermere
A delightful lakeside walk around one of the Lake District's most Westerly lakes. The walk itself is reasonably straight forward and provides stunning scenery along the way with the surrounding mountains providing a superb backdrop to Buttermere. The walk starts from the National Trust car park on the North-Western side of Buttermere and heads through the village and down to the shore of Buttermere itself. The walk then follows the lakeside path and only briefly deviates from this, to pass through Gatesgarth Farm. Early morning walks often provide excellent photographic opportunities when the water is more likely to be flat and provide wonderful reflections.

Easedale Tarn walk from Grasmere
One of the most popular walks from Grasmere and a great introduction to fell walking - you achieve a real sense of being in the mountains, whilst still only being around 300m in height. Easedale Tarn backed by Tarn Crag is a wonderful place to stop, linger and admire the surrounding views. Grasmere is left via Easedale Road and then a steep path is followed by the waterfall up the side of Sourmilk Gill to reach Easedale Tarn. After crossing Sourmilk Gill, the return to Grasmere is via Far Easedale Gill.

Easedale Tarn, Codale Tarn and Tarn Crag walk from Grasmere
Tarn Crag is arrived at by way of visiting two delightful tarns - Easedale Tarn and Codale Tarn. Grasmere is left via Easedale Road and then a short steep path is followed by the waterfall up the side of Sourmilk Gill to reach Easedale Tarn, which backed by Tarn Crag is a place to stop and linger and a popular place for picnics. The walk heads on up another steep path to pass behind Belles Knott to reach Codale Tarn, a much quieter place to stop and rest. Then on about seven hundred metres to Tarn Crag - the path on this section is indistinct in places and is probably best avoided in mist or bad visibility unless your map and compass skills are very good. Tarn Crag affords wonderful views of the Helvellyn range and over Easedale towards Rydal Water and Windermere. A ridge is then followed down in to Far Easedale Gill on the return back to Grasmere.

Elterwater, Skelwith Force and Colwith Force walk from Elterwater
A circular from Elterwater village initially following the Cumbria Way past Elterwater itself and on past Skelwith Force to reach Skelwith Bridge. On this section there are great views back towards the Langdales. There is a café at Skelwith Bridge. From there the Cumbria Way is followed to Colwith Force, another delightful waterfall in some secluded woods and then on to the much photographed Slater Bridge. The walk heads on by Little Langdale, with views of Little Langdale tarn before heading back down to Elterwater.

Great Mell Fell walk from Brownrigg Farm
Great Mell Fell is probably one of the easiest 'Wainwrights' to conquer and is ideal for a short pre lunch walk, or if you are in the Lakes for the weekend, use as an easy Sunday walk to stretch the legs after a longer walk on Saturday. Great Mell Fell can also be used as an ideal introduction to fell walking and is great for children to experience a climb and be rewarded with fantastic views, especially across to Blencathra. From the roadside parking near to Brownrigg Farm, head up the track and then join the path that encircles Great Mell Fell. After a short distance, the path starts its climb, initially through bracken and then past withered, twisted wind blown trees. It then continues climbing along a well worn path, sometimes a little boggy in places to soon reach the summit. The panorama is wide ranging, with Blencathra to the West-North-West the obvious highlight. The wide expanse of the Eden valley from North to East provides a contrast to the Lakeland Fells, which make up the rest of the panorama. The route up is retraced back to the parking area.

Helm Crag, Gibson Knott and Calf Crag walk from Grasmere
Helm Crag is probably one of the most well known of all the Lakeland Fells, although many know it as 'The Lion and the Lamb'. The summit rocks bear a striking resemblance to a lion when viewed from various locations. Although not the tallest of fells, there is much to view on the summit. Whilst walking Helm Crag is a decent walk on its own, by adding on Gibson Crag and Calf Crag and an additional 250 metres of climbing, a wonderful ridge walk is formed that returns back down Far Easedale Gill in to Grasmere.

Kentmere Horseshoe walk from Kentmere
A glorious horseshoe round starting and ending in Kentmere, taking in the skyline of the Kentmere valley. The walk heads out along the Garburn Pass before turning North to reach Yoke, the first summit of the day. From here a succession of fells are passed (Ill Bell, Frostwick and Thornthwaite Crag), before turning East to reach Mardale Ill Bell and then dropping down in to the Nan Bield Pass, which affords views of Haweswater over Small water. Harter Fell is the next peak before turning southwards to complete the Eastern skyline via Kentmere Pike and Shipman Knotts. The length of the walk is rewarded with excellent panoramas from each of the summits. Wainwrights notes that "Many motorists approaching from the south regard their sighting of Windermere as the beginning of the Lake District and head eagerly along the A591 until it comes in to view, unheeding or unaware of a side road signposted 'Kentmere' as they pass through the village of Staveley en route. By doing so, they miss the loveliest of the lesser known Lakeland valleys - Kentmere is delightful in all seasons." The A591 may well now bypass Staveley, but this still holds true.

Orrest Head walk from Windermere
A short circular from Windermere to Orrest Head, which was Wainwright's introduction to the Lake District. On a clear day, the ratio of views to effort put in probably cannot be beaten. The walk starts on the A591 by the large 'Orrest Head' sign and follows a lane most of the way on its 20 minute journey to the summit. From the summit, you could just return back down to the start, but the walk as described heads north to join a lane briefly near Causeway Farm. It then heads to enter a delightful woodland section through St Catherine's Wood and then via High Hay Wood back to the start. Wainwright said of Orrest "Orrest Head for many of us, is 'where we came in' - our first ascent in Lakeland, our first sight of mountains in tumultuous array across glittering waters, our awakening to beauty. It is a popular walk, deservedly, for here the promised land is seen in all its glory. It is a fitting finale, too, to a life made happy be fellwandering. Dare we hope there will be another Orrest Head over the threshold of the next heaven?"

Rydal Water and Grasmere Water walk from Grasmere
One of the most popular walks in the Lake District! The walk starts from Grasmere and provides a mini Wordsworth tour in the first half of the walk passing by Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount. It leaves Grasmere and follows the old 'Coffin route' to Rydal Mount before heading down to Rydal Water itself. The shores of both Rydal Water and then Grasmere water are walked along before heading back in to Grasmere. This low level walk is ideal for bad weather days or good weather days to enjoy the panoramic views. Early morning walks often provide excellent photographic opportunities of both waters when they are more likely to be flat and provide wonderful reflections.

Tarn Hows Walk
Tarn Hows is claimed to be the most photographed place in the Lake District and receives up to 250,000 visitors per year. The walk itself needs very few directions, as it simply follows the wide, even gravel path around the tarn from the National Trust car park. The path, created by the National Trust, is interspersed with benches from which the views can be admired. It can get quite busy around the Tarn, so early morning or late afternoon are the best to avoid the crowds! There are views all around to the surrounding fells of Coniston Old Man, Wetherlam, the Langdale Pikes and the Helvellyn range.

The Old Man of Coniston Circular walk via Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag
The walk follows a circular route from a parking area on Walna Scar road, near Coniston in the Lake District. It sets off in a westerly direction along Walna Scar road itself, which is now a track, before turning northwards to start the real climbing over Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag. The walk drops down to Goat's Hawse before heading to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston, known by many as Coniston Old Man. From the summit there are excellent panoramic views of all surrounding hills and fells, from Black Combe around to the Pennines taking in the Scafell group to the North and as far as the Isle of Man to the West, along with Blind Tarn and Goat's Water below. From the summit, the walk zig-zags down to Low Water before returning to the parking area through the remains of a bygone era in this part of the Lakes - copper mining.

Wansfell Pike and Troutbeck walk from Ambleside
A very popular circular walk from Ambleside, through the picturesque Skelghyll Woods and past Jenkin Crag viewpoint before striding out along Robin Lane to head down to and through the charming village of Troutbeck. A climb out of Troutbeck along Nanny Lane affords excellent panoramic views. Once the lane is left behind, a path heads up to the summit of Wansfell Pike. There is often confusion with people calling the peak Wansfell, but Wansfell (a 'Wainwright fell') lies about one mile to the North-East of Wansfell Pike along the wide ridge emanating from Caudale Moor. The summit views are magnificent and very wide ranging with no nearby taller fells to foreshorten the views. From the summit head steeply down in to Ambleside with views towards the Scafells and Langdales ahead over Ambleside. A small diversion can be made to Stockghyll Force before heading back along the road through Ambleside to the car park. If your knees are better suited to walking up steep slopes rather than down them, the walk can easily be done in reverse.

 

Copyright © Walks4all Limited 2022

Walk selector
The Lake District and the surrounding area

Birkhouse Moor, Helvellyn via Striding Edge, Lower Man, White Side, Raise, Stybarrow Dodd and Green Side walk from Glenridding
A walk around the Glenridding skyline climbing Helvellyn by way of Striding Edge. The initial walk up Miresbeck to Birkhouse Moor affords wonderful views back down Ullswater, before the walk heads on over probably the best ridge walk in Lakeland over the airy Striding Edge to reach the summit of Helvellyn. With the majority of the days climbing behind you, the walk continues over Lower Man, Whiteside Bank, Raise and Stybarrow Dodd, before turning Eastwards over Green Side and starting its descent back down to Glenridding. This walk is quite long and strenuous, but the views reward the effort!

Circular walk around Buttermere from Buttermere
A delightful lakeside walk around one of the Lake District's most Westerly lakes. The walk itself is reasonably straight forward and provides stunning scenery along the way with the surrounding mountains providing a superb backdrop to Buttermere. The walk starts from the National Trust car park on the North-Western side of Buttermere and heads through the village and down to the shore of Buttermere itself. The walk then follows the lakeside path and only briefly deviates from this, to pass through Gatesgarth Farm. Early morning walks often provide excellent photographic opportunities when the water is more likely to be flat and provide wonderful reflections.

Easedale Tarn walk from Grasmere
One of the most popular walks from Grasmere and a great introduction to fell walking - you achieve a real sense of being in the mountains, whilst still only being around 300m in height. Easedale Tarn backed by Tarn Crag is a wonderful place to stop, linger and admire the surrounding views. Grasmere is left via Easedale Road and then a steep path is followed by the waterfall up the side of Sourmilk Gill to reach Easedale Tarn. After crossing Sourmilk Gill, the return to Grasmere is via Far Easedale Gill.

Easedale Tarn, Codale Tarn and Tarn Crag walk from Grasmere
Tarn Crag is arrived at by way of visiting two delightful tarns - Easedale Tarn and Codale Tarn. Grasmere is left via Easedale Road and then a short steep path is followed by the waterfall up the side of Sourmilk Gill to reach Easedale Tarn, which backed by Tarn Crag is a place to stop and linger and a popular place for picnics. The walk heads on up another steep path to pass behind Belles Knott to reach Codale Tarn, a much quieter place to stop and rest. Then on about seven hundred metres to Tarn Crag - the path on this section is indistinct in places and is probably best avoided in mist or bad visibility unless your map and compass skills are very good. Tarn Crag affords wonderful views of the Helvellyn range and over Easedale towards Rydal Water and Windermere. A ridge is then followed down in to Far Easedale Gill on the return back to Grasmere.

Elterwater, Skelwith Force and Colwith Force walk from Elterwater
A circular from Elterwater village initially following the Cumbria Way past Elterwater itself and on past Skelwith Force to reach Skelwith Bridge. On this section there are great views back towards the Langdales. There is a café at Skelwith Bridge. From there the Cumbria Way is followed to Colwith Force, another delightful waterfall in some secluded woods and then on to the much photographed Slater Bridge. The walk heads on by Little Langdale, with views of Little Langdale tarn before heading back down to Elterwater.

Great Mell Fell walk from Brownrigg Farm
Great Mell Fell is probably one of the easiest 'Wainwrights' to conquer and is ideal for a short pre lunch walk, or if you are in the Lakes for the weekend, use as an easy Sunday walk to stretch the legs after a longer walk on Saturday. Great Mell Fell can also be used as an ideal introduction to fell walking and is great for children to experience a climb and be rewarded with fantastic views, especially across to Blencathra. From the roadside parking near to Brownrigg Farm, head up the track and then join the path that encircles Great Mell Fell. After a short distance, the path starts its climb, initially through bracken and then past withered, twisted wind blown trees. It then continues climbing along a well worn path, sometimes a little boggy in places to soon reach the summit. The panorama is wide ranging, with Blencathra to the West-North-West the obvious highlight. The wide expanse of the Eden valley from North to East provides a contrast to the Lakeland Fells, which make up the rest of the panorama. The route up is retraced back to the parking area.

Helm Crag, Gibson Knott and Calf Crag walk from Grasmere
Helm Crag is probably one of the most well known of all the Lakeland Fells, although many know it as 'The Lion and the Lamb'. The summit rocks bear a striking resemblance to a lion when viewed from various locations. Although not the tallest of fells, there is much to view on the summit. Whilst walking Helm Crag is a decent walk on its own, by adding on Gibson Crag and Calf Crag and an additional 250 metres of climbing, a wonderful ridge walk is formed that returns back down Far Easedale Gill in to Grasmere.

Kentmere Horseshoe walk from Kentmere
A glorious horseshoe round starting and ending in Kentmere, taking in the skyline of the Kentmere valley. The walk heads out along the Garburn Pass before turning North to reach Yoke, the first summit of the day. From here a succession of fells are passed (Ill Bell, Frostwick and Thornthwaite Crag), before turning East to reach Mardale Ill Bell and then dropping down in to the Nan Bield Pass, which affords views of Haweswater over Small water. Harter Fell is the next peak before turning southwards to complete the Eastern skyline via Kentmere Pike and Shipman Knotts. The length of the walk is rewarded with excellent panoramas from each of the summits. Wainwrights notes that "Many motorists approaching from the south regard their sighting of Windermere as the beginning of the Lake District and head eagerly along the A591 until it comes in to view, unheeding or unaware of a side road signposted 'Kentmere' as they pass through the village of Staveley en route. By doing so, they miss the loveliest of the lesser known Lakeland valleys - Kentmere is delightful in all seasons." The A591 may well now bypass Staveley, but this still holds true.

Orrest Head walk from Windermere
A short circular from Windermere to Orrest Head, which was Wainwright's introduction to the Lake District. On a clear day, the ratio of views to effort put in probably cannot be beaten. The walk starts on the A591 by the large 'Orrest Head' sign and follows a lane most of the way on its 20 minute journey to the summit. From the summit, you could just return back down to the start, but the walk as described heads north to join a lane briefly near Causeway Farm. It then heads to enter a delightful woodland section through St Catherine's Wood and then via High Hay Wood back to the start. Wainwright said of Orrest "Orrest Head for many of us, is 'where we came in' - our first ascent in Lakeland, our first sight of mountains in tumultuous array across glittering waters, our awakening to beauty. It is a popular walk, deservedly, for here the promised land is seen in all its glory. It is a fitting finale, too, to a life made happy be fellwandering. Dare we hope there will be another Orrest Head over the threshold of the next heaven?"

Rydal Water and Grasmere Water walk from Grasmere
One of the most popular walks in the Lake District! The walk starts from Grasmere and provides a mini Wordsworth tour in the first half of the walk passing by Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount. It leaves Grasmere and follows the old 'Coffin route' to Rydal Mount before heading down to Rydal Water itself. The shores of both Rydal Water and then Grasmere water are walked along before heading back in to Grasmere. This low level walk is ideal for bad weather days or good weather days to enjoy the panoramic views. Early morning walks often provide excellent photographic opportunities of both waters when they are more likely to be flat and provide wonderful reflections.

Tarn Hows Walk
Tarn Hows is claimed to be the most photographed place in the Lake District and receives up to 250,000 visitors per year. The walk itself needs very few directions, as it simply follows the wide, even gravel path around the tarn from the National Trust car park. The path, created by the National Trust, is interspersed with benches from which the views can be admired. It can get quite busy around the Tarn, so early morning or late afternoon are the best to avoid the crowds! There are views all around to the surrounding fells of Coniston Old Man, Wetherlam, the Langdale Pikes and the Helvellyn range.

The Old Man of Coniston Circular walk via Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag
The walk follows a circular route from a parking area on Walna Scar road, near Coniston in the Lake District. It sets off in a westerly direction along Walna Scar road itself, which is now a track, before turning northwards to start the real climbing over Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag. The walk drops down to Goat's Hawse before heading to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston, known by many as Coniston Old Man. From the summit there are excellent panoramic views of all surrounding hills and fells, from Black Combe around to the Pennines taking in the Scafell group to the North and as far as the Isle of Man to the West, along with Blind Tarn and Goat's Water below. From the summit, the walk zig-zags down to Low Water before returning to the parking area through the remains of a bygone era in this part of the Lakes - copper mining.

Wansfell Pike and Troutbeck walk from Ambleside
A very popular circular walk from Ambleside, through the picturesque Skelghyll Woods and past Jenkin Crag viewpoint before striding out along Robin Lane to head down to and through the charming village of Troutbeck. A climb out of Troutbeck along Nanny Lane affords excellent panoramic views. Once the lane is left behind, a path heads up to the summit of Wansfell Pike. There is often confusion with people calling the peak Wansfell, but Wansfell (a 'Wainwright fell') lies about one mile to the North-East of Wansfell Pike along the wide ridge emanating from Caudale Moor. The summit views are magnificent and very wide ranging with no nearby taller fells to foreshorten the views. From the summit head steeply down in to Ambleside with views towards the Scafells and Langdales ahead over Ambleside. A small diversion can be made to Stockghyll Force before heading back along the road through Ambleside to the car park. If your knees are better suited to walking up steep slopes rather than down them, the walk can easily be done in reverse.

 

 

Copyright © Walks4all Limited 2022