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 or 8 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 $1108 - $1426 Full Info Book
LI9 8 days walking (9 nights) 11 miles/18 km $1242 - $1605 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 $835 - $1016 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 $651 - $787 Full Info Book

Client Feedback

Once again thank you for a very enjoyable holiday. We have walked in the Lake District for many years but this year, walking the Inn Way, have gained a new insight and perspective. Very impressed by Mickledore’s concern for our safe arrival back in Ambleside on the final day.

Would you use Mickledore again? Yes. This is our second walking holiday with you. We remain very impressed.

Inn Way to the Lake District, May 2017
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Thanks very much for organizing what was a superb experience. I would like to commend the luggage transfer service – the highest compliment I could pay is that we didn’t think about it after the first transfer. We expected the luggage to be at the new destination and it invariably was. Thanks again for an excellent holiday.

Rob Roy Way, May 2017
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Thank you very much for scheduling the walking tour for us and looking after all of the associated accommodation and luggage transfer details. Your information package for the trip arrived well in advance of our departure date so we had everything we needed to prepare for the vacation.  We also enjoyed the various restaurants that you recommended and the suggested activities for our rest day.

Speyside Way, June 2017
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