Top 5 Guided Walks to Try in the Lake District This Summer
The Lake District is a nature lover’s dream, and there’s no better way to explore it in the summer than by challenging yourself with a guided walk. Whether you’re a seasoned walker who wants to improve their skill on the mountain, or just looking for a fun way to explore the area, there are a variety of routes exploring the world-famous landscape of the Lake District.
Some of the most scenic routes are only a short drive away from tourists hotspots, making them easily accessible by car if you’re staying in Keswick or a similar tourist town. A range of walks of varying difficulty to cater for different abilities, and even if you’re an experienced walker, heading out with a guide is recommended to help you navigate.
Helvellyn and Striding Edge
One of the most popular fells in the Lake District, even a guided walk around Helvellyn and Striding Edge requires some skill to complete as it usually involves some light scrambling. Expect a guided walk to last around 7.5 hours, during which you will cover rocky uneven ground, making it one of the more physically-challenging walks. Most guided walks around Helvellyn and Striding Edge also include some of the Wainwright fells – 214 fells made popular by their inclusion in Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. Because Striding Edge is an exposed mountain range, whether or not it will be included on a guided walk will depend on the weather on the day of the climb, with summer giving you the best chance of favorable weather for some light scrambling, and to enjoy the stunning views.
Grasmere and Rydal
Offering a less physically demanding route, guided walks of Grasmere and Rydal take you over the hillside overlooking Rydal Water, and usually, offer the opportunity to visit Rydal Cave – a man-made slate cavern – situated on Loughrigg Fell. A walk to Grasmere by way of Rydal also gives you the chance to walk along one of the many coffin roads on the Lake District – something worth asking your guide about.
Taking a walk up to the summit of England’s highest peak is no easy feat but easily worth it for the unparalleled view it offers of the Lake District. With most routes involving steep ascents and descents over the uneven rocky ground, guided walks around Scafell Pike will only be suitable for people with a high level of fitness and stamina.
There is an endless combination of routes around Scafell Pike, so no matter where you’re staying in the surrounding area you’ll be able to book a guided walk. Routes starting at Borrowdale are the most popular because of the spectacular views they offer as you descend from the summit.
Offering stunning views of the Helvellyn range and the vale of Keswick, Blencathra was once described by Alfred Wainwright as “one of the grandest objects in Lakeland”. By taking a route that starts from Mungrisdale, you can also tick off three of the Wainwrights summits off your list. Blencathra has a summit tarn and boggy conditions on most routes, so make sure that you’re prepared for a messy walk. Routes from Mungrisdale usually include Foule Crag, Glenderamackin Coll, and Bowscale Fell too, covering around 10 miles.
Castle Crag and Millican’s Cave
A guided walk from Seatoller to the popular sights of Castle Crag and Millican’s Cave offers a far less physically demanding route. Make your way through the picturesque Borrowdale valley to the famous cave, named after Millican Dalton, the self-styled “Professor of Adventure”. To this day, the cave remains a popular spot to visit for nature lovers and adventures. Dalton’s self-written epitaph can still be seen on the wall above where he used to sleep. Expect guided walks on this route to last a brisk five hours, covering around 6 miles of hilly ground.