Heart of the Lake District

This simply superb Lake District self-guided walking holiday will take you through the heart of the Lakes from the southern capital of Ambleside to the northern capital of Keswick. In between you will stay in the beautiful Langdale Valley, the perfect base from which to explore the best mountain walking the Lake District has to offer. We arrange comfortable accommodation in en-suite rooms at hotels and accredited guest houses on your route and we transfer your luggage between each of the three bases for this tour. On this holiday you can choose to spend 2 or 3 nights in any or each of the three locations.

6 nights (2 nights Ambleside, 2 nights Langdale, 2 nights Keswick): £495 - Trip Code LDH6
7 nights (2 nights Ambleside, 3 nights Langdale, 2 nights Keswick): £550 - Trip Code LDH7
8 nights (3 nights Ambleside, 3 nights Langdale, 2 nights Keswick): £605 - Trip Code LDH8
9 nights (3 nights Ambleside, 3 nights Langdale, 3 nights Keswick): £660 - Trip Code LDH9

Prices are per person based on twin share and include all accommodation in twin share rooms on bed & breakfast basis, luggage transfer, information pack including maps, route guide, and our emergency contact.

Single rooms are available. We only apply a supplement for single accommodation when there is a direct cost to us and we cap this in line with our ‘Fair pricing’ policy. Solo walkers pay a supplement of £8 per walking day, plus any single room supplement which may be required.

Itinerary & Route Options

Arriving in Ambleside you check into your comfortable accommodation and can explore this interesting town, the capital of the South Lakes. There is a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs to choose from for your evening meal.

Option A (easy): Wray Castle and lake shore path to Bowness (requires £20 for combined castle entrance and Windermere ferries). 4 miles. Negligible ascent.

Option B (moderate): Traverse Wansfell to Troutbeck/Town End and return by an old drovers road. 6 miles. 1885ft.

Option C (hard): Ascent of Red Screes by its SW ridge and return via Scandale Valley. 7½ miles. 2450ft.

Option D (strenuous): The classic round of the Fairfield Horseshoe.11 miles. 3530ft.

Option A (moderate): Via Loughrigg Tarn, Skelwith Bridge and Elterwater. 7½ miles. 1200ft.

Option B (hard): Via Loughrigg Fell, Red Bank and Silver How. 7½ miles. 2470ft.

Option A (easy):. Follow Stickle Gill to Stickle Tarn below the cliffs of Pavey Ark. 3 miles. 1260ft.

Option B (moderate): Ascent of Pike O'Blisko. 4.5 miles. 1960ft.

Option C (moderate):Ascent of the Langdale Pikes. 4 miles. 2470ft.

Option D (hard): Traverse of Crinkle Crags. 6½ miles. 2925ft.

Option E (hard): Traverse of Bowfell. 7½ miles. 2875ft.

Option F (strenuous): Ascent of Scafell Pike via Esk Hause. 11 miles. 3700ft.

Option A (moderate): Via Stakes Pass to Rosthwaite and then bus to Keswick (approx. £3). 8 miles. 1700ft.

Option B (hard): Via Stakes Pass and along the River Derwent and Derwentwater shore. 16 miles. 2300ft.

Option C (hard): Via Esk Hause and Seathwaite. 16 miles. 3150ft.

Option D (strenuous): Via Esk Hause, Allen Crags and Glaramara. 16 miles. 3650ft.

Option A (easy): A short circular walk taking in the viewpoint of Castle Head and the lake shore. 2 miles. 325ft.

Option B (moderate): Circular walk via Walla Crag and Ashness Bridge. 6½ miles. 1400ft.

Option C (moderate): Cross the lake and ascend Catbells ridge (requires £3.50 for Keswick Launch). 7½ miles. 1500ft.

Option D (hard - strenuous): Ascent of Skiddaw with route options from 7½ miles to 9½ miles. Approximately 3200ft of ascent.

Let us know if you require a transfer to Penrith station and we will arrange this for you (at extra cost).

The price includes:

  • All accommodation in twin/double rooms (with private bathroom where available) in guest houses, inns or hotels
  • All breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer between overnight stops
  • A Wandering Aengus information pack containing all necessary maps, a current guide book or our own weather-proof route cards, laminated locator maps for each night's accommodation, and our own weather-proof 'info cards' with local information - including locations and opening times of restaurants, cafes, ATMs, supermarkets etc.
  • Our emergency contact number

Not included:

  • Lunches and evening meals (we provide full details of your options)
  • Extra costs incurred through using escape routes or abandonment of the itinerary
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses such as drinks etc.

Our Accommodation:

As keen walkers ourselves we appreciate the importance of the place you put your feet up and rest your head in at the end of each day. We very carefully select our accommodations whether they be a cosy pub, family run guest house, or established town centre hotel. We choose places directly on the route or within easy walking distance of it and if we ever have to transfer you because of limited availability, we will always contact you to discuss this and never just leave you to find out later. We provide comfortable, clean and warm twin or double rooms, with private bathroom wherever available. Single occupancy of rooms is also available for a supplementary cost.

Meals:

Breakfast at your accommodation is included in the holiday price. In most cases your accommodation will serve dinner and will be able to prepare a packed lunch for you. Sometimes this will have to be arranged in advance and we will let you know if this is the case. Alternatively you can use our detailed notes to make your own dining and lunch arrangements using local restaurants, cafes and supermarkets.

The nearest railway station to Ambleside is at Windermere, a branch line of the main North-West London to Glasgow rail link (change at Oxenholme). From Windermere there are taxis and a regular bus service to Ambleside - a journey of 5 miles. Alternatively, if you are arriving by car we can arrange parking in Ambleside (possible extra charge).

The nearest railway station to Keswick is at Penrith (16 miles) on the main North-West rail link between London and Glasgow. From Keswick there is a regular bus service to Penrith which stops at the train station or we can arrange a taxi for you. If you have left a car at Ambleside the easiest way to return is by bus (50 minutes) or we can arrange a taxi for you.

Here are some 3rd party websites with useful information to help plan your holiday to the Lake District.

The Lake District National Park website is a mine of information and here you can also download a range of maps and leaflets to local attractions.

'Go Lakes' is the official website for Cumbria Tourism and provides up-to-the-minute information on events as well as insight guides to the different areas that make up the Lake District.

The Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) provides weather analysis and forecasts specifically aimed at mountaineers and walkers. Download 3 day forecasts for specific regions including the Lake District.

Cumbria County Council conveniently gathers all Lake District bus timetables onto a single searchable page

Mike Brockhurst's Walking Englishman website is a free walking resource which provides information on numerous walking routes. Here you can find a list of Englands's highest peaks.

Use thetrainline.com to find cheap fares to the Lake District rail access towns of Windermere and Penrith.

Book this Holiday

Heart of the Lakes map
On this holiday we use three different bases for walks at Ambleside, Langdale and Keswick. You can choose to spend 2 or 3 nights in any or each of these bases and we provide various walk options for each day ranging from relatively easy or moderate walking, to strenuous hikes taking in the Wainwright summits of the area. On the two days where you walk from one base to the next, there are also route choices which will include at least one moderate option. You can mix and match the options to make your holiday as easy or as challenging as you like.