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The Lake District has many reasons to visit it, but the spectacular mountains captivate you immediately. Soft, grassy hills rub shoulders with rugged, imposing crags and gentle, meandering paths sit within sight of high, narrow arêtes. There are mountains and paths to suit all ages and levels of fitness whether you are after a challenge or just somewhere to picnic with a view.
What all the mountains have in common however, regardless of height or terrain, are stunning views. Silent tarns, rocky ridges, sapphire blue lakes and a myriad of reds, golds, greens and yellows combine together like an artist’s palette to create superb scenery. Mist and cloud cast fascinating shadows and eerie shapes that are no less mesmerising, and in the winter, the snow-capped fells are simply magical.
There is nothing quite like being on top of a mountain in the Lake District, with a sense of achievement and exhilaration, watching the world go by and pondering the history and heritage that the fells have witnessed. Miners, shepherds, farmers, Victorian poets, authors and even Roman soldiers all used the mountain paths. William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter are just two of the famous writers who were inspired by the beauty of the natural landscape of the Lake District. With such views and natural beauty, it is easy to see why.
Five family-friendly mountains to climb
A favourite of many people, Catbells is an iconic mountain on the shores of Derwentwater near the bustling market town of Keswick. Standing at 451 metres it is a fairly low fell but full of character and with some of the most outstanding views you could wish for. Gentle, grassy paths are broken up by two short scrambles, making this fell worthy of being rated amongst the best. Beatrix Potter stayed near this fell on holiday with her family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and based some of her children’s books on the surrounding landscape.
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This is a popular climb from the town of Ambleside or the village of Grasmere, where William Wordsworth spent many years of his life and wrote some of his classic poems. This mountain has several small tarns sprinkled on its slopes that sparkle when the sunshine catches them (and are perfect spots to picnic). The ascent is gentle and from the summit the views to the famous Langdale Pikes, Windermere, Grasmere and up the valley to Dunmail Raise are spectacular.
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England’s highest mountain is a destination for tens of thousands of people each year. Standing at 951 metres, more effort is needed to get to this summit but when you reach the highest point in England you are rewarded with views to match. It is a moment to cherish. The most straightforward route is from Wasdale, a beautiful valley in its own right with Wastwater (England’s deepest lake) and the famous screes seen in all their glory. This beautiful valley was voted as “Britain’s favourite view” in 2007.
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Coniston old man
A beautiful climb through old mining works or through the Coppermine Valley, this is a popular climb from the pretty village of Coniston. Depending on the route you choose, ascents go via Low Water or Lever’s Water, small lakes or tarns surrounded by imposing dark crags. There are outstanding views over Coniston Water and to the Scafell range and it was famously the inspiration for the mountain Kanchenjunga in Arthur Ransome’s “Swallows and Amazons”.
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The best route to climb this mountain is via the spectacular waterfall of Aira Force. Nestled in the eastern part of the Lake District between Glenridding and Pooley Bridge, Gowbarrow is another gentle fell with superb views over Ullswater, to the north towards Blencathra and east across to the Pennines. An easy path winds its way up through grass and bracken with plenty of places to picnic and watch the world go by.
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All Images by Tanya Oliver
Lake District Cottages
The Coach House at Arnside has been totally refurbished in a contemporary style to create a stunning holiday home for 2013. Our home is perfect for a family holiday or a short break all year round as the beach, lakes and mountains are only a short...
Park Lodge Apartment (sleeps up to 8 adults):
Entrance hall leading to stairs up to a double bedroom with 5ft. bed with separate adjoining cloakroom. Stairs leading up to:
First Floor: Kitchen/breakfast room, reception room and separate dining-r...
Situated within the wing of a stone built, end terrace Victorian House, Dukesbury is a first floor apartment in Grange-over-Sands which has its own private entrance. A wonderful apartment, Dukesbury has a delightful open plan living room with fabu...
Muncaster View is a welcoming terraced cottage on a working farm a mile from Ravenglass. There are two ground floor double bedrooms, each with an en-suite shower room. Upstairs is an open plan living area with a kitchen, dining area and sitting ar...
2 double beds (1 with en suite) and 1 single, lounge with TV, DVD and wood burner, fully equipped kitchen, 2nd shower room with shower cubicle, hand basin and WC, large conservatory with amazing views out over Morecambe Bay, lobby with wash machin...