This tough yet rewarding 90-mile circular tour, for experienced walkers, starts in the attractive town of Ambleside and takes seven days to complete visiting 44 traditional Lakeland inns along the way. Taking in the very best of Lakeland including Grasmere (home of Wordsworth), the Langstrath Valley, Borrowdale, the High Spy ridge, Crummock Water, Buttermere, Scarth Gap and Black Sail passes, Wasdale Head, Boot in Eskdale, the Duddon Valley, Coniston and the summit of Swirl How and a fitting end to the walk along the length of Great Langdale.
Most popular itinerary
Day 1: Ambleside to Rosthwaite – 13 miles: The home of the Lakes Poets, the sombre Coffin Route, breathtaking views of the Vale of Grasmere, hidden tarns, ancient packhorse trails through Easedale, the haunt of the last eagles and a monastic dispute over rich pastureland
Day 2: Rosthwaite to Braithwaite – 12 miles: The High Spy Range – one of the finest ridge walks in Lakeland, prospecting for gold on Cat Bells, a floating island on Derwentwater and looking for Mrs Tiggy Winkle in the hidden valley of Newlands.
Day 3: Braithwaite to Buttermere – 11 miles: Paint and glass mines in Coledale, a dramatic ravine in the shadow of Grasmoor, Lanthwaite Wood and its red squirrels, the Melbreak Pack, confusing signposts at Loweswater, Lakeland’s highest waterfall and the charms of the Maid of Buttermere.
Day 4: Buttermere to Boot – 12 miles: Buthar’s Mere, old packhorse routes across mountain passes, the most remote corner of the Lake District, the legend of “t’girt dog” of Ennerdale, England’s highest mountain, deepest lake, smallest church and biggest liar, a haunted Corpse Road and the ‘La’al Ratty’ steam train.
Day 5: Boot to Broughton-in-Furness – 14 miles: The church of the White Ship in Eskdale, keeping a look-out from the Roman fort of Mediobogdum, boozy brawls and bloodshed at a Lakeland inn, the Duddon Valley – Wordsworth’s favourite river and the quintessential English country pub at Broughton Mills.
Day 6: Broughton-in-Furness to Coniston – 13 miles: The whistle of a ghostly steam train along the old trackbed of the Coniston line, Bronze Age relics, the first Protestant church in England and worshipping the Old Man of Coniston.
Day 7: Coniston to Ambleside – 15 miles: Elizabethan copper mines, climbing the prison wall, one of the finest viewpoints in England from the summit of Swirl How, stand in three places at once at the Three Shires Stone, awesome mountain scenery, a Neolithic axe factory and the graceful charms of Swan Lake.
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