Britain’s favourite walks: Lake District top 5
Earlier this year, Britain’s favourite walking routes were revealed in ITV’s ‘Britain’s Favourite Walks: Top 100’. Unsurprisingly, the Lake District came out on top with five Lakeland walks featuring in the top 10 and the ever-popular hike up Helvellyn claiming the title of Britain’s favourite walking route.
In the spirit of National Walking Month, we’ve put together a rundown of these top Lake District walks so you can enjoy a relaxing stroll, or a more challenging ramble, during your next trip to Whitbarrow.
Old Man of Coniston
6.2 miles | 3 hours 25 minutes
Reaching number 8 in the top 100, the circular Old Man of Coniston walk is popular with tourists and fell-walkers, and it’s easy to see why. The route passes over the fells of Brown Pike, Buck Pike, and Dow Crag before heading up to the the Old Man of Coniston. From the summit, you can enjoy panoramic views as far as Scafell to the north and the Isle of Man to the west. The route also showcases lots of industrial archaeology, including old quarry workings and an aerial tramway tower.
Buttermere circular walk
4.5 miles | 3 hours
Coming in just ahead of the Old Man of Coniston at number 7 is the route around Lake Buttermere. This easy walk takes you through Sourmilk Gill woods, which is teeming with wildlife, past the dramatic Haystacks (Wainwright’s ‘favourite fell’), and through a historic tunnel carved from a Manchester Mill owner in the 19th century. The route is popular with photographers, as not only can you enjoy spectacular views from every direction, you’ll also have the chance to see the iconic image of the famous ‘lone tree’ on the lake’s northern shore.
8 miles | 6 hours 30 mins
Scafell Pike is the highest peak in England and, with fabulous panoramic views, it’s little wonder that this popular mountainous walk was named the 5th best walk in Britain. A recommended route, which allows you to experience the true beauty of the mountain range, is via the Corridor Route, which takes you along picturesque farm tracks, stony bridleways, and narrow rocky paths to the summit. On a clear day, you can see other peaks as far away as Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and even the Isle of Man.
3.7 miles | 2 hours
If you’re feeling energetic, then a brisk walk up Catbells is the perfect way to enjoy a sunny afternoon. Ranked number 4 in the Britain’s Favourite Walks countdown, this short but steep climb may be challenging for the inexperienced walker, but the breathtaking views over Keswick, Skiddaw, and Bassenthwaite Lake are definitely worth it.
10 miles | 4 hours 40 minutes
The nation’s favourite walking hotspot, the 10 mile hike up Helvellyn, is steeped in history. Starting from the village of Glenridding, this rugged route takes you past the iconic Hole-in-the-Wall and along Striding Edge which was described by Wainwright as ‘the finest ridge there is in Lakeland’. Not for the faint-hearted, this exhilarating walk is perfect for Lakeland explorers looking to enjoy some of the most dramatic views of the National Park.