+ Open hillsides and lakes of Eastern Lakeland
+ Our leaders show the way
+ An excellent start to the Lake District Circuit
Latest news December 2018
Booking is open for 2019! Please ask us about a trip. 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.
ELCg East Lakes Circuit (Guided)
12 May to 15 September 2019
Prices in GBP
|Options on the scheduled guided trips|
Our main ELC
Let us deliver your bag to each stop. Each morning simply leave your bag with your host.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Dates Summer 2019
Scheduled dates 2019
Season for private groups
12 May to 15 September 2019
Please join us on your ideal dates
2020 (Provisional, TBC 1 Oct 2019)
Departures: 9 May 2020
Season: 10 May to 13 September 2020
Research Summer 2019
Slate walls in Kentmere (Photo gallery)
Alpine Exploratory's service
Find out more
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