Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays

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Clear skies reflected in the pristine Lakeland waters


  • Discover the dramatic landscapes of the English Lake District
  • View the unfolding vistas through the eyes of Wordsworth and Ruskin
  • Relax in cosy and friendly Lakeland country inns
  • Wander "as lonely as a cloud" as you traverse dramatic mountain passes
  • Gazing up at Skafell Pike, England’s highest mountain

A circular walk that takes you deep into the heart of the English Lake District.

Dip your feet in the charming lakes of Windermere and Coniston Water and walk over famous fells, such as Loughrigg and Coniston Old Man. This tour covers visits and views over eight of the famous lakes.

Ambleside with it’s literary legacy of poets and writers is a great place to begin. Traverse mountain passes following in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter and her charming characters. The dominating peaks of looming Scafell Pike, rugged Skiddaw and brooding Helvellyn are some highlights of this Lakeland Fells walk.

Day 1: Arrive Ambleside

Ambleside is a bustling lakeside town and a great location for your starting point on your adventure through the Lake District.

Overnight: Ambleside

Day 2: Ambleside to Coniston

Leaving Ambleside the first day’s walk is an exhilarating climb up Loughrigg Fell affording panoramic views north to Grasmere Lake

Passing through the woods of Tarns Hows with the Langdale Pikes rising in the distance you will be walking in the footsteps of revered one time resident writer Beatrix Potter. Take some time out to look out over Coniston Water to Arthur Ransome’s ‘Wild Cat Island’, made famous in his adventurous ‘Swallows and Amazons’. The lake has inspired many writers and artists including John Ruskin whose final resting place is in the St Andrew’s churchyard in the village.

Walk: 19km / 11 m

Overnight: Coniston

Day 3: Coniston to Boot

From Coniston the route initially follows the Walna Scar packhorse drove road in the shadow of the Old Man Of Coniston, the highest point in the Furness Fells at 2,634ft (803m). The trail then drops into the wide peaceful Duddon Valley,  home to soaring buzzards and decorated by violets and bluebells in spring.

Moving into valley of Eskdale beneath the rocky tors of Harter Fell you come to the village of Boot, it’s name deriving from the old English for ‘bend in the valley’.

Walk: 20km / 12 m

Overnight: Boot

Day 4: Boot to Buttermere

Moving north with the peak of Skafell Pike, England’s highest mountain at 3,209ft (978m) , on your right hand side, the trail takes you to past the pure waters of Wastwater, England’s deepest lake.

The route then takes you up the dramatic Black Sail Pass affording views of Haystacks, Wainwright’s favourite mountain, and through the Scarth Gap Pass The village of Buttermere is a delight, situated in verdant meadows between Crummock Water and Buttermere Lake.

Walk: 20km / 12 m

Overnight: Buttermere

Day 5: Buttermere to Keswick

Today’s starts with a walk along the lapping shores of Crummock Water with the crags of Mellbreak to your left and then marvel at the Force Crag waterfalls before heading down into the deep Coledale Valley toward the traditional Cumberland village of Braithwaite.

Follow the narrow winding streets out of the village through the pastoral Newlands Valley to the market town of Keswick. Literary connections include Coleridge who moved here in 1800 and collaborated with Wordsworth.

Walk: 22km / 13 m

Overnight:  Keswick

Day 6: Keswick to Patterdale

A real highlight of the day’s walk is the Castlerigg Stone Circle just east of Keswick, described as ‘one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain’.

Entering the wide glacial valley of St John’s in the Vale a steep ascent follows the remote Sticks Pass with the peak of Helvellyn to the south. You are rewarded with views ahead to Ullswater as you follow the path down Glenridding to the village of the same name. A little further along is the charming village of Patterdale. Situated on the shores of peaceful Ullswater you may catch sight of England’s last golden eagle soaring along the ridges of the Angletarn Pikes.

Walk: 22km / 13 m

Overnight: Patterdale

Day 7: Patterdale to Ambleside

Leaving Patterdale you have an exhilarating walk as you ascend the Grisedale Pass with views back to Ullswater and the impressive craggy heights of Helvellyn fill the skyline to your right. At Grisedale Tarn you descend toward Grasmere and the famous Dove Cottage, once home to Wordsworth.

The trail continues on to the north end of Rydal Water and White Moss Common. Moving on past Rydal Mount, a further home of Wordsworth, you walk through woods before arriving in Ambleside, your final resting place for the day and the end of your Lake District Round walk.

Walk: 19km / 11m

Overnight: Ambleside

Day 8: Onward Travel

Your holiday finishes after breakfast although if you feel energetic you may wish to tackle the climb to Orrest Head to enjoy view across Windermere and the fells beyond.


We specifically choose each nights’ inn, guesthouse and B&B to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. They range from remote inns with a history dating back hundreds of years to charming family run B&B’s. We aim to use three star accommodation as a minimum but some remote inns are either not graded or only two star. Each night offers something different.

Single Rooms

This independent walking holiday is not available to solo walkers but if you require single rooms within your party we will of course try to accommodate your request subject to a single supplement payable to cover the additional costs we incur. 


A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodations are more than happy to provide a packed lunch - this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs or restaurants.




Lacet House - Ambleside

Lacet House - Ambleside

A 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

Lakeland House - Coniston

Lakeland House is ideally situated in the heart of Coniston village and just a few minutes walk from the beautiful Coniston Water, shops and dining. All the rooms have en-suite facilities and most have stunning views of the village, fells and Coniston Old Man.







The Woolpack Inn - Boot

The Woolpack Inn - Boot

In this traditional inn, the rooms are ideal to rest your weary head (and legs) at the end of the day.







The Fish Inn - Buttermere

The Fish Inn - Buttermere

The Inn is a comfortable, informal and ideally situated place to spend your stay in the Lake District.







Old Water View - Patterdale

Old Water View - Patterdale

Situated in the delightful village of Patterdale, and surrounded by some of Lakeland's most magnificent scenery, Old Water View has been welcoming visitors for over 100 years.p>





You can start your Lake District Round walking holiday any day Monday - Thursday April until September subject to availability. A Friday, Saturday or Sunday start date is not available due to accommodation restrictions in Ambleside. 

Please try and avoid staying in Coniston over the weekend as accommodations only take a minimum of a 2 night stay.

When is the best time of year?

The Lake District Round is very enjoyable at any time between April and September although my personal favourite time of year is late spring and early Autumn.

Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This holiday is not available to solo walkers due to the remote nature of the terrain. However if you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party.

Grade & Terrain & Navigiation

This holiday is graded from moderate to strenuous and includes daily walks of between 19–22 km. You will cover a variety of terrain including rocky mountainous terrain, some boggy sections and lakeside and woodland paths. Most days will involve a couple of steep ascents and descents.

The Lake District Round is not waymarked. However we provide you with detailed turn-by-turn route notes and maps and you will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone's GPS so you should have no problems finding the way. However as some of the areas on the tour are quite remote it is advisable that you do have the ability to read a map.

Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. 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.


Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to/from 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 - 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.

You can find information for travelling to and from the Lake District by visiting the Traveline Website.


  • 7 nights hand picked B&B, guesthouse and small hotel accommodation
  • Door to door baggage transfer as per itinerary
  • Information Pack, route notes & maps, GPX tracks, access to the Macs Adventure smartphone app
  • 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 - prerequisite for all bookings
  • Personal Equipment
  • Transport when you need to skip a stage


  • Single room supplement
  • Extra nights

We are often asked the following questions by walkers planning The Lake District Round and I hope that you will find the following information useful.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

How fit do I need to be?

If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardiovascular exercise for at least six months before 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?

As far in advance as possible! We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as The Lakes are extremely popular. If booking at short notice, we will always try and accommodate your plans.

Do I need to be able to navigate?

Yes, some navigation skills are necessary as the route is not way-marked. You follow route notes and a map that are provided.

What are the paths like on this trip?

You will cover a variety of terrain including rocky, mountainous terrain, some boggy sections and lakeside and woodland paths. Most days will involve a couple of steep ascents and descents.

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?

The Lake District Round is very enjoyable at any time between April and beginning of October although our favourite time of year is late spring and early Autumn.

What is the best way to get to/from the walk?

We recommend you travel by train. If you are driving, we recommend leaving your car in Ambleside where on street  parking is available.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

Lake District Round challenge


This is a programme of full and demanding day walks through a variety of scenery from Lake Land towns and villages to abandoned, ghostly industrial sites all quite fascinating and peaceful. All accommodation was excellent and exceeded our expectations. We were at times pushed to our limits with walking in the unusual and unexpected heat but that was also the reward we made it round! What a fantastic feeling! Thank you.

Busy Lizzy


Great Trip. Long Days


The Days were too long for us. Took longer than the itinerary said it would. I have done a long distance hike the year before but the elevations added time. We decided to skip a couple of the longer days found transportation and took smaller hikes. In the long run I probably picked the wrong Lake District trip. We ran into another couple that was struggling too. However, the scenery was beautiful. The lakes each unique. People we met very nice. Friendly Inns and Guest houses. Each one had its own strength.


New Jersey


Long Days in the Lake District


Distances between towns were consistently off: Keswick to Patterdale: 14.1 miles (Macs); 18.9 miles (fitbit) Patterdale to Ambleside: 11.8 miles (Macs); 15.9 miles (fitbit) Ambleside to Coniston: 11.9 miles (Macs); 13.9 miles (fitbit)* Coniston to Boot: 12.9 miles (Macs); 16.1 (fitbit) Boot to Buttermere: 12.9 (Macs); 16.3 (fitbit)** Buttermere to Keswick: 14 miles (Macs); 16.8 miles (fitbit)*** (*) Took a small shortcut well under 2 miles (**) Bridge not marked halfway (***) Took shortcut and walked on road alongside Crummock Water (***) Bridge at 8.2 miles was relocated 50 feet downstream. New rock slides. It was optimal to use narrative and app jointly. The app corrected our routes in at least 10 instances. We walked approximately 8 hours daily; staring at 9:45 am and arriving close to 6 pm. Breakfast should be served starting at 7:30 am allowing for earlier start. We started the LD Round in Keswick which was perfect: easy access by bus to train station; large town with stores for last minute equip purchases; least scenic and got better with each consecutive town. WE LOVED IT !!

Sheepishly Rambling Sisters

Keene Valley, NY, USA


Wet, Beautiful, Challenging series of great walks


Well organised walking holiday. Seamless from start to finish. The walks were pretty realistic except the one where the bridge had been washed away. The walk from Boot to Butternere is seriously challenging. All accommodation had drying facilities - very important in the Lakes!! maps were excellent and the App was excellent and did not drain my phone. I would recommend having Ordinance Survey maps as well. Food was easy to obtain and good. Portion sizes in the local pubs were very generous! Lake District breakfasts were delicious




We loved everything about this trip and Macs was outstanding


We loved everything about Macs Adventures - from the accommodations, to how helpful and pleasant all the staff that we worked with were, to, especially their app. It was awesome! We already have and will continue to recommend them to everyone. We would definitely use them again in the future. They make it so easy and is perfect for us who don't like group tours.


Los Angeles


A fantastic unforgettable walking holiday.


This was a wonderfully well thought out trip and passed through some incredible landscapes of the Lake District. I couldn't speak any more highly of the staff at Mac Adventures, they were all very kind and helpful.




Unforgettable Round of the Lake District!


We had an unforgettable week of hiking in the Lake District. We're a group of 10 friends who like to go on a walking holiday once a year. Macs Adventure arranged the accommodation perfectly. The inns, hotels and B&Bs were welcoming and spotlessly clean. Great breakfasts! In the evenings we enjoyed the well-deserved drinks and pubfood. Best of all the weather was picture perfect. We experienced just one 20 minute rain shower! A day of rest in Keswick was well timed. We spent the Saturday going over de market and relaxing by the lake and in the cafés. During the hikes in the beautiful fells and countryside we did sometimes wonder if we would have managed to walk the distance had there been muddy, wet and slippery surfaces. There was quite a bit of steep climbing and descending on the way! We will certainly return to the Lake District!


The Netherlands


Lake District Round! May, 2018


Keep up the good work Macs Adventures! Thank You!

Mark of Austin

Austin, Texas


Wonderful circuit hike


This was a wonderful trip and Macs Adventure made it easy by selecting an outstanding circuit hiking route and organizing everything for us along the way.


Virginia USA


Brilliant Holiday


I loved this holiday, The Lake District round covers absolutely magnificent scenery from start to finish. There wasn't any part of it that disappointed. Our luggage was transferred with no issues. All accommodation was good, including magnificent views, good food and comfortable beds. And everyone was very friendly. The distances advertised are a bit low and with the hills some days were harder than expected but it was worth it for the views and there was quite a sense of achievement at the end of each day.




The Lake District Round

4.6 15


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