(East Lakes Circuit) Patterdale, Glenridding and Ullswater
EAST LAKES CIRCUIT (GUIDED)   4 stages . 5 nights . Lake District   Booking

East Lakes Circuit
Guided trekking holiday

+ Open hillsides and lakes of Eastern Lakeland
+ Our leaders show the way
+ An excellent start to the Lake District Circuit

Latest news March 2019
Please ask us about a trip during our 2019 season. Thank you.

This bold circuit starts in the popular village of Grasmere, quickly reaching the wilder terrain of the Eastern Lakes. Good tracks and stony paths lead up impressive hillsides, to passes giving vistas into new valleys.

Due to the spacing of valleys and villages in these Eastern areas of the Lakes, our days are longer than on the other three Circuits. This daily distance is tempered slightly by the good terrain underfoot, but still the East circuit calls for strong experience and fitness.

Starting in Grasmere our route strikes East to visit Kentmere, Longsleddale, Haweswater, Bampton, Ullswater, Glenridding and St John's in the Vale. Finally the route drops South beside Thirlmere before a last climb to a point above Grasmere. We roll into town to complete the circuit.


Map showing the route of Alpine Exploratory's East Lakes Circuit Guided walking holiday


Alpine Exploratory
ELCg East Lakes Circuit (Guided)
12 May to 15 September 2019
Prices in GBP
per person
Hutty Classic Comfy
Options on the scheduled guided trips
4 stages
(5 nights)

Please ask 850
Singles 125
Our main ELC
Singles 150
Baggage transfer 70

Baggage transfer

Let us deliver your bag to each stop. Each morning simply leave your bag with your host.


Alternative schedules
At 4 stages the East trek is a fast pace and it's tricky to make it faster. Equally at 5 stages there would be a lack of places to stay without taking a bus, so we suggest 4 stages as the ideal.

Extra days
Add a day in Grasmere, before or after the trek, to climb local fells.

If you join us as a private group instead of joining our scheduled treks, then we can adjust your East Lakes Circuit in various ways in particular about your accommodation, for example using hostels or special hotels.

Continuing the Lake Distict Circuit

This guided East Lakes Circuit is a fine introduction to Lakeland walking; please ask us about carrying on self-guided to complete the Lake District Circuit. Leaving Grasmere, we would suggest the bus to Thirlmere to pick up the trail, walking to Threlkeld to continue the Lake District Circuit.

It is also possible to continue in a private guided group. Please ask us for options.


Arrival day: Arrival in Grasmere
Evening arrival in Grasmere. There is a choice of places at which to eat out in the village centre.
Guesthouse, Grasmere

Stage 1: Grasmere to Kentmere
(18.5km or 11.5 miles)
Today�s first stage starts with a low-level trek along the shores of Rydal Water, near Loughrigg Fell, to Ambleside. Leaving this handy town, the theme becomes a traverse of Wansfell to gain Kentmere, a quiet valley far from the morning�s bustle. You have reached the Eastern Lakes!
B&B, Kentmere

Stage 2: Kentmere to Bampton
(20km or 12.5 miles)
Skip across another ridge this morning to walk further East, arriving in Longsleddale. Now the route turns North as you climb steadily to Gatescarth Pass and drop to Haweswater. This reservoir leads to Bampton, a hamlet on the edge of the hills.
Inn, Bampton

Stage 3: Bampton to Glenridding
(22km or 14 miles)
Turn back to the Lakes today, picking up Ullswater and following its Southern shore for a while. Around the base of Place Fell, at the head of the lake, lies the village of Glenridding in the valley of Patterdale.
Guesthouse, Glenridding

Stage 4: Glenridding to Grasmere
(27.5km or 17 miles)
A more direct return to Grasmere is possible if you prefer a shorter last stage; the main route crosses to Thirlmere on the highest ground of the trip. Finally the direction turns South, following the wooded shore of this reservoir for the afternoon, before a final ascent leads to a vantage above your base town and a final descent to Grasmere.
Guesthouse, Grasmere

Departure day: Departure
Morning departure from Grasmere.

Our usual schedule of accommodation might not be available, especially if there is not much time between booking and your trip starting. We will book accommodation as closely as possible to this itinerary and present you a schedule for you to check before we proceed.

The route

Your route
This is a bold exploration of the Eastern valleys of Lakeland, taking the walker into wild settings in the course of long days. Set off from Grasmere on paths around Loughrigg Fell, then through Ambleside and around Wansfell to Kentmere. Cross a further ridge to gain Longsleddale, at the head of which is the Gatescarth Pass to Haweswater and beyond it Bampton. Then pick up Ullswater to reach Glenridding in Patterdale. A final long stage takes you to Thirlmere and South to Grasmere, a high finish heralding the return to civilisation.

Guided walks
Each day your leader guides the group along the stage. On some days there is a choice of route; which route we take depends on what people prefer and on the local conditions.

The terrain is a mix of the following and more: paths in woodland, walled tracks, paths through fields (some indistinct), country lanes, paths over the open hillside (some indistinct) and steep rocky paths or steps.

How to get there

Your holiday starts and ends in Grasmere. Travel to and from Grasmere is not included in the holiday price - we leave it to you to make the arrangements that suit you best. Grasmere is easily reached by a bus from Windermere, Windermere being on the local train line from Oxenholme on the main London-Glasgow line.

Your info pack contains full information on travel options. It is possible to park your car at your accommodation. If you would like to do this, please let us know.

Key information Summer 2019

Trip name: East Lakes Circuit
Guided or self-guided? Guided
Trip code: ELCg
Route: LDC Lake District Circuit
(See our background page on the LDC)
(Prefer the full trek or self-guided?)
Group size: 4 to 8 people
Length: 4 days' trekking
Start: Grasmere in Cumbria
End: Grasmere in Cumbria
Typical walk: 22km, 670m ascent
Highest altitude: 750m
Grade: Red3 (Walking grades)

Dates Summer 2019

Scheduled trips 2019
Please join our guided trip:

ELCg1 11 to 16 May 2019
Guided by leader to be announced
Book (Spaces)
Leaders at Alpine Exploratory

Private trips 2019
Please join us any time in our season from
12 May to 15 September 2019

Scheduled trips: Starting 2 May 2020
Season: 3 May to 18 September 2020

Research Summer 2019

People at Alpine Exploratory Alpine Exploratory's 2019 research on the Lake District Circuit will be led by:
Lucy Rushton in April

Recces 2019

Slate walls of houses in Kentmere
Slate walls in Kentmere (Photo gallery)

Alpine Exploratory's service

5 nights, staying in:
B&Bs and guesthouses (4)
Inn (1)

Accommodation and itinerary
Guided trekking with your IML

Hills above Grasmere
Hills above Grasmere (Photo gallery)

Find out more

Walking guides Our LDC background page

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Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.
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