(North Lakes Circuit) Great Gable
NORTH LAKES CIRCUIT (SELF-GUIDED)   4 stages . 5 nights . Lake District   Booking

North Lakes Circuit
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ A short trek in the bold Northern Lakes
+ Walk over passes and through valleys
+ Detailed route notes and trekking advice

Latest news December 2018
Booking is open for 2019! Please ask us about a trip. Thank you.

This ingenious 4-day circular walk takes you on a journey through the Northern Lakes. Start in Keswick, the handy base at the top of Derwent Water, and venture through Buttermere, Borrowdale and Threlkeld on your way round.

As a first stage, head out of Keswick and reach the village of Buttermere. The scene here is quite different, enclosed within two mountain ridges and with Buttermere and Crummock Water on hand. Next a rough path takes you over to Rosthwaite in Borrowdale. Carry on the journey across the fells to Threlkeld sitting underneath Blencathra, before the last stage that follows the classic Lakeland route towards Skiddaw House and back to Keswick.

The theme of this short trek is an exploration of the area's less well-known tracks and trails. Many walkers will have climbed the high fells that line the route throughout, but might not have ventured into the quiet valleys and over the high passes. This route lets you put into perspective any previous visits, gaining a proper feel for what's where in this classic outdoor region.

Your accommodation is in our schedule of friendly guesthouses, B&Bs and inns. As always, we favour a handy location in the village and a good welcome. Each night brings new surroundings and a chance to relax.


Map showing the route of Alpine Exploratory's North Lakes Circuit Self-Guided walking holiday


Alpine Exploratory
NLCsg North Lakes Circuit (Self-guided)
12 May to 15 September 2019
Prices in GBP
per person
Hutty Classic Comfy
Popular schedules
4 stages
(5 nights)

Please ask us
Singles 125
50 per dog
Singles 150
50 per dog
Baggage transfer Please ask us

Baggage transfer

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


We don't have set schedules or start dates - instead we can book your trip to suit you.

Alternative schedules
At 4 stages the North trek is a moderately fast pace and it would be hard to combine stages to make it faster. To add a night and make it 5 stages would be possible, but would need a bus to reach accommodation.

Rest days
Add a rest day in Buttermere, after the first stage, or Borrowdale half-way, to relax in these particularly pretty valleys or to walk local routes.

Which Lakeland trek?

We offer four short treks in the Lakes (each 4 stages). By trekking the outer edge of these four, we make our Lake District Circuit (10 stages):

+ The East Lakes Circuit has longer distances than the others
+ This North Lakes Circuit is an all-rounder involving low passes
+ The West Lakes Circuit gives modest distances but difficult terrain
+ The South Lakes Circuit is the easiest of the treks and stays low
+ The Lake District Circuit is our fabulous loop of the Lakes.

Key information Summer 2019

Trip name: North Lakes Circuit
Guided or self-guided? Self-guided
Trip code: NLCsg
Route: LDC Lake District Circuit
(See our background page on the LDC)
(Prefer the full trek, East, West or South?)
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups
Length: 4 days' trekking
Start: Keswick in Cumbria
End: Keswick in Cumbria
Typical walk: 14km, 500m ascent
Highest altitude: 530m
Grade: Red2 (Walking grades)

Prices Summer 2019

4 stages, per person:

NLCsg Classic
GBP 470 (singles 125, dog 50)
North Lakes Circuit (self-guided)

NLCsg Comfy
GBP 550 (singles 150, dog 50)
North Lakes Circuit (self-guided)

Research Summer 2019

People at Alpine Exploratory People at Alpine ExploratoryAlpine Exploratory's 2018 research on the Lake District Circuit will be led by:
Joy O'Flanagan in May
Rob Gale in May

Recces 2018

Wild scenery at Skiddaw House
At Skiddaw House (Photo gallery)

Alpine Exploratory's service

5 nights, staying in:
B&Bs and guesthouses (2)
Inns (2)
Small hotel (1)

Accommodation and itinerary
Expert and unlimited advice
Routecards NLC1-4 of the Exploratory system
Maps and local information

Season for self-guided treks
12 May to 15 September 2019
10 May to 13 September 2020 (TBC 1 Oct 2019)
Trek on your ideal dates

Buttermere from Warnscale Beck
Buttermere (Photo gallery)

Find out more

Holiday Notes Read our trip dossier,
    a 2-page PDF which is easy to print

Walking guides Our LDC background page

Contact us or use this form:

Rough month?         
Any questions about the Lake District?

Ready to book?

Our booking form to get things started:


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.
About us