The Lake District Trail

The Lake District Trail

England » Self-guided (independent) hiking tours

  • Walking in the footsteps of Wainwright
  • Panoramic view of Ullswater from the Grisedale Valley
  • Enjoying the famous Cumbrian hospitality
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

From 655 €

Duration (days): 7

Difficulty grade:  


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The Lake District Trail takes you on an self-guided hiking adventure from the shores of Lake Windermere through the rugged Central and Eastern Lakeland fells to the market town of Keswick. The walking route leads you into peaceful valleys, along exhilarating mountain passes and past pristine lakes and hidden tarns that all set the scene for a trek in a region noted for it’s literary pedigree.
With 5 walking days and 6 overnight stays this itinerary affords the perfect way to enjoy the hiking route in it’s entirety and also to explore the best walks at each location. This allows you to seek out the hidden gems that make the area so special. The Lake District Trail features hand-picked overnight accommodation in high quality B&B’s, country inns, and guesthouses. You can expect the highest levels of welcome, atmosphere and outstanding local cuisine. We also include daily door to door baggage transfers, detailed route notes and maps, a comprehensive pre-departure information pack as well as emergency support, should you need it.

Day 1: Arrive Ambleside
Ambleside is a bustling lakeside town and a great location for your starting point on your adventure through the Lake District. The train from London to Windermere takes approx 2.5hrs and from there the frequent Lakeslink bus runs to Ambleside or alternatively, it is just a 10 minute taxi journey.
Day 2: Ferry to Bowness/Walk to Ambleside (hiking: 16km)
Catch an early ferry from  Ambleside to Bowness on Windermere before setting out from Bowness Bay and walking back to Ambleside. After walking through Bowness on Windermere on footpaths, you will soon head into the hills on this delightful days’ walking. You will take in some of the most breathtaking views of the Lake District from vantage points such as Orrest Head (described by Wainwright after completing this walk as the  ‘introduction to a dream.’ ). This walk is actually known as the walk that inspired Wainwright.
Combine this with the high point of Wansfell Pike and this really does make for an exhilarating days walking.
Day 3: Ambleside to Patterdale (hiking: 19km)
From Ambleside the trail heads North through Rydal Park and impressive Rydal Hall before joining the ‘Coffin Road’ named for the fact that it was originally used to convey the deceased to their final resting place in Grasmere. Gently undulating through trees the trail passes Rydal Mount, home of Wordsworth. At White Moss Common at the north end of Rydal Water, the views ahead to Grasmere are spectacular and you will see why this was a favourite place of Wordsworth’s sister, Dorothy. Following the trail down into Grasmere you arrive at famous Dove Cottage, also home to Wordsworth, and you may also visit his final resting place at St Oswald’s Church. Moving out of Grasmere, the trail follows the Grisedale Pass, with an exhilarating walk up to Grisedale Tarn affording wonderful views back down to Grasmere and North toward Ullswater. The impressive craggy heights of Helvellyn fill the skyline to your left as you descend along the valley into Patterdale.
Day 4: Ullswater Lake and Place Fell circular walk (hiking: 13 km)
Today’s walk is one of the most beautiful in all Lakeland, circumnavigating the peak of Place Fell and following the stunning lakeshore path of Ullswater. The trail initially climbs to the grassy coll of Boredale Hause framed by the  mountains of Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes. The walk ahead down the Boredale glaciated valley is superb and as you descend you experience the magnificent view unfolding ahead. The route turns to follow the lakeside of Ullswater, a real highlight of the day, with unsurpassed views across the quiet waters to the peaks beyond as you walk back to Patterdale.
Day 5: Patterdale to Keswick (hiking: 19km)
You spend this day surrounded by the mountain peaks, crags and cliffs which epitomise the Lake District. Walking up Glenridding away from Ullswater you are rewarded with views back to the Lake and across the Eastern Fells. The trail follows a bridleway along the Sticks Pass with the peak of Helvellyn to the South. A steep descent brings you out to St Johns in the Vale, an arable area in a wide glacial valley at the head of Thirlmere surrounded by perhaps the most striking of the Lakeland Fells. Here you follow the St John’s Beck river northward between the rocky flanks of Clough Head to the East and the rugged neighbours, High Rigg and Low Rigg to the West. A real highlight of the day’s walk is the Castlerigg Stone Circle just East of Keswick, described as ‘one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain. You finish this exhilarating day upon arrival at the market town of Keswick situated in an idyllic location on Derwent Water.
Day 6: Derwent Water, Walla Crag and Friars Crag circular walk (hiking: 10,5km)
Following a fairly steep climb up to the heather clad summit of Walla Crag you are rewarded with one of the finest views in all of Lakeland. The sparkling surface of Derwent Water below and the Skiddaw range rising behind Keswick are sights to behold!  Walking onward you skirt the Cat Gill ravine before descending to reach Ashness Bridge fording the torrents of Ashness Gill. This much admired and photographed single arched bridge is a reminder of once busy packhorse routes across the Fells. The Lakeshore path back to Keswick is a delightful hike through woodland and along wide bays. At the rocky outcrop of Friar’s Crag you will find a memorial to John Ruskin who thought the views some of the finest in all Europe.
Day 7: Onward travel
Your holiday finishes after breakfast though if you feel energetic and suitably prepared you may wish to tackle the peaks of the Skiddaw range to the North of the town.

Accommodation and luggage transportation:
We hand pick the guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure you enjoy every minute of your stay.  They offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. Most of your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants. Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.

Price: 655 Euro/person

Single room supplement: 190 Euro

Group size: min. 2 persons

The price includes: 6 nights hand picked B&B, guesthouse and small hotel accommodation; Door to door baggage transfer as per itinerary; A detailed info pack, route book and printed maps for the group leader; Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.

The price does not include: Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk; Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks; Ferry crossing from Ambleside to Bowness; Travel Insurance; Personal equipment; Transport when you need to skip a stage.

By Air - The closest regional airport to Ambleside is Manchester (approx 3h by train and bus).
By Rail/Bus - Ambleside is easily reached by train via Windermere (approx 3hrs from London, 2hr from Manchester or 2hr from Glasgow.
Onward travel from Keswick:
By Bus -  If you have left your vehicle in Ambleside you may return via the Lakeslink 555 bus from Keswick with a journey time of approximately 50 minutes.  There are also bus services to Penrith and Carlisle whereupon there are onward train and bus ravel options.
You can find information for travelling to and from the Lake District by visiting the Traveline Website (