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. Please be aware that this is a challenging route in places, you will need to be proficient in map reading and the use of a compass. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries regarding the suitability of this walk, we are happy to advise.

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 Lake District 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 3 options on the Inn Way to the Lake District. You can walk the whole route over 7 or 8 days, or do either the eastern section over 3 days, or the western section over 4 days.

The eastern section takes you through the more popular tourist hot-spots of the Central Lakes 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 shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere before heading into Ennerdale and Wasdale, two of the more remote valleys of the Lake District.

Please bear in mind that the distances each day are trail distances only. They do not take into account walking to your accommodation. On some days the accommodation might be on or close to the trail but on other days you may need to walk one or two miles to get to your overnight stop.

Inn Way to the Lake District

Ambleside to Ambleside 92 miles/148 km

This is the whole route, a challenging but rewarding round of Lakeland's most dramatic valleys, which we are also pleased to offer as a dog-friendly choice. Please select the codes ending with a D if you are interested in walking this route with your dog.

Code Length Average per day Price range
LI8 7 days walking (8 nights) 13 miles/21 km £993 - £1257 Full Info Book
LI8D 7 days walking (8 nights) 13 miles/21 km £1064 - £1328 Full Info Book
LI9 8 days walking (9 nights) 11 miles/18 km £1113 - £1415 Full Info Book
LI9D 8 days walking (9 nights) 12 miles/19 km £1183 - £1485 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 and you can bring your dog along too. Please select the code ending with a D for more information about our dog-freindly version of this holiday.

Code Length Average per day Price range
LIW5 4 days walking (5 nights) 13 miles/21 km £732 - £883 Full Info Book
LIW5D 4 days walking (5 nights) 13 miles/21 km £753 - £904 Full Info Book

The Central Lakes

Coniston to Braithwaite 40 miles/64 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. The code ending with a D denotes our dog-friendly option for those with a canine companion.

Code Length Average per day Price range
LIE4 3 days walking (4 nights) 13 miles/21 km £571 - £684 Full Info Book
LIE4D 3 days walking (4 nights) 13 miles/21 km £602 - £715 Full Info Book