100 greatest hikes in the Lake District National Park

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From the shores of England’s deepest lake to the summit of its highest peak, we share the greatest hikes in the Lake District National Park

England’s Lake District is home to some of the nation’s most picturesque panoramas. The park’s craggy ridges, hidden tarns and glistening lakes have enticed walkers ever since the first ‘Lake Poets’ of Wordsworth and Coleridge put pen to paper in the 19th century.

The Lake District is the UK’s most visited national park with over 15 million annual visitors. It is also home to the Wainwright Fells, 214 hills and mountains described in Alfred Wainwright’s classic seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells (1955-66).

The UNESCO-listed park is also home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike at 978m (3,209ft), and the infamous Helvellyn at 950m (3,117ft) with its hair-raising Striding Edge ridge.

Along with the mountains are of course the 16 principal lakes from which the park takes its name, as well as numerous smaller tarns, making it ideal for water sports including sailing, canoeing, fishing and wild swimming.

But it’s the hiking trails that really show ‘Lakeland’ at its finest. Pick the ones that suit you best with our comprehensive list of the 100 greatest hikes in the Lake District National Park.

greatest hikes in the Lake District National Park

Home to over 100,000 trails, AllTrails is one of the world’s leading hiking apps. It has over 20 million users globally and is widely downloaded across the UK.

With over 10,000 reviews of over 650 Lake District hikes, we believe the ‘AllTrails method’ is a great way to identify the park’s finest trails.

AllTrails user reviews are calculated using a five-star rating system with one star being terrible, two stars poor, three stars average, four stars good and five stars excellent.

To find the greatest hikes in the Lake District National Park, we’ve selected the highest-rated hikes according to their average rating on AllTrails.

1. Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 9.3 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

2. Helvellyn

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.9 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

Helvellyn with hiking trail
Mark Roper/Shutterstock Helvellyn avoiding Striding Edge

3. Rydal and Fairfield Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 15.9 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

4. Cat bells via Allerdale Ramble

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.8 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

5. Scafell Pike from Seathwaite Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 20.0 km
Duration: 6-8 hours
More info

A hiker descends Scafell Pike towards Seathwaite
Duncan Andison/Shutterstock A hiker descends Scafell Pike towards Seathwaite

6. The Old Man of Coniston Extended Loop

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 13.0 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
More info

7. Derwent Water Circular

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 17.4 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
More info

8. Hawes End, Cat Bells and Derwent Circular

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.6 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

9. Buttermere Haystacks Circular

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 12.9 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
More info

Buttermere Fell is home to some of the most popular hiking trails in England
Andy Sykes/Shutterstock The view from Green Crag along Buttermere Fell

10. Orrest Head Circular Walk

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4.5 km
Duration: 1-2 hours
More info

11. Aira Force and Gowbarrow Park

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 7.1 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

12. Helvellyn Circular via Striding Edge

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 13.5 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
More info

Striding Edge is one of best hikes in the Lake District
Daniel Shearly/Shutterstock The infamous Striding Edge is one of greatest hikes in the Lake District

13. Scafell Pike Circular via Wasdale Head Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 11.6 km
Duration: 2-4 hours
More info

14. Old Man Coniston from Walna Scar Road

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 7.6 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

15. Gatesgarth and Buttermere Circular

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 6.9 km
Duration: 1-2 hours
More info

The Buttermere Circular is one of the best hikes in the Lake District
Michael Conrad/Shutterstock The Buttermere Circular

16. Braithwaite and Craghill Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 15.6 km
Duration: 5-7 hours
More info

17. Scafell Pike from Wasdale Campsite

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 7.9 km
Duration: 2-4 hours
More info

18. Skiddaw

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 10.0 km
Duration: 2-4 hours
More info

19. Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and High Spy Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 12.9 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
More info

Cat Bells is one of England's most popular hiking trails
Daniel_Kay/Shutterstock Cat Bells in the Lake District

20. Old Man of Coniston and Brim Fell Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 8.5 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

21. Ullock Pike, Long Side, Carl Side, Skiddaw and Bakestall

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 11.6 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
More info

22. Stockghyll Force

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.8 km
Duration: 30 mins
More info

23. Helvellyn, Swirrel Edge and Striding Edge Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 12.1 km
Duration: 2-4 hours
More info

24. Skelwith Force, Colwith Force, Cathedral Quarry

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 9.5 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

Skelwith force is one of the best hikes in the Lake District
Steve Heap/Shutterstock Skelwith Force in the Lake District

25. Tarn Hows

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.9 km
Duration: 1 hour
More info

26. Buttermere, Red Pike and Bleabury Tarn Circular Walk

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 12.1 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
More info

27. Langdale Pikes: Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle and Pike Of Stickle

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 8.9 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

28. Aira Force Circular Walk

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.1 km
Duration: 1 hour
More info

Aira Force is one of the best hikes in the Lake District
Tomasz Wozniak/Shutterstock Aira Force in the Lake District

29. Scales and Blencathra Circular via Sharp Edge

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 8.4 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

30. Helvellyn Circular via Greenside

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 8.9 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

31. Walla Crag via Ashness Bridge

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 9.7 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

32. The Old Man of Coniston Circular

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.3 km
Duration: 2 hours
More info

Looking towards the Old Man of Coniston
Simon Whitfield/Shutterstock Looking towards the Old Man of Coniston

33. Bowness-on-Windermere and Queen Adelaide’s Hill

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.9 km
Duration: 2 hours
More info

34. Glenridding and Helvellyn Circular

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 12.9 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

35. Kentmere Circular Walk

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 19.0 km
Duration: 5-7 hours
More info

36. Glenridding to Helvellyn

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 10.5 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

37. Ennerdale Water Circular Walk

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 11.4 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

Ennerdale Water in the Lake District
Drew Rawcliffe/Shutterstock Ennerdale Water in the Lake District

38. Blencathra via Sharp Edge

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 14.2 km
Duration: 4-6 hours
More info

39. Newlands Horseshoe

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 17.2 km
Duration: 5-7 hours
More info

40. Rannerdale Knotts

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.6 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

A trail sign on Rannerdale Knotts
Irina Poliakova/Shutterstock At the start of Rannerdale Knotts

41. Fellbarrow and Low Fell Trail

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 9.8 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

42. Harrison Stickle and Langdale Pikes Circular Walk

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 6.3 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

43. Buttermere Circular

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 7.7 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

44. Helvellyn from Swirls

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 10.1 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

45. Easedale Tarn Round

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 7.6 km
Duration: 1-2 hours
More info

Easedale Tarn is one of the best hikes in the Lake District
george green/Shutterstock Easedale Tarn is one of the greatest hikes in the Lake District

46. Grasmere, Great Rigg, Grisedale Tarn and Fairfield Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 10.8 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

47. Binsey Trail

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.4 km
Duration: 1 hour
More info

48. Hellvyln Loop

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 22.0 km
Duration: 6-8 hours
More info

49. Walla Crag from Hope Park

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 10.8 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

50. Latrigg from Keswick

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 9.0 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

The picturesque town of Keswick
Nick106/Shutterstock The picturesque town of Keswick

51. Gatesgarth and Haystacks Circular

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 7.7 km
Duration: 2-4 hours
More info

52. Bowness on Windermere Circular

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 8.5 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

53. Scafell Pike Loop via Lake Head Car Park

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 8.5 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
More info

Scafell Pike is one of the best hikes in the Lake District National Park
Stewart Smith/Shuttesrtock The summit of Scafell Pike in winter

54. The Old Man of Coniston and Coniston Waterfall

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 6.4 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

55. Rydal and Grasmere

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 8.7 km
Duration: 1-2 hours
More info

56. Helm Crag Circular Walk

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 7.7 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

57. Causey Pike from Stoneygill Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 8.9 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

Causey Pike from Catbells- best hikes in the Lake District
Kevin Eaves/Shutterstock Causey Pike from Catbells

58. Skelwith Force from Elterwater

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 5.6 km
Duration: 1-2 hours
More info

59. Walna Scar

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 13.4 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
More info

60. Gowbarrow Fell Small Circular

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 6.9 km
Duration: 1-2 hours
More info

61. Coast to Coast Walk Segment 1: St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 23.5 km
Duration: 6-8 hours
More info

St Bees Head on the Cumbrian coast
Jenny Summers/Shutterstock St Bees Head on the Cumbrian coast

62. High Dam and Rusland Heights

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 12.1 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
More info

63. Dow Crag and Swirl How Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 14.8 km
Duration: 4-6 hours
More info

64. Goats Water

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.6 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

65. Blencathra and Blease Fell

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 13.8 km
Duration: 4-6 hours
More info

Blencathra is one of the best hikes in the Lake District
JPCO/Shutterstock Sunrise on Blencathra

66. Bowfell and Esk Pike Circular

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 15.3 km
Duration: 5-7 hours
More info

67. Cat Bells to Manesty

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 3.7 km
Duration: 1 hour
More info

68. Ling Fell and Sale Fell Loop

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.3 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

69. Lords Seat Loop Trail

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 7.9 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

The view from Lord's Seat
Drew Rawcliffe/Shutterstock The view from Lord’s Seat

70. Langstrath Valley

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 12.9 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
More info

71. High Rigg and Low Rigg Circular Walk

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 10.9 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

72. High Wray

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 10.1 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

73. Great Langdale to Rosthwaite

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 14.8 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
More info

74. DERWENT WATER AND WALLA CRAG CIRCULAR

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 11.7 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

A jettyon Derwent Water
Richard Bowden/Shutterstock An idyllic scene on Derwent Water

75. Raven Crag

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.1 km
Duration: 1 hour
More info

76. Hawkshead to Lake Windermere Circular Walk

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 13.5 km
Duration: 3-5 hour
More info

77. Windermere Lake Shore Short Walk

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.0 km
Duration: 1-2 hours
More info

78. Cat Bells to High Spy

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 17.4 km
Duration: 5-7 hours
More info

The summit marker on Cat Bells
Duncan Andison/Shutterstock The summit marker on Cat Bells

79. 10 in 10 Challenge

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 26.6 km
Duration: 8-10 hours
More info

80. Barrow Fell Circular

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 4.5 km
Duration: 1-2 hours
More info

81. Skiddaw via Carl Side

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 15.4 km
Duration: 5-7 hours
More info

Heather on the slopes of Skiddaw
PhilMacDPhoto/Shutterstock Heather on the slopes of Skiddaw

82. Old Man of Coniston and Swirl How

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 11.4 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
More info

83. Old Man of Coniston via Goats Water and Brim Fell

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 12.7 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

84. Great Stickle and Pike of Stickle

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 9.3 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

Loft Crag from Pike of Stickle in the Lake District
Phil Harland/Shutterstock Loft Crag from Pike of Stickle

85. Ullswater Round

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 32.5 km
Duration: 8-10 hours
More info

86. Loughrigg Fell and River Rothay Circular

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.3 km
Duration: 1-2 hours
More info

87. Ullswater Shore Walk

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 21.1 km
Duration: 5-7 hours
More info

Ullswater- best hikes in the Lake District
Jos Pannekoek/Shutterstock The peaceful Ullswater

88. Lank Rigg, Crag Fell and Grike

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 11.6 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
More info

89. Nab Scar, Heron Pike, Stone Arthur

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 13.0 km
Duration: 4-6 hours
More info

90. Dove Crag and the Priests Cave

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 9.2 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

91. Grisedale Pike and Hopegill Head

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 10.3 km
Duration: 2-4 hours
More info

A hiker descends from the summit of Grisedale Pike
Duncan Andison/Shutterstock A hiker descends from the summit of Grisedale Pike

92. Helms Crag and Easedale Tarn

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 9.5 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
More info

93. Elter Water and Loughrigg Tarn

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 11.3 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

Morning fog lingers over Loughrigg Tarn in the Lake District
Daniel_Kay/Shutterstock Morning fog lingers over Loughrigg Tarn in the Lake District

94. Whitbarrow Scar via Lord’s Seat

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 11.7 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

95. Martindale Horseshoe

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 23.2 km
Duration: 6-8 hours
More info

96. Langdale Pikes Circular Route

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 11.4 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
More info

Sunset over Langdale Pikes
Jez Campbell/Shutterstock Sunset over Langdale Pikes

97. Glenridding Dodd, Heron Pike and Sheffield Pike

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 9.3 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
More info

98. Tom Gill, Tarn Hows and Tom Heights Circular Walk

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.0 km
Duration: 1-2 hours
More info

99. High Street and Mardale Ill Bel

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 11.7 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
More info

100. Lakes 3000 Modified Route

Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 79.3 km
Duration: 3-4 days
More info


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