If you love to walk in the Great British countryside, you’ll know that there’s no better season than the Spring to get out and about.
For those of us who prefer a gentle Sunday stroll, as opposed to a sweaty up-hill slog, there’s so much to choose from in the Lake District. Maybe you’re trying to get the kids out in nature this Spring, or are just looking for a beautiful walk that doesn’t involve too much physical effort. Whatever you’re in to, we’ve got the perfect suggestions for you.
Taken from years of family walks and exploratory rambles around the Lake District; let us direct you to some of our favourite, gentle Spring walks in the Lakes.
A lakeshore amble along Derwent Water
Take a stroll along the quiet side of Derwent Water and an amble through the tranquil parkland at Brandelhow. Make your day even more magical, with a boat ride, to your starting point.
If you want to try something a bit more challenging, head out on the full Derwentwater Walk, a rolling 10-mile waymarked walk all the way around Derwentwater. If you don’t want to complete the entire 10 miles, you can take the spectacular ‘Keswick Launch’ boat ride some of the way, or hop on the Borrowdale bus and experience one of the finest views you’ve ever experienced by bus!
You can get a free ‘Derwentwater Walk’, ‘Keswick Launch’ leaflet, and bus timetables at the Keswick Tourist Information centre.
Spring is the perfect time to see the Rannerdale bluebells, which draw visitors from around the world. The bluebells at Rannerdale grow in open fields, with much of the valley turning a magical blue when they are in bloom. This stunning blue carpet is not hidden under trees but splashed all over the valley’s slopes, in vivid splendour.
You can walk as much or little as you wish. If you simply want to have a peaceful stroll and get pictures of this magnificent display, a short walk from the parking area at Rannerdale is all you need. If you want to fully appreciate the valley, then a walk up to the summit of Rannerdale Knotts, will take you on a roughly 3 mile circular walk, with a mostly gentle climb, but not suitable for all.
The National Trust (and all of us who live here in the Lakes) ask that no one picks or walks on the bluebells, as we all want future generations to be able to enjoy them in their full beauty too.
Buttermere from Rannerdale
Another route to consider, after visiting the beautiful Rannerdale bluebells, is to head over the Rannerdale Knots (or along the flatter path behind them), to Buttermere lake. The Ranerdale Knots ridge is a fantastic way to take in the valley from height, in the relative comfort of a low-level fell walk. One great thing about this walk, is the choice of several pubs when you reach Buttermere.
Boasting an amazing view of Grasmere, Elterwater, Windermere, and the Langdales, Loughrigg Fell with is perfect for beginners and young families who are looking for a rewarding challenge, that doesn’t take all day to complete.
Head straight on up from the village of Ambleside, along the ‘Loughrigg Terrace’ stopping at Rydal Cave en-route for a great family photo op on the stepping stones!
The best place to park for this walk, is the main car park above the town centre on the A591 towards Rydal. You can make this route circular by heading back along the Under Loughrigg road.
Rydal and Grasmere
What’s more perfect than a walk in Wordsworth country in the Spring?
Take in both Grasmere, Rydal Water and their villages, on this spectacular, 5 mile circular route over rolling countryside. You will pass alongside the picturesque Dove Cottage, once home of the famous Lake District writer, William Wordsworth. Part of this walk will also take you along some of the old ‘Coffin route’, thus named because it was the road used to carry the dead, on horse and cart, from the village of Rydal, to the Church at Grasmere.
Take in the beautiful Lake reflections and fell peaks whilst never climbing higher than 150m. There are a number of car parks in both Grasmere and Rydal that you can begin your walk from.
Helm Crag, or the 'Lion and the Lamb' as it is more commonly known, stands proudly above the village of Grasmere, and is highly distinctive because of the rock formations on its top, that appear to be in the shape of a lion and a lamb lying down together.
Despite its challenging appearance and steep, craggy sides; this walk is the perfect for hiking beginners, requiring moderate effort, a steep but relatively short climb, with awe inspiring views form the top, that really add to a sense of great accomplishment.
The walk can be taken either directly from Grasmere, or along the less well-pathed and longer route from the ‘back’, off the A591. This walk will take several hours dependant on speed, but is generally not a full day excursion.
In- between Windermere and Coniston, is the splendid, magical forest of Grizedale. With over 8,000 acres of mixed forest covered in easy-to-follow tracks and brimming with enchanting outdoor sculptures, Grizedale is one of the most popular family days out in the Lakes. You can truly spend a day lost among the trees; playing on the sculptures, and finding a sunny spot for a picnic in this amazing place.
Boat ride and walk along Coniston Water
What better way to soak up the amazing landscape around Coniston Water, than from the water itself. Combine a walk along the lakeshore footpath with a trip on the ‘Coniston Launch’. You can catch the Coniston Launch at Coniston Jetty to either ‘Sunny Bank’ or ‘Torver’ jetty. Hop off and walk back along the lakeside, to your starting point. Make your day even more magical, by stopping for a picnic on the lakeshore, or even a quick-dip if it’s warm enough!