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Rydal Water covered in Snow at Winter

With snow glistening on the mountains and frost crunching underfoot, there’s nothing quite like a crisp Lake District winter walk. 

What is great about these winter wanders is that you’re never too far from a cosy pub. We do love the winter sport of walking to the nearest pub to warm up with a mug of mulled wine!

Continue reading to learn more about our festive favourite winter walks in the Lake District…

1. Brant Fell, Bowness

Brant Fell is a picturesque hill overlooking the streets of the bustling town of Bowness-on-Windermere.

It is a 2.1-mile walk to the summit and can be muddy underfoot on a ‘proper wet day in the Lakes’.

A view of the surrounding countryside from Brant Fell

The route begins in the centre of the town, following the Dales Way along Brantfell Road. You leave the Dales Way to head up Brant Fell, making sure to stop at the viewpoint at Post Knott.

There’s a wonderful stone bench viewing point, framing the most rewarding 360-degree views across the glistening waters of Lake Windermere. Pack a picnic for your Lake District winter walk and enjoy a pit-stop here!

A large outcrop of rocks sit at the summit of Brant Fell, providing the perfect backdrop for an obligitory photo opportunity.

This Lake District winter walk loops back to the starting point in Bowness after reaching the peak. You’ll conveniently pass The Royal Oak along the way, where it’d be rude not to stop-off for a quick pint to refuel!

Distance: 3.5km
Time: 1 hour
Starting Point: Bowness mini roundabout
Route Details: Brant Fell and Post Knott Circular Walk

2. Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick

One of the best winter walks in the Lake District, the Castlerigg Stone Circle is a must-see.

Castlerigg stone circle in the Lake District covered in snow

Positioned on the top of a hill, a short distance from Keswick, the 2-meter high carved rocks sit in a large circle of 30 stones, with a smaller inner circle of 10 stones.

It is a 4-mile return walk from the centre of Keswick, and the winding B-road makes this atmospheric Neolithic attraction very accessible on foot.

You’ll follow a signposted route up the hill, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and pack plenty of water!

If you want to step out and get a quick spot of fresh winter air and catch some snaps, there’s limited roadside parking available alongside Castlerigg.

Distance: 6.4km
Time: 2 hours
Starting Point: Keswick Market Square
Route Details: Castle Rigg Stone Circle Walk

High Dam, Windermere

A path at High Dam in Windermere

High Dam is a man-made tarn situated north of the village of Finsthwaite. Built 1.5km away from Stott Park Bobbin Mill, the artificial tarn was made in order to provide water to power the mill.

There’s a pay-and-display car park nearby that gives access to a 1.4 mile walking path leading to the tarn. Surrounded by peaceful woodland, High Dam provides a truly magical backdrop for a winter walk in the Lake District.

Whilst we wouldn’t recommend taking your woolly socks off at this time of year, High Dam is a popular wild swimming spot.

Although it may be a little chilly, your four-legged friends may enjoy making a splash. There are also lots of safe spots for getting to the water’s edge to skim a pebble or two.

Distance: 3.1km
Time: 1 hour
Starting Point: Finsthwaite Pay-and-Display car park
Route Details: Low and High Dam Circular Walk

Wansfell Pike, Ambleside to Troutbeck

A view of Kirkstone Pass at Wansfell Pike

A linear mountain walk, the trail leading from Ambleside to Troutbeck via the Wansfell Pike is a must for a winter walk in the Lake District.

Approximately 6 miles in length, the route begins in the heart of Ambleside, leading through Skelghyll Woods and past the tallest tree in Cumbria!

The ascent to Wansfell Pike is steep, however once at the summit, you’re rewarded with simply breathtaking views.

Follow the trail into Troutbeck, where you can enjoy a well-deserved pint at The Mortal Man Inn before making the return journey.

Distance: 9.3km
Time: 4-5 hours
Starting Point: Market Cross Ambleside
Route Details: Ambleside to Troutbeck via Wansfell Pike

Easdale Tarn, Grasmere

The waterfall at Sour Milk Gill

One of the most well-known of the Lake District tarns, the riverside walk leading to Easdale Tarn is almost as good as the attraction itself.

It is a classic rocky path underfoot, and this Lake District winter walk is a great excuse to show off those flash new walking boots!

Pass the white cascades of Sour Milk falls along the way. Flowing out from the tarn itself, the tumbling white waters are made even more spectacular by the frosty backdrop of winter.

There are lots of viewing points throughout the trail where you can stop and enjoy the view, or warm up with a flask of tea.

Favoured by the poet Wordsworth, this 5 mile trail is one that all of the family can enjoy.

Distance: 9.6km
Time: 4-5 hours
Starting Point: Entrance to Allan Bank
Route Details: Easedale Tarn Walking Route

Tempted by a ramble through the countryside with one of these Lake District Winter walks? Browse our wonderful collection of Lake District holiday lodges and secure your perfect base this festive season!

For more inspiration on how to spend your time in the lakes, give our guide on Lake District National Trust properties that you must visit a read! 

Images courtesy of: David Dixon (CC BY-SA 2.0); Karl and Ali(CC BY-SA 2.0)

This post was adapted from original content written by Lake District Lodge Holidays