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Our five favourite Lake District walks to keep children happy around Windermere, Coniston, Ullswater and Buttermere

Orrest Head

(90 minutes, suitable from aged three and over, no buggies)

You can walk this from the top of Bowness town centre near Booths supermarket, it starts across fields, then goes through woodland before a brief steeper bit as you reach the summit.

The reward is amazing views over Windermere and there are benches and space at the top.

You can descend along various different routes, some on roads. An ideal first ‘summit’ to do in the Lake District.

a man looks out over Windermere from Orrest Head

The view of Windermere from Orrest Head

Tarn Hows

(45 minutes, toddler friendly)

This is man-made but it looks as if it has been part of the Lake District for thousands of years.

There are glorious views around the lake, and the entire circuit is flat and gravelled, which makes it buggy-friendly and ideal for those learning to walk.

Youngsters will enjoy crossing the small bridge at the far end and sheep spotting.

There is a National Trust car park on site with toilets and normally an ice-cream or burger van too. As a favourite spot for families it does get busy in high season so try and go either early morning or late afternoon.

Tarn Hows in the sunset

Tarn Hows is a simple walk for young children

Aira Force 

(80-minute round trip, suited to children aged three and over, but keep children close as there are steep drops)

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Just above the Western edge of Ullswater is the most famous waterfall in the Lakes.

The walk starts at a large car park with visitor centre, you go up through woodland, before passing open fields and then turning right to the falls.

Pause on the bridge for pictures before heading back down. Beware – the path is very open in places with steep drops so you need to keep an eye on little ones at all times.

Stop near the end to dip a toe in the babbling river or tackle some stepping stones before returning through woodland to the car park.

a racing steam near Aira Force in the Lake District

The streams and woodland of Aira Force

Howtown

(Two-hour round trip, suitable from aged four and above)

Catch the Ullswater steamer to Howtown on the sparsely populated Eastern edge of the lake.

Turn right at the pier, follow the signs around the lake – there is a nice stony beach near the start – and then head up.

The wide fields narrow to a small rocky path as you climb up. It isn’t steep but some parts are tight and there are drops, then skirt the lake around Hallin Fell.

There are great picnic spots with amazing lake views and a fun section of exposed sandstone which children can clamber on.

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You can either turn back at the sandstone for a shorter walk or head right the way around Hallin Fell and back to Howtown.

There is a lovely tea room in the small town – but don’t forget to check the steamer timetable to catch your boat back.

Ullswater on a sunny day

Enjoy great views of Ullswater on this walk

Buttermere

(Two-hour round trip, suitable from aged four and above)

In the less visited and harder to reach Western Lakes lies Buttermere.

It is a spectacular spot for a gentle round-the-lake stroll with amazing views. You can park in the village and follow the footpath to the lake.

Head for the western shore, first through Burtness Wood, which is the easiest part of the walk and gives you the chance to stop at the shore for a picnic or paddle.

When you reach the far end you can either turn back through the wood or continue around the entire lake, which is about a four mile walk.

If you’re doing the entire circuit you will have to walk along the road for a short distance and then the shore path is quite rough but there is a fun tunnel towards the end on the eastern shore which does get quite dark.

Honister Pass with a view of Buttermere

Buttermere is below the Honister Pass in the quieter Western Lakes

Do you agree with our choices? What are your family’s favourite walks? Comment below, we would love to hear from you.

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