Walking festivals in the Lake District

Derwentwater

One of the main reasons people flock to the Lake District is for walking, whether they’re seeking leisurely riverside strolls or a challenging hike up one of the many fells or mountains. So popular is the Lake District for walking that many events are held across the year to bring together like-minded walkers and take them on treks that would normally otherwise go undiscovered.

If you’re after the ultimate walking holiday in the Lake District, be sure to time it with one of these festivals held in the area across the year.

Ulverston WalkFest – April 22nd-May 1st

With 32 walks across 10 days, there’s bound to be a walk on offer to keep everyone happy. Now in its eighteenth year, this year’s programme seeks to delve deeper into the industrial and mining history of Ulverston, with special walks being held highlighting the area’s copper, iron and slate mines, while other walks will take visitors back in time as far as the Bronze Age.

Among the sights to be seen on the guided walks are the cairns of the Dunnerdale Fells, the Leven Valley and the Force Falls. Map classes will also be held, while some visitors will also enjoy taking part in the Ulverston Ale Trail.

Ullswater

Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival – April 25th-May 1st

With walks, talks and music along the route of the Settle-Carlisle Railway, this walking festival crosses counties and explores the scenery of both Cumbria and Yorkshire. Every walk is free, and starts from one of five train stations, making them easy to access via public transport: Kirkby Stephen, Appleby, Langwathby, Lazonby and Armathwaite. Highlights include the Jericho Shanty Town Experience, where you can walk to the Ribblehead Viaduct before passing the sites of the shanty towns themselves, as well as a strenuous walk from Kirkby Stephen to Garsdale, over both Swarth Fell and Wild Boar Fell.

Each of the towns taking part will also be hosting a series of interesting talks, offering more insights into the local area and history, as well as live music and poetry sessions to be entertained by.

Keswick Mountain Festival – June 8th-11th

Spanning not only walking but also talks, live music, family-friendly entertainment and sports events, the Keswick Mountain Festival has become one of the UK’s best-loved celebrations of the outdoors.

Although the festival covers a lot of areas, its walking programme is excellent, offering not only guided walks but also chances for walkers to get to grips with navigation and ghyll scrambling. The walks take you to some of the Lake District’s best-loved views and peaks, including Grisedale Pike, Scafell Pike, Walla Crag, Buttermere Fells and Blencathra.

There’s also plenty of self-catering accommodation in the area perfect for retiring to after a long day of walking – check out this wide choice of Lake District holiday cottages and find your ideal place to stay.

Buttermere