Walking with Wainwright: 4 Autumn Colour Walks in the Lake District

7 October 2019

We’ve been writing a lot on Wainwright’s famous walks of late, so here we are grouping some of the best we know for the autumn season so you can make the most of your hiking time by choosing the walks most befitting for the season. We’re going to briefly discuss what you’d want when planning a good autumn walk, as well as four fantastic Wainwrights to ascend during your upcoming holiday in the Lake District.

1. What Makes a Great Autumn Walk

An autumn walk should be colourful and energetic, but typically avoids rough scrambles and muddy terrains. We want your autumn walks to be full of colour because autumn is a beautiful season for appreciating the Lakes’ innate beauty. We’re picturing swathes of trees bathed in rich golds, crimson and plum coloured leaves. Imagine a leisurely walk ascending a hill covered in heather and teeming with wildlife, or the gentle crunch of gravel beneath your hiking boots as you walk beside the river.

We want an autumn walk to be somewhat energetic – the autumn months bring with them a brisk chill, so the walks we will be suggesting in this blog should get your blood pumping a little. Autumn can also be quite rainy, so if you’re travelling by car we recommend packing a second pair of shoes to change into, and perhaps even a spare pair of trousers if you’re not taking waterproofs up with you.

Lastly, we want your autumn walks to avoid any muddy terrains or difficult scrambling as best they can. Walks involving either of these features are best attempted during the summer when the ground is drier, and you’re less likely to slip.

With the ultimate autumn walk defined, let us move on to the walks themselves:

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2. Langdale Peaks


The Langdale peaks are stunning in any weather, truly, but the views are never more stunning than in the summer and autumn months. This path is mostly a straight route to the top but beware: some of the rocky sections can become slippery on a wet day, and there is a tiny section of scrambling halfway up the hill. If you or one of your party isn’t a confident walker then we may recommend changing your plans to a less ambitious route.

On the other hand, your hardships for climbing this steep hill will be well rewarded at the end of the day; walking in Langdale is most beloved for the delightful pub at the base of the mountain. From here, you can refill on good pub grub and decadent hot chocolate.

We’ve previously written about the different routes you can take to ascend Langdale in this blog here: Walking with Wainwright – Langdale.

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3. Orrest Head in Windermere


Orrest Head is famous for giving visitors to the Lakes the wanderlust that ensures they return. As such, it’s a must for any would-be walker to see for themselves. Being located in Windermere, you’re never too far from civilisation during your walk, though you may feel different once you’ve ascended to the peaceful crest of this hill.

Orrest Head offers fantastic views of the surrounding Lake District, and it’s here where Wainwright first fell in love with the area. You can read more about this short hike on this blog: Walking with Wainwright – Orrest Head.

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4. Catbells in Keswick


Walking Catbells has everything that you might desire from an autumn hike – it looks out over the stunning Keswick, it starts by a body of water, and it overlooks plenty of trees. The popularity of this hike with the general public is at least partially down to its quaint name, which is easily remembered, but must also be popular for its fantastic views.

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5. Ambleside to Grasmere Route


While this one isn’t a Wainwright walk because it doesn’t focus on ascending a fell, Wainwright did indeed travel some of the paths along this route on his way to reaching the hills along this route, such as Silver How. This route is a great walk for a party with any unconfident walkers as there are few hills and the path is very steady – often with long stretches of reassuring tarmac.

Along this walk, you can expect to enjoy deciduous trees in full autumn colour, misty mountains, an ice cream van by the river Rothay, and even a cave! For a flat walk, there’s a surprising amount to see and do on this casual walk. Perfect for children and large groups.


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If you’re excited to start walking amongst the Lake District’s natural beauty, then why not book a stay in one of our 5-star holiday cottages near the Lake District. We have options for everyone, including luxury cottages for two complete with hot tubs, and family accommodation for the perfect school holiday. Enjoy the best of the Lakes from luxury accommodation.

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