One of the key activities for Lake District visitors is walking. The Lake District National Park has 3,105 kilometres of rights of way, and the walks you can go on vary from relaxed to more challenging, for whatever suits you.

 

Choose Your Level

There are numerous walking routes in the Lakes, from fell top Wainwright Walks to accessible for all Miles Without Stiles routes. There are also walks designed with families and children in mind, and guided walks.

There are 42 routes designated as easy, across the Lake District National Park. These are routes suitable for families with pushchairs, dog walkers, people with limited ability and the visually impaired.

Areas featured in easy routes include: Coniston, Windermere, Broughton, Grasmere, Buttermere and Ravenglass.

In his seven volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Alfred Wainwright mapped out routes to the summits of 214 fells. Whereas Wainwright’s illustrated books are rightly thought of as works of art, the walks he describes are very real.

For many visitors, it’s a mark of honour to accomplish as many “Wainwrights” as they can, and there are plenty to choose from for first-time visitors to the area. Wainwright’s guides have all been updated and remain in print.

 

High Adventure: Hill Walking

As the UK’s leading destination for walkers, the Lake District has plenty of more challenging walks to offer the more adventurous visitor.

Challenging walks include: Scafell Pike, Buttermere to Keswick, the Kentmere Horseshoe, Helvellyn and the Cumbria Way.

Some hill walks do involve scrambling up and down boulders and navigating along narrow ridges, so it’s best to be prepared. Some of the technical difficulties for hill walks are classified as mountaineering, which is fine so long as you have the experience and ability.

 

Being Prepared for Walking

It’s worth investing in suitable footwear and clothing – check with your chosen outdoor supplier. Make sure your footwear is up to the task, providing a gripping

tread and, preferably, ankle support. When it comes to clothing, layers are the best option, both windproof and waterproof.

Always carry food and drink with you, particularly energy-giving snacks such as chocolate or dried fruit, and plenty of water of course.

Get a compass, and a torch, if you’re going to be walking after dark. Remember that mobile phone reception may not be good where you’re walking. And take a first aid kit, in the event of any accidents.

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” Walking is good for the body and the mind, being both engaging and relaxing at the same time. This makes the Lake District an ideal destination for walkers, regardless of age or ability.