Lake District Hiking Tips

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By black77 on 21/03/19 at 11:42am

Hi everyone, finally making the jaunt from London to the Lake District soon to finally see it in all its splendour. I've booked our train to the "Oxenholme Lake District" on a Friday evening to arrive around 8ish. After that, I'm still trying to form a plan and hoping someone can give me tips.

Myself and my partner are keen hikers, so looking to potentially do Scaffell Pike, but happy to do whatever else is available/recommended. I'm trying to figure where's the best part of the Lake District to stay that's relatively easy to get too from the train station (willing to take another train, bus or taxi) that allows us to hike and take in all the lovely nature. Essentially, what's a good place to have a base? Any tips on hikes and places to stay/eat would be very much appreciated. We'll be going the end of March.

There might also be a better subreddit to ask this, but I couldn't any that fit the bill.

By Lancashire Lad on 21/03/19 at 2:26pm

Hi, and welcome to the forum.

I'm sure that others will have different ideas, but I would suggest considering the following: -

Oxenholme train station is actually south east of the town of Kendal, and is not really in the ideal "fellwalking" part of the Lake District. I would suggest that it might be better to end your train journey at Windermere station, (assuming that trains are running at a time to suit you), as from there you are far better placed for fellwalking, and there will be a much greater choice of accommodation. - (NB: There is a pretty comprehensive list of tourist accommodation details in that section of the Walk-Lakes website. ;) ). Also, obviously, the duration of your stay might impact on what you can expect to achieve in the time. (i.e if you are staying for two weeks you might consider a two base holiday - perhaps staying in/around Ambleside in the south lakes for the first week, and , say, Keswick in the north lakes for the second week.

Scafell Pike, with its undoubted draw as the highest mountain in England might pose certain problems though: - Unless you have access to a hire car, then getting to and from its Wasdale start point would be difficult. - Wasdale is a fairly remote part of the district, and with public transport not too frequent, you would need to carefully consider whether it would be feasible to get there and back from your accommodation with time to do the walk itself.

Other potential start points, have their own considerations: - Seathwaite in Borrowdale is not as remote as Wasdale, but again, you would need to consider how long it would take you to get to and from Seathwaite. Starting from Great Langdale is another option - certainly easier to get to from Windermere/Ambleside, but the walk to Scafell Pike from Great langdale is long and arduous. NB: Regardless of which start point you might choose, Scafell Pike is not an easy walk. Like most of the high fells, it should only be attempted if you are fully "fell-walking-fit", if you have the correct navigational tools, and are confident with their use. (Mobile phone apps are definitely not recommended as primary navigating tools in the Lake District).

If you do stay in or around Windermere or Ambleside, I'd suggest making Great Langdale your main fellwalking area. It has some absolutely fantastic walks available - The Langdale Pikes, Bowfell, Crinkle Crags, Pike O'Blisco, to name just a few. There are easily enough truly superb fell-walks in that area to keep anyone occupied for at least a week if not a fortnight! (Maybe check out the "walk reports" forum part of this website for some useful ideas).

No more than just a few random suggestions, but maybe they will give you "food for thought" re your forthcoming trip. - No doubt wherever you decide to stay, your trip to the Lakes will give you some very happy life-long memories. - I hope you get some great weather, and some great walks done!

Regards, Mike.

WalkLakes recognises that hill walking, or walking in the mountains, is an activity with a danger of personal injury or death.
Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions.