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Cumbria

Hiking in Cumbria

Hiking

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Photo: Biene

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Put simply, Cumbria is a mecca for hikers. The finest walks in Cumbria rank amongst the most scenic in Britain. England’s third largest county is home to its highest mountains, longest and deepest lakes, and the UK’s most popular national park: The Lake District. Awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2017, the Lake District is one of the most picturesque regions you are likely to experience on these shores. From flowing hills to classic Lakeland landscapes, you would be hard pushed to find a better place to hike than Cumbria.


However, hikes in Cumbria offer more than just the Lakes. Stroll along the gorgeous Solway Coast, gazing across the estuary to Scotland and admire the many species of bird that glide above the tides. Follow the historic Hadrian’s Wall on its intrepid journey east towards Northumberland. Or explore the wild Pennines for stunning views back towards Lakeland and across to the Yorkshire Dales. All this and more awaits in this beautiful corner of England.


Top 20 best walks and hikes in Cumbria

    1
    Difficult
    05:31
    9.04 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,625 ft
    2,625 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
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    2
    Difficult
    04:53
    5.31 mi
    1.1 mph
    2,925 ft
    2,925 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    View
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  • 3
    Difficult
    05:45
    9.63 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,800 ft
    2,800 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    4
    Intermediate
    02:28
    5.81 mi
    2.3 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    5
    Intermediate
    03:00
    5.86 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    6
    Intermediate
    01:51
    4.36 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    7
    Difficult
    06:01
    12.7 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    8
    Intermediate
    02:34
    5.63 mi
    2.2 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    9
    Intermediate
    04:05
    6.70 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,425 ft
    2,425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    10
    Intermediate
    04:41
    7.96 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,650 ft
    2,650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Difficult
    06:12
    11.3 mi
    1.8 mph
    2,900 ft
    2,900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    12
    Difficult
    05:54
    9.97 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,750 ft
    2,750 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    View
    13
    Difficult
    05:24
    9.04 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,850 ft
    2,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    14
    Intermediate
    03:53
    6.35 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,350 ft
    2,350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    15
    Difficult
    07:11
    14.8 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,100 ft
    2,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    16
    Intermediate
    03:31
    6.61 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    17
    Intermediate
    04:01
    8.77 mi
    2.2 mph
    975 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    18
    Easy
    01:37
    3.89 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
    Difficult
    05:08
    8.96 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,725 ft
    2,725 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    20
    Intermediate
    02:54
    5.86 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View

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The magnificent Lake District

When it comes to walks in Cumbria, there is a lifetime of possibilities. The main draw for many hikers is the incomparable Lake District, which sits in the heart of the county. Its legendary mixture of lake and mountain scenery has inspired artists and poets – such as Wordsworth and Coleridge – for generations. Meanwhile, the charming farmsteads and villages that are dotted amongst its picturesque valleys are responsible for the works of world-famous children’s book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter.

Hillwalking - following Wainwright’s footsteps

For hillwalkers, there are hundreds of dramatic mountains and rugged hills to explore both in the Lake District and the broader Pennines to the east. Many set out to attain the summits of the 214 Wainwright fells – named after the prolific guidebook writer and illustrator Alfred Wainwright. 

Some of the best hiking trails in Cumbria include conquering England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike as well as smaller family favourites, such as Catbells and Haystacks and the exciting ridge traverses on the likes of Helvellyn and Blencathra. The Wainwrights are a pleasure to explore and – in good weather – the whole family can enjoy and attain any of the summits. However, in winter conditions the higher fells are the preserve of mountaineers and winter walkers with appropriate skills and equipment.

Down in the Lakeland Valleys

The low-level valley walks of the Lakes also rank amongst the finest hikes in Cumbria. Find peace and calm in one of the national park’s various woodland areas where you might run into rare wildlife, such as the red squirrel. Or take in the spacious panoramas from the trails that line the many lake shores, exploring nearby streams and gushing waterfalls. Such routes are deservedly popular, with dramatic mountain views that stretch for miles. 


After a busy day exploring the region, check out the pubs, restaurants, cafes and gear outlets in the Lake’s characterful towns. This is the outdoor capital of England, after all.


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