Lake District South

Three full days of walking from bases in Ambleside on Lake Windermere England's longest lake, and the 'Bluebird' Lake of Coniston Water offers the best of the South Lakes. Walk options include the Fairfield Horseshoe and Coniston 'Old Man', as well as more moderate routes meandering through a landscape of dry-stone walls running impossibly up steep hills, tiny villages tucked into the folds of lofty peaks, quiet mountain tarns, and simply breathtaking views. We arrange comfortable accommodation in en-suite rooms at hotels and accredited guest houses on your route and we transfer your luggage so your bags are waiting for you when you arrive.

Prices are per person based on twin share and include all accommodation in twin share rooms on bed & breakfast basis, luggage transfer, information pack including maps, route guide, and our emergency contact.

Single rooms are available. We only apply a supplement for single accommodation when there is a direct cost to us and we cap this in line with our ‘Fair pricing’ policy. Solo walkers pay a supplement of £8 per walking day, plus any single room supplement which may be required.


Arriving in Ambleside you check into your comfortable accommodation and can explore this interesting town, the capital of the South Lakes. There is a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs to choose from for your evening meal.

Option A (easy)
If you want a day of exploring, this route includes a castle and three boat rides (entrance to castle and boat fares not included – allow £20 per person in total). You will be able to stretch your legs with two options along the quiet western shore of Windermere, England’s longest lake.
4 miles. Negligible ascent.

Option B (moderate)
This interesting walk gives you fabulous views over Ambleside from nearby Wansfell and then visits Townend, an atmospheric 17th-century farmhouse full of quirky objects and fascinating stories (entrance to house not included – allow £8 per person). Afterwards, follow an old drovers road with spectacular lake views and finally, descend to Ambleside through ancient woodland.
6 miles. 1885ft. ascent.

Option C (hard)
“Preeminent in all views of the Lakeland fells from the south, is the high whale-backed mass, rising in a graceful curve from the head of Windermere.” This is how A.W. describes Red Screes in the first of his seven volume ‘Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells’. This route climbs the peak by its SW ridge and returns via Scandale Valley.
7½ miles. 2450ft. ascent.

Option D (strenuous)
The classic round of the ‘Fairfield Horseshoe’ is one of the finest walkers’ routes in Lakeland. It begins with a steady climb of Fairfield’s SW ridge over the subsidiary peaks of Heron Pike and Great Rigg, followed by a magnificent stride out over Hart Crag to Dove Crag and a spectacular descent of the SE ridge right into Ambleside. 7½ miles. 2450ft. ascent.

Option A (moderate)
This route crosses the shoulder of Loughrigg Fell with superb views over Windermere, to reach Skelwith Bridge, and then climbs to Tarn Hows before a descending to the village of Coniston. Great views, waterfalls, mixed woodland and two iconic Lakeland tarns are included in this walk.
8½ miles. 1875ft. ascent.

Option B (hard)
This option first climbs to the summit of Loughrigg Fell. The climb to the summit at 1101 feet is delightful and the views in every direction are spectacular. From the northern end of the fell you have a particularly beautiful vista over Grasmere lake before dropping down to the Loughrigg Terrace and following the quiet road over the Red Bank to Skelwith Bridge. The final part of the journey to Coniston is the same as for the more moderate option.
10½ miles. 2645ft. ascent.

Option A (easy)
A circular walk through the valley of the Coppermines reveals a wealth of relics from Coniston’s recent and ancient industrial past, as well as inspiring views over the Lake and to the surrounding fells.
4 miles. 1130ft. ascent.

Option B (moderate)
This is a delightful walk, full of interest and with a variety of scenery including views of different fell groups: Coniston, the Langdales, Helvellyn and Fairfield, as well as lakes and tarns galore and a perfect Lakeland pub at lunchtime.
11 miles. 2500ft. ascent.

Option C (moderate)
A classic ascent of a Lake District icon. The climb to the summit of the ‘Old Man’ of Coniston is straightforward and highly rewarding with views from the summit encompassing the major fell groups as well as over the Irish Sea to the Ile of Man and south along the coast as far as Blackpool!
4¾ miles. .2500ft. ascent.

Option D (hard)
A ‘proper’ day out, this super walk combines the ascent of Coniston Old Man with a wonderful ridge walk over Brim Fell to Swirl How and a thrilling descent of Prison Band to the atmospheric Levers Water, before returning to Coniston through the fscinating Coppermines Valley.
7½ miles. 3100ft' ascent.

Let us know if you require a transfer to Windermere station and we will arrange this for you (at extra cost).

The price includes:

  • All accommodation in twin/double rooms (with private bathroom where available) in guest houses, inns or hotels
  • All breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer between overnight stops
  • A Wandering Aengus information pack containing all necessary maps, a current guide book or our own weather-proof route cards, laminated locator maps for each night's accommodation, and our own weather-proof 'info cards' with local information - including locations and opening times of restaurants, cafes, ATMs, supermarkets etc.
  • Our emergency contact number

Not included:

  • Lunches and evening meals (we provide full details of your options)
  • Extra costs incurred through using escape routes or abandonment of the itinerary
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses such as drinks etc.

Our Accommodation:

Wandering Aengus Treks are based in the Lake District and we know our accommodation options well. As keen walkers ourselves we appreciate the importance of the place you put your feet up and rest your head in at the end of each day. We very carefully select our accommodations whether they be a cosy pub, family run guest house, or established town centre hotel. We choose places directly on the route or within easy walking distance of it and if we ever have to transfer you because of limited availability, we will always contact you to discuss this and never just leave you to find out later. We provide comfortable, clean and warm twin or double rooms, with private bathroom wherever available. Single occupancy of rooms is also available for a supplementary cost.


Breakfast at your accommodation is included in the holiday price. In most cases your accommodation will serve dinner and will be able to prepare a packed lunch for you. Sometimes this will have to be arranged in advance and we will let you know if this is the case. Alternatively you can use our detailed notes to make your own dining and lunch arrangements using local restaurants, cafes and supermarkets.

The nearest railway station is at Windermere. From Windermere there are taxis and a regular bus service to Ambleside - a journey of 5 miles. Alternatively, if you are arriving by car we can arrange parking in Ambleside (possible extra charge). At the end of the holiday there are taxis and a regular bus service to Ambleside and Windermere. We can arrange pre-paid taxis for your arrival and departure.

Here are some 3rd party websites with useful information to help plan your holiday to the Lake District.

The Lake District National Park website is a mine of information and here you can also download a range of maps and leaflets to local attractions.

'Go Lakes' is the official website for Cumbria Tourism and provides up-to-the-minute information on events as well as insight guides to the different areas that make up the Lake District.

The Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) provides weather analysis and forecasts specifically aimed at mountaineers and walkers. Download 3 day forecasts for specific regions including the Lake District.

Cumbria County Council conveniently gathers all Lake District bus timetables onto a single searchable page

Mike Brockhurst's Walking Englishman website is a free walking resource which provides information on numerous walking routes. Here you can find a list of Englands's highest peaks.

Use to find cheap fares to the Lake District rail access towns of Windermere and Penrith.

If you have concerns about navigation, or you would like to challenge yourself with one of the more demanding routes, you can go with a guide on any of the days. For groups of 4 or more we will add an additional £30 per person for each day of guided walking. Please give us a call on 07789868977 if you would like to go with a guide.

Book this Holiday

Lake District South map
On each day there are two or more options - a relatively moderate walk and a more demanding alternative. All options reach the same place at the end of the day so you can mix and match as you go along depending how you feel when you set off each morning.

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