Stunning, handpicked trails and footpaths through the lakes and mountains
Easy to Follow Maps, GPS routes and Instructions Provided
Support Team and Emergency Support Vehicle on Hand
Friendly customer care team on hand 365 days a year
“A walk to remember forever… Every aspect exceeded our expectations…We highly recommend Active England and this opportunity to see what I believe is some of the most beautiful country in the world.” D.E
Got a Question?
Please do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We are always on hand to answer any queries you have relating to your tour.
What to Expect on your Lake District Walking Circuit
Immerse yourself in the majestic landscape of the Lake District by walking along some of the most picturesque and dramatic walking routes England has to offer, enjoying the freedom of walking in at your own pace, in your own time. Drink in the landscapes, the fells, dales and the lakes and the stunning colours and light from Easter until the onset of winter. Enjoy the history and heritage of England’s Lake Country and rediscover the English countryside by walking on your own, as a couple or bringing friends and family to walk with you.
No Hassle Self-Guided Walking Tours
We take all the hassle out of walking by including all luggage transfers, organising and booking all accommodation, lunch and dinner recommendations, providing maps, GPS instructions, and by recommending all the iconic views and vistas on route as well as the towns and villages, estates, gardens, ancient sites and more along the way. There is so much to the see – by lifting up your eyes every step of the way!
Step back in time on one of our idyllic walks through the heart of the English countryside, along routes used since prehistoric times, winding through villages, tracing ridgeways, climbing mountains and following paths down into woodlands and valleys, and with panoramic views around every corner. These linear journeys are the perfect way to discover England at its finest.
Lake District Walking Photos
Lake District Self Guided Walking Itinerary
Most guests will stay the night before the tour in Windermere and we are more than happy to arrange additional accommodation, please ask when booking! There is much to do in this village set on the shore of the Lake District’s largest lake and it is the perfect place to relax and settle into the local area before beginning your walking trip.
Day 1Windermere to Coniston
A guide will meet you and for a briefing and to ensure you are fully set up for your walking holiday. Following this, you depart from Bowness on Windermere and catch the famous Ferry House Ferry over the lake. Our route allows you to walk close to the shore of the lake and over the rolling hills to Hawkshead before heading gently downhill to the charming village of Coniston and a well-earned night to relax.
Mileage: 9 miles
Day 2Coniston to Boot
Heading out of Coniston our walking route follows the old Walna Scarr Road below the Old Man of Coniston. ‘Old man’ is Norse for a pile of stones or cairn and ‘Coniston’ means King’s Town, so it roughly translates as the Old Cairn of King’s Town. It is the highest peak in the Furness Fells at 803 meters in height. Travel through the beautiful and remote Duddon Valley before walking around Harter Fell and following the River Esk to will bring you into Boot. The walking is generally easy but you will actually ascend more on this day than any other – with the total of approaching 950m / 3000ft.
There is the option for a different or additional section to the walk this day – climbing the famous Old Man of Coniston. From here you climb the Hardknott Pass, a steep and twisting road that is great fun for those looking for a challenge, into Boot. Known as the steepest road in England you’ll certainly have earned your dinner by taking on this tough route.
Mileage: 12 miles
Day 3Boot to Buttermere
Following the River Esk downstream we cross the old Eskdale to Ravenglass railway and after an easy climb via Irton Fell you arrive at Wast Water. From here there is a choice to walk on the road on the eastern side of the lake, or take on the loose scree slopes on the western bank, to the to the Wasdale Head Inn. From Wasdale Head the route leads through Mosedale before climbing up to the col (saddle) of Black Sail Pass to be rewarded with a grand view into Ennerdale with a wide range of peaks forming a superb backdrop. You then head into Ennerdale before a gentle climb brings you to Scarth Gap Pass and into the Buttermere Valley. Buttermere is a beautiful, quiet valley possessing three lakes and well worth an afternoon of pottering around.
Mileage: 11 miles
Day 4Buttermere to Keswick
You climb out of Buttermere following a well-defined path to the top of Rigg Beck and to where the famous ‘Purple House’ used to stand, a favourite place to stay for Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes among others, though now in ruin from an unfortunate fire. Down the other side into the peaceful Newlands valley, continue on underneath the slopes of Catbells en route to Keswick with its lively atmosphere after a few days in the wilderness.
We also provide an alternative route via the summit of Catbells, one of the most popular short climbs in the Lake District, which rewards you with spectacular views of the northern fells, Skiddaw and the lakes of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite.
Mileage: 10 miles
Day 5Keswick to Grasmere
Leaving Keswick, retrace your steps to Portinscale and follow the level lakeshore path along Derwentwater through ancient oak forests and into Rosthwaite, set within the picture postcard Borrowdale Valley. From Rosthwaite you climb Greenup Edge on a steep but clear path. There is then a choice to take the easier route down to the valley of Far Easedale, suitable for dry days as this can get boggy underfoot after rainfall, or you can walk over the Lion and the Lamb (also known as Helm Crag) which, despite its low height, sits prominently at the end of the ridge, providing incredible views into the valleys below, before heading down into Grasmere.
Mileage: 16 miles
Day 6Grasmere to Patterdale
Today’s route takes in the Helvellyn range, a North-South line of mountains where there are two choices: the lower option over the pass at Grisedale Tarn, or the more adventurous can head up to the summit of Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in the Lake District, before both paths drop down to Patterdale on the shores of Ullswater, where the clear lake reflects back the beautiful mountain scenery in a perfect mirror on a wind free day.
Mileage: 8 miles
Day 7Patterdale to Windermere
Your final day’s walk leaves Patterdale and Ullswater behind as you follow Pasture Beck upstream under Raven Crag. The trail leaves the valley floor and zigzags up steeply until you reach Threshthwaite Mouth with great views over the verdant valley bellow and Lake Windermere, which will be the final stopping point and mark the completion of your walking circuit throughout the best of the Lake District. We will help you with all ongoing travel arrangements from Windemere, recommending the train as the best option to for your onwards journey.
There is the option to spend additional nights in Windermere and we would only be too pleased to organise accommodation for you.
Mileage: 13 miles
Download Detailed Intinerary
For full information about this tour and to find out all you need to know, download your copy of the detailed itinerary by clicking the button below.
Travel Insurance, highly recommended for an active holiday
Why choose a self-guided walking holiday?
With exceptionally well-planned routes, our self-guided tours are designed to suit the independent traveler or groups of travelers; those who wish to walk at their own pace and speed. With GPS (our routes downloaded onto your phones) and maps, we detail all of the points of interests, lunch stops, cafes – and of course pubs! Hike at your leisure, safe in the knowledge that a support team and emergency support vehicle is on standby
How do I get to Windemere and the start of the tour?
By Train: Train to Windermere, changing at Oxenholme main line station on the West Coast Mainline. It is 3.5 hours from London to Windermere, and is easily accessible from across the country.
By Road: From the South: From the M6 take the A65 (Junction35), then the A591 to Ambleside, Windermere is about 30 minutes from the motorway.
From the North: From the M6 take the A66 (Junction 40), then the A591 to Ambleside. Windermere is about 40 minutes from the motorway.
What are the Hotels like in the Lake District on this tour?
We have handpicked a selection of hotels and bed and breakfasts in ideal locations so you can walk into and out of your hotel to begin and end your walk each day, with no detours! With great access into towns and views over the Lake District, these hotels and guest houses are the perfect place to rest your legs and relax during the evenings while on your tour.
Read M.W’s review of our hotels: “The accommodations were first rate — small inns scattered throughout the countryside. And the food — out of this world! […] It was so relaxing to have the whole trip prearranged.”