Walks in the Lakes and Cumbria
Probably the Lake District's greatest attraction is its walking. The hills
and mountains here are called 'fells', and thousands of people come here each
year to explore their beauty.
There are many books that will give you a selection of walks and details
of the way. Perhaps the most famous of the guide authors is Wainwright, apart
from his works on fell walking in Cumbria, Wainwright also pioneered the Coast
to Coast Long Distance Walk, from St Bees Head on the Cumbrian coast and wending
some 190 miles across country to Robin Hood's Bay on the Yorkshire coast.
The area has two good long distance footpaths, the Cumbrian Way,
starting at Ulverston on the sea near Barrow, and going north through some of
the most spectacular scenery in the Lakes. The heading west from Burneside is
the Dales Way which takes you into Yorkshire
If you need walking or climbing equipment, then there are excellent shops specialising
in it, in Kendal, Ambleside, Grasmere, Hawkshead and Keswick.
- Plan your route
- It is essential in fell walking to work out what you can comfortably do.
Reckon to walk at around 2.5 miles per hour (4 km per hour). Then look at
the map and add one hour for every 1500 feet that have to be climbed. Then
add time for meals, stops, rests, taking photographs and so on. From this
you can see if you are over ambitious.
- Make a "plan B" to follow if you get hit by bad weather after
- And remember, fell walking is not rock climbing!
- Whatever else, remember that you need a map and compass, and be able to
- Most accidents could have been avoided. A rucksack with windproofs, waterproofs,
torch, whistle, poly bag, etc should be considered if you are going onto the
- When the days are short inn winter, fell walking should only be undertaken
by the very experienced
- The weather on the high fells can and is very different from that in the
sheltered low valleys. Even at Easter, when it is spring in Ambleside, it
can still be mid winter on the fells
- Even in July and August wind driven rain can be lethal on the open fells
- There is a taped weather forecast on the National Parks telephone service
every day. Use it if you plan to walk.
- Enjoy your walk
- Having said all that, with the right weather and the right equipment, a
walk on the fells is one of the finest experiences you will ever have
- Lighter Walks
- If you are not into fell walking, then here are a number of shorter, less
- Buttermere - a two hour walk takes you all the way round
this lovely lake
- Derwent Water Ferry - take the Derwent ferry from Keswick
to Hawes End. Walk to Lodore Falls and take the ferry back to Keswick
- Stiffer than a stroll, but possible without being a mountaineer is to climb
Skiddaw from Keswick.
- Ullswater ferry and walk. Take ferry from Glenridding pier
to Howtown. It is then a three hour walk back along the lake shore to Howtown
- Take the ferry from Bowness to Sawrey, walk along the lake
shore to Bass Rock, return through the National Trust woods
- Grizedale forest. There are a number of waymarked walks.
Details from Forestry Commission
- Round Grasmere. A pleasant walk all the way round the lake
at Grasmere will take about two hours