If you’ve got the walking bug and long to share your love of the great outdoors with your children, the Lake District has to be first on the list of destinations. Not every fell is suitable for kids though – so you need to strike a balance between giving them enough of a challenge while still being simple, short and safe enough for their little legs to handle. Luckily you’re still spoilt for choice for family-friendly walks in the Lake District – in fact, after we put together our first list of 10 Great Family-Friendly Walks in the Lake District, we realised there were still so many fantastic walks to share with you. So, we’ve assembled another 10 for you to try, from fells that even small children can tackle, through to the first big fell to take on, as well as some stunning pushchair-friendly tarnside walks. Check them out below.
Loughrigg Fell is a family classic, with everything you could want from a family-friendly fell – panoramic views, pools and paths to explore, ample opportunities for paddling and scrambling, and also, crucially, easy access and gentle contours. This fell is absolutely perfect for children, giving a real sense of adventure while being simple enough for little legs to tackle. The views at the top of the central Lake District, with Grasmere, Elterwater, Windermere and the Langdale Fells sprawling before you, make it worth the walk for the adults, too.
The Lake District fells in microcosm, the mini-mountain of Gummer’s How makes for an ideal introduction to small children making their first fell trip. Simple and short enough for even very young children, the rocky paths and easy scrambling steps mean that they will feel like mini-mountaineers as they scale the summit and see Lake Windermere stretched out below, with its boats and steamers looking tiny from so high above.
The striking rock features at the top of Helm Crag – visible from the road below – have led to this mountain being christened The Lion and The Lamb, an evocative image that will light the spark of adventure in any young explorer. At 1 1/2 miles, it is also short enough for most young walkers to tackle, but a fun and rewarding walk for the grown-ups, too. Some caution is to be advised at the summit – and its true summit, known as The Howitzer – is out of reach even for most adults, but the impressive rock formations that give The Lion and The Lamb its name are a great reward for the relatively short climb.
Once they’ve got a bit of experience under their belts, the kids will love tackling Castle Crag, with its scrambles, scree, woodland and even a ‘Cave Hotel’ to explore on the way up. This fell was admired so much by Alfred Wainwright that he included it in his Pictorial Guide to the Lake District Fells despite being less than 1000ft above sea level, and it’s another reminder that great things can come in small packages, with views across Derwentwater and the surrounding fells from the top capable of rivalling its more towering counterparts.
Another fantastic introduction to the fells, Orrest Head was, in fact, the first fell that Wainwright climbed, inspiring him to write his iconic series of guidebooks. A gentle climb that you can begin from Windermere train station, as Wainwright did, with stunning views from the summit overlooking Windermere – in his own words “a moment of magic, a revelation so unexpected that I stood transfixed, unable to believe my eyes”. Inspire the same sense of wonder in your little ones, and spark a lifelong love of adventure.
Rannerdale to Buttermere
During the month of May, the hillside of Rannerdale comes alive with bluebells, a delightful carpet of blue flowers stretching out before you, with beautiful views of Crummock Water and the fells acting as a spectacular backdrop. Wander along a winding walk through the flowers, then continue to follow the path through the gate to eventually come to Buttermere village, where you can stop to refuel with ice cream. Just take care to stick to the paths and avoid walking through the bluebells, as they are under risk due to people trampling through them and killing them off.
An awesome 20 metre high waterfall, with surrounding landscaped grounds that are perfect for children to explore, Aira Force is one of the walks in the Lake District that actually improves when the weather is wet, giving the waters even more power and added capacity to take your breath away. There are red squirrels to spot, wishing trees with coins hammered into them over hundreds of years, and ancient trees to see along the way up. A 1 mile loop from the National Trust car park makes this short enough to handle, though multiple stepped sections make it unsuitable for pushchairs.
The man-made lake of Tarn Hows was formed in the nineteenth century by a dam that turned three small tarns into the single larger tarn you’ll find today. This is an extremely popular destination for families, with the National Trust, who own and maintain the area, creating a pushchair friendly route doing a complete circuit around the tarn. You’ll get majestic mountain views and some ideal picnic spots, with minimal effort required as you’ll start from the car park. It’s an excellent day out for those with very young children.
The mountain tarn of Blea Tarn is actually fairly accessible, close to both a road and car park – making it within reach for younger children to get a fells experience that might ordinarily be beyond them. With incredible views down to Little Langdale valley and Coniston fells, and then Great Langdale, the Langdale Pikes backdrop makes Blea Tarn one of the most scenic of the Lake District’s tarns. You’ll get some amazing pics for the photo album here, and it’s a nice, gentle walk too, ideal for the kids.
Coniston Old Man
One for older kids, this, but if you want to get started with their first experience of the high Lakeland fells, you can’t go wrong with the Old Man of Coniston. This is something to build up to rather than jump straight in, and the 6 mile walk means it’s a long, all day experience – the added height means taking extra consideration to weather, too – but with a clearly marked, easy path, this is a simple walk with the simply incomparable views you only get from the higher mountains. As well as the spectacular Lake District scenery unfolding below you, on a clear day you might even be able to see as far as Blackpool Tower. Check out Boulder Valley on the way back down, too, adventurous kids will love the challenge there.
Hopefully you’ve found some inspiration for your next family trip to the Lake District – sometimes it feels like there’s so much choice that it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to a family walk in the Lake District, so we hope we’ve helped narrow it down for you! We’d love to welcome you and your family to our caravan and holiday park set on the shores of beautiful Bassenthwaite Lake – so many of these walks are right on our doorstep. Click here to view our facilities and book online.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling: 017687 76241 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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