Lake District Walks With The National Trust

The Lake District's breathtaking vistas and jaw-dropping trails provide the perfect backdrop to a huge variety of walks. Our partner, the National Trust, has shared some of their most stunning Lake District walks, from enchanting strolls through wildlife-filled castle grounds, to secret waterfalls and spectacular mountain lakes.

Aira Force And Gowbarrow Trail

Length: 4.5 miles Walking Time: 1.5-3 Hours Difficulty: Moderate


The Aira Force and Gawbarrow trail packs in a lot into 4.5 miles. The trail begins with the awesome power of the Aira Force waterfall (which drops 65ft) and follows twisting, rocky single tracks over gnarled tree roots and up steps. There’s towering specimen trees to behold and lush green ferns in beautiful wooded gorges which contrast with the open, expansive views out on Gowbarrow fell.


Maps and information on the Aira Force and Gowbarrow Trail

Octavia Hill Walk, Derwent Water

Length: 3.6 miles Walking Time: 1.5 Hours Difficulty: Easy


Taking in the western shores of Derwent Water, below the popular Cat Bells, this gentle stroll along well-made paths has beautiful views across the water, with ample opportunity to enjoy a waterside picnic. Brandelhow is on the quieter side of Derwent Water so you could spot kingfishers, roe deer and even red squirrels. You’ll also pass sculptures and see the birth place of the National Trust in the Lake District.


Maps and information on the Octavia Hill Walk, Derwent Water

Wray Castle Circular Walk

Length: 3.5 miles Walking Time: 2 Hours Difficulty: Moderate


Beginning at the mock-Gothic grandeur of Wray castle, this walk takes you to the shores of Blelham Tarn (classified a site of special scientific interest) and back to the shoreline of Lake Windermere. There’s stepping stones in streams and open parkland to enjoy in this 2-hour walk filled with historical sites and unspoilt views.


Maps and information on the National Trust Wray Castle Walk

Buttermere To Rannerdale Walk

Length: 3 miles Walking Time: 2 Hours Difficulty: Moderate


Starting in Buttermere Valley, this 3-mile walk explores parts of the Rannerdale Valley with bluebell filled woodlands (in spring) and open grassland. After a short but steep climb there are beautiful views over Lake Buttermere from the ridge walk to Rannerdale Knotts before the track descends steeply to the lakeside of Crummock Water for the return to Buttermere. Look out for the Alfred Wainwright memorial at the church in Buttermere village.


Maps and information on the Butterdale to Rannerdale Walk

Sizergh Castle Wildlife Walk

Length: 2.5 miles Walking Time: 2 Hours Difficulty: Easy


Just a few miles from Kendal in the south Lakes, easily accessible from the M6, is Sizergh Castle and grounds. This historic and unspoilt corner is packed full of wildlife throughout the year and the walk takes in some of the best of it. Take your time on a short 2-mile circuit and you’ll enjoy a huge variety of flora and fauna with a stunning castle backdrop.


Maps and information and on the Sizergh Wildlife Walk

Sticklebarn Stickle Tarn Trail

Length: 1.9 miles Walking Time: 2 Hours Difficulty: Hard


This short but challenging walk takes you deep into the dramatic scenery of Stickle Tarn. Not for the faint hearted, the path follows the mountain stream Stickle Ghyll as you climb up to the tarn. After a steady start the incline increases but there are rock pools to enjoy along the way as well as ample opportunity to perch on a rock and enjoy the views, and the arrival view at Stickle Tarn is simply stunning.


Maps and information on the Sticklebarn Stickle Tarn Trail

Yewdale Valley Walk

Length: 4.3 miles Walking Time: 1-2 Hours Difficulty: Moderate


When it comes to key walks with the National Trust, Tarn Hows is a must-visit. 2016 marked the anniversary of 150 years since the birth of Beatrix Potter. This valley walk takes you to Yew Tree farm which was once owned by Beatrix Potter and was used in the 2006 film “Miss Potter”. The walk begins in Coniston and follows along the valley through Tarn Hows Woods which is rich in wildlife and wild flowers (particularly in spring). Look out for the Herdwick sheep, the famously hardy sheep breed native to the Lake District.


Maps and information on the Yewdale Valley Walk

Ash Landing And Claife Heights Windermere Walk

Length: 7.5 miles Walking Time: 4-5 Hours Difficulty: Hard


Across the water from the developed Bowness-On-Windermere is the quieter Claife Heights, and this elavated walk takes in the best of the western side of Windermere. Beginning at Ash Landing, you’ll pass Claife Viewing Station, perfect for views over Windermere. The 7.5-mile walk has plenty of options for detours to the likes of Wray Castle if you have time, and you can drop down to the lakeshore path for a well-surfaced, gentle return to Ash Landing. 


Maps and information on the Ash Landing and Claife Heights Windermere Walk

If you need more inspiration for walks in the Lake District, read our round-up of the best national parks for romantic walks

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