Elterwater Lake Circular Walk

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This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.8 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
270 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Elterwater Lake Circular Walk

The Elterwater Lake Circular Walk is a 10.9 km journey through the Great Langdale Valley that will take you along the edge of the water and the flowing River Brathay. While out on the trail, you will experience views of the surrounding Lake District Fells as you walk along the valley floor between the villages of Elterwater and Skelwith Bridge. This walk offers a great mix of village, woodland, and open farmland walking, making it suitable for walkers of almost every skill level.

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Route Description for Elterwater Lake Circular Walk

With wonderfully scenic views of the surrounding Lake District landscape and easy-to-navigate terrain, the Elterwater Circular Walk is a great option for a fun day of exploring the trails, no matter your skill level. Although the trail is easy to follow, there are some portions of the walk that traverse uneven terrain, which might slow travel for less mobile walkers. Even still, the pleasant scenery of the surrounding fells standing proudly above the floor of the Great Langdale Valley is a wonderful way to spend some time outdoors.

Setting out from the trailhead in the village of Elterwater, the trail will first lead you to the south through a beautiful stretch of intermittent woodland terrain before visiting the rushing waters of Colwith Force. From here, you will head to the east across some open terrain, eventually arriving in the charming village of Skelwith Bridge. Turn to the northwest and follow closely along the winding banks of the River Brathay, as it will take you to the point where it flows out of Elterwater Lake. Make your way along the edge of the water and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this lakeside setting before arriving back at the car park where you began your journey.

Getting to the Elterwater Lake Circular Walk Trailhead

To reach the car park for the Elterwater Lake Circular Walk from Skelwith Bridge, drive northeast on A593 and turn left onto B5343, following it for 2.4 km. Turn left here and continue on for 0.3 km to find the car park on the left just before the bridge.

Route Information

  • When to do


  • Backcountry Campsites


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


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Elterwater Lake Circular Walk Elevation Graph

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