Walking, Hiking and Fell Running
A perfect base for fellwalking, with so many notable fells in the vicinity
Described by the Wainwright Society as “a perfect base for fellwalking, with so many notable fells in the vicinity”, Elterwater is surrounded by walks and hikes for all abilities. When you arrive, ask us for recommendations based on your experience, ability and local conditions. If you’re looking for ideas before you arrive, visit walklakes.co.uk and Mudandroutes.com to start you off with some walking ideas, or check out our staff recommendations below:
Elterwater to New Dungeon Ghyll
6km each way, gentle
A stunning walk (6km each way) along the beautiful Great Langdale valley taking in the upper rugged valley, a working quarry and wooded riverside. Check out the Miles Without Stiles route for inspiration.
Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge
2.5km each way, gentle
A fairly flat walk or ride, on a well-surfaced bridleway, from the carpark, following Great Langdale Beck. Popular all year around, but on a clear summer’s evening if you catch the light correctly you will see the Langdale Pikes clearly reflected in Elter Water. Cross the bridge at the end to stay on the bridleway, or walk the last few hundred metres to view Skelwith Force and maybe visit Chester’s café.
4km each way, gentle
Just a short walk from the hostel lies Little Langdale, but don’t be fooled by the name, there’s lots to see and explore, including “the most picturesque footbridge in Lakeland“, and the abandoned mines of Cathedral Cave, well worth a gentle stroll.
The summit cairn of Loughrigg can be seen from the hostel which makes it an obvious target for guests. Despite its modest height of 335m it provides a lovely view of the Lake District especially the Langdale Pikes. The top and back takes a couple of hours by the most direct route or you could add on visits Grasmere, Rydal Cave or Loughrigg Tarn to make a good half day of it.
5-15km, moderate (depending on route).
The views from Lingmoor are some of the best of the valley. We like to go out along the top to Side Pike, and come back along the valley floor, but there are plenty of options depending on your ability.
10km, moderate to hard
Short and sharp, but worth the effort, Stickle Tarn is a magical hike, offering spectacular views back down the valley, and the reward of Tarn-side views at top. It can easily be reached on foot from the hostel with about an hour’s walk down the valley and then a steep climb to the tarn itself. Allow 3 to 4 hours.
Stickle Tarn and Over Easdale to Grasmere
17km (depending on route), Moderate/Challenging
The more strenuous version of the Stickle Tarn hike – once you’ve reached the Tarn, carry on round, over to Easdale and return through Grasmere and back to Elterwater over Red Bank. Some navigational skills required, with various path options on the top. Not recommended in bad weather.
18-30+km (depending on start point and route), challenging
There are several routes up England’s highest peak, with the one from Langdale rated as the one of the most strenuous. Taking a full day (8+ hours) this route is not for novices, but it well worth the effort for those who make it. Full route details can be found here.
23 Before Tea
+/- 61 km, challenging
Our very own fell running challenge, a much smaller homage to the grander Bob Graham and Wainrights rounds – 23 iconic Lakeland fells, and back in time for tea. Runners, can you get on our leaderboard? Hikers, will you take the inspiration for a multi-day attempt?
117 Km Moderate
This long distance walk from Ulverston to Carlisle passes the hostel before entering Grand Langdale. The official route is largely a low-level walk through the valleys of cumbria and suitable for any experienced walkers. There is a mountain route offering a challenging high level alternative for those who prefer summits to valleys. More details including information regarding baggage transfer can be found here.