During your stay you will find there much to do, from walking fells and mountains to exploring the towns and villages. If you are visiting the Lake District for the first time, we thought it would be useful to highlight a few popular walks and ideas for days out, each chosen to be suitable for all. Our list is only a very small sample of the many trails open to walkers, and I urge you to get some books and maps, and get out there to discover the very best natural landscape England has to offer.
A Few Good Walks
Rydal To Grasmere
This is the perfect walk, taking in two lakes along with some decent, but not too steep fell. Leave Ambleside on the A591 heading towards Grasmere. If you can, turn left over the little Pelter Bridge and park up on your right - If not, carry on to White Moss where there is plenty of parking. At best you will need an OS map to take you around the water. On the western side, you can take the track above the lake where the views of the mountain range are wonderful. On the way you will discover two caves. Of the two, the largest is more accessible with a pool at its entrance. You can walk in, test the echo and hop on the stepping stones looking for frog spawn and little fish. Carrying on, you come to the head of Rydal where you will see Grasmere in the near distance. Just follow the track down to the weir. This is a good place to stop for a picnic. Return by the river track, through White Moss and pick up the track by the lake shore. Finally it is worth returning to the car park by the Rydal woods, very pleasant, where at the end, is a little bridge crossing over to the Rothay Manor Hotel and the Badger bar for well earned pint.
Coniston Church Beck & Levers Water
This walk starts from the centre of Coniston Village. You should be able to do this with just the aid of an OS map or, I believe, you can purchase specific local walk directions from the Coniston TIC. The route is about 4 miles to the tarn, with the return journey a bit quicker as it is mostly down hill. Starting from the lane by the co-op you commence a trail that leads up into the old Coppermines valley, passing waterfalls, crossing old bridges, rising gently to give an increasingly more dramatic view of the surrounding fell as you go. At the head of the Coppermines valley, with The Old Man to your left, you can continue up to Levers Water, a boulder strewn reservoir, set at the foot of rugged slopes of Great How, High Fell and Raven Tor. Return by the same route and reward your self with a pint of Coniston Gold in the Black Bull.
Ullswater East Shore
The author and journalist Hunter Davies wrote, if you only do one walk in the Lakes, then walk the east shore and fells of Ullswater - advice I took when I first started coming here and am eternally grateful for those few words of wisdom.
This walk can be done either south to north or the other way around. Explored from the southern end of the lake, dominated by Place Fell, St Sunday Cragg, Fairfield and Helvellyn, you take the path from Glenridding over to the east side of the water. Your easy to follow route takes you all the way to Sandwick and onto Howtown. You will be able to ramble all day with a magnificent view always in sight. For the return journey board the steamboat from Howtown to Glenridding - do check boat times and last sailing.
Arnside Morecambe Bay Shore Walk
Woodside, my home, sits above Grange over Sands. My view is across the ever changing Morecambe bay to Arnside, a view to rival that of any lake or tarn. For those that like it flat this will do nicely, for those that like a bit of drama, well there is plenty of that to. Drive around the head of the bay, via Milnthorpe, to Arnside village. Park up and simply follow the shore line leading from the village. You will pass woodland, walk under and over craggy cliffs and discover rock pools with little crabs and fish. If the tide is out, there stretches before you miles of shimmering sand. If in, coming in, or on the ebb, it is a stirring sight, as the water swirls and gurgles, mixing with the ever present rivers that run through the bay. It must be said the bay is hazardous, but only if you are foolhardy and step to far from the shoreline. Tide times can be obtained from the Grange TIC.
Set near Hawkhead, this is possibly the easiest walk in the lakes, yet one of the most picturesque. Use or OS map to find the location and park at the NT carpark. The route is a round lake circuit and easy to follow. You can do it under an hour, but I like to wander off, explore the little spurs that jut out into the water and stop for a picnic. After you can drive around to Barngates and lunch at the Drunken Duck Inn.
The Grizedale Forest lies between Coniston Water and Windermere, a huge area of ancient woodland. At the heart is the visitor centre. This is the best place to start, picking up maps and information to get the most from your day in the forest. There is an information desk, shop, cafe, exhibition rooms, galleries, bike hire and a children’s play area. A well defined map will show the many trails for both walking and mountain bikes. Part of the forest's diversity is its involvement with the arts. As you walk the trails you will discover a host of sculptures by such artists as Richard Harris and David Nash, both former forest resident artists. The big hike is to follow the Silurian Way. Nine and a half miles long, the walk takes you through both sides of the valley, taking in deep forest glades and climbing to higher view points. On route you will see most of the sculptures and is estimated to take about five hours, so a packed lunch is a good idea. Many trails are open to mountain bikes. You can either bring your own or hire cycles from Grizedale Mountain Bikes.
A Drive Over The Langdales
The valleys of Great and Little Langdale lie in the shadow if the mighty Langdale Pikes. A series of soaring, jagged volcanic peaks, they form the great central massive of the Cumbrian Mountains, and are one of the most iconic images of the Lake District. Across the mountains run the Wrynose and Hard Knott passes. Head towards Little Langdale and use your map and sign posts to find the start of the pass. These dramatic road snakes its precipitous route through the craggy mountains, offering breathtaking views and picture moments. There are plenty of stopping of spots where you can simply wander off and explore the rocky heights and breath mountain air. You can extend you outing by carring on to Wastwater, without doubt the most haunting and dramatic of all the lakes. The view across the water is to Scafell, Great Gable, flanked by Kirkfell and Lingmell. If the mist rolls in the mood is dark, and the knowledge that the waters drop down to some 258 feet adds to the drama.