Day 1: Arrive Ambleside
The attractive town of Ambleside is your typical bustling Lake District town and a fabulous place to start your holiday. The train from to Windermere takes approx 2.5 hours from London or 1h 50 from Manchester, and from there the frequent Lakeslink bus runs to Ambleside or alternatively, it is just a 10 minute taxi journey. Alternatively, if you want to start your holiday in style, catch one of the delightful ferries from Bowness-on-Windermere to Waterhead Pier at Ambleside.
Day 2: Ambleside to Rosthwaite - 13 miles
Leaving Ambleside, today’s walk will first of all have you passing the other bustling Lake District town of Grasmere and the beautiful Rydal Water. Discover the hidden Alcock Tarn and enjoy breathtaking views of the vale of Grasmere. From Far Easedale, you will head towards the broad saddle of moorland known as Greenup Edge that marks the high point along the pass between Borrowdale and Grasmere. Take some time out at the top of Lining Crag to enjoy stunning views towards the Langstrath Valley before following Greenup Gill down the valley into the peaceful village of Rosthwaite. The peaceful village of Rosthwaite consists of a couple of welcoming country inns and a cluster of old cottages and farms. It is a very pretty and peaceful place to spend an evening.
Day 3: Rosthwaite to Braithwaite - 12 miles
From Rosthwaite, follow a steep rocky track via Rigghead Quarries up to the summit of High Spy from where you will set off on a classic Lake District ridge walk. The views on this part of the walk are out of this world. From the summit of High Spy you can see some of the Lake Districts highest peaks including the Langdale Pikes, Scafell Pike and Great Gable. And then on the ridge walk, you have dramatic views over to Eel Crags and Newland Valley on the left with the distinctive outline of Catbells ahead. Finally add to this the glimpses you will catch of beautiful Derwentwater. Braithwaite is your typical Cumberland village with a magnificent backdrop at the bottom of the Whinlatter Pass. Facilities include a couple of old-fashioned inns and a village shop.
Day 4: Braithwaite to Buttermere - 11 miles
You will spend the first part of today surrounded by the wonderful mountain peaks, crags and cliffs which epitomise the Lake District. Walk across Coledale Hause mountain pass and marvel at the impressive waterfalls falling over Force Crag, before eventually emerging in the Buttermere Valley. Follow pretty woodland and lakeside paths past the tiny Loweswater and the majestic Crummock Water all the way to Buttermere. Buttermere is a delightful Lakeland village with a beautiful setting between the lakes of Crummock Water and Buttermere. There are a couple of traditional inns as well as an ice cream parlour to tempt you!
Day 5: Buttermere to Boot - 12 miles
From Buttermere, today’s walk starts off fairly gently with some nice gentle paths leading you alongside Buttermere to the head of the lake. From here it is back to the dramatic mountain terrain which you have become accustomed to over the past few days. Scarth Gap Pass is a beautiful walk offering wonderful views of the Buttermere Valley and Wainwright’s favourite mountain, Haystacks with its distinctive outline. Pass the isolated Black Sail Hut (the most remote youth hostel in the country) before traversing the dramatic Black Sail Pass down into Wasdale. The Wasdale Head Inn can be counted as the birthplace of British mountaineering and rock climbing with many walkers and climbers setting off to Great Gable and Scafell Pike from here and still offers a charming stopover for a quick refreshment. For such a small place, Boot has a good selection of country inns. The Eskdale end of the Ravensglass and Eskdale Steam Railway also terminates here and is worth a visit.
Day 6: Boot to Broughton-in-Furness - 14 miles
A varied day of walking awaits you today, passing the tranquil Eskdale and Duddon valleys across Ulpha Fell and Harter Fell. Head through forest clearings in Hardknott Forest and follow woodland and riverside paths on to the remote Seathwaite and finally Broughton-in-Furness. Some highlights along the way include the pretty St Catherine’s Church beside the River Esk, the distinctive Wallowbarrow Gorge, and beautiful Duddon River which has often inspired Wordsworth himself. The village of Broughton-in-Furness has a rich history dating back to the 11th Century and Saxon times. The town is focused around the Georgian market square and there are several country inns serving delicious local meals and real ales.
Day 7: Broughton-in-Furness to Coniston - 13 miles
Farm tracks, moorland paths and quiet lanes will take up most of today’s walk. After leaving Broughton-in-Furness, quiet grassy paths and field tracks will bring you to Woodland Hall where you have fantastic views over the Duddon Estuary. A gentle climb up to Beacon Tarn will be rewarded with views over the beautiful Coniston Fells. Follow one of the oldest roads in the Lake District - Walna Scar Road - which was an old packhorse route before Coniston Water springs into view. Further grassy paths and woodland tracks will bring you into the charming village of Coniston. Coniston is a delightful Lakeland village with a beautiful setting on the shores of Coniston Water.
Day 8: Coniston to Ambleside - 15 miles
Your last day’s walk will certainly leave you feeling well exercised with much of it covering mountainous terrain. A strenuous climb up to the summit of Swirl How will bring you to a fantastic viewpoint offering a panorama of the surrounding Lakeland fells. Add to this some ridge walking across Great Carrs and Little Carrs and a steep descent to Wrynoe Pass and the hidden Red Tarn. The last part of the day will have you passing through the popular Lakeland valley, Great Langdale before reaching the charming village of Elterwater. From here, it is not long till you are back where you started in Ambleside where you can relax and celebrate finishing this wonderful walk!
Day 9: Onward travel
This walking route is based upon Mark Reid's walking guidebook 'Inn Way...to the English Lake District'.
Footpaths and bridleways are generally well maintained in the valleys of the Lake District but way-marking is almost non-existent in the high fells and mountains, so we recommend carrying a map and compass and knowing how to use it.
Being an Inn Way we will always try to book you in traditional Country Inn accommodation wherever possible on this walk. When the standard would be higher or availablity is an issue we may also book you into B&B's, guesthouses or country hotels. We will book ensuite rooms whenever possible. A delicious breakfast is always included.
This independent walking holiday is not available to solo walkers. If you require single rooms in your party we will of course try to accommodate your request, subject to availability.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. Most of your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.
Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the cost of your holiday. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 17kg per person.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
We can try and accommodate dogs wherever possible on this walk. In order to accommodate you, you may need to stay in pub style accommodation rather than B&B's and guesthouses.
Additional Nights and Extensions
Many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the walk to sample more of the wonderful walking available in the Lake District and to take some time to enjoy the scenery. We recommend an extra day in Ambleside at the start or end of your walk to visit nearby Windermere or Bowness, or add in a night in Rosthwaite or Buttermere to incorporate a rest day into the itinerary.
“The Inn Way” is a Registered Trademark of Mark Reid, author of 'The Inn Way' guidebooks. Some of the images used in the publication of this walk are reproduced with the kind permission of Mark Reid.
Braithwaite Farm - Braithwaite
Braithwaite Farm offers high quality bed and breakfast accommodation for visitors to Lake District. The farm and the bed and breakfast are run by Jenny and Stephen Clark.
Lacet House - Ambleside
warm welcome awaits you at Lacet House Bed & Breakfast where Catherine & Graham offer 4 star accommodation for you to enjoy and to help you make your visit to Ambleside and the Lake district a memorable one
Lakeland House - Coniston
All of our rooms have en-suite facilities and most have stunning views of the village, fells and Coniston Old Man.
Royal Oak Hotel - Rosthwaite
Every room is individual in some way, creating a variety of comfortable accommodation to suit most needs.
The Fish Inn - Buttermere
The Inn is a comfortable, informal and ideally situated place to spend your stay in the Lake District.
The Woolpack Inn - Boot
In our traditional inn, the rooms are ideal to rest your weary head (and legs) at the end of the day.
Getting to Ambleside
By Air - The closest regional airport to Ambleside is Manchester. (approx 3h by train and bus).
By Rail/Bus - Ambleside is easily reached by train via Windermere (approx 3hrs from London, 2hr from Manchester or 2hr from Glasgow.
By Car - We don’t recommend travel by car due to the environmental impact. Parking is also very limited in Ambleside but if you need to you may be able to park your car at your first night's accommodation.
This walking route is based upon Mark Reid's walking guidebook 'The Inn Way... to the English Lake District'.
We are often asked the following questions and we hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.
How fit do I need to be?
This walk does involve a good deal of hill walking in mountainous terrain, so we do recommend being fairly fit in order to enjoy it. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
How far in advance do I need to book?
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Lake District can get quite busy especially over April/May and July/August and bank holidays. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.
When is the best time of year?
This walking holiday is best enjoyed between March and mid October. Springtime weather can be changeable but usually is the driest time of year, from March to June.
Am I able to take my dog?
We can try and accommodate dogs wherever possible on this walk. In order to accommodate you, you may need to stay in pub style accommodation rather than B&B’s and guesthouses which may be of a lesser standard.
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop. Our office can assist with helpful advice should you need to arrange transport for yourself or anyone in your party.
You can start your walking holiday on any date from March to September, subject to availability. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in.
Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
Because every walking holiday we book is unique availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:
- You provisionally book the tour you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
- We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 10 working days).
- If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.
||Inn Way to the English Lake District
||9 Days & 8 Nights
- Hand picked B&B, guesthouse and small hotel accommodation in en-suite rooms wherever possible.
- Door to door baggage transfer.
- A detailed info pack, guide book and maps for the group leader.
- Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Single room supplement - If you require a single room in your party there is a single room supplement payable for each single room required.
This walking route is based upon Mark Reid's walking guidebook 'The Inn Way... to the English Lake District'.