(South Lakes Circuit) Rydal Water, between Ambleside and Grasmere
SOUTH LAKES CIRCUIT (SELF-GUIDED)   4 stages . 5 nights . Lake District   Booking

South Lakes Circuit
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ A logical route for a short, easy trek
+ Charming, tranquil and captivating scenery
+ Link Hawkshead, Coniston and Langdale

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

This beautiful circular walk leads you over 4 days through the heart of Southern Lakeland. Each day, follow the gentle course to your next destination.

The route is a clever one, though we say so ourselves! It links up the area's classic walking destinations including Grizedale Forest and Great Langdale, as well as the quieter tracks and paths. This region of the Lakes is particularly suited to rambling, or easy walking, thanks to its network of trails and the ever-changing landscape.

Starting in Ambleside and linking up Great Langdale, Coniston and Hawkshead in a logical loop, your pace need never be too high. The terrain is low in comparison to the high Lakeland fells, and the paths underfoot are mostly excellent. A mile of path might take you though woodland, across a field, past a tarn on a wide stony track, and along a country lane.

Your accommodation is in our varied schedule of guesthouses and inns. For your three nights 'on the road' you'll spend two nights in small villages - Coniston and Hawkshead - and one night in a more rural location, the rarified atmosphere of Great Langdale. A friendly guesthouse in Ambleside completes the picture for your first and last nights, letting you get to know this bustling centre of the southern Lakes.


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


Alpine Exploratory
SLCsg South 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 South trek is a moderate pace: while the stages from Great Langdale to Hawkshead via Coniston could be combined into one, we feel that 4 days is about right.

Rest days
Add a rest day at any of the three stops - Great Langdale, Coniston or Hawkshead - for superb walking options locally plus good food and beer in the evenings.

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

Happy clients

"The pack was well written and up to date.

Scenery? "Beautiful. Cannot explain how lovely it is whatever the weather.

"Everywhere was so kind to us and the dog. Very good service. Thank you for a different holiday, loved every minute."

Mr & Mrs Lees and Lottie, UK
(South Lakes Circuit)

Key information Summer 2019

Trip name: South Lakes Circuit
Guided or self-guided? Self-guided
Trip code: SLCsg
Route: LDC Lake District Circuit
(See our background page on the LDC)
(Prefer the full trek, East, North or West?)
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups
Length: 4 days' trekking
Start: Ambleside in Cumbria
End: Ambleside in Cumbria
Typical walk: 14km, 300m ascent
Highest altitude: 335m
Grade: Blue2 (Walking grades)

Prices Summer 2019

4 stages, per person:

SLCsg Classic
GBP 470 (singles 125, dog 50)
South Lakes Circuit (self-guided)

SLCsg Comfy
GBP 550 (singles 150, dog 50)
South Lakes Circuit (self-guided)

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

Chapel Stile in Great Langdale
Great Langdale (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 SLC1-4 of the Exploratory system
Maps and local information

Season for self-guided treks
12 May to 15 September 2019
3 May to 18 September 2020
Trek on your ideal dates

Blea Tarn and the Langdale Pikes
Blea Tarn (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