Alfred Wainwright described 214 separate fells in his iconic series of guidebooks to walking in The Lakes, and they are now known as “The Wainwrights”. It has become popular to attempt all 214 fells over a number of years, and it gives a good reason to visit some of the lesser walked fells. All fells can be walked by a normally fit person without needing to have technical climbing skills, which is another reason they are popular.
Tine is working her way through them, and has enjoyed many ‘off the beaten track’ walks in the process.
A 3.9 miles walk on good paths, tracks and quiet roads. There is no summit in this walk, but still 240m of ascent.
A longer walk of 11.6 miles including 1060m ascent. The views vary from each summit, which makes it a very good walk in clear weather.
A 8.7 miles high level walk with views ranging to the Cumbrian coast, several lakes, and the whole Helvellyn range. 680m of ascent (the first part up Clough Head is very steep) but easy underfoot.
An “off the beaten track” 5.3 miles walk with very few people and excellent views. 400m of ascent.
A 1.8 miles circular walk to the summit of ‘our fell’, with 220m of ascent. The Galloway hills in southern Scotland are visible on a clear day as well as much of the northern Lake District and the Pennines.
One of our absolute favourite walks. A 7.8 miles walk around Gowbarrow with stunning views over Ullswater and then the waterfalls. 670m of ascent.
A 10.4 miles high level walk with fantastic mountain views. Best enjoyed in good visibility, as navigation can be tricky in mist. 890m of ascent.
Favourite walks in the wider local area
There are some good lakeshore walks by Ullswater, either in circular form or as linear options taking the steamer in one direction. The most popular section is from Howtown back to Glenridding after taking the boat in the outbound direction. Parts of the lakeshore path can also be combined with a fell top such as Place Fell.
Probably our favourite mountain, and the one where we introduced our daughters to higher fells. The route up from Mousthwaite Comb is varied, but straightforward, while Sharp Edge provides the best (scariest) ridge walk in this area.
Scales Tarn is a lovely spot for a rest and a picnic or a swim.
The very obvious mountain walk is up Helvellyn, which is the third highest mountain in England and extremely popular. It is known for the two edges, Striding Edge and Swirral Edge, which are exciting walks, but there are other excellent options that avoid the edges but still give wonderful views.
If you are looking for something less obvious than Helvellyn in that area, the Deepdale horseshoe is highly recommended. It is a combination of St. Sunday Crag, Fairfield, and Hart Crag: a stunning walk with not many people, apart from the summit of Fairfield.
Last, but not least, the High Street range is full of options and avoids the crowds that often flock to Helvellyn. One recommended possibility is to combine the broad and grassy High Street ridge with Hayes Water and Angle Tarn. Other routes begin from Haweswater, famous for the buried village of Mardale.