Lake District Circular Walks

Lake District Circular Walks

A collection of circular walking holidays visiting the lakes and mountains of the Lake District National Park.

3 to 13 nights
12-74 miles
Easy / Moderate to Easy

From £360 per person

Find your holiday

About the trail

Book your self-guided walking holiday in the Lake District. This UNESCO World Heritage site is England's only true mountain region and contains some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. It provides an enchanting mix of rugged mountains, deep valleys, shimmering lakes, powerful waterfalls and attractive stone-built villages.

Our selection of circular walking trails in the Lake District National Park provide an enticing mixture of scenery, terrain and challenge. Whether you are looking for fabulous views, picturesque settlements, fascinating history or literary inspiration, each of these walks offers something different, and are ideal for an active but tranquil retreat into the Great British countryside.

Choose your route

  • This route includes dog friendly tour options Lakeland Round
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options South Lakes Short Break
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options North Lakes Short Break
  • Lakeland Three Passes Walk
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options Derwentwater Round

Dog friendly tours available

Dogs are welcome on select routes along this trail. Look for the pawprint icon when choosing your holiday.

About this route

6 to 13 nights
74 miles
Moderate to Demanding
2nd January to 24th December
Includes Dog-Friendly Tours

From £855 per person

Lakeland Round

The Lake District National Park is a magical mix of rocky mountains, tumbling waterfalls, lush valleys, shimmering lakes, tranquil woodland, sturdy stone-built villages and dry-stone walls. This delightful circular walk explores the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Lake District, following ancient tracks and taking in all of the major valleys in the Lake District.

Along the way, the trail crosses eight mountain passes, visits twelve lakes and explores several attractive Lakeland villages and towns. This is an ideal walk for first time visitors to the Lake District, as it visits many of the most famous beauty-spots as well as a few little-known gems.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
LAKR1 A circular trail beginning at Ambleside 6 nights, 5 days walking Demanding £855
LAKR2 A circular trail beginning at Ambleside 7 nights, 6 days walking Moderate / Demanding £980
LAKR3 A circular trail beginning at Ambleside 13 nights, 12 days walking Moderate £1805

Short breaks

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
SLSB1 A circular trail beginning at Windermere 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate / Demanding £505
SLSB2 A circular trail beginning at Windermere 5 nights, 4 days walking Moderate £630
SLSB3 A circular trail beginning at Windermere 7 nights, 6 days walking Easy / Moderate £880

Lakeland Round 6 nights, 5 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights

Important information

Please note that due to the popularity of the Lake District as a holiday destination, accommodations in some towns have a two night minimum booking policy at weekends.

When planning your holiday dates we would advise to avoid arriving in Ambleside, Coniston and Keswick on a Friday or Saturday night if possible.  If you are unable to avoid arriving on a Friday or Saturday night an additional supplement may be necessary, or alternatively, transfers to and from nearby accommodation may be provided.  Any transfers required are included in the holiday cost. You will be contacted if an additional supplement should arise for your booking. 

Start

Travel to Ambleside where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Ambleside to Seathwaite/Dunnerdale(T). 16.5 miles (26.5km)

Day 2

Seathwaite/Dunnerdale(T) to Buttermere. 19 miles (30.5km)

Day 3

Buttermere to Keswick. 14 miles (22.5km)

Day 4

Keswick to Glenridding. 12 miles (19.5km)

Day 5

Glenridding to Ambleside. 11.5 miles (18.5km)

Finish

Depart from Ambleside after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
(please ring for prices)
Single Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night

Due to the high costs incurred by booking a Solo Traveller on this trail, we can only provide prices on application. Please contact us for further details.



You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Buttermere)
Price on request
Extra night (Seathwaite/Dunnerdale(T))
£70.00 per person / per night
Standard
Interactive
© Contours Walking Holidays Lakeland Round map
Circular trail beginning at Ambleside
74 miles (118 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Experiencing the highlights of the Lake District, including its dramatic mountain scenery and beautiful villages, including Coniston, Buttermere and Keswick.

Visiting twelve of Lakeland’s iconic lakes, including Ullswater, Derwentwater, Coniston Water and Windermere.

Discovering a landscape that has inspired literary greats, from Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’ to Arthur Ransome’s ‘Swallows and Amazons.’

What's included?

  • 6 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

If you fancy somewhere quiet, consider Buttermere. It is a lovely little village in a beautiful valley.

The lively little market town of Keswick is an ideal choice for a rest day. It has plenty of interesting shops, a couple of award-winning museums and a lovely theatre by the lake. There are boat trips on Derwentwater, or you could walk to the mystical Castlerigg Stone Circle, the fine viewpoint of Friar's Crag or climb Skiddaw, the fourth highest mountain in England. There are many of good walks from the town and it is possible to explore Borrowdale by taking a boat trip on the lake.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Buttermere)
Price on request
Extra night (Seathwaite/Dunnerdale(T))
£70.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 73.5 miles (117.5 km)
Duration: 6 nights, 5 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 11.5 miles (18.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 19 miles (30.5 km)
Code: LAKR1 Grade: Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Ambleside
End of holiday: Ambleside

Route Profile

Lakeland Round Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds.

By Rail - The nearest rail station to Ambleside is at Windermere (about 5 miles away).

By Bus - Buses run between Windermere Station and Ambleside.

From London - Trains run from London Euston station to Windermere. From there a bus/taxi will be required to Ambleside.

Return To The Start - The Lakeland Round is a circular tour beginning and ending in Ambleside.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.
"Murphy at the Lakeside" by Liz Scowcroft (2022) "Murphy at the Lakeside" by Liz Scowcroft (2022)
"Exploring the Lake District" by Liz Scowcroft (2022) "Exploring the Lake District" by Liz Scowcroft (2022)
"Murphy Ready for the Pub" by Liz Scowcroft (2022) "Murphy Ready for the Pub" by Liz Scowcroft (2022)
"Along the Trail" by Liz Scowcroft (2022) "Along the Trail" by Liz Scowcroft (2022)
"Slater Bridge in Little Langdale" by Jackie Mersich (2019) "Slater Bridge in Little Langdale" by Jackie Mersich (2019)
"Leaving Wastwater" by Jackie Mersich (2019) "Leaving Wastwater" by Jackie Mersich (2019)
"Eskdale Valley" by Jackie Mersich (2019) "Eskdale Valley" by Jackie Mersich (2019)
"Between Buttermere and Keswick" by Jackie Mersich (2019) "Between Buttermere and Keswick" by Jackie Mersich (2019)
"Between Boot and Buttermere" by Jackie Mersich (2019) "Between Boot and Buttermere" by Jackie Mersich (2019)
"Approaching Buttermere" by Jackie Mersich (2019) "Approaching Buttermere" by Jackie Mersich (2019)

Customer reviews from the Lakeland Round

“Yes, it's a challenging but fantastic route.”
Mr Jones, UK
“Overall a good experience. This was our third walking holiday with Contours.”
Mrs Burke, UK
“Excellent walk for dogs with good dog friendly accommodation and very stress free.”
Mr Jackson, Scotland
“Absolutely wonderful hikes and outstanding response by Christine Saul when my husband had knee problems. She arranged our continuation of our Lake District trip.”
Ms Vaughn, USA
“Beautiful scenery.”
Mrs Oddsdottir, Iceland
“It was an excellent experience and the route was exceedingly well done. The weather was great as well. Contours did a good job of booking our inns. There were a variety. We especially enjoyed the B&B because of the lovely owner. We were delighted to have a large room at Wasdale Head and the Ambleside Inn was the best. Contours did an amazing job --- information before, route planning, and booking. The Lakeland Route was just perfect for me as I'm 80 and needed a route I could manage.”
Ms Huddleston, USA
“You are organized with accommodation and transport of luggage.”
Mrs Cober, Canada
“Lake District was beautiful.”
Mr Hamity, USA
“Overall it went very well. Good job Contours! Overall, the accommodation was very good for a walking holiday with a dog in tow. All of the places were warm and everyone was helpful and considerate, very important after a strenuous walking day. No problems anywhere having the dog with us. We enjoyed much of the walk, especially the fantastic views The Lakes have to offer.”
Mr Young, UK
Find your holiday