Walks in the Lake District, Best Views & Things to do in the Lakes

The Lake District or The Lakes 

The Lake District is in north-western England, in the county of Cumbria, sometimes also referred to as The Lakes or Lakeland. It is famous for it's beautiful natural scenery consisting of many lakes, forests and moutains. The Lake District was popularised in the early 19th century by Romantic Poets such as William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets.

blea tarn, lake district, ambleside, best view, best walk
Blea Tarn in the Lake District - looking towards the Langdale Pikes.
If I was to pick my top 5 views in the Lake District this would be in it.



Where is the Lake District?

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If you are unsure of where the Lake District is - then you can see from the map above that it is largely now a National Park (highlighted in the darker green) in the county of Cumbria, which is in the north-west of England.

The Lakes - My favourite place

I consider myself fortunate as I live only 1.5 hours drive from the Lake District - and consequently I spent many holidays there when I was young with my parents. I guess it was these holidays which started my love of the lakes. Even though I've travelled to quite a few places around the world and seen some stunning natural landscapes - I guess none can beat the Lakes and I agree with those who say when the weather is good in the lakes there is nowhere better.

lake district, lakes, best view, haystacks, wainwright
Possibly the best sunset I have witnessed in the Lake District - from Haystacks near Buttermere - looking towards Crummock Water & Ennerdale. Haystacks was Alfred Wainwrights favourite Mountain.

Walks in the Lake District

Because of it's beautiful natural scenery and rugged terrain, the lakes are very popular with walkers - and no matter what your ability there are walks to suit everyone. The area really is quite compact too with lots of lakes and mountains in a relatively small area.

Looking towards Helvellyn in the distance, England's Second Highest Mountain - with Striding Edge to the right.
Looking towards Helvellyn in the distance, England's Second Highest Mountain - with Striding Edge to the right.

The Wainwright Walks

The 'Wainwrights' are a collective term given to the 214 fells (local term for hills & mountains) of the Lake District, named after Alfred Wainwright - a famous British fell-walker, guidebook author and illustrator who was largely responsible for cataloging and popularising all the Lakeland fells through his  series of 7 books entitled A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. Many keen walkers now try and walk all the 214 fells as a personal challenge.



View towards Fairfield - one of my best walks in the Lake District
View towards Fairfield - one of my best walks in the Lake District

My Best Walks in the Lake District:

I haven't been blogging and documenting my walks that long - but here is a list of my best lake district walks I have documented so far:


Below are my other favourite walks that I didn't document at the time but are on my list to document in the future (I've included links for each walk to external sites):

• Helvellyn via Striding Edge (One the the most popular ridge walks in the UK - check out this youtube video!)
• Haystacks from Butteremere (Buttermere is one of my favourite lakes and Haystacks is possibly my favourite peak!)
Ambleside walk to Grasmere (This is a fairly low level leisurely walk - but there is lots of stunning views around every bend including Rydal Water & Grasmere lake)
Elterwater Waterfalls Walk - The view over to the langdales from the shores of Elterwater are some of the finest in the lakes and this walk take sin some of the surrounding waterfalls too)

Lake District Walking Websites

There are some excellent web-sites out there that I refer to quite a lot when planning walks in the Lake District and have even inspired my blog - here are the best ones I know of:
Striding Edge
The Walking Englishman
David Hall's Lake District Walks & Photos


Looking over Scales Tarn towards Sharp Edge (right) on a walk to Blencathra
Looking over Scales Tarn towards Sharp Edge (right) on a walk to Blencathra



Best scrambling/ridge walks in the Lake District

For those who are a bit more experienced with walking and are looking for something a bit more adventurous, then the Lake District has some excellent walks where the hands are required as well as the feet! Here are my 3 favourite scrambling walks below.

#1 Jacks Rake, Pavey Ark, Langdale Pikes, Lake District

Jacks rake route, langdale pikes, pavey ark, route, safe, deaths, map, ridge, best, lake district, lakes, rain, snow, ice,
Jacks Rake route up Pavey Ark, Langdale Pikes. One of the Lake District's best, most exhilarating & fun walks (if you like heights). This walk is not for the faint hearted though and should be tackled safely with care, in the knowledge of what to expect, and when weather conditions are favourable.  Search on youtube for Jack's rake to get an idea of what to expect.

#2 Sharp Edge, Blencathra, Lake District

#3 Striding Edge, Helvellyn, Lake District



My favourite views in the Lake District

Everyone has their own favourite places & views in the lake district - and here are my top 6 views:

#1 View from Haystacks looking west

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Possibly the best sunset I have witnessed in the Lake District - from Haystacks near Buttermere - looking towards Crummock Water & Ennerdale. Haystacks was Alfred Wainwrights favourite Mountain and with this view you can see why. In terms of walking to the summit of Haystacks - most people start from Buttermere lake and whilst there is some steep walking - it's not as strenuous as some of the higher peaks in the Lake District.   © Photo by Stuart Hodgson


#2 View over Derwent Water towards Borrowdale, Lake District (from either Friars Crag or Calfclose Bay, near Keswick)

View from Friars Crag, near Keswick looking over Derwent Water towards Borrowdale, lake district, lakes
I love the view over Derwent Water towards Borrowdale - I think it's because much of Borrowdale is still cladded in native forest and so the view is quite close to how it must have looked hundreds of years ago. This particular photo was taken from Calfclose Bay looking over Derwent Water towards Borrowdale. The view from Friars Crag is similar, a 5 min walk away from this point, and closer to Keswick and much more accessible, even by wheelchair along a well marked path. The view was John Ruskin's favourite view and he said it was amongst the best in Europe - I can't disagree with that. © Photo by Stuart Hodgson



#3 Blea Tarn looking towards the Langdale Pikes, Lake District

blea tarn, lake district, ambleside, best view, best walk
Blea Tarn in the Lake District - looking towards the Langdale Pikes. If I could try and imagine the perfect tarn - then this would be it! This place looks remote - but you can still drive here through the windy roads and park up less than 5 minutes easy walk away from this view point. © Photo by Stuart Hodgson

#4 View from Low Fell, looking towards Crummock Water, Lake District

Low Fell Walk, Crummock Water, Buttermere, Loweswater, Best Lake District view
This view is from Low Fell over Crummock Water. Low Fell is not a particularly well-known fell in the Lake District and is a little away from the main tourist areas - so it's not as popular as some of the more well-known summits. And whilst Low Fell is not particularly difficult to walk up - it presents some stunning views and is well worth a visit, particularly on a summers evening when the sun is going down behind you, illuminating this magnificent landscape.



#5 Looking over Buttermere Lake towards Fleetwith Pike & Haystacks, Lake District


Buttermere, Fleetwith Pike, Tree, lake, Photo, Haystacks, Lake District walks, Alfred Wainwright
Looking over Buttermere lake towards Fleetwith Pike (near the tree) and Haystacks (Alfred Wainwrights favourite Lake District mountain) to the right of Fleetwith Pike. 

#6 Ullswater from Gowbarrow Fell, Lake District

Ullswater on this Gowbarrow fell walk, looking towards Glenridding and the Helvellyn range. This is a lovely walk providing some of the best views of Ullswater, and also including Aira Force.
Ullswater on this Gowbarrow fell walk, looking towards Glenridding and the Helvellyn range. This is a lovely walk providing some of the best views of Ullswater, and also including Aira Force. © Photo by Stuart Hodgson

What's your favourite view? Leave a comment and let me know :-)


Camping in the lakes:

There are lots of great b&b's, hotels & YHA's in the Lakes, and in time I may add my favourites to this blog post, but if the weather is warm and sunny (hard to predict in the lakes I know :-) - then camping is a great way to experience the lakes and I guess you feel closer to the place when only the walls of a tent separate you from the outdoors. There's nothing quite like that feeling when you wake in the morning and breathe in that fresh lakeland air - or gaze at literally hundreds of stars before you turn in for the night. I've camped in quite a few places around the lakes, but my favourite is probably Derwent Water, Camping & Caravaning Club site. It's one of the first places I camped in the lakes - and the reason I like it is simply for the location and if your lucky you can get a spot right near the lake looking over Derwent Water to Borrowdale. You've seen above that the view down Derwent Water is one of my favourite views and for a few quid a night you can see this when you wake up in the morning looking out your tent!

My best camping spot in the Lake District - looking over Derwent Water towards Borrowdale with Catbells on the right. What a view to wake up to in the morning!
My best camping spot in the Lake District - looking over Derwent Water towards Borrowdale with Catbells on the right. What a view to wake up to in the morning!

Wild camping in the Lakes

Wild camping let's you experience the lakes in a whole new way - somewhere where you can truly get away from all the hustle & bustle and experience true peace & quiet. If your lucky and get a clear night sky - then you will see a stary sky the likes of which you haven't seen before. This type of camping isn't for everyone - but if your of the adventurous type - then you've got to try it once! Just remember to take with you everything, and I mean everything you will need, including toilet paper :-) The link below takes you to a blog post on one of my wild camps.

Wild camping in the lake District at Hard tarn, near Helvellyn
Wild camping in the lake District at Hard tarn, near Helvellyn



I'll be updating the rest of this blog post in time - come back soon!

Lake District Attractions & things to do:

View the top things to do as rated by members of Trip Advisor
Lake District attractions at www.lakedistrict.gov.uk