Lakeland Three Passes Walk

Lakeland Three Passes Walk

A circular walk through Borrowdale, Langdale and Wasdale in the Lake District National Park.

4 nights
25 miles

From £480 per person

Find out about the tour

About this route

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.

© Contours Walking Holidays Lakeland Three Passes Walk  map
Circular trail beginning at Rosthwaite
25 miles (40 km)
14th March to 31st October

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.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
L3PWB A circular trail beginning at Rosthwaite 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate£480

Lakeland Three Passes Walk 4 nights, 3 days walking

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

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 has been 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; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

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
£65.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£40.00 per person / per night

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

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Great Langdale/Dungeon Ghyll)
Price on request

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)
£60.00 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
Season: 14th March - 31st October
Start of holiday: Rosthwaite
End of holiday: Rosthwaite

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 - Buses run from Windermere and Penrith to Rosthwaite, changing at Keswick. Bus journeys are rather long, so a taxi may be a better option, particlarly from Penrith.

From London - Trains run from London Euston station to Penrith - North Lakes or Windermere stations. Two buses/a taxi will be required to complete the journey to Rosthwaite.

Return To The 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.

Routes on this trail

North Lakes Short Break
4 nights
29 miles
Moderate / Demanding+
Dog friendly
From £460 per person
A scenic walking holiday along the old tourist route, starting and ending in the market town of Keswick.Find Out More
South Lakes Short Break
4 to 7 nights
36 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £460 per person
A walk from Windermere through the landscapes that inspired William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.Find Out More
Bob Graham Round
6 to 7 nights
77 miles
From £710 per person
A challenging self-guided walking holiday traversing 42 of the Lake District's mighty fells.Find Out More
Lakeland Round
6 to 13 nights
74 miles
Dog friendly
From £700 per person
A self-guided walk circling the lakes, mountains and villages of the Lake District National Park.Find Out More
Derwentwater Round - Stile-Free
3 nights
12 miles
Dog friendly
From £350 per person
A gentle, circular walk around Derwentwater in the beautiful Lake District valley of Borrowdale.Find Out More

Walking the Lakeland Three Passes with Contours Holidays | Lake District National Park

Ben from Contours explores the valleys of Langdale, Borrowdale and Wasdale in the UNESCO World Heritage Lake District National Park. Devised by Contours Holidays, the Lakeland Three Passes Walk takes in dramatic scenery and varied terrain throughout.
Watch Now
"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)