Walks in Cumbria
The Lake District National Park in Cumbria is one of the most beautiful areas in England. The central area was once volcanic and glaciers formed the valleys, leaving behind rugged, dramatic vistas. Today, there is an abundance of walks through the peaks and valleys to suit every level of ability. The famous, long-distance Coast to Coast walk passes through the Lake District, with many walkers starting or ending their route at St. Bees on the Cumbrian coast.
At 3209ft., Scafell Pike is England’s highest mountain. In good conditions the trek to the summit is rewarded with fine views over the Lake District and towards the sea. Head north for the market town of Keswick, which was once home to the poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey. Towering above the town is Skiddaw, presenting a hiking challenge to those who want to scale over 3000ft. to the top. Blencathra (Saddleback) is another impressive peak nearby.
To the east is Ullswater (over 7miles in length), one of the most famous lakes in the area. Here you’ll find walks leading towards the fells flanking the shore, including the well-known route to the summit of Helvellyn via Striding Edge. Ullswater is considered to be part of the Eden Valley, most of which lies east of the M6 motorway. The Eden Valley is often overlooked, quite unjustifiably. The Howgills and the Pennines are generally much quieter than the popular Lakeland fells and many people love them for that reason.
Heading south from Ullswater is Ambleside, a tourist hot-spot within walking distance of Lake Windermere, the largest of the lakes and one of the most popular. There are many opportunities for walks along the shore, and many also climb to higher ground nearby for the views. Also in the south is Coniston Water, a lake set against the impressive heights of The Old Man of Coniston (2634ft).