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 freedoms of walking in at your own pace, in your own time. Drink in the landscapes, the fells (hills), dales (valleys) 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
After meeting our guide and following a full safety briefing you depart 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 Eskdale
Heading out of Coniston your walking route follows the old Walna Scarr Road below the Old Man of Coniston, travelling through the beautiful and remote Duddon Valley before walking around the side of Harter Fell and following the River Esk to Eskdale. 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 walk on this day by climbing the famous Old Man of Coniston. ‘Old man’ is Norse for a pile of stones or cairn and Coniston is the 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. From here you climb the Hardknott Pass, a steep and twisting road that is great fun for those looking for a challenge, into Eskdale. Known as the steepest road in England you’ll certainly have earned your dinner by taking on this challenging route.
Mileage: 11 miles
Day 3Eskdale to Wasdale Head
Following the river Esk downstream we cross over the old Eskdale to Ravenglass railway line and after an easy climb via Iron Fell you arrive at Wast Water, where 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. A stunning loop, and a shorter day which allows those looking for a longer route to consider the climb up Scafell, as a substitute walk for the day, England’s highest mountain.
Mileage: 8 miles
Day 4Wasdale Head to Buttermere
From Wasdale Head the route heads through Mosedale before you climb 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 two lakes and is well worth an afternoon of pottering around. There is an additional great walk around the lake itself.
Mileage: 8 miles
Day 5Buttermere 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 and underneath the slopes of Catbells en route to Keswick and 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: 8 miles
Day 6Keswick to Rosthwaite
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. This is a shorter and flatter day and ideal should you want a slightly early finish.
Mileage: 7 miles
Day 7Rosthwaite to Grasmere
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 choose to 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: 8.5 miles
Day 8Grasmere to Patterdale
Today’s route takes in the Helvellyn range, a North-South line of mountains where there are two choices, the lower choice over the pass at Grisedale Tarn or, for the more adventurous, via the summit of Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in the Lake District, before dropping 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 9 Patterdale 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 below. You’ll also look down onto Windermere, the final stopping point on your walking journey and the completion of your walking circuit throughout the best of the Lake District. We will help you with all ongoing travel arrangements from Lake Windemere, recommending the train as the best option to begin 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 Air: The nearest international airports are Manchester (MAN), Newcastle (NCL) or Glasgow (GLA).
By Train: Train to Windermere from Oxenholme main line station on the West Coast Mainline.
By Road: From the South: From the M6 take the A65 (Junction35), then the A591 to Ambleside. About 30 minutes from the motorway. From the North: From the M6 take the A66 (Junction 40), then the A591 to Ambleside. About 40 minutes from the motorway.
What are the Hotels like in the Lake District?
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.”