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The Lakes & Fells of Cumbria

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Catbells above Derwent Water, Keswick. Cumbria and the Lake District.
Catbells above Derwentwater, Keswick.

Welcome to the EDGE Guide to the lakes, fells and walks of Cumbria. Cumbria and the Lake District is famed for its beauty the World over. When visiting it is worthwhile exploring as much of the county as possible and enjoying the diverse and outstanding countryside Cumbria has to offer.

The Lake District is famous for its fantastic scenery and the quality of the walks, scrambles and climbs. Sir Chris Bonnington and others have used the area for training in preparation for tackling Everest and other daunting mountains.

You can hire a boat or take a ferry when visiting Coniston, Derwentwater, Ullswater and Windermere.

The Lake District is well served with good paths that are regularly maintained. You will find some truly spectacular and beautiful views in this area, there are so many fells and peaks and walks associated with them that we describe only a selection here.

Those wishing to take a more gentle approach to their holiday should not despair - Cumbria offers walking and hiking for all abilities.

Hiking, walking, climbing and scambles in the Lake District and Cumbria. Yewbarrow.
Yewbarrow by Wast Water lake.

If the dramatic rock faces of the Lake District are too daunting, you can enjoy strolling around the many lakes and tarns in the National Park.

Cumbria has many truly beautiful areas to explore: the Eden Valley, The Pennines, and the West Coast should all be enjoyed when visiting.

Why not visit the Nature Reserves, or perhaps walk around the historic sites in Cumbria such as the Castles and Stone Circles and don't forget the Roman Wall.

The Eden Valley offers many delightful walks and pathways along the banks of the River Eden. In addition such places as Gelt Woods and Talkin Tarn, (both near Brampton) are rewarding to visit.

The Pennine Way, stretches from Edale in the Peak District National Park near Manchester in Lancashire north through the Yorkshire Dales National Park, then onwards into Cumbria over the North Pennines past the town of Alston and onwards into the Northumberland National Park before crossing into Scotland ending near the town of Kelso.

We describe the Cumbrian section of this long walk. Don't be put off by the length of the Pennine Way because there are many other walks in the Pennines of varying length and you can spend a pleasant day walking sections of the route at a leisurely pace.

There are in fact too many climbs, hikes, walks and pathways to list. Listed here are just a small sample of them.

Ordanance Survey Maps are almost an essential, and a great way to increase your enjoyment, when visiting Cumbria.

SAFETY : Don't take safety for granted.

Even during the hottest days of the year conditions on the tops of the fells can change rapidly and dramatically for the worse: strong winds, rain and fog can make the going dangerous for the inexperienced.

It is vital that you treat the fells with respect.

The right equipment is essential: windproof and warm clothing (strictly no jeans), good walking boots, hat, gloves, first aid kit, torch and whistle, compass (take a GPS if you have one but always have a compass with you) and Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger maps.

The international distress signal is six flashes of your torch or six blows of the whistle. Failing that, shout six times, wait one minute then repeat, and keep on until help arrives.

The emergency services can be contacted by dialling 999, this call is free including from call boxes. Ask for Mountain Rescue. The Police, Ambulance service, Fire Brigade and Coast Guard can all be contacted on this number.

Incidentally all members of Mountain Rescue are unpaid volunteers, and the costs are met by public donation. Please remember this if you see a collection box in a pub or elsewhere.

Don't be put off walking these wonderful fells by these words of caution. Common sense and an understanding of your own limitations and experience is all that's needed. With this knowledge you should have a great day out.

Map of the Lakes. back to top

Map of the fells and mountains. back to top