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Home to England's tallest mountains and deepest lakes, the enchanting Lake District has some of the best walking spots in Britain, with trails to suit every kind of rambler. Here we've rounded up seven of our favourites - from peaceful valleys off the beaten path to unmissable peaks with far-reaching views.
View our Collection of inns in and around the Lake District here.
The small market town of Ambleside sits to the north of Windermere lake and has a variety of brilliant walks on its doorstep. One favourite takes you up Loughrigg Fell, a small mountain with stunning views across Grasmere lake and the wooded valley of Rydal - the ascent is about 335 metres. During the return trek, look out for Rydal Cave on the north side of the fell: a man-made cavern created over a century ago as a slate quarry.
Tucked away between Eskdale and Coniston is the timeless Duddon Valley - settlements here like the Swinside Stone Circle date back to at least the Neolithic period. Despite being trickier to get to, this hidden gem has some of the prettiest walks in the national park: such as along the peaceful River Duddon or around Devoke Water, the largest tarn in the Lake District. The pub in the area to visit is the Newfield Inn where you might find crispy beer battered fish or homemade beef and ale pie on the menu.
Blea Tarn is the perfect place for snap-happy wanderers and those seeking a soothing stroll - find the lake hidden beneath the Langdale Pikes between the hamlet of Little Langdale and the Great Langdale valley. For a slightly longer walk with fantastic views over Lingmoor Fell and the Pike of Blisco, follow the National Trust trail.
Helvellyn is the third highest mountain in England and sits between Thirlmere and Ullswater. Having five ridges means there are several routes up to the peak: Striding Edge, Swirral Edge and Thirlmere. Whilst the shortest and slightly easier way is via the Helvellyn Gill path from Thirlmere, experienced hikers make a beeline for craggy Striding Edge - this track starts from the waterside village of Glenridding.
Catbells is one of the smaller mountains in the park and sits close to the charming market town of Keswick. Despite its height, the panoramic views at the summit show some of the best of the Lake District, including magical Derwentwater lake and the Borrowdale valley beyond. A popular start point is from Hawes End, however for a longer walk, park at Keswick and follow the Cumbria Way around the north west side of Derwentwater lake up to the peak.
On the eastern shore of Ullswater is the remote hamlet of Martindale, home to the oldest herd of wild red deer in England. At its centre, find storybook St Martin's Church, originally built in the 1200s, plus an impressive 1,400-year-old yew tree. Stroll through the valley towards Ullswater Lake or head up Hallin or Beda Fell for spectacular lake views.
Standing above the lovely village of Coniston is one of the most imposing southern fells in Cumbria, The Old Man of Coniston. On the hike up to the summit, look out for mineshafts, old machinery and scars on rocks which date back to 13th-century slate mining. Once back on the ground, head to The Sun for a well-deserved pint and dishes brimming with local ingredients.
Discover more of the Lake District through the images below
Castlerigg Stone Circle
Last updated: 22.06.22
Photo credit: Unsplash (Ian Cylkowski - Loughrigg Fell; Jonny Gios - Blea Tarn, Helvellyn; Jake Colling - The Old Man of Coniston; James Armes - Buttermere; Reuben Hustler - Castlerigg Stone Circle; Maria Ilves - Ambleside; Gus G - Derwentwater; Sam Barber - Lake sunset); Shutterstock (David Tyrer - Martindale)