Guidebook

In the Heart of the Lake District : Ambleside Hikes

5 gorgeous walks which showcase why the southern Lake District is one of Britain's most popular adventure destinations.

Charlie Boscoe

Description

With the only "real" mountains in England, the Lake District National Park is a beautiful place, famous for its barren summits, dry stone walls and - of course - deep lakes. The 2 main towns in the Lake District are Keswick (https://fatmap.com/guidebooks/7083/keswick-hikes-to-fuel-your-wanderlust) and Ambleside, and they're joined by one of Britain's most spectacular roads, over Dunmail Raise.

Keswick's peaks are the stuff of legend, but there's no doubt that the mountains above Ambleside are amongst the most famous in England. The Langdales, Fairfield, Coniston Old Man - there are celebrated summits everywhere you look when exploring the Ambleside region.

The 5 hikes detailed in this guidebook exemplify what the area is all about, and hiking them will lead you across some fabulous tops. Perhaps the most famous hike of all is the Fairfield Horseshoe; an utterly classic loop which begins and ends in Ambleside village itself. Elsewhere in this guidebook you'll find 2 wonderful journeys through the breathtaking Langdale Valley - Bowfell and Crinkle Crags and the tricky scramble up Jack's Rake; a rite of passage for any aspiring mountaineer. There are also 2 relatively short trips for days when you might only have a small weather window - Lingmoor Fell from Elterwater and Helm Crag. Although short, both take you up and out of the valleys quickly, and offer fantastic summit vistas in return for relatively little effort.

In the highly likely event that these 5 hikes whet your appetite for exploring the Lakes, you'll see from our map that you won't be short of objectives in this most rugged and beautiful of mountain ranges.

The Fairfield Horseshoe
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

The Fairfield Horseshoe

4 - 5 hrs
17.4 km
1,017 m
1,013 m
This celebrated round packs a lot into its ten and a half miles, giving easy striding and ever-improving vistas culminating on one of the best-loved peaks in Lakeland.
Difficult
Private
Helm Crag
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Helm Crag

2 - 3 hrs
8.4 km
432 m
449 m
A short family-friendly walk from Grasmere's Town Head, taking in a beautiful valley and an easy ridge to a classic Lakeland micro-summit, which feels much higher than its on-paper altitude suggests.
Moderate
Private
Lingmoor Fell from Elterwater
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Lingmoor Fell from Elterwater

1 - 2 hrs
5.8 km
342 m
343 m
The short route described here is ideal either as a half-day family adventure, or a quick blast between showers.
Easy
Private
Bowfell and Crinkle Crags
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bowfell and Crinkle Crags

4 - 5 hrs
14.3 km
956 m
924 m
This Cumbrian crowd-pleaser is an oldie, but a goodie.
Severe
Private
The Langdale Pikes via Jack's Rake
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

The Langdale Pikes via Jack's Rake

3 - 4 hrs
7.5 km
719 m
715 m
This classic route has it all and is justly popular but don’t let the crowds put you off; wait until later in the day and there’s a good chance you’ll have it to yourself!
Extreme
Private