The Three Best Climbs in the Lake District (and three pubs to enjoy a drink in after)
Tuesday 26th October, 2021 by hostandstay
Steep hills, fresh air, amazing views – climbing is one of many things the Lake District is known (and loved) for.
So if you’re looking for holiday cottages in the Lake District, it’s likely you’ll be packing your walking boots and scoping out the best spots to soak up that stunning scenery.
To help you decide which summits to scale, we’ve compiled our top three climbs in the area (believe us, it was tough!).
And once you’ve made the trek, admired the views and taken selfies aplenty, you’ll certainly deserve a drink (or two), so we’ve rounded up the best spots to end your climb too…
To climb… Catbells
We’ll start on a (relatively) low and easy note with Catbells, a 451-metre fell located within three miles of Keswick.
With the exception of a short steep path to begin and a slight scramble at the summit, this 3.5-mile walk is easy to climb and navigate, making it suitable for all members of the family.
From the moment you start your walk, you’ll be rewarded with sensational panoramic views over Keswick, Derwent Water and Borrowdale. Rolling hills, crisp lakes dotted with sailing boards and nearby towns – the view from the top is certainly worth the wait.
Its spectacular views and easy ascent mean Catbells isn’t as quiet as some other fells, but once you’re up there, you’ll understand why so many people share the trail.
The Keswick visitor page has a walking route you can follow.
To drink… Swinside Inn
As you’re admiring the views from the top of Catbells, you’ll spot the Swinside Inn nestled in the Newlands Valley. Only a mile from the bottom of the fell, it’s perfectly placed to welcome climbers with their favourite tipple and a selection of tasty, home-cooked food to build their energy back up.
To climb… Skiddaw
With its sloping hills and colourful patchwork of crops and heather, it’s no wonder Skiddaw is described as the perfect mountain, visually.
Set apart from its neighbours and other well-known climbs nearby, the mountain offers unique, unrestricted views from its summit across the Vale of Derwent, with the peaks of eastern, southern and western fells all laid out in a panorama.
The most popular route to Skiddaw’s 970m high summit was actually established as a pony route for Victorian tourists, which gives some indication to its difficultly. The mountain isn’t as rocky as some of its counterparts, with its most challenging part right at the beginning with a steep incline which then levels off. It is worth noting, however, that this isn’t the best suited walk for dogs, unless they are capable of dealing with steepness.
The tips here can help you prepare for the climb.
To drink… Twa Dogs Inn
At the foot of Skiddaw, you’ll find Twa Dogs Inn, a traditional family-run pub boasting a selection of craft beers and home-cooked meals.
There’s both a toasty coal fire and a bustling beer garden so it’s always ready to welcome visitors, no matter what the weather.
To climb… Scafell Pike
You knew it was coming! No list of Lake District walks is complete without the mighty Scafell Pike.
Towering at 978-metres high, this is England’s tallest mountain and a magnet for those looking for the best views the Lake District can offer.
But the good news is, you don’t have to be an experienced climber or even make it to the summit to enjoy Scafell Pike – in fact, there’s plenty to see and do without even breaking much of a sweat. The mountain provides a spectacular backdrop for leisurely walks or picnics around the valley, and you can still feel the impressive presence of the mountain from the bottom.
Those that do tackle the climb and reach the summit will be greeted with unrivalled views across the Lake District and beyond. On a clear day, you’ll even be able to see Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains and the peak of Snowdonia, so make sure you have your camera handy.
The Scafell Pike website has more information on routes and other logistics.
To drink… Wasdale Head Inn
Anyone who makes it to the top of Scafell Pike – and even those who navigate its smaller fells – deserves a cold drink and a hearty meal, and the Wasdale Head Inn is the perfect spot to toast your achievements.
The self-proclaimed ‘birthplace of British climbing’, the inn can be found at the base of the mountain, close to the shore of Wastwater, England’s deepest lake (so you can see two iconic spots for the price of one!).
Ready to explore the Lake District? Time to find the perfect luxury property to relax and unwind at the end of the day – view our range here.