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10 Of The Best First-Time Hiker Walks In The Lake District

23 May 2017


The Lake District is famous for its picturesque lakes and fells. It attracts walkers from all over the world to enjoy its delights.

Yet, it’s not just hiking enthusiasts who can enjoy what the Lake District has to offer. There are routes for everyone of all ages and abilities, from novice to seasoned adventurer.

So here are 10 of the best walks in the Lake District for first-time hikers, these are great to try for a day out if you’re staying at one of our parks on the border of the Lake District.

Tom Gill to Tarn Hows

This iconic Lake District walk is perfect for first-time hikers and walkers of all ages and abilities. This is due to its pathway – which was given to the National Trust by Beatrix Potter – being accessible to buggies and mobility scooters. If you venture out on a clear day, you’ll be graced by views of the Coniston Fells and Wetherlam.

Length: 1.6 miles

Friar’s Crag

Looking out towards Derwent Isle and its surrounding area is Friar’s Crag, described by John Ruskin as “one of the three most beautiful scenes in Europe”. This walk is gentle and is wheelchair friendly, which makes it ideal to ease in first-time hikers to the Lake District’s walking scene.

The Friar’s Crag area was the first piece of land to be owned by the National Trust and walking through it will take you past memorials to John Ruskin and Canon Rawnsley. However, this area isn’t just known for being a great hiking spot, its lack of light pollution also makes it the perfect location for stargazing.

Length: 0.75 miles

Buttermere to Rannerdale

Taking the scenic walk from Buttermere to Rannerdale will bring you to the most photographed trees in the UK: The Sentinels. On the walk, you can stroll past Crummock Water. Then the highest falls in the District, Scale Force, and have a bite to eat on the nearby pebble beach.

You’ll find the Kirkstile Inn nearby, where you can take a break from hiking and sip a pint of your choosing.

Length: 3 miles

Circuit of Buttermere

The idyllic circuit of Buttermere will not only take you around this stunning lake, but it will pass you through the 100 ft long Hassness Tunnel. The circuit itself should take around three hours to walk and you can stop off at The Bridge Inn for a drink or a bite to eat – your furry friends are welcome to stop there, too!

Length: 4.5 miles

Loughrigg Fell Walk

Nestled between Grasmere and Rydal Water you’ll find Loughrigg Fell. This route starts and finishes at River Rothay, which links both Grasmere and Rydal. This fell has a modest summit, but that does not detract away from the beauty which you will find at the top.

At the summit, you’ll experience spectacular views of the lakes below and the enclaves on the way up are perfect for a picnic.

Length: 2.5 miles

Gummer’s How

Gummer’s How offers first-time hikers the best of both worlds. Great views and modest slopes (less than 400 ft), making it an excellent route for walkers of all ages.

When you reach the top, you’ll find that it’s worth spending some time in the surrounding area. Take in the views of Windermere and Newby Bridge, as well as exploring the rocky outcrops.

Length: 1.5 miles

Hallin Fell

For views of Ullswater and Martindale, head up to Hallin Fell where the pathway is sturdy and well paved, making this one of the better fells for beginners.

The summit features plenty of hollows which are great for a picnic or in which to sit and take in the stunning surrounding views. The pathway down takes you alongside Ullswater and offers you the ultimate scenic walk for first-time hikers.

Length: 2.5 miles


Not only is Whinlatter a great walk for first-time hikers, it’s also perfect for families as Go Ape have added walkways and rope ladders through the trees in Whinlatter Forest.

The walk itself takes you through the forest and up to the summit of Whinlatter Fell. This gives the walker some variety, along with excellent views of Keswick and Grisedale Pike.

Length: 3 miles

Eel Tarn

The easily accessible Eel Tarn walk is a great destination. Perfect to while away some time in the rocky outcrops amongst the bracken. The route takes you from Boot to Whillan Beck, which is where you catch your first glimpse of the idyllic Eel Tarn.

You can opt to go straight from the tarn to Eskdale, or you can take a detour to The Woolpack Inn for some refreshments.

Length: 2.5 miles

Gait Barrows Nature Reserve

Gait Barrow Nature Reserve is managed by Natural England and is the epitome of picturesque. The walk itself parameters the nature reserve, with Hawes Water at its heart, which is a haven for birds, butterflies, and marshes.

Length: 2 miles

Do you love the great outdoors? Check out our post on 15 outdoor adventures you’ve got to try this summer.