Inn Way to the Lake District

The Lakes Inn Way is a 90 mile circular walk starting and finishing in the popular tourist town of Ambleside. This trail takes in some of the more remote corners of the Lake District, and takes you through the Lake District’s stunning deep sided valleys, along lake shores and over remote mountain passes – as well as past over 40 traditional Lakeland inns.

The full route takes you through the popular tourist towns of Ambleside, Coniston, and Grasmere (site of Dove Cottage, former home of the Romantic Poet Wordsworth), as well as through a few of the Lake District’s most impressive valleys – Borrowdale, Ennerdale, and Great Langdale, linked together with paths over high mountain passes, with great views of the surrounding fells. A highlight is a visit to remote Wasdale Head, in the shadow of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.

The Inn Way to the Lakes is a great combination, taking in the busier valleys and towns of the central Lake District, such as Ambleside, Coniston, Langdale, and Borrowdale as well as the more remote, quieter places of the western Lake District, including Buttermere, Wasdale and Eskdale – a true cross section of what the Lakes has to offer.

Why is the route known as the Inn Way to the Lake District? Because it is devised so that at each day the route passes a pub at lunchtime and there will always be one nearby – or you will be staying in one – at each overnight stop. There are many traditional Lakeland Inns to choose from, – so you can plan your trip looking forward to log fires, local ales and good food, often made with local produce.

‘The Inn Way’ is a Registered Trademark of Mark Reid, author of ‘The Inn Way’ series of guidebooks.

Our Holidays

We have three options on the Lakes Inn Way. You can walk the whole route over 7 days, or do either the eastern section over three days, or the western section over four days.

The eastern section takes you through the more popular tourist hot-spots such as Coniston, Ambleside, and Grasmere, as well as the iconic valleys of Great Langdale and Borrowdale.

The western section takes in the quieter, western Lake District a pleasant walk along the sides of Crummock Water and Buttermere before heading into Ennerdale and Wasdale, two of the more remote valleys of the Lake District.

Inn Way to the Lake District

Ambleside to Ambleside 90 miles/145 km

This is the whole route, a challenging but rewarding round of the Lakeland's most dramatic valleys.

Code Length Average per day Price range
LI8 7 days walking (8 nights) 13 miles/21 km £540 - £708 Full Info Book

The Western Lakes

Braithwaite to Coniston 51 miles/82 km

Explore the quieter Western Lakes, though the remote valleys of Ennerdale, Wasdale, Eskdale and Dunnerdale. A great walk through the less visited side of the Lake District.

Code Length Average per day Price range
LIW5 4 days walking (5 nights) 13 miles/21 km £422 - £518 Full Info Book

The Central Lakes

Coniston to Braithwaite 39 miles/63 km

The eastern part of the Inn way, taking in the popular villages and valleys of the Central Lakes. A challenging walk, but slightly easier than the western part.

Code Length Average per day Price range
LIE4 3 days walking (4 nights) 13 miles/21 km £329 - £401 Full Info Book

Client Feedback

What is very clear is that you have been doing this for a while and your research has identified the best venues because what was abundantly obvious was the genuine warmth and friendliness of the welcome I received. I’d like to thank Mickledore for a wonderful walking experience with nothing to concern me other than walking from A to B (how you managed to guarantee fantastic weather almost every day I will never know) and I look forward to trying out another of your long distance walks in the not too distant future.

Coast to Coast, May 2016
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Hard to see what else you could do – the service is excellent, the pack is as comprehensive as anyone could wish for. We were especially impressed that you included relevant transport timetables, particularly the bus info. for the last day – we didn’t use it but it was good to have it!

Westmorland Way, May 2016
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I can’t think of anything that could be improved upon as the walk was so well planned by Mickledore. Walking the South Downs was very beautiful and challenging. Thank you for putting together a truly memorable trip.

South Downs Way, May 2016
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