The Lake District in Cumbria is the most iconic national park in the UK and unsurprisingly it attracts around 16 million people every year.
You can discover mountains, lakes, rivers and coastline and it should come as little surprise, then, that authors like Beatrix Potter and Alfred Wainwright were inspired to write about the region.
The landscape is home to a plethora of footpaths that offer up jaw-dropping scenery. For those of you looking for a bit of guidance, there are lots of guided walking holidays in the UK that are on offer in this part of the country.
Kathi from the travel blog Watch Me See fell in love with the Lake District during her visit: “While you could easily spend an entire summer exploring the region and slowly travel from valley to valley, we only had three days/two nights at hand – not much to get an overview of an entire national park!
“The Lake District is fantastic road trip material – windy roads, beautiful scenery and adventures to be had around every bend.”
This guide looks at some of our favourite Lake District walks that you can enjoy during your holiday here.
A circuit of Buttermere
Length: 4.5 miles
This picturesque route takes around three hours as you pass through the 100ft long Hassness Tunnel and past some spectacular scenery.
Buttermere is a popular location with photographers and has previously been voted as one of the UK’s top views. You will be able to get some great views of mountains such as High Stile and Red Pike and can even explore Buttermere village after your walk.
Walking Britain recommends you walk the trail on a clear day: “Although you might be tempted to complete this walk on a day when the cloud hangs low, it's worth saving for a clear day when the views can be enjoyed to the full.”
If you want to put your feet up after the walk, we’d recommend heading to Croft House Farm Café, an award-winning eatery in Buttermere village. There is a range of sandwiches, snacks and drinks walkers can take with them or hot food and cakes for those of you who have returned from the hills.
Orrest Head, Windermere
Length: 2.5 miles
Located near the eponymous lake, the small town of Windermere is one of the most popular and busiest in the Lake District with visitors coming from far and wide to enjoy the great vistas.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle, there are lots of walks you can try. One of the best walks is Orrest Head, which was the first fell to be climbed by the famous hillwalker Alfred Wainwright.
“I saw mountain ranges, one after another, the nearer starkly etched, those beyond fading into the blue distance. Rich woodlands, emerald pastures and the shimmering waters of the lake below added to a pageant of loveliness, a glorious panorama that held me enthralled.
“I had seen landscapes of rural beauty pictured in the local art gallery, but here was no painted canvas; this was real. This was truth. God was in his heaven that day and I a humble worshipper.”
The route is estimated to take about an hour as you start the trail next to the Windermere Hotel and follow a marked woodland trail until you emerge at a viewpoint. From here you can see Lake Windermere and all the surrounding countryside.
The walk is very accessible with lots of benches dotted along the trail and large sections of the path flat.
Coniston to Torver Jetty
Length: 4.3 miles (without the boat) or 2.2 miles (if you catch the boat)
Coniston Water is famous for being the location where record breaker Donald Campbell attempted numerous water speed records.
The best way to explore this famous lake is to hike the Coniston to Torver Jetty walk, a route that is perfect for walkers looking for a short stroll or a more challenging walk.
The low-level walk hugs the shores of Coniston Water and follows a disused railway track. You can enjoy some great views over the water and of Grizedale Forest as well as explore the home of famous Victorian Writer John Ruskin at Brantwood.
When you reach the jetty you can decide to take the Coniston Launch lake cruise back to Coniston or walk back by following the path along the shore of the lake.
If you take the cruise you will be able to jump off at any of the jetties along the lake and catch a boat back later.
If you are heading to Coniston you should book a stay at Monk Coniston.
Lingmoor Fell Circuit
Length: 8.3 miles
This lowland loop takes you through the heart of the Lake District National Park and along the route you will see tarns, craggy fells and pretty bridges.
Hikers will start the route, which will take around five hours, at the famous Old Dungeon Ghyll in the unspoilt Langdale Valley. You then follow the path and can enjoy popular sites such as the lower slopes of Side Pike, Fell Foot, Elterwater and the changing vistas as you head back to Langdale.
When you walk through Side Pike you should keep a lookout for red squirrels in the trees as, despite the animals being endangered, there is a thriving population in the Lake District.
HF Holidays supports a range of projects which are related to people’s access to and enjoyment of the UK countryside. As well as facilitating The Pathways Fund – where donations from guests and members are channelled into worthwhile projects – we also provide corporate donations. For 2019 we are pleased to once again be able to donate funds to a number of Mountain Rescue and Air Ambulance organisations.
These organisations are all run on a charitable basis with no funding from the government and many of their staff work on a voluntary basis. They all carry out vital work assisting people in emergency situations. All the chosen organisations operate in areas where HF Holidays guests go walking.
Mountain Rescue Teams
Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team (Snowdonia)
Brecon Mountain Rescue Team
Buxton Mountain Rescue Team
Cave Rescue Organisation (Yorkshire Dales)
Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team
Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team
Coniston Mountain Rescue Team
Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team
Kendal Mountain Rescue Service
Keswick Mountain Rescue Team
Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team
Langdale & Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team
Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team
Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team
Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team
Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation (Snowdonia)
Patterdale Mountain Rescue Association – Lake District
Penrith Mountain Rescue Team
South Snowdonia Search and Rescue Team
Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team
Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association – Yorkshire Dales
Air Ambulance Kent, Surrey, Sussex
Cornwall Air Ambulance
County Air Ambulance Trust
Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance
Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance
Great North Air Ambulance Service
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (covering Shropshire)
North West Air Ambulance Charity
Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust
Wales Air Ambulance
Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Here are just a small selection of the responses received from the organisations we have been able to donate to which gives a flavour of the vital services they provide:
“Thank you very much for your generous donation. I hope that your holiday makers never need our services but appreciate your company’s ongoing support.”
J Newport, Patterdale Mountain Rescue
“We hugely appreciate your continued support. Your donation will be put towards the purchase of a new state of the art drone with infra-red capability.”
S MacDonald, Glencoe Mountain Rescue
“The charity requires funds of over £4 million per annum to continue our vital service so your donation is very much appreciated. The Air Ambulance is in operation 365 days per year and since our launch we have carried out thousands of missions, helping those in need across Dorset and Somerset who are in life threatening situations.”
J Plowden, Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance
“On average, the emergency phone at Cornwall Air Ambulance rings three times a day and the crew are called to someone needing urgent medical care. Because of your support, they are able to be there at a moment’s notice, caring for that patient in their moment of need.”
S Bray, Cornwall Air Ambulance
“Your recent donation will help us to save lives. Thank you! You may be aware that is costs in excess of £11 million each year to continue our life-saving work, so we truly value every contribution. None of us every know when we, our family, friends or community may need to depend on this vital service, which is why your support is so important to us.”
L Harris, Air Ambulance Kent, Surrey, Sussex
“As an independent charity, we rely on the generosity of individuals and organisations such as yourself to help save lives across Yorkshire. We really are very grateful to you for your support.”
L Shorrock, Yorkshire Air Ambulance
To find out more about the ways that HF Holidays supports worthwhile projects and organisations, please go to our Giving Back page.
We are absolutely thrilled to have won the Association of Women Travel Executives’ 2019 Company of the Year Award. This award recognises companies that have shown their support and commitment to equality on their board and within their management structure.
When was the last time that someone said: “Will you go out with me?” to you?! Well, that’s exactly what the Ordnance Survey are asking. Their aim – which very much aligns with the foundations that HF Holidays is built on – is to help more people to get outside more often. They want as many people as possible to discover the best outdoors assets Britain has to offer and the benefits that outdoor activity can bring.
We've partnered up with BBC Children in Need! HF Holidays has always been an organisation which encourages people to get outside on foot and enjoy the countryside. In addition, we have a long history of supporting projects which facilitate this aim. With this in mind, and as an official partner of BBC Children in Need, we’d like to take the opportunity to encourage you to go walking or rambling on the 5th and 6th October to help support the BBC Children in Need’s 2019 Appeal.
It is with great sadness that we learned ‘Thomas Cook Airlines’ ceased trading after 178 years as of 23 September 2019. We are aware that guests travelling on one of our overseas holidays may have questions or concerns.