Home to the Lake District, Cumbria is a region world-renowned for its natural beauty. Here’s our pick of the county’s top walks…
Seize the opportunity to conquer England’s highest mountain! Scafell Pike (978m) stands at the head of Wastwater – England’s deepest lake. It can be climbed from the north, east, south and west; from Borrowdale, Langdale, Eskdale and Wasdale. The most popular route starts from Wasdale Head and boasts great views of the lake and surrounding mountains. (There’s also a pub near the start/finish so you can toast your achievement afterwards!)
This is a strenuous mountain walk: reliable footwear and navigation skills are a must!
An Elterwater Circuit
You don’t have to take to the hills to enjoy amazing scenery! This 8-mile circuit from the village of Elterwater takes in waterfalls, woodland and beautiful Elter Water (the lake), with its breath-taking views of the Langdale Pikes. Don’t miss the chance to visit the spectacular Cathedral Cavern in Moss Rigg Wood (safe to explore, provided you’re careful though, you will need a torch). Finally, the route returns to its start-point via Slater’s Bridge, a charming 16th-century packhorse bridge which evokes the area’s slate-quarrying heritage.
Whatever the weather or season, the whole family will enjoy exploring the forest trails of Grizedale. Look out for the fascinating sculptures hidden among the trees and, if you’re lucky, you may also spot birds of prey, deer and the rare red squirrels. Routes are waymarked with colour-coded signposts and range from the 0.75 mile Millwood Trail to the 10-mile Silurian Way… plus for the more adventurous, there’s bike-hire, segways, zipwires and a high-ropes course!
Find out more here: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-8z4dx6
Walla Crag and Ashness Bridge
Walla Crag is a perfect vantage-point from which to admire Derwent Water and Skiddaw. Starting from Keswick, this 6.5-mile route also includes picture-perfect Ashness Bridge and a stroll along the lake shore. You’ll probably want to linger to drink in the fresh air and stunning views, so why not pack a picnic and make a day of it? The circuit can be walked in either direction or – for a more leisurely alternative – take the Derwent Water Launch from Keswick to Ashness Pier and pick up the route at the bridge.
There’s more to Cumbria than just the Lake District! If you like coastal walks, you’ll love this 5-mile circular route, which visits Arnside Knott for fabulous views across Morecambe Bay before returning to the village along the shoreline. At certain times of the year you can witness a natural phenomenon as the tidal bore roars up the River Kent. (Don’t be tempted to venture onto the sands though: the bay is infamous for its quicksands, currents and fast tides.)
Have a scroll through some scenic photos here: http://www.andrewswalks.co.uk/arnside.html