'Wainwright Favourites', Tour of the Lake District

A Grand Tour of the Lake District, visiting the favourite valleys and mountains of Alfred Wainwright, Britain’s best known ‘fellwalker’ and guidebook writer. For each day’s walk there are at least two route choices including a moderate option and a more challenging alternative, which will take in one or more ‘Wainwights’ (summits described in his 7 volume ‘Pictorial Guide’). The options always start and finish in the same place so you can mix and match as you go along. On this tour we guarantee: 7 lakes including the ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of lakes, and numerous mountain tarns; England’s highest peak; traditional Lakeland villages; Herdwick sheep; the stomping ground of the Romantic Poets; and above all, spectacular scenery unlike anywhere else in the world!.

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 £10 per walking day, plus any single room supplement which may be required.

Start days: You can start this holiday on any day from Sunday to Thursday. Arrivals in Ambleside on Friday or Saturday require an additional night's stay here. The extra charge for this is £60 per person and includes route cards for an additional walk.


Arrive in Ambleside at the head of Windermere, England’s longest lake. After checking in you 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

Todays walk starts with a gentle climb out of Ambleside to the shoulder of Loughrigg Fell offering extensive views over Windermere’s sparkling waters and of the Central Fells. Depending on your choice of options you can visit Elterwater and follow the Cumbria Way along the meandering Great Langdale Beck, or climb to Loughrigg’s summit and stride out over the ridge forming the watershed between Grasmere and Langdale, ticking off the Wainright summits of Silver How and Blea Rigg, before descending into Langdale past the sensational Stickle Tarn.
Options: (A) Moderate. 7½ miles. 1200ft.; (B) Challenging (includes 3 Wainwright summits). 8½ miles. 2800ft.

Lake District fell walking doesn’t come much better than today’s offerings. One of your options follows an ancient trading route over Esk Hause to reach Wasdale, Cumbria’s most remote valley containing England’s deepest lake and, it is said, it’s smallest church. Other options allow you to ‘bag’ Wainwright summits along the way, including Bowfell, Esk Pike, Broad Crag and the highest point in England, Scafell Pike. Three options today of varying degrees of difficulty. Choose the route that’s best for you.
(A) Moderate. 7½ miles. 2400ft.; (B) Challenging (includes Scafell Pike). 8½ miles. 3300ft.; (C) Very Challenging (with 5 Wainwright summits including Scafell Pike). 9 miles. 4300ft

Leaving Wasdale your route options today include following in the footsteps of ‘Old Moses’ who reputedly distributed moonshine wandering from one valley to the next across the passes through the mountains. Alternatively, you can tick off a couple more wainwrights in the form of Great Gable and Green Gable on your way to Borrowdale. Wainwright was very fond of Borrowdale, saying it contained “the loveliest square” mile in Lakeland.
Options: (A) Moderate. 7 miles. 1650ft.; (B) Challenging (incudes 2 Wainwright summits). 7 miles. 3050ft.

Borrowdale is steep on all sides but there are hidden weaknesses which can be exploited to provide a well graded ascent out of the valley. Tremendous views taking in all the major fell groups of the Lake District await. Choose between a moderate hike descending the valley of Far Easedale or collect more Wainrights in a spectacular ridge walk to Helm Crag (a.k.a. “The Lion and the Lamb”). Both options end at the lovely Grasmere, former home and resting place of William Wordsworth. You can visit the house where he and his sister, Dorothy lived and where he wrote many of his famous poems.
Options: (A) Moderate. 7 miles. 2000ft.; (B) Challenging (incudes 4 Wainwright summits). 9½ miles. 3100ft.

Crossing the range to Patterdale, today’s options include following the Coast-to-Coast path through the lovely Grisedale Valley, or a more challenging route over Helvellyn with the option to bag 3 more Wainwright summits and cross ‘Striding Edge’. Whichever route is chosen, you are guaranteed a day of excellent walking as you cross from the Central to the Eastern fells.
Options: (A) Moderate. 7½ miles. 2000ft.; (B) Challenging (incudes 3 Wainwright summits). 9½ miles. 3500ft.

The final day of this Grand Tour of the Lake District travels the length of Ullswater, ‘Queen of Lakes’. As always, we provide different options to suit your inclination and today you can choose between a walk along the quiet Eastern shore path via Howtown, or a stride out on the high ridges of the Far Eastern Fells where Roman Armies once marched. The more challenging option today includes at least 4 Wainwrights with the opportunity to extend the walk to collect 3 more. Both routes come together at the bronze-age stone circle known as ‘The Cockpit’ before an easy walk down into the village of Pooley Bridge, situated on the northern tip of Ullswater.
Options: (A) Moderate. 9 miles. 1120ft (option to reduce to 5 miles + 750ft. by taking a ferry for 35 minutes at start of day (fare approx. £7).; (B) Challenging (incudes 4 Wainwright summits). 12 miles. 3000ft.

Let us know if you would like us to arrange a transfer to Penrith station.

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 and our own weather-proof 'route cards', laminated locator maps for each night's accommodation and details of local facilities - 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.

Windermere station is the terminus of a branch line from the main North-West London to Glasgow rail link (change at Oxenholme). Ambleside is a short (5 minute) taxi or bus journey from the station. The holiday ends at Pooley Bridge which is approximately 5 miles from Penrith rail station on the main North-West London to Glasgow rail link. Alternatively, if you are arriving by car it is usually possible to arrange parking for the duration of the walk (possible extra charge).

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 thetrainline.com 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 Wainwright Favourites map
This collection of excellent point-to-point walks will give you the option of being among the fells on a journey from one valley to the next, using the passes used for centuries as a means of communication and trade before the development of roads going around the mountains. Alternatively, it is possible to challenge yourself with one or two harder options provided on each day which tackle the summits beloved of Wainwright.