The Lake District National Park is famous for being home to spectacular mountains, including the 10 highest peaks in England. What’s more, the area boasts a stunning array of idyllic lakes, charming villages and gorgeous countryside views, making it the ideal place for a relaxing getaway or escape into nature.
A highly renowned national park in the county of Cumbria, The Lake District is a fantastic destination for any nature lover. Whether you are looking for the highest mountain to climb or the most scenic walk, you will not be disappointed by the beautiful places to explore in the Lake District.
As well as bucket-list entries such as Scafell Pike (the tallest mountain in England), there are also lots of other less well-known mountains in the area that do not skimp in terms of beauty, offering amazing walks and gorgeous summit views without the foot traffic.
If you’re planning on going on an adventure holiday in the Lake District and want to find the best places to hike, be sure to check out our list of the 11 best mountains in the Lake District
Prepare to enjoy some killer views from iconic Helvellyn; the third highest mountain in the Lake District. Home to one of the most famous grade 2 scrambles in the area, you are sure to work up a sweat during this hike, but don’t be too intimidated as the scramble is certainly wide enough to be tackled without too much trouble.
The breathtaking views from the top span across the whole of the Lake District, even reaching as far as Scotland and Wales on days when conditions are clear. There are several possible routes for tackling the mountain, with one of the most popular going via one of the best ridge walks in the UK, Striding Edge.
Standing at 950m tall, Helvellyn has a steep incline that will demand a few pit stops along the way. These breaks will be great opportunities for taking in and appreciating the beauty in your surroundings – along with catching your breath!
2. Scafell Pike
Famed for being England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike is an impressive 978 metres tall and attracts many budding walkers wanting to check this one off their bucket list. There are lots of ways of approaching this mountain, including some that involve Grade 1 and 2 scrambles; however, there are also plenty of less demanding routes.
Most climbers opt to set off towards Wasdale Head, but if you fancy taking the scenic route, we would advise you to take the lesser-known route from Borrowdale. Whichever you choose, do not underestimate the difficulty of the ascent and make sure you bring all of the appropriate equipment including a compass, food, water and so on.
All will be made worth your while once you reach the top, as the views over the wild landscape and surrounding peaks are absolutely sensational.
3. Cat Bells
Definitely one of the smaller peaks on the list and in the Lake District in general, Cat Bells is a perfect choice for those wanting an easy hike that does not require compromising on the view. Even if you consider yourself a bit of a hillwalking pro, Cat Bells is still a one to explore especially when you are short on time as it is very easy to get to from the A66.
If you decide to set off from Hawes End, the 451-metre hike to the summit will be a breeze and completed pretty swiftly. Once there, you will be able to take in the stunning scenes of the Derwent Water and the northern Lakes below.
A bit of a household name when it comes to the best mountains to climb in the Lake District, Fairfield is the tallest of all of the Eastern Fells at a height of 873 metres. Involving a rough and stony journey to the summit, this one is a great choice for those seeking an adventure.
The most popular way of getting to the summit is actually by completing the Fairfield Horseshoe, a ridge walk that takes you across 8 of the 214 Wainwright fells which were famed by Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. Ideal for those who are quite new to the sport, you can casually tick off each peak without having to go to the bother of descending and reascending, just nonchalantly strolling across their grassy slopes.
While you can choose to start from Rydal, setting off from the village of Ambleside will allow you to take in the delightful buzz of the town along the way. With many pubs, gear shops and B&Bs, it always has a lively atmosphere that will psych you up for your adventure.
An absolute treat for the eyes, Skiddaw is full of flawless slopes overflowing with bracken, grass, heather and scree. From the summit, you can enjoy uninterrupted views across the rugged landscape that have been said to be some of the best in the Lake District.
While there are lots of different routes for ascending Skiddaw, the most popular will take you across Jenkin Hill Path. Bursting with history, the trail was forged as a pony route by Victorian tourists many moons ago.
These days, millions travel to this glorious mountain to take in the stunning patchwork colours of its slopes and the incredible view from its summit.
6. The Old Man of Coniston
Although the Old Man of Coniston sits a mere 4.3 kilometres from the village of Coniston, it involves some heavy-duty climbing and is not to be underestimated. At 803 metres high, the views from the top are truly awe-inspiring and if you are lucky enough to catch it on a clear day, you might even be able to spot the Isle of Man to the west.
There’s a lot to take in along this hike, from historic mines and hidden tarns to dramatic cliffscapes and aircraft wreckages. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled during your journey to avoid missing out on any of these amazing sights.
It’s a good idea to set off from Coniston, where you can begin with a relaxing stroll before gradually building up to the more difficult stages of the hike. The walk takes around six hours and involves going down a steep incline on the descent. However, the stunning views from the top of the mountain will have already made it worth your while, plus, you can always reward yourself with a refreshment from one of Coniston’s many pubs when you make it back to ground level.
Towering at a height of 868m, the hike up Blencathra is pretty hardcore, but the magical views from the top are quite difficult to match and will more than make up for their trouble. Situated in the north of the Lake District, the mountain boasts six peaks, the highest of which being Hallsfell Top.
Commonly referred to as Saddleback, the fell looks very different depending on which angle you view it from. Taking it in from the south, Blencathra appears to look very smooth before leading into a jagged summit but if you view it from the east, undulating hills will help you grasp where the mountain got its nickname from.
During your journey, you will travel along two ridges in a horseshoe with gorgeous rugged landscapes on each side. Providing you set off from Scales in Keswick, the hike to the top should take around four hours.
8. The Langdale Pikes
A mere four miles from Skelwith in the Great Langdale valley lies a glorious cluster of mountain peaks known as the Langdale Pikes. The dramatic scene of these mountains cutting against the skyline is rather iconic.
To appreciate the view at its best, we would recommend approaching from the southern Lake District to encounter the peaks at their most dramatic. One of the less demanding treks on this list, The Langdale Pikes provides budding walkers with the chance to enjoy some of the most amazing views in the Lake District without struggling over particularly tricky terrain.
Lots of visitors choose to tackle the range from the Great Langdale after first conquering Harrison Stickle. This popular route will take you past cascading waterfalls and lots of scenic spots where you can catch your breath and have a snack along the way.
9. Great Gable
Great Gable is a hunk of a mountain that stands at almost 900 metres. While there are lots of different ways of approaching the summit, it is a fantastic idea to start at Seathwaite; this route will take you up the exciting but doable scramble of Sour Milk Gill and up to the summit before descending Great Gable.
The summit offers some of the most spectacular views in the whole of the Lake District, and every Remembrance Sunday a large group of walkers ascend the mountain for a service at its summit. Historically, the Great Gable has been popular amongst hillwalkers right from the dawn of climbing itself, so where better to get involved in the sport than at one of its birthplaces?
10. The Great End
The most northerly mountain of the Scafell chain, The Great End is commonly misinterpreted as an underwhelming lump in the dramatic landscape of the area. However, when approaching the mountain from the north, you will be able to see it in all of its colossal glory as a mountain with a very striking north face.
Aptly named, The Great End is not for the faint-hearted and will prove a challenge even for the more experienced climbers and walkers. If you fancy making it even more difficult, you can take the hike up another level by incorporating the ascent of Napes Needle into your trek.
11. High Raise
Often overlooked in favour of some of the more well-known mountains, High Raise is the most central and has the highest point of all the Central Fells. Consequently, a trip up this mighty rock formation will serve you glorious views over Skiddaw, Helvellyn, the Scafells, Morecambe Bay and even Yorkshire’s Three Peaks.
You can choose to begin your journey from the nearby valley of Borrowdale, Great Langdale or Thirlmere reservoir. On the other hand, you could opt for ascending from Grasmere and take in Sour Milk Gill, Easedale Tarn, Blea Rigg and Sergeant Man on the way before hitting the High Raise summit at Low White Stones.
The unique landscape of the Lake District will treat you to incredible hiking routes with views that will never fall short of your expectations. With enchanting lakes against striking mountainous backdrops, the scenery is nothing short of breathtaking.
The hikes themselves give you an exciting opportunity to push yourself and be rewarded with all of the glory that comes from reaching the summit and looking down on the incredible landscape below you.
If you are wanting to explore some of the most glorious mountain ranges in the UK and are looking for somewhere to stay, why not check out our range of self-catering properties in the region?