11 February 2018

Challenge: Walk round every lake in the lake district

I consider myself very lucky to live exactly where I do. I live in THE most beautiful county in the UK (fact) and out of the places I have been in the world (admittedly it's not a long list) so far nowhere ever beats Cumbria. I was born and bred here and I do not want to live anywhere else.

I live in Carlisle which is just a hop and a skip away from the Lake District. A National Park and World Heritage site which takes up the majority of our county. The Lake District is famous for many things, its lakes obviously and also it's mountains. There are many many beautiful and diverse walks, and rides you can do here.  The most famous mountaineer or walking guide author is Alfred Wainwright and visitors to the county often try to 'bag wainwrights' as their ultimate goal.

Some of the 'wainwrights' or walks in the Lakes I will never ever do and have no desire to do, we have some serious mountains! (I have been very nearly to the top of the biggest though) Anything that has the word 'edge' in the name, Striding, Sharp, Swirral is definitely not for me. Google them if you don't know what I am talking about. But a walk with instant sudden death drops 1 wrong foot away, erm nope! I will happily go up a mountain and I don't mind the hard climbs and the slog but it needs to be a walk, not a scramble and I need to not be able to fall off!

So my very very favourite walks in the Lake District are always round a lake. These are pretty much guaranteed to be more gentle and relatively flat. But none the less interesting or picturesque. So instead of wainwrights I am 'bagging' lakes!

I have done a few lakes even before I settled upon my 'challenge'...

Derwentwater is a huge 10 mile round trip, we did it last Easter.

Ennerdale is unreal! Wild and very quiet, it's my very fave so far. We did this walk back in February last year.

Loweswater is a beautiful, gentle easy couple of hours walk. We did this one back in December.

I do recall also having walked around Buttermere but do not have 'blog' evidence of this one.  So I plan on repeating it so I can blog it too.  There are others I have walked part ways round or done walks incorporating sections of, but my aim with this challenge is to set out to walk as complete a path around the lake, as close to the lake as I can get.

I don't even know if you physically can get round all lakes. Some don't have established paths all the way round, or some may be too much of a challenge. Some (I'm looking at you Windermere) have great lengths of private shore line, and I'm pretty sure Windermere is also far too big to get round it in 1 day.  So they will all present a challenge in some way or other, but that's the fun bit.

My challenge doesn't have a starting point or an end point, it has no time limit or gradings. I won't be running round, timing myself or competing with anybody. The aim is just to walk round all the lakes at some point, hopefully soon and enjoy the walks for themselves and blog them of course too! If I can cross off a couple of lakes each year, then fab!

The 16 largest lakes according to The Lake District National Park Authority are:

  1. Windermere - 14.8 square kilometres
  2. Ullswater - 8.9 square kilometres
  3. Derwentwater - 5.5 square kilometres (Completed April 2017)
  4. Bassenthwaite Lake - 5.3 square kilometres
  5. Coniston Water - 4.0 square kilometres
  6. Haweswater - 3.9 square kilometres
  7. Thirlmere - 3.3  square kilometres
  8. Ennerdale Water - 3 square kilometres (Completed February 2017)
  9. Wastwater - 2.9  square kilometres
  10. Crummock Water - 2.5 square kilometres
  11. Esthwaite Water - 1 square kilometre
  12. Buttermere - 0.9 square kilometres
  13. Grasmere - 0.6 square kilometres (Completed February 2018)
  14. Loweswater - 0.6 square kilometres (Completed December 2017)
  15. Rydal Water - 0.3 square kilometres (Completed February 2018)
  16. Brotherswater - 0.2 square kilometres 

And I will state here for the record that yes for this challenge I am using the all encompassing term 'lake' to describe the many varied bodies of water in the Lake District. I'm well aware some are meres and tarns and waters and there's only 1 'lake' in the Lake District, yes yes. 

So that list of 16 seems a good enough place to start right? I won't be making my way through it in any order, but I shall be blogging each one as I go. The list on this 'challenge' post will be updated with links to the blog posts and dates completed, as I have already done above with the three from 2017.

Once this list is done I guess I will look at the smaller ones too... 

So which lakes have you done? Where's best? Any good tearooms/pubs I should be checking out whilst on my way round?

But most importantly, who's joining me? With your own lake challenge, or literally on a walk with me? Come and give it a go....


  1. The Lake District is on my UK travel wish list and if I *ever* get there (it's a bit far from good ole Devon!), then I'll be hitting you up for your expertise! xx

    Lynsey || One More Slice

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. You must come to the Lakes! There's easy train services up and a new airport opening soon too. Do let me know if I can help with any ideas, would be glad to. Devon is somewhere I've only ever been once and I would also LOVE to explore more there. x


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