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Five Walks In The Lake District to Escape the Crowds

18 April 2019 No comments
Five Walks In The Lake District to Escape the Crowds

The Lake District National Park Authority estimates that they receive about 16 million visitors each year, attracting walkers from all over the world. Most of these visitors arrive over the summer months or school holidays, pumping invaluable money into the local economy, but this influx of people can make it difficult to find accommodation, parking or the peace and quiet for which the park is famous. The walks in this list will direct you away from the crowds leaving you to enjoy the scenery and tranquillity.

Duddon Valley

Seathwaite Tarn

Seathwaite Tarn "Seathwaite Tarn", by Paul Lockett, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  • 8km
  • 2.5- 3.5 hours
  • Beginner to intermediate

One hour’s drive from Lake Windermere, Duddon Valley is small and picturesque, sitting between Coniston and Eskdale.

Starting at the Newfield Inn (LA20 6AD) in the village of Seathwaite – the walk takes you north along the main road till you reach a set of farmers’ fields. Continue along the marked path up to the tarn where you can take in the great views before heading back to the inn.

Once back at the (dog friendly) inn you can grab some pub food or a local beer whilst relaxing in the beer garden.

Ennerdale Water

River Liza

River Liza
  • 7km
  • 2 - 3 hours
  • Beginner to intermediate

With only minor roads connecting it to the rest of the lakes, Ennerdale Water's poor access helps keep the area quiet.

You can start the walk at the east end of the lake or further along at Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre (CA23 3AX). Either way you want to travel next to River Liza using the forestry roads. The path runs parallel to the river, winding up the valley guiding you through peaceful forests. After 4km the forestry road will intersect with another - you can walk back to the lake along the intersecting road or continue along the river side before turning back.


Low Fell and Fellbarrow

  • 6.5 km
  • 2 -3 hours
  • Beginner to intermediate

Located in the north western fells is the village of Thackthwaite. A peaceful place with only a handful of houses and farmers’ fields, the trails are rarely busy. This gentle walk incorporates two of Wainwright’s fells, has some great views and easy-to-follow paths.

The walk begins outside Thackthwaite farm (CA11 0ND), from here, follow the public path through the Fellbarrow range till you ascend Low Fell. At the summit there is a spectacular view of Crummock Water and Buttermere to your south. Descend back down the direction you came from and head up Sourfoot Fell and Smithy Fell before reaching Fellbarrow peak. Head down Fellbarrow crossing over a few brooks and re-join the path that leads back to the farm.

Haweswater Reservoir

Mardale III Bell

Haweswater Reservoir
  • 9.5km
  • 2.5 – 3.5 hours
  • Intermediate to advanced

The most easterly water in the Lake District, Haweswater reservoir supplies drinking water to Manchester and is home to a wide array of wildlife and birds.

Head west from the car park (CA10 2RL) and up over Riggendale Crag towards High Street peak. Be aware there is a bit of scrambling/steep paths to navigate before you reach High Street summit. Once at the trig point there are great views over to Blea Water and the surrounds hills.

It is a short walk along High Street ridge before you reach Mardale III Bell. After the Bell you take a gentle walk down to Haweswater head and the car park via Small Water Tarn.


Black Combe

  • 14km
  • 5- 6 hours
  • Intermediate to advanced

Tucked away on the south west coast, the hamlet of Whicham (LA18 5LP) is your base for this circular walk. The hamlet has a picturesque 17th century church, grand hall and scattering of houses. Apart from that there is not a lot else, including no shops - so make sure to bring all your supplies with you.

The route up Black Combe combines quiet trails and sea views, culminating in a spectacular vista at the peak.

You can park in a layby, (where the A595 intersects with the A5093) - it is free to park in. Set out along the marked path that runs parallel to the A5093 through Whitbeck, passing Fell Cottage. Press on through Rocky Valley before turning back on yourself to head up Black Combe. From the top of Black Combe you overlook the Isle of Man, the Irish Sea and to the north you can make out the Scottish borders. It is an easy walk back down the hill before you return to the start of the walk and the layby.

Please ensure you are familiar with the route before setting out and to use an OS map/compass for navigation. By voluntarily choosing to use the above information you assume the risk of any resulting consequences thereafter.

About the Author:

Pete Fletcher - Outdoor Expert

Pete grew up hiking most of the trails in the Lake District before being introduced to skiing. A decade later and you're most likely to find him snowboarding, skateboarding or making a mean coffee.

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