Ridge Walks of the Lake District
Awe-Inspiring Adventures: Exploring the Scenic Ridge Walks of the Lake District
Embark on a memorable journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the Lake District as we explore the awe-inspiring scenic ridge walks that this enchanting region has to offer. From towering peaks to rolling hills, the Lake District is a hiker’s paradise, offering a wide array of trails that will leave you awe-struck at every turn.
Immerse yourself in nature’s wonders as you traverse the ridge walks of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the panoramic vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see, and feel a sense of exhilaration as you conquer the challenging terrains. Whether you’re an experienced trekker or a beginner adventurer, the Lake District has a trail to suit every level of expertise.
Discover hidden gems and stumble upon stunning viewpoints that will take your breath away. Capture the beauty of the world-famous lakes and dramatic landscapes that have inspired countless artists, writers, and poets throughout history. So, strap on your hiking boots, embrace the spirit of adventure, and let the scenic ridge walks of the Lake District take you on an unforgettable journey into nature’s finest masterpiece.
What are Ridge Walks?
Ridge walks are a type of hiking adventure that follows the crest of a ridge, offering breathtaking views on both sides. Instead of walking on trails nestled deep in valleys, ridge walks provide a unique experience by allowing hikers to walk along elevated paths with stunning panoramas. These hikes often involve ascending and descending along the ridge, providing a sense of challenge and accomplishment. Ridge walks can vary in difficulty, from gentle slopes suitable for beginners to more technical routes that require experience and proper equipment.
Ridge walks offer a different perspective of the landscape, allowing hikers to appreciate the grandeur of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The Lake District, renowned for its picturesque beauty, is home to several remarkable ridge walks that attract adventurers from all over the world. Let’s delve into some of the most scenic ridge walks this region has to offer.
Scenic Ridge Walks in the Lake District
Adventuring favourite Ridge walks in the Lake District
1. Helvellyn Ridge: Helvellyn is one of the most popular peaks in the Lake District and offers a thrilling ridge walk. Begin your adventure at the picturesque village of Glenridding and ascend via Striding Edge, a narrow arête that provides a thrilling and dramatic start to the hike. The ridge walk offers stunning views of Ullswater and the surrounding peaks, making it a must-do for any Lake District visitor.
For more information about climbing Striding Edge on Helvellyn and the route here
2. Scafell Pike via the Corridor Route: Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England, offers an exhilarating ridge walk via the Corridor Route. Start from Wasdale Head and follow the path along Lingmell Gill before ascending the Corridor Route. This ridge walk offers breathtaking views of the surrounding fells and valleys, including the iconic Wastwater, England’s deepest lake.
See our ultimate guide to climbing Scafell Pike with everything you need to know
3. Fairfield Horseshoe: The Fairfield Horseshoe is a classic ridge walk that takes you on a circular route around the beautiful valley of Rydal. Starting from Ambleside, the trail ascends steeply to the summit of Fairfield, offering panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. As you traverse the horseshoe-shaped ridge, you’ll be treated to vistas of Grasmere, Rydal Water, and the majestic Helvellyn range.
Planning your Ridge Walk adventure
Before embarking on a ridge walk adventure in the Lake District, it’s essential to plan your trip to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:
1. Research the routes: Familiarize yourself with the various ridge walks in the Lake District and choose a trail that matches your fitness level and experience. Look for detailed maps, route descriptions, and online resources to gather information about the trails, including elevation gain, distance, and estimated hiking time.
2. Check the weather forecast: The weather in the Lake District can change rapidly, and conditions on the ridges can be more challenging than in the valleys. Check the weather forecast before your hike and be prepared for sudden changes. Avoid ridge walks during severe weather conditions or when visibility is poor.
3. Pack essential gear and equipment: Make sure you have the right gear and equipment for your ridge walk adventure. This includes sturdy hiking boots, appropriate clothing layers, a waterproof jacket, a map and compass (or a GPS device), a first aid kit, plenty of water, snacks, and a mobile phone for emergencies. It’s also advisable to carry a whistle and a headlamp in case of unexpected delays.
We’ve made this easy for you and put together a comprehensive video on what to pack for a day in the mountains
4. Inform someone of your plans: Before setting off on your ridge walk, let someone know about your intended route and estimated return time. This will ensure that someone is aware of your plans and can raise the alarm if you encounter any difficulties.
Essential gear and equipment
When embarking on a ridge walk adventure in the Lake District, it’s crucial to have the right gear and equipment to ensure your safety and comfort. Here is a great video we put together to show you what to pack for a day in the mountains.
Popular Ridge Walk routes in the Lake District
1. Catbells Ridge Walk: Located near Keswick, the Catbells Ridge Walk is a popular choice for beginners. It offers stunning views of Derwentwater and the surrounding fells, making it a great introduction to ridge walks in the Lake District.
2. Striding Edge and Swirral Edge: For those seeking more of a challenge, the combined Striding Edge and Swirral Edge ridge walk offers an adrenaline-pumping adventure. Starting from Glenridding, hikers can experience the exhilaration of traversing narrow arêtes and enjoy panoramic views of Helvellyn and Ullswater.
3. High Street Roman Road: The High Street Roman Road is a historical ridge walk that follows an ancient Roman road. This route offers a sense of stepping back in time, with views of the Lake District’s stunning landscapes unfolding before you.
Hidden gems and lesser-known Ridge Walks
While the popular ridge walks of the Lake District attract many visitors, there are also hidden gems and lesser-known trails waiting to be explored. These off-the-beaten-path routes offer tranquility and a chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of the region without the crowds. Here are a few:
1. Barf Fell: Located near Bassenthwaite Lake, Barf Fell offers a gentle ridge walk with stunning views of the surrounding fells and the Solway Firth. This lesser-known trail is perfect for those seeking solitude and natural beauty.
2. Graystones and Broom Fell: Situated in the quieter northwest section of the Lake District, Graystones and Broom Fell offer a peaceful ridge walk with panoramic views of Bassenthwaite Lake and the surrounding countryside.
3. Knott Rigg and Ard Crags: This scenic ridge walk in the Newlands Valley provides breathtaking views of Buttermere and Crummock Water. With its tranquil surroundings and lesser-known status, it’s an ideal choice for hikers seeking a quieter experience.
As with any of these Lake District mountain walks if you are not sure please feel free to drop me a message and we can offer free guidance and help on these. If in doubt hire a Lake District Mountain guide