North Lakes


Famous for its majestic lakes, lowland forests and windswept hills the Lake District is England's largest National Park. It is home to Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain and Wastwater, the country's deepest lake.

This tour of the North Lakes starts at the thriving market town of Keswick and broadly follows the course of the Bob Graham Round endurance run, diverting where necessary to reach overnight accommodation. Departing Keswick you climb Skiddaw, the hill to the north that towers over the town. From Skiddaw summit you head north east across wild moorland to Great Calva before heading south to Blencathra and a traverse of the Helvellyn Range.

  • 69 miles / 111 kms
  • 29,906 feet / 9,115 metres
  • 5-6 days
  • Keswick or Grasmere

Leaving the beautiful village of Grasmere you walk west crossing the Langdale Pikes, Bowfell, Great End and Scafell Pike before descending to Wastwater and the isolated inn at Wasdale Head. From here the trail takes you north over Red Pike, Steeple, Pillar, Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Hay Stacks and High Stile.

After an evening spent in picturesque Buttermere you climb out of the village to Whiteless Pike, Hopegill Head and Grisedale Pike before descending to Braithwaite village and Keswick.

This is a tough 5-6 day challenge that will test your hill walking fitness and stamina. Along the way you will climb the most iconic mountains of England and experience breathtaking scenery, beautiful villages and classic English country pubs.


With it excellent road connections, bus services, gear shops, hotels and pubs Keswick is a great place to start and end your trip. However, as the tour is circular you can start and end at any point, Grasmere village just north of Ambleside is another popular starting point for example.

The walking distances each day may vary depending on the accommodation you choose each night. During the busy summer months large groups may need to use hotels and inns in villages nearby.

Wast Water, Lake District, England

Five Days

Day 1 - Keswick to Threlkeld - 12.5 miles / 20 kms
Day 2 - Thelkeld to Grasmere - 14 miles / 23 kms
Day 3 - Grasmere to Wasdale Head - 16 miles / 26 kms
Day 4 - Wasdale Head to Buttermere - 15 miles / 24 kms
Day 5 - Buttermere to Keswick - 11 miles / 18 kms

Thirlmere from Helvellyn, Lake District, England

Six Days

Day 1 - Keswick to Threlkeld - 12.5 miles / 20 kms
Day 2 - Thelkeld to Grasmere - 14 miles / 23 kms
Day 3 - Grasmere to Great Langdale - 8 miles / 12 kms
Day 4 - Great Langdale to Wasdale Head - 11 miles / 18 kms
Day 5 - Wasdale Head to Buttermere - 15 miles / 24 kms
Day 6 - Buttermere to Keswick - 11 miles / 18 kms

With the 6 day itinerary, the climb over Scafell Pike to Wasdale Head is slightly easier as the day is shorter. For the adventurous, the shorter day from Grasmere to Great Langdale gives you time to climb Jack's Rake, an easy but fun scramble above Stickle Tarn.

Hotels & Inns

We have listed some of the better hotels and inns with links to TripAdvisor where you can read customer reviews and check prices and availability. If you like an early start, when booking accommodation check the time breakfast is served in the morning. All should be able to provide packed lunches. For those finishing late, check when evening meals end.

The journey time between Penrith train station and Keswick is approximately 30 minutes. If you are parking your car in Keswick or Grasmere there are several long term car parks available although the cost of parking in Grasmere is expensive.

Wainwright Word Art Map

Wainwright Word Map

Lake District Word Art is a collection of contemporary, high-quality digital artwork giving a whole new view on the places you love. Display these at home and you will be endelessly going back for another look... or create a bespoke version, perhaps with your favourite Wainwright highlighted, or an additional peak or place not currently featured.

The Wainwright Word Map shows the 214 Wainwrights (fells) of the Lake District - a fantastic and unique visual typographic map for every lover of The Lake District.


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