Walkling in the Western Lake District and Coast

Walking in the Western Lake District and Coast

The Lake District coast and wider Western Lake District is a walker’s paradise whether you fancy climbing fells or taking spectacular seafront strolls.

The England Coast Path now covers over 80 miles of Cumbria’s coastline. The latest stretch to formally open runs for 11 miles from Silecroft to the western edge of the Duddon Estuary.

It showcases a wonderfully varied landscape with uninterrupted views out across the Irish Sea. You can walk through extensive beaches and dunes, taking in the golden Duddon sands, wildlife-rich saltmarsh, and the historic town of Millom.

All the while you’ll be able to keep your eye on the glorious Lake District mountains.

There are also wonderfully scenic stretches around Walney Island and from Whitehaven to Silecroft. This stunning 52km stretch, where the Lake District dips down to the Irish Sea, takes you close by the historic Georgian town of Whitehaven, the red sandstone cliffs of St Bees Head and majestic Muncaster Castle with its beautiful gardens, Hawk and Owl Centre and more. As if that’s not enough   the route also takes you by Ravenglass, the coastal village which is in TWO UNESCO World Heritage sites – The Lake District and Hadrian’s Wall.

Add to this the Allonby to Whitehaven stretch of the England Coast Path and you can see why Cumbria’s coastline is now attracting keen walkers who might previously have limited themselves to busy fells in the central Lake District.

One thing is certain – a walk in the Western Lake District will live long in the memory.

Whether a big walk…

The region abounds in long distance paths and big mountain days out, some amongst the most popular ever and others undeservedly less obscure. Fancy a big day out?

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Not all walks are as big as the Wainwright Coast to Coast; from its start at St Bees to finish at Robin Hoods Bay a total of 192 miles, it is nevertheless one of the most popular long distance walks ever anywhere.

Of course, England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike draws the hiking crowds for individual ascents plus the various organised Britain’s Three Peak events. Its location lends itself to a number of fine round-trip ascents from all sides – Wasdale, Seathwaite, Langdale or Eskdale. The Western Lakes also includes some more illustrious high days out, such as the Pillar-Steeple-Red Pike-Yewbarrow round from Wasdale Head, Skiddaw, the Coniston Old Man circuit and the Helvellyn north-south ridge walk from the western side.

The original Old Man Alfred Wainwright remains a reliable guide to the high mountains and no walker should be without an Ordnance Survey map.

Guided Walks for all

There are always options to join an organised walk; ideal if you’re not a confident navigator, don’t know the area or just for the benefit of an experienced guide’s knowledge.

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The Lake District National Park runs a series of guided walks every year. Available at a range of venues, they’re a great opportunity to walk with a knowledgeable and experienced guide. Booking is usually advisable. They also run a number of map-reading and navigation courses. Find out more

The Cumbria Wildlife Trust also run guided walks to local reserves plus have a new range of self-guided wildlife walks created by blogger Beth Pipe. See their website for details.

…or just get away from it all…

You don’t have to be an alpinist to enjoy walking and there are options aplenty for lower-level routes, round the lake circuits and short outings for a sedate day out.

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Fortunately the Western Lakes abounds in walking opportunities for those not necessarily wanting to tear up trees!

The quietness of the countryside away from selected honeypots will astonish those more used to the busy paths of the more accessible central Lake District, with it being entirely possible to go walking on a bank holiday Monday and not see a soul.

Tale Trails…

Free story walks around Cumbria for children and the young at heart. Tale Trails Include a hand drawn map and local stories to get the imagination flowing. A super way for families to explore our beautiful county.

Equipment Hire

Looking for bike and cycling equipment hire? Look at providers in the area below.

Marra Bikes & Boards

Hi there. We are four friends who live and work in Gosforth, Cumbia, and absolutely love adventuring in our local area. Our new business (2021) is hiring out stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) and mountain bikes to locals and tourists who want to enjoy this fabulous place...

West Lakes Adventure

Welcome to West Lakes Adventure, for a wide range of activities for groups and individuals, from half days up to full weeks - your experienced, qualified and fully insured guides to outdoor adventuring. Welcome to West Lakes Adventure, located in the heart...

…or how about a different adventure?

There’s far more to the Western Lakes than walking and cycling. Here’s where you can find out about a host of other activities, for a day out less ordinary.

What will you try?

Climb, ghyll-scramble, sail, canoe, paddle-board, wild-swim, ride a horse, mush some huskies – the world is your oyster. Bring your own gear or sign up with a local accredited activity provider.

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Find an adventure provider

Check out adventure activity providers in our local area below.

Cumbrian Heavy Horses, Baystone Bank Farm Campsite

Based on a stunning Fell Farm location at the foot of Black Combe, Baystone Bank Farm is a working sheep and cattle farm, home to a beautiful campsite and the world's only Heavy Horse Riding Centre, Cumbrian Heavy Horses. Our campsite was recently featured on Channel...

Carolclimb Outdoor Adventures

Carolclimb teaches skills and takes people on adventures. We provide Mountain Leader, Lowland Leader and navigation weekends and days.CarolclimbBuckbarrowWasdale HeadSeascaleCA20 1EUWebsite: http://carolclimb.co.uk Email: carol@carolclimb.co.uk Phone: 01946726424

Murthwaite Green Trekking Centre

Based on the western coast of the Lake District in Silecroft, Murthwaite Green Beach Riding centre offers bespoke horse riding packages to experienced riders aged 11yrs+ We take out small groups of riders onto the beach for 2hrs or full days. We also offer full day...

Horse & Husky

Here at Horse and Husky, we have a range of options for you whether it be walking, dog training, or even mushing! We’re based in the Western Lake District at Bootle Station where we have access to a range of places where we do our activities all accompanied by a range...

West Lakes Adventure

Welcome to West Lakes Adventure, for a wide range of activities for groups and individuals, from half days up to full weeks - your experienced, qualified and fully insured guides to outdoor adventuring. Welcome to West Lakes Adventure, located in the heart...