The Best Lake District Walks for the Whole Family

Are you considering a family staycation once lockdown is over? If so, the Lake District is a great place to start, as there are plenty of sights to see, especially if you and your family love sightseeing and a good scenic walk. To help you choose the right walking destination, here are some of the best hiking trails in Cumbrian hotspots including Keswick, Windermere and Coniston. This guide will cover Lake District walks for beginners to the best hikes in Lake District fells.

Best Walking Trails in Keswick

Keswick is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Cumbria for families. This market town is located right in the middle of Skiddaw and Derwentwater, so there is no shortage of adventurous routes.

Latrigg Hiking Route View

Latrigg Circular – Easy Difficulty

For short Lake District walks, Latrigg in Keswick has a beautiful trail called the Latrigg Cirular. The loop is is only a 2.1km hike that takes around one hour to complete. Latrigg is one of the lowest Lake District fells, but that does not take anything away from the scenery, as it offers stunning views over the valley of Borrowdale.

Castlerigg Stone Circle Walking Route – Average Difficulty

If a moderate trek is what you are looking for, then why not try the Castlerigg Stone Circle walking route which spans 7km but takes only two hours all the way around. This is one of the best walks in the Lake District due to its easy access from Keswick centre as well as the amazing backdrop of Helvellyn and High Seat.

Helvellyn – Difficult Hiking Route

For experienced walkers who wish to tackle Helvellyn Mountain, you can start from Thirlmere, just outside of Keswick. This route typically takes around five hours with a distance of 15km, so you should only really take this route if you have older children who have experienced steep approaches. 


Best Lake District Walking Routes in Windermere

Another popular tourist destination is Windermere, which is home to the largest natural lake in England. This means there is plenty to do in the water and around the lake itself, including hiring a boat which is great family fun. However, most visitors ask what are the best Lake Windermere walks to embark on? Our list below explores a range of hikes for all ages and abilities.

Tarn Hows – Easy Difficulty

If you are looking for easy Lake District walks for families, Tarn Hows is an excellent option. This is a popular man-made beauty spot that typically takes around one to two hours. You can take a look at the Government route guides to decide which route to take, as there are shorter and more accessible options for wheelchair users and paths that are ideal for Lake District dog walks.

School Knott – Average Difficulty

For beautiful views of Lake Windermere and Langdale Pikes, why not try School Knott, one of the many Cumbrian circular treks. This is considered one of the best Lake District walking routes, which takes around 5 miles and is typically completed in two hours. There are some challenging paths, as some of the terrain is uneven, and you will also face some steep inclines, but it’s all worthwhile for the scenic views.

Wray Castle Hiking Tour – Hard Difficulty

If you and your family love a challenge, you should try out the Wray Castle hiking tour, one of the most favoured Lake District guided walks. It starts from Bowness Bay Loop and ends in Bowness on Windermere. On the way, you can enjoy plenty of attractions, including the Roman fort, Wray Castle, Claife and more which can be viewed during a 14-mile hike that takes around six hours.

Best Lake District Walks in Coniston

Coniston is situated on the northern end and western shore of Coniston Water – the fifth largest lake in the Lake District National Park. Coniston is perfect for families with both younger and older kids, with various south Lake District walks for everyone.

Family Walking in Lake District

Coniston Hall – Easy Difficulty

If you are looking for a relaxing Lake District dog walks route, then the preferred option is Coniston Hall on the lake. This involves a three-mile walk along the Cumbria Way, which will take around one hour from Coniston village to the lakefront. As a result, this is one of the most relaxing low level routes in the Lakes, which means it is also pram-friendly.

Lowick Common – Average Difficulty

Lowick Common is an ideal family walk if you prefer a slight challenge. There are plenty of trails to follow on the Cumbria Wildlife Trust site. Therefore, you can keep your children entertained by exploring the various ponds populated with dragonflies, butterflies and more. This is one of the most popular Lake District circular walks which is around a two-mile walk altogether and includes a series of steep hills.

Old Man of Coniston – Hard Difficulty

More experienced ramblers may want to tackle the Old Man of Coniston, which is the highest peak of the Lake District’s Furness Fells. There are various routes to take, with the shortest being the Jack Diamond Path at 2.5km and the longest which takes 8km via Walna Scar Road and Dow Crag. Whichever you choose, you are guaranteed to benefit from a thrilling walk with stunning views at the top. 


Full List of Lake District Walks

Aside from our favourite places to visit in Cumbria, below is a list of all the other amazing lake district walks worth exploring.

Lake District Walking Route Distance
Loughrigg Tarn 1.7m
Latrigg Circular 2.1m
Brothers Water 2.4m
Tarn Hows 2.6m
Cat Bells and Little Town 3.3m
Loughrigg Fell 3.4m
Blelham Tarn and Wray Castle 3.4m
Binsey 4.1m
Fellbarrow and Low Fell 4.2m
High Force and Aira Force 4.2m
Rosthwaite, High Doat and Castle Crag 4.4m
Grey Knotts, Brandreth and Fleetwith Pike 4.6m
Scales Fell, Sharp Edge, Blencathra and Hall’s Fell Ridge 4.8m
Elterwater, Skelwith Force and Colwith Force 4.8m
Loughrigg Fell and Rydal Water 5.0m
Rosthwaite, Great Crag and Grange Fell 5.2m
Buttermere, Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike 5.4m
Hawkshead to Lake Windermere 5.5m
Gable Traverse, Great Napes and Great Gable 5.8m
Mardale Head, Branstree, Selside Pike and Haweswater 5.8m
Riggindale Crag, High Street and Mardale Ill Bell 5.9m
Helvellyn, Lower Man and Browncove Crags 6.6m
Jack’s Rake, Pavey Ark and Thunacar Knott 6.6m
Ullock Pike 6.6m
Hartsop above How, Hart Crag, Dove Crag 6.7m
Causey Pike, Scar Crags, Outerside and Barrow 6.9m
Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag 6.9m
Scafell, Scafell Pike and Lingmell from Wasdale Head 6.9m
Green Gable and Great Gable from Seathwaite 7.0m
High Tove, Armboth Fell, High Seat, Bleaberry Fell and Walla Crag 7.1m
Blakeley Raise, Grike, Crag Fell, Whoap and Lank Rigg 7.2m
Striding Edge, Helvellyn, Swirral Edge and Catstye Cam 7.5m
Bowscale Fell and Bannerdale Crags 7.7m
Haystacks, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Green Gable 8.0m
The Langdale Pikes 8.2m
Blencathra via Sharp Edge 8.2m
Mellbreak, Hen Comb, Gavel Fell, Blake Fell and Burnbeck Fell 8.2m
Steel Knotts, Wether Hill, Loadpot Hill, Arthur’s Pike and Bonscale Pike 8.3m
Lodore, Watendlath, Rosthwaite, Seatoller and Grange 8.6m
Knott Rigg, Ard Crags, Sail, Crag Hill, Wandope, Whiteless Pike & Rannerdale Knotts 8.8m
Crinkle Crags, Bowfell & Esk Pike 9.2m
Bowfell, Crinkle Crags, Cold Pike & Pike of Blisco 9.2m
High Street, Thornthwaite Crag, Stony Cove Pike and Brothers Water 9.3m
Cat Bells, High Spy, Dale Head, Hindscarth and Robinson 9.4m
Glaramara, Allen Crags, Great End and Seathwaite Fell 9.4m
Holme Fell, Cathedral Cave, Black Fell and Tarn Hows 9.4m
Old Man Of Coniston, Black Crag, Swirl How and Wetherlam 9.5m
Buttermere, Crummock Water, Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag 9.7m
Raise, Helvellyn and Striding Edge 9.8m
Kidsty Pike, High Raise, Rampsgill Head, The Knott, Rest Dodd, Angletarn Pikes, Boredale Hause 9.8m
Tilberthwaite, Old Man of Coniston, Levers Hawse, Swirl How and Wetherlam 10.0m
Sail, Crag Hill, Grasmoor, Hopehill Head and Grisedale Pike 10.0m
Pillar, Scoat Fell, Red Pike and Yewbarrow 10.2m
Bowfell, Rossett Pike and The Langdale Pikes 10.3m
Fairfield, Great Rigg and Heron Pike 10.4m
Striding Edge, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Dollywaggon Pike, Grisedale Tarn, St Sunday Crag and Birks 10.7m
Stybarrow Dodd, Watson’s Dodd, Great Dodd and Clough Head 10.7m
Kirk Fell, Looking Stead, Pillar, Steeple and Red Pike 10.9m
Scafell and Scafell Pike 11.0m
Dow Crag, Old Man of Coniston, Swirl How, Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Seathwaite Tarn and Wallowbarrow Gorge 12.0m
Nethermost Pike, Dollywaggon Pike, Seat Sandal, Fairfield, Hart Crag, High Pike and Low Pike 12.0m
Yoke, Ill Bell, Frostwick, Mardale Ill Bell, Harter Fell, Kentmere Pike and Shipman Knotts 12.3m
Bowfell, Esk Pike, Scafell Pike and Scafell 14.0m

Table Data Source:


Lake District Coast to Coast

Looking at the UK’s Coast to Coast route, one of the first things you notice is that it goes through three National Parks. When travelling east from St Bees, you encounter the Lake District first, entering near to Cleator Moor on the way to Dent Fell. You’ll then head northerly to Ennerdale Bridge before following Ennerdale Water.


We hope this guide will help you plan out an adventurous Lakeland holiday in the many and towns and villages scattered around the Lake District National Park. You may also consider some popular waterfall walks in the Lake District where you can admire more of the natural beauty that Cumbria has to offer.

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