5 Family Friendly Walks in the Lake District
Finding inspiration for where to take the kids outdoors can be a challenge. While you love nothing more than enjoying a quiet and peaceful walk to be rewarded with a spectacular view, the little ones need their stimulation to be a little more obvious.
To help you we have put together a short list of easy walks in the Lake District that have varied terrain to keep them interested and engaged along the way. These routes are also perfect for collecting fallen leaves, spying different rock formations or spotting wildlife so they’ll have plenty to show and tell once they’re back in the classroom.
Start/End: Catbells Car Park (CA12 5UE) or Keswick and take the ferry across to Hawes End
A popular walk thanks to the variety of routes to take and incredible views on offer (weather permitting). A great circular route, that offers variety from hilltops to waterside to ensure young minds remain interested is by tackling the summit via the spine first, then heading down towards Manesty Park. Pick up the Cumbrian Way and walk along the edge of Derwent Water back to the car park.
Equally, if you have taken the ferry from Keswick and little ones are struggling or getting bored, you can catch the ferry before Hawes End. Landing stages at High Brandelhow or Low Brandelhow and this will take you round the lake, back to Keswick.
Start/End: White Moss Car Parks (LA22 9SE)
Standing at just 335m high, Loughrigg Fell is one of the smallest fells to choose from but this doesn’t mean it’s not absolutely worth doing. Kids of all ages will enjoy exploring this area and the changing landscapes they’ll move through; from the sheltered woodlands by the River Rothay, to the impressive rockery at Rydal Cave. Views whilst meandering across the top can be breathtaking, even on mild days, and the route can be slightly extended to include a paddle at Loughrigg Tarn should the weather allow.
Alternative starting points for consideration on this circular route include Rydal, Ambleside and Skelwith Bridge.
Start/End: Glen Mary Bridge Car Park (LA21 8DP)
Inject a little adventure into a sunny day with a trip up Holme Fell. Starting at the Glen Mary Bridge Car Park you’ll head towards the artificial Yew Tree Tarn before meandering through Harry Guards Wood to Uskdale Gap. Once out of the trees you can see the path winding through small craggy outcrops, the most prominent being Ivy Crag to the left while just beyond the rocks to the right is the summit cairn of Holme Fell where you can enjoy spectacular views, particularly of Coniston Water.
Head back down the same way you came up and if the appetite for adventure isn’t quite satisfied consider heading to Tarn Hows via the path beside Tom Gill. Here you’ll find ideal picnic spots and a whole host of wildlife to observe.
Aira Force Waterfall
Start/End: Aira Force Car Park (CA11 0JS)
The walk to Aira Force Waterfall is short but special. The plethora of wizened worldly trees along the way is perfect for collecting all different shapes of fallen leaves, while the route is dotted with old wish trees with bark packed full of thousands of coins hammered into them over centuries. But the real challenge comes with keeping your eyes peeled for the red squirrels in the canopy above! Rainy days offer the most spectacular sights at Aira Force as the rainwater drives over the edge creating an impressive 20 metre waterfall to enjoy.
When conditions allow, usually a bright morning after a rainy night, a rainbow can be seen just in front of the falls which really is a magical sight.
Start/End: Spooneygreen Lane, Keswick. Parking in Keswick or on the lane.
Latrigg is easily accessible from Keswick and offers excellent views of the surrounding mountains, particularly the north-western fells. Starting from Spooneygreen Lane you’ll head over the bridge and through Latrigg Woods on a well-trodden path. There are more direct routes to the top but a well maintained, more scenic path runs all the way to just below the summit. This path eventually becomes very visible for a good distance ahead with relatively gentle slopes at either side allowing you, if you feel it’s appropriate, to let young explorers roam a little further ahead (within reason) giving them a sense of freedom without you losing sight of them.
About the Author:
Charlotte Fish - Outdoor Expert
Charlotte discovered her passion for the outdoors in her early teens and has never looked back since. Her pursuit of outdoor activities has taken her all over the world but she truly believes there is no place like home.