Thanks to the best Lake District easy walks, you don’t need to be an experienced mountaineer to take in the region’s amazing views. Follow these easy hiking Lake District trails, and you can soak up the region’s beauty without losing your breath.
If you want to admire the Lake District from some of its highest viewpoints and most scenic valleys, you might need to be prepared to do a little walking. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy hikes in the Lake District that are suitable for beginners and families.
And many of the Lake District’s easiest walking trails lead to some of the region’s most staggeringly beautiful natural sites.
Whether you want to follow a circular loop around a lake like Windermere, climb to the peak of a crag or navigate a sculpture-filled forest, one of the best Lake District easy walks is perfect for you.
Best Lake District Easy Walks
Want to see one of England’s most beautiful regions without requiring the fitness levels of a marathon runner? Here are some of our favourite beginner hikes in the Lake District.
1. Latrigg, Keswick
Latrigg is one of the easiest mountains to climb in the Lake District, but the views you can take in from the summit are truly awe-inspiring.
On a clear day, Latrigg provides uninterrupted views of the Derwentwater Lake, Keswick, the Borrowdale Valley, and an abundance of surrounding fells that characterise the Lake District landscape.
You can start your hike to the summit of Latrigg from the car park located at the mountain’s foot. It’s a two-mile walk with just a few moderately steep sections towards the beginning of the trail. Once you’ve got those slightly challenging sections out of the way, the rest of the clearly marked footpath is a doddle.
While we highly recommend this easy walk in the Lake District, you do have the option of simply driving to the car park at the top of Latrigg if you’d rather conserve your energy. You might want to take a picnic to enjoy on the bench near the summit. If a feast in natural surrounds is your thing, check out some of the best picnic spots in England’s National Parks.
2. Orrest Head Walk, Windermere village
Plenty of the Lake District’s easy hikes offer sprawling views of Windermere – the region’s largest lake – and the Orrest Head Walk is one of our favourites.
Rumour has it that Orrest Head is the first fell climbed by legendary author Alfred Wainwright. It’s easy to see why he fell in love with the Lake District when you reach this picturesque viewpoint.
The easiest route to Orrest Head starts from the town of Windermere, one of the Lake District’s best towns. Head to the Windermere Tourist Information Centre and you’ll see signs for the Orrest Head Walk. At the Tourist Information Centre, you can find out about many more easy walks and hikes in the South Lakes.
The walk covers a distance of about two miles of mostly tarmacked trails, with just a few mildly challenging inclines. After all that exercise, you can treat yourself to a well-deserved pampering at one of the best day spas in Windermere.
3. Castle Crag Loop, Rosthwaite
At an elevation of just under 300 metres, Castle Crag is arguably the easiest mountain to climb in the Lake District, but don’t let its relatively small height put you off.
From the summit of Castle Crag, you can soak up the panorama of Derwentwater all the way to Skiddaw, one of England’s highest mountains. It’s one of our favourite Lake District easy circular walks in the Borrowdale Valley.
The Castle Crag Loop starts and ends in Rosthwaite, one of the Lake District’s prettiest villages. You can park in the National Trust car park and start your hike from there. Get there early – spaces fill up fast.
4. Grizedale Forest, Grizedale
If you’re searching for flat walks in the Lake District, we suggest heading over to Grizedale Forest, which lies between Windermere and Coniston.
Home to at least ten walking trails and nine cycling tracks, Grizedale Forest is home to many of the easiest routes in the Lake District. Keep your eyes peeled for sculptures lurking among the trees. You’ll also find plenty of shaded places to have a picnic.
There are plenty of Lake District low level walks in this forest, but you might want to climb Carron Crag in the forest’s centre to admire the Helvellyn mountain range in the distance.
It’s a great spot to visit if you’re in the Lake District in winter.
5. Aira Force Waterfall, Matterdale
Fancy following one of the best Lake District easy walks that takes you straight to a stunning natural water feature? Head over to Ullswater and hike to the Aira Force Waterfall.
Maintained by the National Trust, the Aira Force Waterfall is accessible via a dozen or so trails through the woodland, but the easiest trail begins in Matterdale. It takes 35 minutes to reach the waterfall, and the trail is mostly flat. If you don’t mind climbing, you can take the staircase to see the falls from a height of 60 metres. Keep your eyes peeled for red squirrels during this scenic walk in the Lake District.
If you enjoy hiking along tranquil trails to beautiful natural spots, you might want to read about some of the best National Trails in England. National Trust spots are a good idea if you’re looking for a solo day out idea by the way!
6. Hallin Fell, Howtown
A hike to the summit of Hallin Fell is one of our favourite beginner walks in the Lake District. It’s not one of the highest fells in the region, but it offers impressive views of one of Cumbria’s most picturesque lakes.
When you reach the top of Hallin Fell, you’ll be able to relish postcard-perfect views of Ullswater and even the Northern Pennines on a clear day. You’ll also see one of the Lake District’s most impressive cairns next to a bench that gives you a place to rest your feet.
Even though this is considered to be one of the easy fell walks in the Lake District, you can expect a couple of slightly steep inclines during your hike to the summit of Hallin Fell. You can start your hike from the car park at the bottom of the fell near the church in Howton. Don’t be embarrassed to take a few breaks during your hike. Also, don’t forget to bring your hiking essentials.
7. Raven Crag, Thirlmere
A hike to the top of Raven Crag can take just 30 minutes, making it one of the best short walks in the Lake District. While you can complete a round-trip to Raven crag from Thirlmere in an hour, we recommend setting aside at least a couple of hours to admire the scenery.
From the summit of Raven Crag, you can see many of the Lake District’s central fells surrounding the scenic Thirlmere reservoir. There’s a wooden viewing platform at the top that allows you to take in the view without getting your feet wet in winter.
If you are in the area for winter, check out some of the best events for Christmas in the Lake District here.
8. Low Fell, Thackthwaite
If you want to embark on an easy walk in the Lake District away from the crowds of tourists, hike to the peak of Low Fell from the lovely village of Thackthwaite.
You can reach the cairn that marks the top of Low Fell by following a well-trodden grassy path; be prepared for boggy patches during and after rain. When you reach the cairn, you’ll see panoramic views of Crummock Water and its surrounding lush fells.
It usually takes around an hour to hike to the summit of Low Fell from Thackthwaite. If you want to extend your hike, you might want to climb the neighbouring fell of Fellbarrow, which offers views of the west coast and even the Isle of Man on a clear day.
9. High Cup Nick, Appleby
Even though the walk from the small village of Dufton to High Cup Nick spans a distance of seven miles, it’s still one of the easiest fell walks in the Lake District as the route is mostly flat – no steep climbs to worry about here!
While there’s a lot of scenic sights to behold along the route, the real reward comes right at the end of the trail. The U-shaped valley of High Cup Nick is a true geological marvel, situated on the border of the North Peninnes Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (one of the best places to visit on a day out in County Durham).
10. Gummer’s How, Windermere
Easy hikes in the South Lakes don’t get much more straightforward than the walk to Gummer’s How, especially given that you can drive all the way to it if you want the view without the climb.
Gummer’s How is the name of a hill that overlooks the lake of Windermere from the south. You’ll find plenty of trails that crisscross the area, offering exceptional views of the region.
After your hike, you might want to try out a few water activities on Windermere, one of the best spots for paddle boarding in the Lake District. After all, it is the biggest lake in England!
11. Surprise View, Ashness Bridge
The hike to Surprise View is another one of the best Lake District easy walks – and yet another stunning viewpoint that you can drive to if you’d prefer to save your energy.
You’ll get some of the most scenic views of Derwentwater and the Skiddaw mountain range from Surprise View. There’s a free car park right next to the viewpoint, but if you fancy an easy walk, you can follow the inclining road from Ashness Bridge. There’s a National Trust car park nearby.
Have we missed any of the best Lake District easy walks?
So, there you have it – 11 of the best Lake District easy walks that allow you to see one of England’s best national parks in all its glory without constantly being out of breath. Thanks to these beginner hikes in the Lake District, you can soak up views of mountains, fells, lakes and valleys without needing to be a veteran climber.
Our list of Lake District easy walks could go on forever, but we hope our favourites have given you a little inspiration for your next day out in Cumbria. If you know of any easy walks in the Lake District our readers might like to know about, please leave a comment below. While you’re here, you might want to find out about more fun activities to do in the Lake District.
Quick list of the best Lake District easy walks:
- Latrigg, Keswick
- Orrest Head, Windermere village
- Castle Crag Loop, Borrowdale
- Grizedale Forest, Grizedale
- Aira Force Waterfall, Matterdale
- Hallin Fell, Howtown
- Raven Crag, Thirlmere
- Low Fell, Crummock Water
- High Cup Nick, Appleby
- Gummer’s How, Windermere
- Surprise View, Borrowdale Valley