We're off to the lakes this weekend and with most of the country having a 'staycation' we want to avoid the crowds as much as possible but still enjoy some fantastic walks. What lesser known routes would people recommend for a family of 4 with a 14 and 11 year old, not too far from Keswick? Anything up to 8 miles with nothing too technical.
We had a great time in the lakes last year doing Loughrigg Fell, Tilberthwaite Caverns and Latterbarrow.
The bits I've walked that were quieter were NE of Atkinson Pike on Blencathra, N of Sticks Pass ie Walk 44 - The Dodds and Clough Head but it's longer than you want as a round, the Thornythwaite to Allen Crags ridge but that ends at Esk Hause which will be busy & the path is faint at times, Eagle Crag has magneficent views for a small fell, but for the easier approach it would have to up be round up the S end of Sergants Crag, but it's another with faint paths. It's the way this site's "Eagle Crag, Sergeant's Crag and Ullscarf" walk comes down from Eagle crag.
We ended up doing the following:
Skiddaw - (walk 17) wasn't a great day so not very busy, maybe 4 or 5 groups at the top. Was easy enough but my 11yo moaned a bit with the steepness (and rain) at the start.
Latrigg - great views and nice and easy (we were joined by family on this walk who all managed it). Busy as to be expected.
Barrow - best out of the lot, easy access from Braithwaite, lovely and quiet (I guess everyone was on Catbells!) and great views of Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Lake, Grizedale Pike, Causey Pike. Just ace.
Blencathra - went up via Mousthwaite Comb (walk 24), left the girls at the tarn for some wild swimming while me and the lad went to the top (not via sharp edge) and back down the same way. Fairly busy and the girls didn't like the top of Mousthwaite Comb where you have to edge around the rocks near the top. We looked to take the alternative path down where it joins up with Scales Fell but the crags looked even worse.