Easy is a funny old word – what one person considers an easy mountain walk, another might find nigh on impossible. None of the Lake District walks are simple per se, but some could be classed as less difficult than others. ‘Hard’ is easier to define, for instance, Sharp Edge, that’s a difficult route, as is Striding Edge, so let’s think of these routes as ‘easier’ rather than ‘easy’ and, please, however simple a route may appear, do make sure you’re properly kitted out with a map, food and an extra layer or two.
1. Latrigg, Keswick
Length: 2 miles | Start/Finish: Latrigg car park | OS Map OL4
This is possibly the easiest of them all, and the views are immense! Park up at the car park at the back of Latrigg and follow the very well-trodden path to the summit. On a crisp, clear, day you’ll get views all the way down the Borrowdale Valley, and for so little effort! And here’s our little secret... in the autumn and winter we often get inversions, where the cloud lies in the valleys but the fell tops are clear, and places like Latrigg are very popular spots to head up and enjoy them. So, if you wake up and it’s a little misty outside, it might be worth packing a flask of coffee and grabbing a muffin for a truly unforgettable breakfast. Read more about the walk up Latrigg.
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2. Gummer’s How, Windermere
Length: 1.5 miles | Start/Finish: Gummer’s How car park | OS Map OL7
Here’s another peak you can drive up. Take the winding road opposite Fell Foot Park and drive upwards until you spot the free car park on your right. All you need to do then is cross the road and follow the very well signposted route up to the summit – how easy is that? From here, on a clear day, you can see Windermere in all its glory! And, if you’re felling adventurous, there are a number of other footpaths criss-crossing the area, so there’s lots to explore. And if all that wasn’t enough, the National Trust cafe down in Fell Foot has a superb cafe with the finest flapjack, which, after a nice long walk, you can eat completely guilt free!
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3. Arnside Knott, Arnside
Length: 3 miles | Start/Finish: Arnside prom | OS Map OL7
Most people forget that Arnside is still in Cumbria, but it is, snugly tucked away right in the south eastern corner of the county, right on the coast. There are so many wonderful sights, plus a legendary chippy, and Arnside Knott is knott only (sorry!) an easy fell to walk up, it’s also only 100 yards from the car park! At the top there's a stunning viewpoint with an information board identifying all the surrounding fells – and on a good day you can see clear up to Skiddaw. Once you’re done, take a stroll along the prom and watch for Arnside Bore, when the tide comes in in one long wave. Find out more about this Arnside Knott walk.
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4. Carron Crag, Grizedale Forest
Length: 3 miles | Start/Finish: Grizedale car park | OS Map OL4
There is so much to see and do in Grizedale that we can guarantee you will never be bored there! But, if you want to escape the whooshing and swooshing, then make a beeline for the top of Caron Crag. What many people don’t know is that Grizedale is also a sculpture park with lots of wonderful works of art stashed away in the forest so, once you’re done with Caron Crag, you can spend the day tracking the rest of them down. Or sit in the cafe with a scone. Your call.
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5. Bowness Knot, Ennerdale Water
Length: 2 miles | Start/ Finish: Ennerdale Water Bowness car park | OS Map OL4
Keep this one to yourself because it's a real Lake District secret! This is such a quiet and remote spot, but just prepare yourself for the views! You will definitely need a map and, ideally, some sort of GPRS, but only because it’s so easy to lose your bearings in the forest. Ennerdale is one of the most remote valleys in Cumbria and one of the very few without a road through it. There’s a track leading up to the well known Black Sail Youth Hostel, but only the folks that live there can use it, so we promise it will be nice and quiet!
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6. Orrest Head, Windermere village
Length: 2 miles | Start/Finish: Windermere Tourist Information | OS Map OL7
We’re not gonna lie to you, this is quite steep in places, however, the track has been mostly tarmacked and there are loads of benches on the top where you can collapse and catch your breath. This is the first fell that Alfred Wainwright climbed and he loved the view of the Lakes so much that he never left! Well, obviously he went home for some clean PJs, but then he came straight back and wrote his famous guide books.
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7. Castle Crag, Borrowdale
Length: 2.5 miles | Start/Finish: Rosthwaite | OS Map OL4
Castle Crag is the lowest of Wainwright’s 214 fells; it’s only 985 ft (300m) high, but don’t let its low elevation fool you into thinking there are no impressive views from here! We know for a fact that it’s one of Julia Bradbury’s favourite places and, once you’re stood on the top, you’ll understand why. There are uninterrupted views along Derwentwater all the way to Skiddaw. Although this is an easy walk, the final section can be slippery underfoot on the way back down, so take your time. There’s also a rather lovely tearoom in Rosthwaite for tea, cake and storytelling when you’re done. Read more about our circular walk up Castle Crag.
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8. Red Screes, Kirkstone Pass
Length: 2 miles | Start/Finish: Kirkstile Inn car park | OS Map OL5
This is probably the easiest of the high fells to climb, on account of the fact that there’s a car park halfway up. Red Screes' summit is a whopping 2,541 ft (775m) high. However, the car park is at 1,492 ft (455m) leaving only 1,049ft (320m) to climb. Because this is a high fell, you will need to be extra careful and make sure you’re well prepared! The footpath leads out from the top end of the car park and winds all the way to the summit, where you can enjoy immense views down over Windermere. Then it’s back down to the inn for a very well earned pie and a pint! Read more about Red Screes.
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9. High Cup Nick, near Appleby
Length: 7 miles | Start/Finish: Dufton | OS Map OL19
Don’t be put off by the 7-mile tag on this one; it’s one of the easiest fell walks we can think of. The reason it’s so long is that the path climbs so gently - there are no nasty sudden steep climbs here! You’ll also wonder why we included it, as you make your way up but, have patience, for this is one of those glorious hikes where the gobsmacking view doesn’t appear until almost at the end. High Cup Nick is a geological marvel and almost defies description and we promise you’ll remember your visit forever. If you’re sure-footed and feeling brave, then there’s a route down through the screes at the head of the valley. Once you’re on the valley floor, the valley sides wrap tightly around for a truly unique experience.
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10. Helm Crag, Grasmere
Length: 4 miles | Start/Finish: Grasmere village | OS Map OL7
Helm Crag is better known as The Lion and the Lamb because, when you look at it from the A591, that’s what the summit looks like. There’s a well-signposted route from the centre of Grasmere village (but do take a map) and the route is well worn and easy to follow. Up on the summit, you’ll find the Howitzer, a huge outcrop of rock which Wainwright himself never climbed, making this the only Wainwright that the man himself didn’t actually fully complete! As well as all the amazing fells, from the top, you can also look north up to Dunmail Raise where local folklore says that King Dunmail lies beneath a huge pile of stones. Although that’s probably not true, the stones did once mark the border with Scotland back in the days when we were still arguing about where it should be. So pack your sporran, just in case!
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You don't have to be at peak fitness to enjoy some of the best walks in the Lake District. Just find your perfect holiday cottage, and get ready to explore the many fabulous routes on offer!
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