There are 214 Wainwrights and 116 Wainwright Outlying Fells to ‘bag’ in the Lake District. That’s quite a list to look at! We have bagged a number of Wainwrights with our four year old, so here are our family favourites of the best Wainwrights for children.
Hallin Fell (388m, Far Eastern Fell)
This is top of the list because it’s a short walk, a steep but easy climb, and it rewards you with spectacular views over Ullswater. Starting at the small church of St Martins (on the winding road past Howtown), you can follow the path straight up to the trig point. We took a small circular route, that took less than an hour in total.
Catbells (451m, North Western Fell)
This is probably one of my favourite ever walks, and one that I did many times as a child myself. There is some scrambling which will entertain all children, but which makes it more of a challenge with youngsters. If it appeals, read this blog for more guidance.
Loughrigg Fell (335m, Central Fell)
There are a number of ways to ascend Loughrigg Fell, with the choice of starting at Elterwater, Ambleside or at a Grasmere (where you can build in a visit to Rydal Caves). It’s a very accessible walk, with easy paths and great views. Combine it with a day enjoying the beautiful Rydal.
Castle Crag (290m, North Western Fell)
Although this is the lowest Wainwright, it’s definitely not the easiest to walk. But it is worth the effort, offering fantastic views over Borrowdale. The final ascent is over a scree path, so you’ll need to take care in wetter weather, but definitely looks worse than it is!
Walla Crag (379m, Central Fell)
Starting at the National Trust’s Great Wood carpark, a 6 mile loop not only bags you a Wainwright, but also includes the famous and truly stunning Ashness Bridge. What. A. Treat.
Gummer’s How (321m, Outlying Fell)
This popular fell is a favourite for children because you can park just a mile from the summit! It’s an easy path with a few rocks to clamber over (keeping the children happy), and once you get to the top, you’ll see the glorious site of Windermere. Perfect! This one of the few Wainwright walks where walking boots are probably not needed.
Whinlatter (517m, North Western Fell)
Latrigg (368m, Northern Fell)
This walks starts in Keswick, and is a popular one for many families. The first 500m is fairly steep, but then that’s the hard work done, with a fairly gentle gradient for the rest of the walk. There is a road where you can park fairly close to the summit and just enjoy the views, so don’t get a surprise when you see flip-flopping families up there!
Dodd (502m, Northern Fell)
Whilst the walk to Dodd summit is undoubtedly steep, the woodland route is on well marked Forestry Commission paths (the Green Trail) meaning easy navigation. As well as summit views of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake, on clear days you can enjoy views over Scotland.
Rannerdale Knotts (355m, North Western Fell)
Although I don’t ever remember walking Rannerdale Knotts myself (unless I did as a child myself), it comes highly recommended for children. Sally Chesire advises “The best way to do the walk is starting from Crummock water and ending in Buttermere (don’t think I’d fancy the scramble bit from Crummock going down), the path is really easy to follow and a lovely walk back from the ridge to Buttermere.”
The National Trust offer this three mile circular route to follow, again a walk with good views over Buttermere.
Where to stay with children
Two options that give good access to various Wainwrights that we’ve stayed at are;
- Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat, in a lodge towards the top of Bassenthwaite Lake
- Hillcroft Park, which is a campsite offering great family facilities, and where we’ve stayed in a pod.
Are you Wainwright bagging with your children? Which ones would you recommend?