You don’t always have to clamber to dizzying heights to witness the best views in the Lake District. In fact, I’ve seen some of the most stunning scenery during these low level walks in the Lake District. With glistening lakes overlooked by iconic peaks, you don’t have to go high to get big views on this selection of (mostly) flat walks in the Lake District.
1. Aira Force
Start: Watermillock Church
Distance: 2.5 miles
This walk begins at the high vantage point of Watermillock Church allowing for fantastic views from the outset. Follow the clearly defined path that leads towards the stunning Aira Force waterfall. The walk boasts unrivalled views of Ullswater and its surrounding fells. When ready, turn back the way you came to enjoy the views once more before returning to Watermillock Church. The route is entirely manageable for beginners of adequate fitness and provides some of the most beautiful views in the Lake District.
2. Catbells Terrace Walk
Start: Brackenburn House, Manesty, Keswick
Distance: 4.5 miles
Avoid the popular route taken by walkers over Catbells and take in the views of Derwentwater via the terrace path on the Eastern side of the fell. Begin at Brackenburn, which was once home to Novelist Hugh Walpole, and follow the grass-flattened path that winds above the road. Continue towards Hawes End before ambling along the lake through Brandlehow Wood. Here there is a slight elevation for your walk back to Brackenburn.
3. Circular Buttermere Walk
Start: Car park behind The Bridge Hotel, Buttermere
Distance: 4.7 miles
When looking for easy walks in the Lake District with a little bit of additional intrigue, this walk delivers. At Dalegarth Woods you’ll find a tempting tunnel, but make sure your walking boots are waterproof as this tunnel is prone to puddles! Walk out of this tunnel to incredible views of Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks. As you walk on, look out for the forked path and take the path to the right. From here continue down the road as it bears left, head over the bridge and turn right. As you follow the path along the shore, stay on the Permissive Path (OS Maps – note that the path is closed 1st April – 30th June) crossing Buttermere Dubs. Keep an eye out for the renowned “lone tree” as you continue the loop to your starting point,
4. Rydal to Grasmere Circular Walk
Start: Pelter Bridge car park
Distance: 5.5 miles
This is one of the best low level walks in the Lake District. Turn left at the car park entrance and follow the road as it winds past two cottages on the left, and later a row of four cottages. By these cottages, you’ll see a gap by a gate. Follow the walled path through this gap and follow the path signed for Loughrigg Fell. This path allows for beautiful views of Rydal Water. As you continue following the path as it bends to the right you will reach two caves. However, it is the third cave you reach further on that’s much more accessible and preferable for a little exploration. As this walk continues you’ll discover exceptional views of Heron Pike and Rydall Fell, in addition to the Wordsworth Museum and Dove Cottage. As you complete the circular route you’ll pass Rydal Mount, home to William Wordsworth for several years, and the early 19th century, St. Mary’s Church.
5. Blea Tarn Low Level Walk in the Lake District
Start: National Trust car park at Blea Tarn
Distance: 1.8 miles
This is one of the most scenic low level walks in the Lake District for less experienced walkers and provides some of the best views. Once you’ve reached Blea Tarn take the short walking route around the back. This walk will lead you through trees to the fell, presenting a stunning vista of Coniston fells and Langdale Valley. Return the way you walked to avoid the traffic on the Blea Tarn road.
6. Kentmere Reservoir Walk
Start: Kentmere village
Distance: 2.5 miles
Beginning your walk from the village, simply follow the well-signposted public footpaths towards the reservoir. The route follows the River Kent on a relaxing ascent towards Kentmere Reservoir. Once you’ve reached the reservoir, choose to follow the footpath in either direction to take in views of the tranquil waters and surrounding fells.
7. Nether Wasdale to Wastwater Walk
Start: Nether Wasdale Village
Distance: 4 miles
During this looped walk in Wasdale you’ll cross Cinderdale Bridge over the River Irt and Lund Bridge that crosses Wastwater. Pass through Low Wood known for its spring- blossoming bluebells and relax at Wastwater to take in views of Wasdale Head. One of the many easy circular walks in the Lake District, this route lets you enjoy the landscapes at Ashness How and Scale Bridge as you loop back to the village.
8. Ennerdale Water Walk
Start: Bleach Green car park
Distance: 7.9 miles
Although distinctly longer than the other walks, this route is still fairly easy. Walkers looking for a more ambitious route are rewarded with stunning backdrops of Ennerdale Water. Being one of the most remote bodies of water, it offers the opportunity for solitude even during the most popular seasons. This walk includes views of Pillar Mountain and the rewilding efforts of the Wild Ennerdale Partnership which is aiming to manipulate the landscape into an environment befitting of its remote location. Follow the route along the lake and the banks of the River Liza, walking through narrow woodland paths and across stone and lakeside paths.
9. The Ullswater Way
Start: Ullswater Way or Lowther Castle
Distance: 5 miles or 7.5 miles
There’s a choice of Ullswater Way walks, allowing you to choose the direction and distance. You can even begin your jaunt with an open-bus tour or on a steamer if you don’t fancy walking the entire way! I’ve chosen two routes you might like to try: the Ullswater Way Dalemain Loop, and the Lowther Castle Loop. The former is well signposted from Ullswater and leads you to Dalemain Mansion which boasts a garden and tearooms, and Dacre Village, known for its historic church and traditional pub. The latter walk takes you along the banks of Lowther River and up to Askham Fell via Helton before you return to the delightful village of Askham.
Discover more easy and low level walks in the Lake District for beginners.