Lake District Adventure Guide

Picturesque Lake District is home to England’s highest mountain Skafell Pike and deepest lake, Wastwater. It’s the spiritual home to British climbing with some of the best scrambling in Britain.

There are classic walking, cycling and mountain biking challenges and a great range of pubs, cafes and gear shops for the rainy days

Adventure Highlights

  1. Mountains – Striding Edge on Helvellyn is a classic route in Summer or Winter
  2. Scrambling – Pinnacle ridge on St Sunday’s crag, for experienced scramblers only
  3. Canoeing – So many great options, Derwentwater is our favorite
  4. Mountain Biking – It’s got to be the Altura Trail in Whinlatter forest, a 19 kilometre red grade mountain bike route
  5. Cycling – The Fred Whitton challenge. Don’t worry, you can cycle the route over a couple of days

lake district adventure map

Classic mountains

  1. Skafell pike from Wasdale Head, an atmospheric route that avoids the crowds
  2. Great Gable and Napes Needle Iconic mountain steeped in climbing history
  3. Langdale Pikes One of the most popular routes in the lakes
  4. Blencathra via Sharp Edge Brilliant route, best avoided in wet weather
  5. Fairfield Horseshoe Great views over the lakeland fells

Classic challenges

  1. Fred Whitton Challenge  A 112 mile sportive around the Lake District, taking in climbs of Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott & Wrynose passes
  2. Bob Graham round A 66 mile, 27,000 ft circuit of 42 of the highest peaks in the English Lake District within 24 hours!
  3. Lakeland Challenge walk from the long distance walkers association, the ascent of ten Lakeland peaks
  4. Lakes 3000’s A 44 mile epic thanks to the huge distances between Skiddaw, Scafell Pike, its neighbour Scafell, and Helvellyn
  5. Lakeland 100. A 100km fell race across the Lake District

 Mountain Biking

So many good routes, so little time…

  1. Whinlatter forest Moderate Quercus and hard Altura will keep you entertained for hours
  2. Grizedale forest eight waymarked trails around the forest on forest roads and tracks
  3. Nan Bield A classic Lakes mountain bike ride, courtesy of MBR magazine
  4. Wasdale and Wastwater Challenging route with stunning, dramatic scenery
  5. Guides from local experts Mountain Bike Cumbria and Pedalnorth – fill your boots!


The Lake District is a fantastic location for cycling, with high passes, fast descents and incredible scenery

  1. The Fred Whitton Challenge is probably the best cycle ride in Britain
  2. Broughton Wheelers’s 40 mile loop was voted the best ride in Britain by Cycling Plus readers
  3. Tour of High Passes starting from Coniston, choice of two routes, Short 51 mile or Long 91 miles
  4. Monster Miles – cyclo cross or mountain biking Mini or Massif route
  5. There are dozens of great routes on the Go Lakes and GPS cycling routes Cumbria websites


  1. Circular tour of Derwentwater starting from Kettlewell
  2. Tranquil Coniston water is magnificent stretch of water
  3. Scenic Ullswater.  The second largest lake with great camping campsites
  4. Bassenthwaite is a nature reserve, it’s 6km long so ideal for exploring in a day. Permit is required
  5. Windermere can be very busy so head to a quiet corner or one of the islands, or you could paddle the 11 miles from one end to the other

Family Activities

  1. Beatrix Potter’s 17th Century farmhouse, the house appears as if Beatrix had just stepped out for a walk
  2. Ullswater Steamers. Award winning attraction connecting some of the most iconic walking routes
  3. Windermere Lake cruise Large selection of trips to choose from
  4. Coniston Boating center Motor boat, rowing boat and canoe hire
  5. Heritage and History. Castles, museums and craft breweries

Best short walks

  1. Cats bells A Classic short walk with fantastic views
  2. Castle Crag Borrowdale One of Wainwright’s favorites, we have to agree the views over Derwentwater are sublime
  3. Coniston Pier and Steam Gondola, what’s not to love
  4. Tarn Hows A man-made, stunning beauty spot, one of the most photographic locations in the Lake District
  5. Castlerigg Stone Circle  One of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain

Rainy day exploring

  1. Indoor climbing at Kendal, Ambleside or Keswick
  2. Forest walks at Whinlatter or Grizedale
  3. Ravenglass and Eskdale steam railway  Lakeland’s oldest and longest heritage narrow gauge steam railway
  4. Waterfall walk – there are plenty to choose from
  5. Dungeon Ghyll gorge walk, followed by refreshments by a log fire in the Pub

Activity centers

  1. Riverdeep Mountain high Gorge Walking, Canoeing, Rock Climbing, Kayaking & Sailing
  2. Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft Canoeing and bushcraft activities to suit all ages & abilities
  3. Go Ape Grizedale and Whinlatter
  4. Glamara Outdoor activities for individuals, groups and families
  5. Check out the GoLakes link page for a list of all the centers and adventure guides


  1. Old Dungeon Ghyll Is there a better name for a pub in the UK? Iconic pub in Langdale Valley
  2. Wasdale Head Inn Remote and atmospheric, surrounded by the highest mountains in England
  3. Golden Rule A hidden gem of Ambleside, traditional multi room pub with excellent beer
  4. Kirkstone Pass Inn Nestled in the high fells on a 1,500ft pass with stunning views
  5. The Sun 400 year old pub under the Coniston Hills

Youth Hostels and Bunkhouses

  1. Youth Hostel Association has 10 properties in the Lake District
  2. Camping barns There are 8 camping barns scattered across the Lake District
  3. Lake District National park link to Hostels and Bunkhouses


Lake District Links

Lake District Adventure Map

lake district adventure map