Lake District

Easy Walks in the Lake District

Easy Walks in the Lake District

One of the best things about the Lake District is that there is beauty all around and you never have to walk far to see incredible sights.

Crisscrossed by a huge number of paths and trails, the emerald-tinged Lake District National Park is one of the best destinations for walkers and nature-lovers in the UK – though you don’t have to be a hardy hiker to get immersed. Catering to amblers of all ages and abilities, the Lake District boasts lots of short and easy walks, as well as more demanding hikes, so you can set your perfect pace. To get you started, we’ve picked out some of the best easy walks in the Lake District, from gentle peaks to lakeside loops.

Aira Force 

 Aira Force waterfall in the Lake District

Distance: 1 mile

Aira Force waterfall is one of the top places to visit in the Lake District and had to make it onto our list of easy short walks. Found close to Ullswater, a popular lake for watersports in the Lake District, this gushing 65ft waterfall is framed by two Victorian-era bridges and tumbles down into a pool below. While there are several walks to choose from, the mile-long waterfall loop is a great one if you don’t want to commit yourself to anything too demanding – although good footwear is required as the paths can naturally become very slippy. If you do find your rhythm, you can also elongate your walk via the Aira Force and Gowbarrow trail.

Latrigg Viewpoint

Views from the summit of Latrigg fell in the Lake District

Distance: 1 mile

Latrigg is a small but mighty Lake District fell that is often walked as part of longer routes from the nearby town of Keswick or neighbouring fell of Skiddaw. That said, if you don’t have much time or simply fancy a little wander, you can reach the top via one of the best short walks in the Lake District. Only around a mile in length (there and back), this lovely route can be started at the car park at the head of Gale Road and followed along a well-worn track to the top. Steep and uneven in parts, it gives you a taste of a proper hiking, without the commitment of long hours out and about. 

Ravenglass Roman Bath House

The remains of Ravenglass Roman Bath House in the Lake District

Distance: 1 mile

Starting from Ravenglass train station, this flat, easy and accessible walk can be enjoyed by everyone, mostly comprised of tarmacked road. Taking in an altogether leafier side to the Lake District, this is more stroll than hike and perfect for those looking to use a bit of time before starting or ending a journey on the La’al Ratty on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. Upon arrival, you’ll be able to see the remains of one of the oldest (and tallest) Roman structures in North Britain. On the way back, you can also pop into the Ratty Arms, one of the Lake District’s top dog-friendly pubs, for a pick-me-up.

Tarn Hows 

Views over the beautiful Tarn Hows with woodland in the mid-ground and snow-capped mountains in the background

Distance: 2 miles

A miraculously level walk that’s almost unheard of by Lake District standards, the 2-mile Tarn Hows circular is one of the most accessible and most beautiful walks in the park. A Miles without Styles route, it encourages everyone to get out and about and enjoy unrivalled scenery. Jaw-dropping throughout the year, this walk is particularly striking on calm days when the mirror-like surface of the tarn reflects the surrounding trees and fells for twice the beauty. Managed by the National Trust, the route also benefits from lots of strategically placed benches along the way for peaceful moments of rest.

Orrest Head

 The cairn at the top of Orrest Head, which affords beautiful views over Windermere

Distance: 2.5 miles

One of the most famous routes around Windermere, the Orrest Head walk is around 2.5 miles in total. Starting from the top of Windermere town not far from Windermere train station, the route leads you up to a gorgeous hilltop viewpoint which takes in incredible views of the lake and surrounding fells. With both a well-maintained path and shorter off-piste routes available for you to follow, this Miles without Styles route is one that is universally popular. In fact, this humble peak was actually Alfred Wainwright’s first Lakeland fell and one that inspired his life-long love of the Lake District.

Grizedale Forest 

 Views over Grizedale Forest, one of the most beautiful areas of woodland in the Lake District

Distance: 2.5 miles

Grizedale Forest is home to many great walking trails that appeal to all generations of walkers of the muddy-booted and four-pawed variety. From easy access trails like the 1-mile Ridding Wood trail to the challenging 10-mile Silurian Way, there’s something for everyone. One of the forest’s best walking trails is the 2.5-mile Bogle Crag trail, a leafy woodland walk peppered with sculptures. Moderately difficult, this route winds betwixt ancient beech trees and intermingles natural and manmade art with famous sculptures, including Andy Goldsworthy's 'Taking a Wall for a Walk'.

Dodd Summit 

The autumnal trees of Dodd Wood near Bassenthwaite

Distance: 3 miles

Sandwiched between the Skiddaw massif and Bassenthwaite lake, Dodd Wood affords some really beautiful walking conditions that can be tailored depending on how you feel. Starting from Dodd Wood car park near the Old Sawmill Tearoom, you can follow a number of different trails, though we particularly recommend the 3-mile Dodd summit trail. After a little bit of a steep climb up to the top of the 1,647ft Dodd Fell (one of Wainwright’s northern fells), upon reaching the summit walkers will be treated to views as far as the Solway Coast and the hills of Dumfries and Galloway on a clear day. 

Grasmere Lake 

Crisp reflections in the glassy water of Grasmere Lake

Distance: 3.5 miles

If you’d like to enjoy a Lake District walk that encompasses history, food and scenery galore, then the Grasmere Lake loop will appeal to you. Around 3.5 miles long, this route starts in the village of Grasmere (we recommend popping into Grasmere Gingerbread Shop first) and then slowly weaves its way around the lake. Along the route, you’ll pass a smattering of ever-tempting pubs and cafés, as well as one of the Lake’s most famous attractions, Dove Cottage, which was once the home of poet William Wordsworth. Largely flat the whole way yet still boasting gorgeous views, this is one of our favourite easy short walks in the Lake District. 

Blea Tarn

A distant view of Blea Tarn, one of the Lake District's most easily accessible mountain tarns

Distance: 3.5 miles (or 0.5 miles)

The Blea Tarn trail is just over 3.5 miles there and back and providers walkers of all ages with the chance to get out into the fells and soak up gorgeous views. One of the easiest mountain tarns (a small lake) to reach in the National Park, Blea Tarn is an SSSI and enjoys an incredible backdrop of the Langdale Pikes. For ease, there is parking right by the tarn, which means you don’t actually have to complete the whole trail if you don’t want to. For one of the shortest (ever) walks in the Lake District, simply park your car and hop, skip and jump a few hundred meters to the tarn to settle down for a waterside picnic. 

Ullswater Way 

Views over Ullswater lake, which is lapped by the 20-mile Ullswater Way walking trail

Distance: Up to 20 miles

The 20-mile Ullswater Way is a long-distance walking trail around Ullswater Lake. Long, we know, but hear us out. Looping around the whole of Ullswater lake, this route can be completed in one go, or be broken down into much smaller sections depending on how far you’d like to go. It can even be combined with bus rides or boat trips, so you can add a novelty twist to your ramblings. The path around the lake is also mostly low-level, flat and easy to manage, so it’s not too demanding either. What’s more, there are places to eat and drink along the way too, so you can refuel and refresh as you go.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Lake District and Cumbria here

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