5 of The Best Walking Routes in the Lake District

Jon French shares five of the very best hiking routes the Lakes has to offer...

Jon French
By Jon French


Share this Article

Are you ready to explore the stunning landscapes of the Lake District on foot? Discover the top 5 hiking routes that will take you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in England, chosen by our very own Jon French (www.instagram.com/frenchy_hikes_the_lakes).


Extended Coledale Round




This twist on the classic Lakeland walk starts and finishes in the village of Braithwaite, near Keswick. The route offers epic views of the Coledale and Newlands valleys, Derwent Water and Buttermere. 


My preferred direction to do this walk is clockwise, finishing with Grisedale Pike as the last of the 10 Wainwrights. Walking in this direction means you can appreciate the ‘wiggly’ path of Sail head on and also enjoy one of my favourite views in the Lakes, the approach to Grisedale Pike, walking along Hobcarton Crag, stunning!


Enjoy refuelling in the Coledale Inn after your long but rewarding day in the mountains.  


13 miles, 5000 feet of ascent, 10 Wainwrights. 


Haystacks and the High Stile Ridge 





Starting in Gatesgarth near Honister Pass, the walk offers absolutely stunning views in every direction but you do have to earn them first with a tough climb up to Red Pike. Enjoy the views of Buttermere, Crummock, Ennerdale, Great Gable and the Scafell Range before you head over towards Haystacks, Alfred Wainwright’s favourite fell.


The return takes you past Warnscale Bothy for that iconic window photograph of Buttermere and take a dip in the pools at Warnscale Beck to cool off after a great hike! 


9 miles, 3400 feet of ascent, 4 Wainwrights. 


High Street and Harter Fell via Riggindale Ridge





This is such a beautiful and quiet area of the Lake District. This moderate walk offers panoramic views of many points of interest in the area. The climb up the ridge line from the Rigg culminates with a light scramble up to the site of the highest Roman Road in England, High Street. We are rewarded with views over Haweswater, the tarns of Blea Water and Small Water and the Kentmere reservoir.


Crossing Nan Bield Pass, which straddles the Kentmere and Mardale valleys, we then climb up to Harter Fell before dropping back down to Mardale Head via Gatesgarth Pass. A stunning walk!


7 miles, 2500 feet of ascent, 3 Wainwrights 


Blea Tarn, Lingmoor Fell and Side Pike





The best way to enjoy the Langdale Pikes is not to walk them but to enjoy them from the best vantage point, Lingmoor Fell. Starting from Great Langdale we climb up to the iconic Blea Tarn for that iconic view of the Pikes, before climbing again to the Wainwright of Lingmoor Fell. From there we drop down to the Birkett of Side Pike via ‘the squeeze’ for a stunning view of the Langdale Valley. This walk offers big rewards for not too much effort.


6 miles, 2000 feet of ascent, 1 Wainwright. 


Scafell Pike and the southern fells of Borrowdale




Not for the faint hearted! Starting in the hamlet of Seathwaite, this walks starts with a steep ascent of Seathwaite Fell before joining the Corridor route to Lingmell and Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. From there we drop down to Esk Hause via Great End and add on an a scenic out and back to Esk Pike for stunning views of upper Eskdale. After that we return to Esk Hause and back to Seathwaite via the Glaramara Ridge, ticking off a further 3 Wainwrights on the way. A huge day out!


17 miles, 7000 feet of ascent, 8 Wainwrights


Mountain Rescue Top Tips to Stay Safe!


Do your research on your intended route. Is it suitable for your groups ability? Do you have the ability to competently navigate the route you’re looking at in bad weather? Make sure you have suitable kit for your day - sturdy footwear, warm layers, waterproofs, charged mobile phone and safety equipment (survival bag, whistle, head torch and first aid kit)

Let someone know

Leave some details of your intended route and expected start and finish times with someone responsible in case of emergency.

Check the weather

Knowing the weather forecast can make all the difference to the enjoyment of your day. Are you able to apart your plans or change timings so you get the best of the weather?



Often people forget the importance of staying adequately fed and hydrated whilst out in the hills. Ensure you have enough fluids and foods (plus a little extra in case of emergency) to see you through the day.

In case of emergency

If you find your self in an emergency situation in the hills and need assistance - Call 999 or 112 and ask for the Police and then Mountain Rescue.

Related Tags

Related Articles

Taking On The Spine Challenger North 2024
Taking On The Spine Challenger North 2024
Angela White, The Running Granny, took on The Spine Challenger North and reports
Read More
Finding The Way With Orienteering
Finding The Way With Orienteering
Try a new sport with Nathan Lawson’s tips for getting into, and improving at, or
Read More
Merthyr Mermaid Ice Swimmer: The Ice Mile
Merthyr Mermaid Ice Swimmer: The Ice Mile
Ice swimmer Cath Pendleton tells all about her record-breaking mile Antarctic sw
Read More