5 Easy Lake District Walks For Beginners

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 they are also a good choice for both summer and winter walks. When the weather starts to get a little colder, you don’t want to be really exposed on those windy peaks. These 5 easy Lake District walks for beginners are perfect year-round walks for people of all abilities.

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

Easy Lake District Walks For Beginners
Image by Emphyrio from Pixabay

Our 5 favourite easy walks for beginners in the Lake District

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

1. Grasmere Lake Loop

Grasmere Lake Loop, Easy Lake District Walk
Image by Russell Holden from Pixabay
  • 3.1 Miles (5km)
  • Takes approximately 1 hour 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.

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

We absolutely 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 pretty hard to find. Especially one that still has beautiful views. You can also (carefully) go for a dip in good weather! This route is a great option during a colder day as it is non exposed. The Grasmere Lake loop does require some road walking, the roads are usually quite quiet, however, if you are planning a trip with children or dogs keep this in mind.

You can find the full route map here.

There are several 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 though.

If this one isn’t suitable for you but you’d like to try walks in Grasmere, there are routes available here.

2. Helm Crag – Grasmere

Helm Crag Easy Lake District Walk For Beginners
Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash
  • 4.2 miles (6.6km)
  • Takes approximately 2 hours return.
  • The elevation is 337m with steep sections from the wood to the summit, but the remaining is flat.

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

If you want a go at fell walking in the Lake District then this route is the perfect introduction to it. 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 which is 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 a morning or afternoon, but is well 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 door to the garden centre. You can start 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.

3. Aira Force Waterfall – Ullswater

Aira Force Waterfall - Ullswater
Photo by Ian Cylkowski on Unsplash
  • One mile (1.65km) for the lower loop and walk to the top of the waterfall.
  • Takes approximately 35 minutes.
  • The elevation is 60m if you take the upper staircase to see the falls from above.

If you love waterfalls then this powerful waterfall is a great place to visit. What we love about this route is that you can get to this pretty spot so easily. There are several paths to and around Aira Force waterfall. The lower track through allows you to wander through pretty woodland. Lot’s of people say that this is a top spot for spotting red squirrels. The route is flat and the path is even.

The waterfall is really magical and a real sight to see 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.

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

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

4. Orrest Head – Windermere

Orrest Head - Easy Windermere Lake District Walk For Beginners
Photo by Ian Cylkowski on Unsplash
  • 1.4 miles (2.25km) return.
  • Time approximately 20 minutes up and 15 minutes down.
  • The elevation is 108m the route is short but has a continuous incline.

We love this super short route, great for a spontaneous walk as you can be up and down within an hour as well as taking in breathtaking views. The route in Windermere, this walk is really great for beginners because once you get to the trail start it only takes around 20 minutes to walk to reach the top. Choose between walking on the well maintained concrete path which loops it’s way to the top or use the short cut that goes directly off this path up through the woodland.

Once you have made it to the top won’t believe the view you witness for minimal effort! Great right? Even on a rainy day, the view is sure to impress. You can, of course, 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.

The walk begins on the A591 on the opposite side of the road to the railway station, behind the green railings by the pedestrian crossing. It begins by turning up the lane by a large signpost informing you that you are on the footpath to Orrest Head. The summit is 784 feet above sea level and it gives unrivaled views of the Lake District Fells, Lake Windermere, Morecambe Bay, and the Pennines.

This was the first walk that Alfred Wainwright completed in the Lake District, and inspired his life long love of Lakeland.

5. Blea Tarn

Blea Tarn Easy Lake District Walk For Beginners
Image by Paul Edney from Pixabay
  • 1.8 Miles (2.9 km)
  • Takes approximately 1 hour 30 / 2 hours return.
  • The elevation is 81m some on road walking and some gravel paths.

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 actually 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 there is a National Trust car park situated on the opposite side of the road.

This walk offers a great 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, then there is a steady climb to the high point of the route. This gives great views of the Little Langdale Valley and the Coniston Fells. You could also start the walk from the Beckfoot rail station on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. 

If you’d like to extend your walking in beautiful Eskdale you could head a mile or so south to the lovely Stanley Ghyll Force. The waterfall drops 60 feet into a narrow gorge with attractive woodland and views of the River Esk to enjoy also.

Fun Fact! Blea Tarn House is thought to be the ‘one bare dwelling’ mentioned in William Wordsworth’s poem ‘The Solitary‘.

Let us know if you’ve completed any of these walks in the comments! Let us know your favourite Lake District walks for beginners too.

Love walking? Check out these beautiful walks in The Wirral.

Leave a Comment