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Penrith

Hiking around Penrith

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Sandwiched between the Lake District and the Pennines, there are plenty of beautiful walks in Penrith itself thanks to its extraordinary history, stunning surroundings and fascinating sights. This Cumbrian market town is a hub of activity and is a perfect base for hiking in the immediate area or further afield. The town holds plenty of fun walks for families as well as more strenuous adventures if you’re a seasoned hiker. 

If you like your adventures with a pinch of history, then you can choose hikes to Penrith’s incredible ancient sites: it has quite a few. With prehistoric henges, Roman ruins and a medieval castle, the town’s antiquities are so numerous that you could easily follow a timeline from the Iron Age onwards through its streets. With river walks and hilly hikes to sweeping views, exploring Penrith’s wonderful routes perfectly blends culture, nature and history.


Top 20 best walks and hikes around Penrith

    Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    1
    1
    Intermediate
    02:46
    6.15 mi
    2.2 mph
    625 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    2
    Easy
    01:55
    4.07 mi
    2.1 mph
    600 ft
    600 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
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  • 3
    Easy
    01:42
    3.64 mi
    2.1 mph
    525 ft
    525 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    4
    Intermediate
    02:28
    5.59 mi
    2.3 mph
    450 ft
    450 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    5
    Easy
    01:39
    4.00 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    6
    Easy
    00:59
    2.24 mi
    2.3 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Easy
    01:54
    4.51 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Intermediate
    02:50
    6.57 mi
    2.3 mph
    400 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    9
    Easy
    01:25
    3.24 mi
    2.3 mph
    250 ft
    250 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    10
    Easy
    01:59
    4.62 mi
    2.3 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Intermediate
    02:00
    4.42 mi
    2.2 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    12
    Intermediate
    02:06
    5.04 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    13
    Intermediate
    02:29
    5.94 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    14
    Intermediate
    02:12
    5.11 mi
    2.3 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    15
    Easy
    01:01
    2.44 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    16
    Easy
    01:54
    4.16 mi
    2.2 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    17
    Easy
    01:55
    4.47 mi
    2.3 mph
    275 ft
    250 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    18
    Easy
    01:22
    3.26 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    19
    Intermediate
    02:11
    5.15 mi
    2.4 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    20
    Intermediate
    02:16
    5.40 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View

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Tracing history in Penrith

It’s not just that some of the best hiking trails in Penrith take in exceptional historic sites, rather, it’s quite hard to avoid them. The town and its immediate surroundings are littered with archaeological evidence of Neolithic settlement, several sites of which you can see for yourself. Head south from the centre to cross the River Eamont and discover the Mayburgh Henge, today seen as a circular bank with a standing stone in its centre. Just a stone’s throw to the southeast lies King Arthur’s Table, another Neolithic henge of a similar design. 

Just across the River Lowther from the henges sits Brougham Hall, a stunning 15th-century castle-like house with beautiful and well preserved walls. It’s run as a charity and is open to the public. The history hikes in Penrith have barely got started. At the confluence of the Eamont and Lowther in the southeast of the town sits Brougham Castle, an exquisite 13th-century structure that remains in excellent condition.

Of course, in the south of the town centre lies Penrith Castle, a vast 14th-century fortification that stands today as a beautiful ruin. For more recent history, the 19th-century clocktower stands in the town centre’s historic Market Square. 

From riverbanks to beacon views

There are fantastic walks from Penrith that offer you a sweeping panorama of the town and its rather lovely location. Bordering its northern extent, Beacon Hill rises, cloaked in woodland and promising vibrant adventures among its trees. Numerous trails criss-cross the forest but make sure you don’t leave without reaching the Beacon itself, an 18th-century tower to commemorate the countless warning beacons lit here over the centuries. From the tower, you can enjoy glorious views across to Lakeland's Eastern Fells and Blencathra's distinctive saddleback form, as well as across the Eden Valley. 

If you like river walks then Penrith won’t let you down. It’s bordered to the south by the River Eamont which has several footpaths along various nearby meanders and there are numerous trails following the River Lowther’s course upstream. Both rivers lead you through peaceful woodlands and farmland littered with history.


Penrith's best walks and hikes on the map

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