Walking holidays in the Lake District by Beth Pipe

Where to walk through the Lakes

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Beth Pipe

Beth Pipe
HomeAway travel expert

Where to walk in the Lake District Walking holidays in the Lake District, like the fells themselves, come in all shapes and sizes. From high peaks to gentle woodland strolls, if it’s a walking holiday you’re after then we’ve got it covered. For many people the idea of a walking holiday in Cumbria conjures up images of craggy mountain tops and Kendal Mint Cake, but it could just as easily mean a picnic in a bluebell wood or a stroll along a clifftop path.

There’s no end to the benefits of a walking holiday: walking is good for your health, it’s cheap, anyone can do it and it’s something the whole family can enjoy together. And what better base for a walking holiday than your very own Lake District cottage? It'll provide a home where everyone can relax and unwind after a long day on the fells.


The best walking destinations in the Lake District


Keswick – for high fells and adrenaline Keswick – for high fells and adrenaline

Keswick is the place to be if the aim of your walking holiday is to tackle the highest peaks in England. Skiddaw looms large behind the town, and the most beautiful of all Lake District fells, Blencathra, is right next door. A short drive down past Derwent brings you to Seathwaite, the perfect base for tackling Great Gable and Scafell Pike – the highest mountain in England. And if you like your walks a little less busy then head ten minutes south towards Thirlmere, where you’ll find a selection of interesting routes to the summit of the Helvellyn, including access to the legendary Striding Edge.

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Bowness – for the lower fells Bowness – for the lower fells

If you like the idea of a Lake District walking holiday but don’t fancy the high peaks, then there are plenty of lower fells to explore and what better place to do that from than Bowness-on-Windermere? Situated a little over half way up Windermere (the longest lake in England), Bowness gives you easy access to a wide variety of interesting fells. The views from Orrest Head inspired Alfred Wainwright to write his indispensable walking guides, and it’s a straightforward hike from the centre of Bowness. Other fells worth exploring are Loughrigg to the north of the lake and Gummers How to the south: both are ideal for a family hike and both offer spectacular views of the lake and surrounding fells.

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Coniston – for exploring lakes Coniston – for exploring lakes

While many want to spend a walking holiday exploring the fells, there are a number of excellent walks to be found around the many lakes in the region. Coniston Water is steeped in history from Donald Campbell and Arthur Ransome to John Ruskin, and there are a number of paths along the lake shore to explore. Just to the north of Coniston is the ever popular Tarn Hows, a perfect Sunday afternoon stroll, and a short drive to the east is Esthwaite Water where you will find a Beatrix Potter trail around the lake.

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Ravenglass and St Bees – for coastal walks Ravenglass and St Bees – for coastal walks

The Cumbria Coastal Way stretches for 182 breathtaking miles from Silverdale in the south to Carlisle in the north, so head for a section slap bang in the middle to make the very most of it. Right next to Ravenglass are Eskmeals Dunes and miles of footpaths stretching off into the distance. St Bees has excellent clifftop footpaths to Whitehaven and is famous for being the starting point of the Coast to Coast walk. If you want to explore further afield there is a coastal railway; ideal if you want to leave the car behind on long linear walks.

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Kendal – for exploring local wildlife Kendal – for exploring local wildlife

Kendal is ideal as a base for walking holidays focused on local wildlife. Cumbria has a large number of nature reserves managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust; many are within easy access of Kendal and most have well-marked walking routes and information boards. Hutton Roof Crags contains some of the best limestone pavement in Britain and is teeming with plant and bird life: Smardale Gill gives you the chance to spot rare species of butterfly while buzzards and sparrowhawks keep watch overhead. One of the RSPB's premier reserves, Leighton Moss, is also a very short drive to the south of the town; it has plenty to keep you occupied for the whole day.

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Lake District Holiday Rentals

Park Lodge Windermere Bowness Lake District National Park UK

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...

DUKESBURY, family friendly in Grange-Over-Sands, Ref 903934

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...

Stunning Contemporary Holiday Home With Close Proximity To The Beach, Village, Pubs, Cafes And Shops

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...

Beachside Cottage Idyllic Situation, Stunning Views Over Morecambe Bay & Lakes

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...

COVE COTTAGE, pet friendly, with a garden in Allonby, Ref 7558

Cove Cottage is a terraced cottage in the coastal village of Allonby, overlooking the Solway Firth. There is a four poster double, a further double and a twin. There is a bathroom with bath, shower over, basin and WC. The living accommodation comp...
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