9 Easy Walks In The Lake District (Stunning Family-Friendly Hikes!) 🥾
9 Easy Walks In The Lake District (Stunning Family-Friendly Hikes!) 🥾

9 Easy Walks In The Lake District (Stunning Family-Friendly Hikes!) 🥾

The Lake District truly is a walker’s paradise.

Home to some of the UK’s most demanding trails (most notably Scafell Pike, England’s tallest peak), the National Park also contains a whole host of easier rambles for those preferring a more laid-back outing.

Buttermere Walk Trail, Romantic Easy Walk UK

Likewise, while these walks may be low in difficulty and not overly lengthy, they still incorporate some of the National Park’s most spectacular scenery and will more than satiate your thirst for the outdoors!

From glistening lakes and ancient woodlands, to hidden caverns, fairy-tale tarns and picturesque craggy moorlands just to name a few – I’m sure you’ll find something on this carefully crafted list to tickle your fancy.

Interested? Let’s get to it 👇👇

Easy walks in the Lake District

Map thanks to Wanderlog, a road trip planner on iOS and Android 

Blea Tarn Walk

Lake District Walks, Blea Tarn, Wild Swimming

🥾 Distance: 3 kilometres (1.9 miles)

💪 Difficulty: Very easy

📍 Location: Blea Tarn Parking, Ambleside LA22 9PG

Starting with one of the most criminally underrated spots in the National Park, I often scratch my head and wonder why Blea Tarn isn’t more popular than it is.

Perhaps its because the tarn is nestled in a hanging valley between Great Langdale and Little Langdale on the pass to Wrynose in Cumbria; notorious as having one of the steepest roads in England.

Nevertheless, while the narrow & winding road to Blea Tarn may not be the most fun to drive, the views you’re treated to upon arrival are most certainly worth it!

Blea Tarn, Landscape, Stunning, Langdale Valley
The scenery here is so enchanting, it was even chosen as a filming location for Netflix’s hit fantasy ‘The Witcher’.

Coming in at just 3 kilometres in length, the standard circular trail around the shimmering Tarn is a short, relaxing stroll suitable for all abilities and can easily be completed in under an hour at a reasonable pace.

Also celebrated as a fantastic hidden wild swimming spot, surrounding the waters you’ll also uncover various off-shoot trails for hikers who’d like to extend their ramble.

Top tip – To really make the most of your time here, we’d recommend bringing a picnic & swim suit and spending a good few hours by the waters to just bask in the tarn’s magical atmosphere.

For the full lowdown, be sure to head on over to our Blea Tarn Guide

Tarn Hows Walk

Tarn Hows Walk, Views, Lake District

🥾 Distance: 3.2 kilometres (2 miles)

💪 Difficulty: Very easy

📍 Location: Tarn Hows Car Park, Ambleside LA22 0PP

Another tarn topping our list, Tarn Hows really does look like its been pulled straight out of a fairy-tale.

Easily accessible and nestled between the quaint villages of Hawkshead and Coniston, the gentle standard loop around the tarn comes in at a pleasant 2 miles in length.

Tarn Hows Walk Guide
The Monk Coniston Estate – where Tarn Hows is situated – was previous owned by Beatrix Potter, later being left to the National Trust after her passing.

As you venture along the well trodden footpath, you’ll be treated to gorgeous vistas of the water and the surrounding woodland throughout.

Plus there’s also the optional uphill path to the east of the tarn which you can climb for even more breath-taking views from above.

For those bringing kids along for the outing, they’ll likewise be thrilled to see the mysterious wishing tree alobf the walk, which is embedded with countless coins from those who’ve made a wish.

Coin tree, Tarn Hows, Wish
Be sure to bring some coppers with you!

With the standard circular trail also being wheelchair-friendly, Tarn Hows truly is a viable option for ramblers of all backgrounds.

For more information, you can check out our detailed Tarn Hows Guide here.

Windermere West Shore Walk (to Low Wray Castle)

Lake Windermere, Wild Swimming, Lake District

🥾 Distance: 6.4 kilometres (4 miles)

💪 Difficulty: Easy

📍 Location: Harrowslack National Trust Car Park, LA22 0LR

A tad longer than our walks listed above, this spectacular lakeside trail is still easy-to-follow and relatively gentle throughout, only containing a couple short but steep sections.

Providing ramblers with arguably the best vistas of Lake Windermere as you hug the western shoreline, at the far end of the West Shore Trail you’ll also feast your eyes on the epic Low Wray Castle.

Incredibly atmospheric, once arriving at the castle you’ll also get to enjoy the serene shingle beach which is considered one of the best wild swimming spots on Windermere.

After dipping your toes in the water, you can simply head back the way you came. For those who’d like to extend their outing however, why not keep your eyes peeled for the boat which runs seasonally from Wray Castle Jetty to Waterhead & Brockhole?

Feel free to check out our ‘7 BEST Windermere Walks’ & the ‘Top 4 Windermere Wild Swimming Spots’ blog posts if you’d like more outdoor inspiration around the lake.

Ambleside Waterfall Walk (Stock Gyhll Force)

What to do in Windermere, Best things to do. Ambleside Pier

🥾 Distance: 1.4 kilometres (0.9 miles)

💪 Difficulty: Easy

📍 Location: Lake Road Car Park, Ambleside LA22 0DB

Ambleside is up there as one of my all-time favourite villages in the Lake District.

Located on the northern shore of Lake Windermere – while this idyllic village may be small in size – it’s certainly big in character & offers a whole range of fantastic activities to get your teeth sunk into!

Undoubtedly, one of Ambleside’s main highlights is the gentle 15-minute stroll from the centre of town towards the hidden Stocks Ghyll Force Waterfall.

Dramatic cascading falls nestled within tranquil Lakeland countryside, Stocks Ghyll Force is an ideal option for ramblers who are strapped for time or aren’t wanting to venture too far from the village centre.

A fantastic walk to incorporate with a browse around town, this scenic little stroll is only around half a mile each way (1 mile in total) making it suitable for families and hikers of all abilities.

Ambleside, Canoes, Lake Windermere
Once returning to town, we’d definitely recommend a bite to eat at the Waterhead Café. Scrumptous food and jaw-dropping lakeside panoramas, I could chill here all day ☀️

Rydal Cave Walk

Rydal Caves, Inside, Views

🥾 Distance: 3.2 kilometres (2 miles)

💪 Difficulty: Easy

📍 Location: White Moss Car Park, Ambleside LA22 9SE

One of my top rated walks in Lakeland, Rydal Cave truly is a sight to behold.

The remnants of an old Lake District slate mine from the 19th Century, thousands of visitors make the journey each year to explore inside the quarry & admire the surrounding craggy landscape.

The standard route is a scenic 2-mile trail to the cavern that takes you around the serene waters of Rydal Water and can conveniently be started from either Rydal or White Moss Car Park.

Rydal Caves, Lake District, Walk, Swim, Stepping Stones
As you hop along the steppingstones, keep your eyes peeled for the fish which have mysteriously found their way into this still-water cavern…

Providing walkers with a well-laid out footpath and only a handful of short inclines, the scenic stroll to the cave is fun for all walking abilities. 

Grasmere Gingerbread, Sarah Nelson
After visiting Rydal Cave, why not continue hiking on towards the nearby village of Grasmere?Home to the greatest freshly made gingerbread around, the walk is worth it for this tasty delight alone!

For the full lowdown, make sure you check out our Rydal Caves Walk Guide!

Cathedral Cave Walk

Cathedral Cave, Quarry Window

🥾 Distance: 2.6 kilometres (1.6 miles)

💪 Difficulty: Very easy

📍 Location: Little Langdale, Ambleside LA22 9NY

Another cavern hike, I’ve noticed this short but sweet ramble from Little Langdale has really grown in popularity as of late.

One look inside the spectacular quarry and its easy to see why, particularly when you witness the main chamber with its dramatic church-like lighting beaming in through the ‘main window’.

While dubbed Cathedral Cave, this location is not home to just one cavern, but is actually part of a large series of interlinking mining quarries situated just above Little Langdale.

💡 Top tip – For cavern exploring fanatics, it is possible to extend your walk from Cathedral Cavern and also make the journey towards the nearby Hodge Close Quarry.

Hodge Close Quarry, Cave, Skull, Rail Track

Having previously been dubbed the scariest cave in Britain, Hodge Close Quarry is also known as ‘skull cave’ due to the cavern’s reflection spookily resembling a menacing skull-face.

However, it must be noted that the scramble down towards the bottom of Hodge Close Quarry is quite steep and hazourdous so should only be attempted by walkers who are steady on their feet and confident in their clambering abilities.

Hodge Close Quarry, Lake District, Bottom, Cavern

This scramble path can also prove a tad tricky to find, so be sure to read through our detailed Hodge Close Quarry Guide for all you need to know!

Buttermere Lake Circular Walk

Buttermere Lake Walk

🥾 Distance: 7 kilometres (4.5 miles)

💪 Difficulty: Easy/moderate

📍 Location: Buttermere, CA13 9UZ

One of the most tranquil spots in all of Lakeland, there are few places on this earth that can match the beauty of Buttermere Lake.

Nestled within classic Lake District countryside,  surrounding Buttermere’s serene waters you can find epic views of the dramatic High Stile range to the south west, Robinson to the north-east and Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike towards the south-east just to name a few stand outs.

With the standard circular trail coming in at just 4.5 miles in length, the walk can easily be completed by most in under 3 hours at a relaxed pace.

Nevertheless, with how peaceful this location is, it’s definitely worth taking time to stop and really appreciate all the natural beauty on offer.

English countryside, Buttermere, Lake District

Suitable for adults and children alike, be sure to read through our Detailed Buttermere Lake Walk Guide for all you need to know.

The Bridge Hotel, Buttermere Pub Food, Pie, Views
Don’t forget to grab a pie and a pint in the heart of the village after finishing your walk!

Aira Force Waterfall Walk

Aira Force Waterfall, Lake District

🥾 Distance: 2.1 kilometres (1.3 miles)

💪 Difficulty: Easy/moderate

📍 Location: Buttermere, CA13 9UZ

One of the most famed waterfalls in all of Lakeland, since the 18th Century Aira Force has stood tall as one of the National Park’s touristy hotspots.

Originally a rugged Victorian pleasure park with the main force crashing 70 feet from below an idyllic stone footbridge, this breath-taking site even inspired William Wordsworth in writing his famous poem, ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’.

The most popular way to see the waterfall is along the standard 2.1-kilometre circular loop, though there are several other longer routes such as the Aira Force & Gowbarrow Trail which is considerably longer at 7.2 km.

Warning – While not a difficult walk by any means, it is worth mentioning that the steps climbing up the falls can be a tad steep in parts and slippery when wet, meaning this should be only be attempted by those steady on their feet.

Rated as one of the most romantic spots in the Lakes, surrounding the falls you’ll also be treated to the picturesque Glencoyne Deer Park and iconic lake-shore of Ullswater.

Safe to say bringing your significant other here is bound to get you in the good books!

Fell Foot Park Walk

🥾 Distance: 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles)

💪 Difficulty: Easy/moderate

📍 Location: A592, Newby Bridge, Ulverston LA12

Last but not least, Fell Foot Park sits at the southernmost tip of Windermere and is ideal for families looking for a relaxing outing.

With several gentle trails weaving throughout the park, a full circular loop of the outer rim is only around 2.5 km in length and shouldn’t prove much of a challenge for the kids.

Plus, with plenty of open space for picnicking and playing games, there’s even the chance to jump in the lake for some water-sports or wild swimming!

Fell Foot Park even includes changing rooms with hot showers and lockers for the price of just £2 for a day pass. Not a big price to pay to avoid the hassle of trying to get changed in public under just your towel!

For full park info, you can check out the Fell Foot National Park website here.

More resources

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Happy walking 🚶🚶