5 Easy Lake District Walks for Beginners

Written by Shayle Follows

The Lake District may have lots of lofty fells, which involve some challenging and steep climbs, but there are also lots of easier walks that are not too difficult and have just as gorgeous views. Here are our 5 Easy Lake District walks for beginners.

Not only are these 5 easy Lake District walks good for beginners, but they are also a good choice for both summer and winter walks. You don’t want to be exposed to those windy, high peaks when the weather gets colder. These 5 easy Lake District walks for beginners are perfect year-round walks for people of all abilities.

Lake District Walks.

Our 5 favourite easy walks for beginners in the Lake District

We have picked a few of our favourite walks in the Lake District that are still just as beautiful as those more challenging hikes. Each one we have chosen can be walked in just a morning or afternoon, making them a perfect addition to your visiting plans.

  1. Grasmere Lake Loop
  2. Helm Crag
  3. Aira Force Waterfall
  4. Orrest Head
  5. Blea Tarn

1. Grasmere Lake Loop

  • 3.1 miles.
  • Takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Flat walk.
  • The elevation is 82m. However, this can be avoided if you cut out the bracken fell section by Grasmere Village/Dove Cottage.
Grasmere Lake Loop.

Located just to the northwest of Ambleside, on the way to Keswick, there are two places called Grasmere. This walk circumnavigates the Grasmere lake; this name comes from a word that may be derived from Old English for ‘grassy lake’.

We love this route because it’s a flat walk, and the path is in excellent shape. You don’t need to worry about footing on this track. A flat walk like this in the Lake District is hard to find. Especially one that still has beautiful views. You can also (carefully) go for a dip in good weather! This route is an excellent option during a colder day as it is non-exposed. The Grasmere Lake loop does require some road walking; the roads are usually relatively quiet. However, if you are planning a trip with children or dogs, keep this in mind.

There are pay and display options at the centre of Grasmere, where you could start your walk or park at White Moss Car Park; this one can get very busy.

You can find the complete route map here.

Taking part in this walk? You might find these links useful

The Daffodil Hotel and Spa.

If you want to stay in Grasmere, the Daffodil Hotel and Spa is lovely. This beautiful hotel can be located on the A591 road, just a short 2-minute stroll from Dove Cottage, the former residence of famed poet William Wordsworth. Grasmere village is also just a 12-minute walk away.

Nearby The Swan is a lovely pub located in the village of Grasmere. It’s the perfect spot to relax after a long day of outdoor activities. The Swan offers stunning views of Helm Crag from its gardens, and you can enjoy a sundowner or a peaceful pint while taking in the panoramic fell views. They have a great selection of seasonal rotating hand pulls featuring local brewers, refreshing lagers, and ciders. The food here is fantastic, too.

2. Helm Crag – Grasmere

  • 4.2 miles.
  • It takes approximately 2 hours to return.
  • The elevation is 337m with steep sections from the wood to the summit, but the remaining is flat.
Helm Crag.

Helm Crag, also ‘Lion and the Lamb’ as it is more commonly known, is considered one of the best-known of all the Lakeland fells. It may not be the biggest, but it is among the most interesting. The views from the summit on this route are genuinely not to be missed, especially at sunrise or sunset.

This route is the perfect introduction if you want a go at fell walking in the Lake District. It might look challenging with its steep, craggy sides and bristling summit, but don’t worry; there are plenty of large rocks to stop, sit and catch your breath or take in the views. It requires moderate effort but will reward you with stunning scenery. The ascent is moderately steep, with well-kept paths until you reach the summit, strewn with shattered and jagged rocks. From a distance, these form a striking resemblance to the iconic ‘Lion and Lamb’.

This walk is very doable in the morning or afternoon but worth making a day out of it and taking a picnic and camera. Helm Crag walk starts from Grasmere; parking is available in the pay and display car park next to the garden centre. You can begin to head out of Grasmere towards Easdale Road. Follow the road past the turn to Easdale Tarn and go through the gate to the farm on the other side, where you take a right up to start your ascent for Helm Crag.

You can find the complete route map here.

Taking part in this walk? You might find these links useful

Emma's Dell The Lake District.

Lancrigg would be an ideal place to stay if you plan to take this walk. The hotel is at the foot of Helm Cragg, a popular spot for hiking enthusiasts. Additionally, Grasmere Lake is just a 20-minute walk from the hotel. Lancrigg also offers rooms with stunning countryside views, a café and a bar. They also offer free parking for guests.

Looking for a spot to grab a bite to eat? Emma’s Dell is a licensed crêperie located in Grasmere. They pride themselves on offering a laid-back and chic atmosphere. From wheat and buckwheat crêpes filled with fresh, locally sourced ingredients to homemade cakes and freshly baked scones, you’ll find something to enjoy after a hike here.

3. Aira Force Waterfall – Ullswater

  • 1 mile.
  • Takes approximately 1 hour.
Aira Force Walking Route.

This powerful waterfall is a great place to visit. What we love about this loop route is that you can quickly get to the waterfall. Suitable for varying abilities, older children and younger children with assistance. It is a mixture of stepped and level pathways, unsuitable for pushchairs as there are steep drops to one side of the path in places.

There are several paths to and around the Aira Force waterfall. The lower track allows you to wander through pretty woodland. Many people say this is a top spot for spotting red squirrels. The route is flat, and the path is even. The waterfall is magical and a real sight when in full force. For a decent view, looking down at the waterfall, you can walk to the top and look down from the bridge.

Located close to Ullswater and only a quick drive from Glenridding, Aira Force is run by the National Trust, so you can learn more about the parking and prices here.

You can find the complete route map here.

Taking part in this walk? You might find these links useful

Royal Hotel Lake District.

If you’re looking for a comfortable place to stay while exploring the Lake District Fells, the Royal Hotel is an excellent choice. It’s just one mile from Ullswater and Aira Force, and the Helvellyn and High Street Mountain ranges are easily accessible from the hotel’s doorstep. As a walker, you’ll appreciate the hotel’s peaceful location and comfortable amenities.

After a walk along this part of Ullswater, Wordsworth wrote his most famous poem, ‘Daffodils’ (‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’). See ‘Daffodils at Wordsworth Point, Glencoyne Bay

If you are feeling hungry, the Aira Force tea room is conveniently located just a short stroll away from the central car park. Visitors can dine indoors, on the terrace, or grab something to go. They offer a variety of hot and cold drinks, home-baked goods, sandwiches, hot pastries, and ice creams. Outside the tea room is a natural play area for kids, and dogs are welcome inside and outside.

4. Orrest Head – Windermere

  • 2.7 miles.
  • Time approximately 1 hour 20.
  • The elevation is 108m. The route is short but has a continuous incline.
Orrest Head Windermere.

We love this super short route; this walk starts on the A591 by the large ‘Orrest Head’ sign. Great for a spontaneous walk if you want an excellent viewpoint of the southern lakes. You can see the picturesque Lake Windermere, but if you get a clear day, you can see many of the outlying fells, including Scafell Pike, England’s tallest mountain. Even though the walk is short, the views are worth it.

This walk is excellent for beginners because it only takes around 20 minutes to reach the top once you get to the trail start. Choose between walking on the well-maintained concrete path, which loops to the top, or using the shortcut directly off this path up through the woodland.

You can find the complete route map here.

Taking part in this walk? You might find these links useful

The Windermere Manor Hotel is located just a short 10-minute walk away from Lake Windermere. Surrounded by 3 acres of tree-lined gardens, it boasts a lovely wooden-beamed restaurant. The nearby towns of Bowness, Windermere, and Ambleside are easily accessible. Guests can indulge in water-based activities, including water skiing, sailing, swimming, and lake cruises.

The Brew Room Windermere is more than just any ordinary cafe. It is a family-run business that prides itself on serving quality, reasonably priced fresh food. Located in the heart of Windermere, this artisan cafe offers a wide variety of locally sourced foods that are well-cooked and served by friendly, professional staff.

5. Blea Tarn

  • 1.8 Miles (2.9 km)
  • Takes approximately 1 hour – 2 hours.
  • The elevation is 81m, with some on-road walking and some gravel paths.
Blea Tarn.

Blea Tarn is situated at the head of the Little Langdale valley, near the mountain pass into Great Langdale. The National Trust says that this is an ancient trade route. This route is perfect for those who are not advanced walkers or who have limited mobility. The tarn is accessible by road, and a National Trust car park is on the opposite side of the road.

This walk offers an excellent opportunity for you to get into the fells safely while enjoying brilliant views of Lingmoor and Pike of Blisco and other surrounding Langdale fells. It follows well-surfaced paths around the water and through sleepy woodland, and then there is a steady climb to the route’s high point.

You can find the complete route map here.

Taking part in this walk? You might find these links useful

Three Shires Country Inn.

Stay at the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel with its welcoming restaurant and open log fires, overlooking the gardens and the Lakeland fells beyond. Before dining, guests can relax in the Walker’s Bar. Numerous lakes nearby allow water sports, including water skiing, swimming and boat hire. There are shops in nearby Ambleside and Windermere.

Take a break, drink, or eat at the Three Shires Country Inn in the beautiful Little Langdale Valley. The menu has many options, and all the dishes we ordered are incredibly fresh. We all ordered the fish, which was terrific – the fish cake had a smoky, absolutely delicious flavour. The cheese soufflé was light and fluffy, and the chowder was exceptional. The beer selection is excellent, as is the wine list, and the staff were all very friendly.

We hope you have found this article helpful. Let us know in the comments if you’ve completed any of these walks. Let us know your favourite Lake District walks for beginners, too.

Love walking in the Lake District? Check out these Ambleside Walks.


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2 thoughts on “5 Easy Lake District Walks for Beginners”

  1. Walk five Blea Tarn – the last part of the text is absolute gobbledygook. The Ravenglass railway is not an access point for Blea Tarn unless you are super fit, in which case you wouldn’t be walking round Blea Tarn anyway.

    • Hi Alison, Thank you for your feedback! The last route was a suggested longer route we found from walk lakes. I’ve taken it out and left the National trust walk to avoid any confusion. We really appreciate you’re feedback.


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