Walking trails in Cumbria
Love walking? Cumbria is your paradise. Home to some of the UK’s highest mountains, deep lakes and the spectacular Lake District National Park, this county knows how to impress its visitors. Whether you’re an experienced hiker visiting from Manchester or Leeds, or an amateur who loves being immersed in nature, we’ve selected some of the best walking trails to explore the beautiful north-western countryside.
This four-mile circular in Borrowdale was described by the writer Alfred Wainwright as the ‘finest square mile in Lakeland’, and it’s no wonder why. You’ll climb Castle Crag, where you’ll be overwhelmed by the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. And if you have time, make sure you stop at Peace How – a small summit where soldiers coming back from the front line could rest during WWI.
Greendale and Middle Fell
Because of its perceived inaccessibility, this walking trail gets less touristic than the Lakes’ heartland. But if you’re willing to walk those extra miles, you won’t regret it. These valleys are an extraordinary treat, providing some of the best scenery in the country. From the beauty of Wasdale to the fascinating history of Eskdale, this 3,5-mile circular offers unspoilt nature and rare wildlife.
Ash Landing and Claife Heights
Windermere lies in the heart of the Lake District and is by far the most popular spot in the area. This 7,5-mile walking trail boasts some majestic views of the lakes and is equipped with accommodations and refreshments all along the way.
Ambleside to Troutbeck and back
Start your walk from Market cross, in the heart of Ambleside and look for Cumbria’s tallest tree – its branches are taller than Nelson’s Columns! This pleasant walking trail offers pretty cafes and boutiques where you can rest your feet and enjoy a well-deserved slice of cake. If you’re here between April and June, pay a visit to Stagshaw Gardens - a secluded horticultural gem.
Hawes End, Cat Bells and Derwent Circular
This 4.5-mile loop trail is situated near Keswick. Walk up from Hawes and continue along to Cat Bells, where you’ll get wonderful views of the water and fells. The difficulty of this trail is moderate, also suitable for families. You can bring your dog along for some extra-fun too!
This hike starts and finishes at Greenside up the Valley from Glenridding. It is around 6-mile long and is usually used for hiking and running. The summit is 950 m above sea level, which will offer incredible views of the lakes and mountains. Red Tarn, which sits between the edges, is home to a small population of the Shelly – a rare freshwater white fish, only found in Cumbria and the Arctic.
Buttermere to Rannderdale
If you’re looking for a relaxing but pleasant walking trail, head to Buttermere or around Cinderdale Common at Crummock. If you’re an experienced hiker and fancy something challenging, head to Rannerdale Knots. The Valley is believed to be where the Normans were defeated in battle. This 3-mile trail offers beautiful views of the lakes on all sides.