The Lake District is a beautiful part of the world, its breath-taking scenery makes it the natural destination for walkers, hikers and ramblers of all descriptions. It’s truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited, and from the picture below (from our trip on New Years Day 2017), can you really blame me?! The picture looks so tranquil, and you wouldn’t believe that we were fighting 50mph winds on the peak of Scafell Pike.
With winter on its way, some of the more challenging walks become difficult, or even treacherous to the novice, so we’ve decided to give you some of the safer routes around the region. We’re sneaking off for another trip soon, but we want to spend more time relaxing, so these walks are going to be perfect for us. Each of them navigable during the winter months, and all promising fresh air, good exercise, and the majestic scenery that this UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for.
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A circuit of Latrigg
This is probably the easiest walk in the whole of the Lake District, one that the whole family can get involved in, whether little kids, elderly people, those using a wheelchair or those with a buggy for infants. The National Park Authority (NPA) have created a path for low mobility visitors that leads to the summit of Latrigg, allowing the less mobile of your party to enjoy the magnificent view over Derwentwater and Keswick.
The rest of your group would need to start at the car park on the Skiddaw access road. From there, you can see the path, clearly marked and laid out, requiring you only to navigate a few stile gates between it and the car park. The path takes a circular route around Latrigg, ending up at the same viewpoint that the low mobility path reaches.
All told, this walk is about a mile and a half, and it is pretty easy. It commands wonderful views of the hills and lakes of the area, including the impressive Skiddaw mountain range, which is a walk in itself, though perhaps recommended for more experienced walkers.
Great Wood and Derwentwater
If Derwentwater impressed from the top of Latrigg, why not try a slightly longer walk that takes you from the Market Square in Keswick to right alongside the lakeshore of Derwentwater itself? This walk is about 4.3 miles and should take no longer than three hours to complete.
From Market Square, you walk past St John’s Church to the right and onto Springs Road, which leads you to a public footpath. This takes you past the lovely Springs Farm and up to Springs Wood, where you’ll find a T-junction, where you should turn right. As you climb, you’ll get your first views of the beautiful Derwentwater, nestled among the fens.
Following the path round, using the signs to Great Wood, you get more views of Derwentwater, as well as Keswick itself. Entering the woods, you need to keep to the higher path, which will eventually lead to a tarmac track, finally becoming the lakeshore path as you enter the woods along the lake. The path will pass through a gate, leading you back to the lakeshore. The path continues to the boat landings and the Theatre by the Lake, finally reaching an underpass, leading back to Keswick and your starting point.
Keswick Landings to Ashness Gate
Another easy stroll for the whole family, taking maybe an hour or two, this is a great way to walk off a hearty lunch or work up an appetite for supper. From the Keswick landings you should follow the water’s edge, keeping the lake to your right. Following the woodland trail as far as Friars Crag, you should then bear left, through the gate into Strandshag Bay.
Continuing along the path, after passing the grassland, you will find another gate, also leading to a woodland trail. Cross the footbridge, then walk to the end of the path, which eventually heads onto a rough road, which you should follow. It takes you past the National Trust Centenary Stone at Calfclose Bay and continues along the edge of the lake until you hit Ashness Gate.
From there you can walk back by the same easy route, or catch the launch back to the Keswick landings.
Keswick is a great place to stay in you fancy a hotel break in the lake district; these three walks, along with many others, are easily accessible from the town. Keswick itself is also a beautiful place to explore, especially in the winter months!