The Lake District
Autumn Walks in the Lake District
The Lake District is an awe-inspiring place to visit at any time of year, but there is something truly magical about autumn. The leaves turn to golden hues, framing the still lakes and high peaks perfectly.
As the most visited National Park in the country, millions of visitors make their way to the Lake District to explore and experience the breathtaking scenery. One key draw is the autumnal foliage throughout the area, and the best way to see this is on some of the walks around Grasmere.
Read our guide below to find out which autumn walks you should explore during your stay in the Lake District.
1. Claife Heights Circular Walk, Windermere
The Claife Heights Circular Walk is close to Windermere and is a moderate 4.4 mile walking trail perfect for seeing autumn leaves. The loop offers a beautiful view of the forest and the opportunity to spot wildlife in its natural habitat. The path allows walkers or runners the chance to observe spectacular views over Lake Windermere.
Starting in the village of Far Sawrey, this walk goes uphill through the woodland and alongside the slopes of Scale Ivy and High Blind How. The trail then loops around Scale Head and turns back south to return to Far Sawrey.
If there's been rain, the path may be muddy, so ensure you wear the correct walking equipment, including walking boots and an outdoor jacket.
2. Gummer's How Circular, Newby Bridge
The path conveniently begins at the Gummer's How Forestry Commission car park, so you can leave your car while walking this circular trail. The spectacular 1.5 mile long path takes you to the summit of Gummer's How and will take around 45 minutes to complete.
Once at the top of Gummer's How, you'll be able to enjoy views over Windermere as well as other Lakeland Fells, including Great Rigg, Scandale Pass, and Red Screes. Returning from the summit is simple and mostly follows the same trail up. Once you finish your walk, there are various pubs and cafes to enjoy in Newby Bridge and Windermere.
3. Hope Park & Derwentwater, Keswick
Keswick is always a popular place to visit if you're on a short weekend break in the Lake District. Hope Park is the perfect place to walk if you're looking for something more relaxed. You can walk around the park, enjoy the manicured gardens, sit and relax at a picnic table, or participate in the mini-golf course.
The park is close to the centre of Keswick as well as Derwentwater. After you're finished exploring Hope Park, walk down towards the lake to see some more incredible autumn views. Derwentwater inspired many 18th and 19th century writers, including William Wordsworth.
4. Kelly Hall Tarn, Coniston
Near the village of Torver, Kelly Hall Tarn features excellent views of the Old Man of Coniston and is a perfect place for an autumn walk. The path is around 7 miles long and features a 1,200 feet ascent along the 4 hour route.
The view of the Old Man of Coniston is beautiful. As you walk further along the route, the scenery shifts, revealing more of the white-topped mountain. Overlooking the tarns and the water is spectacular and one of the many benefits of visiting this part of the Lake District.
5. Loughrigg Fell Circuit
Perfect for a day out, the 6 mile Loughrigg Fell Circuit is just outside of Ambleside and is ideal for those wanting to enjoy the Lakeland Fells on an easier route. Loughrigg Fell is relatively isolated, so upon reaching the summit, walkers experience panoramic views over Rydal Water, Grasmere, Elterwater, and Windermere.
The best access point to the circuit is to park at White Moss, near the A591, and hike into the woods between Grasmere and Rydal Water. Some walkers plan to stop by Rydal Cave on the way to the summit for an added thrill.
6. Orrest Head, Windermere
Starting at the A591, Orrest Head is a short loop for walkers. Within 20 minutes, you can reach the summit and take in beautiful views of Wansfell, Red Screes, and Kirkstone Pass. If you want a longer route, continue walking north into St Catherine's Wood. This path is stunning and great for experiencing the land's beauty in autumn, with various tarns and water views.
On the way to the top, guests will see a kissing gate with an engraved stone. This stone details the gate's history, namely how Arthur Heywood donated large portions of the land for public use.
7. Tarn Hows Circular Walk
Tarn Hows is a popular walking location in the Lake District. The 2 mile circular path around the tarn is an excellent walking option for families with young children and is dog-friendly.
In autumn, the reflection of the leaves and trees on the water is peaceful and serene. The surface of the water is consistently still and appears glass-like, captivating visitors with its enchanting tranquillity.
8. Whinlatter Forest
Whinlatter is home to remarkable views, wonderful walks, and invigorating mountain biking, making it the ideal place to visit for those who love adventure. On your walk, you may be able to spot some rare wildlife in the area as well.
From Whinlatter, walkers can view Bassenthwaite, Derwentwater, and Keswick. This path allows people seeking a beautiful autumnal experience to see the changing leaves up close before the view opens.
9. Berns Beck Moss, Sedbergh
The small nature reserve near Sedbergh is a great place for a walk during the autumn. Berns Beck Moss was formed more than 10,0000 years ago and is comprised of raised and valley mires. The 0.6 mile circular footpath around the moss is waymarked and easy to follow, offering incredible views over the wetlands.
Birdwatchers in particular will enjoy Berns Beck Moss in the spring and summer months because of the many birds that call the area home. If you're lucky, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of some herons, tawny owls and reed buntings. Butterflies and wild animals like foxes and hares can also be seen, and vigilant walkers will likely spot them while travelling along the paths.
Visit the Lake District this autumn
The Lake District is an incredible landscape, and planning a trip to this part of the country is exciting. Book a stay at our luxury hotel and spa to discover the Lakes in autumn. Have a look at our latest offers and find a new place to explore.