+ Modest distances but demanding rocky terrain
+ Link famous Lakeland valleys on this natural circuit
+ Options abound for side trips to Lakeland peaks
Latest news September 2019
Please ask us about a trip. We are now taking bookings for our 2020 season. 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.
WLCsg West Lakes Circuit (Self-guided)
12 May to 15 September 2019
Prices in GBP
Please ask us
50 per dog
50 per dog
|Baggage transfer||Please ask us|
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.
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.
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.
Our approach to the West Lakes Circuit
This is a short and sharp exploration of the logical circuit in the Western part of the Lakes, bordering on the Central and Southern parts too. Starting in Great Langdale, we take the Cumbria Way to Borrowdale and from there strike West properly, to drop to Ennerdale. Here, plus the crossing to Wasdale tomorrow, are the wildest sections of the route, visiting two hard-to-reach valleys that give true Lakes character. The rockiest walking is reserved for the fourth and final stage, crossing the passes to the North East of Scafell Pike before a final descent back into Great Langdale.
Our Lakeland trips involve a broad mix of terrain from easy paths across fields to steep rocky paths. Everything is within the context of hillwalking in the UK. A typical path is hard-packed earth (or mud if it has been raining!) with stonier sections and some drops to the side. Around the Scafell area the going is particularly rocky and rough, with navigation at a premium if the cloud is low.
How to get there
Your holiday starts and ends in Great Langdale. The nearest train station is Windermere from where it's a bus ride to Ambleside and then Great Langdale. Windermere is on the branch line from Oxenholme which is on the main London-Glasgow line. If flying, direct trains run from Manchester Airport to Windermere.
Travel to and from the trip is not included in the holiday price. We take care to give the most useful notes possible about all the travel options. We supply these both on booking and in your info pack, and we offer personalised tips at any point. The aim is that our trekkers arrange their travel by the simplest and most scenic means as suits their plan.
Key information Summer 2019
Trip name: West Lakes Circuit
Prices Summer 2019
4 stages, per person:
Research Summer 2019
Great Gable (Photo gallery)
Alpine Exploratory's service
Find out more
Ready to book?
Our booking form to get things started: