(West Lakes Circuit) Wasdale Head below
WEST LAKES CIRCUIT (SELF-GUIDED)   4 stages . 5 nights . Lake District   Booking

West Lakes Circuit
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ Modest distances but demanding rocky terrain
+ Link famous Lakeland valleys on this natural circuit
+ Options abound for side trips to Lakeland peaks

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

Cross from one remote valley to the next on this exhilarating exploration of the Western Lakes. Highlights of this trip include ennerdale and Wasdale, two valleys into which it is almost as easy to arrive by foot as by car!

The terrain in this key part of the Lake District is more consistently rocky than that of other areas. The emphasis is on stony paths rather than grassy or hard-packed ones. This terrain brings stunning views, in clear weather, of the highest Lakes peaks including Scafell Pike and Great Gable, both of which your route passes close by and which make obvious detours off our route for those who wish.

Starting in Great Langdale, the first stage follows the Cumbria Way as far as Borrowdale, linking the orbit of the South Lakes to that of the North. Next, cross intriguing mining areas before dropping to the wilds of Ennerdale, one of the most remote Lakeland valleys. There follow two obvious crossings of passes, first to Wasdale and finally back to Langdale, after a day on some loose and rocky paths.

Your accommodation is in our varied schedule, mainly in small Lakeland hotels plus one hostel in wild Ennerdale. For this hostel, no extra kit is needed, breakfast is included as per each other morning, and dinner is available.


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


Alpine Exploratory
WLCsg West 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 West trek contains one shorter day, to Wasdale Head, but to combine this with the day either side would make it quite long. We like the flexibility of the short day, to allow exploration to the side.. Pillar and Great Gable are fells to either side.

Rest days
Add a rest day in Wasdale to climb a peak. Or, take an extra night in Great Langdale and 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
+ The North Lakes Circuit is an all-rounder involving low passes
+ This 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: West Lakes Circuit
Guided or self-guided? Self-guided
Trip code: WLCsg
Route: LDC Lake District Circuit
(See our background page on the LDC)
(Prefer the full trek, East, North or South?)
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups
Length: 4 days' trekking
Start: Great Langdale in Cumbria
End: Great Langdale in Cumbria
Typical walk: 10.5km, 520m ascent
Highest altitude: 725m
Grade: Red2 (Walking grades)

Prices Summer 2019

4 stages, per person:

WLCsg Classic
GBP 470 (singles 125, dog 50)
West Lakes Circuit (self-guided)

WLCsg Comfy
GBP 550 (singles 150, dog 50)
West 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

Great Gable seen from above Ennerdale
Great Gable (Photo gallery)

Alpine Exploratory's service

5 nights, staying in:
Small hotels (3)
Inn (1)
Hostel (1)

Accommodation and itinerary
Expert and unlimited advice
Routecards WLC1-4 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

Ennerdale and its mountains either side
Ennerdale (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