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 Derwentwater Round
  • Lakeland Three Passes Walk
  • 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

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

4 nights
25 miles
Moderate / Demanding
2nd January to 24th December

From £580 per person

Lakeland Three Passes Walk

This incredibly scenic and atmospheric walk follows old packhorse tracks over three historic mountain passes, visiting three of the most famous valleys in the Lake District. The initial walk through Borrowdale features emerald pastures, crystal-clear rivers, ancient oak woodlands and tranquil villages.

Langdale then follows, boasting dramatic scenery of rocky summits and pretty tarns. Lastly, Wasdale is famed for its mountain scenery, with its imposing peaks and awesome screes adding excitement at every turn. There are both high-level and low-level options at each stage of the Lakeland’s Three Passes Walk, allowing walkers to customise their journey according to their preferences.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
L3PWB A circular trail beginning at Rosthwaite 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate / Demanding £580

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 Three Passes Walk 4 nights, 3 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 our advertised hiking distances are for our high route holiday. The low route schedule has walking days of: 
Rosthwaite/Stonethwaite to Dungeon Ghyll. 8.5 miles (13.5km) Ascent: 445m (1460ft)
Dungeon Ghyll to Wasdale Head. 8.5 miles (13.5km) Ascent: 718m (2355ft)
Wasdale Head to Rosthwaite/Stonethwaite. 7 miles (11.5km) Ascent: 494m (1620ft)

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 Great Langdale/Dungeon Ghyll 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. 


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

Day 1

Rosthwaite to Great Langdale/Dungeon Ghyll. 7.5 miles (12km) / 2589 ft (789 m) ascent

Day 2

Great Langdale/Dungeon Ghyll to Wasdale Head. 9.5 miles (15km) / 3484 ft (1062 m) ascent

Day 3

Wasdale Head to Rosthwaite. 7.5 miles (12km) / 3241 ft (988 m) ascent


Depart from Rosthwaite 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 (Great Langdale/Dungeon Ghyll)
Price on request
© Contours Walking Holidays Lakeland Three Passes Walk  map
Circular trail beginning at Rosthwaite
25 miles (40 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Getting a sense of times gone by while traversing the mountain passes of Borrowdale, Langdale and Wasdale in the Lake District.

Visiting the picturesque villages nestled within the Lake District National Park, including Great Langdale and Wasdale Head.

Admiring some of the highest mountains in England, including the Scafells, Kirk Fell and Pillar.

What's included?

  • 4 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

Whether you use an extra night to explore the sights and sounds of the Lake District, or to simply rest your weary legs, an extra night is a wonderful way to extend your holiday.

Rosthwaite is a good choice for a rest day. There are many lovely walks in the hills around Borrowdale or you could catch a bus into the bustling little town of Keswick.

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

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Great Langdale/Dungeon Ghyll)
Price on request

Tour Facts

Total distance: 24.5 miles (39.5 km)
Duration: 4 nights, 3 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 7.5 miles (12 km)
Maximum daily distance: 9.5 miles (15 km)
Code: L3PWB Grade: Moderate / Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Rosthwaite
End of holiday: Rosthwaite

Route Profile

Lakeland Three Passes Walk 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 Newcastle, Manchester and Leeds.

By Rail

The nearest rail stations to Rosthwaite are either Penrith - North Lakes (about 24.5 miles away) or Windermere (about 27 miles away).

By Bus

Bus journeys are impractically long, so a taxi is the best option to complete your journey to Rosthwaite.

From London

Trains run from London Euston station to Penrith - North Lakes or Windermere stations. A taxi to Rosthwaite would then be the best option.

Return to Start

The Lakeland Three Passes Walk is a circular tour beginning and ending in Rosthwaite.

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.
"Heading Up Great Gable" by Sheila Maltby (2020) "Heading Up Great Gable" by Sheila Maltby (2020)
"Spotlight on Wasdale Head" by Desmond Maltby (2020) "Spotlight on Wasdale Head" by Desmond Maltby (2020)
"Old Packhorse Bridge in Borrowdale" by Desmond Maltby (2020) "Old Packhorse Bridge in Borrowdale" by Desmond Maltby (2020)
"Grains Gill" by Sheila Maltby (2020) "Grains Gill" by Sheila Maltby (2020)
"Hiking Down to Borrowdale" by Victoria Seton (2019) "Hiking Down to Borrowdale" by Victoria Seton (2019)
"River near Borrowdale" by Victoria Seton (2019) "River near Borrowdale" by Victoria Seton (2019)

Customer reviews from the Lakeland Three Passes Walk

“The Lake District is absolutely stunning and the walking is challenging but fulfilling. No issues except the weather which isn't your control. Good three day introduction to Lake District walking. I have already booked another holiday with you.”
Mr Burrows, Canada
“Our holiday was wonderful. While we found it challenging at times, probably due to our respective ages (58 and 61), it was doable and we were rewarded with some stunning scenery. Trekking in the UK is not like it is in Canada; at home, we have some beautiful trails and a variety of places to go hiking, but we do not have the culture of climbing stiles, slipping through kissing gates and traipsing through farmers' fields and pastures. We only returned home from the UK earlier this week, and we have already started looking online at options for our next walking holiday.”
Ms Seton, Canada
“Fantastic walk, well planned out and all accommodation clean, tidy and comfortable beds. We all recommend your company to friends.”
Mr Mills, UK
“We had a lovely holiday. Contours were very efficient in organising the whole event and extremely helpful with our request to cancel our luggage transfers and taxi when we called them to cancel the walk on the second day. Excellent service all around. Walking over the top of the Langdale Pikes was beautiful and peaceful.”
Mrs Pearce, UK
Find your holiday