How to stay safe when walking in the Lake District in winter

Here at the Borrowdale Gates hotel, the Lake District’s incredible national park is just outside the front door. However, you may be somewhat worried about exploring this area of outstanding national beauty during the harsh winter months. After all, you don’t want to get lost during the coldest part of the year or risk slipping on icy paths. But there are ways to manage the slight risks associated with walking in the Lake District during winter. The national park has a crisp beauty during the colder months that you shouldn’t miss out on simply because of cold weather!

1. Safety

The risk of slipping is always present when you go walking in any natural environment during the winter. However, it’s easy to reduce this risk by wearing sensible shoes that are designed to grip the ground effectively. You should also let someone know where you’re going and what time to expect you back, so that if anything does happen, you’ll know someone will come along to help you. Luckily, it’s very unlikely that anything too serious will happen anyway.

2. Navigation

Winter is the worst time of year to get lost, especially in the Lake District: the routes you can walk on are very exposed to the elements. Nonetheless, if you stick to established tracks and take a map with you, you should be able to find your way around perfectly well.

3. Staying warm

You should always dress appropriately when walking or hiking in the Lake District; choose warm, waterproof clothes that can protect you from cold weather and precipitation.

Many people who aren’t experienced hikers worry about walking in the Lake District’s gorgeous national park during winter, but there’s no need for concern. If you follow the advice above, you can explore the area both safely and comfortably. And don’t forget, you’ll be able to return to our warm, luxurious four-star hotel when you’re done!

The Lake District is ideal for your winter break

The Lake District is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK. During the summer it is packed with tourists taking part in great outdoor activities like fell-walking, hiking, and trekking, but it also has so much to offer in the winter months. Here’s a couple of reasons why it makes for a great winter destination!

It looks even better in the winter

There’s no denying that the Lake District is one of the most beautiful places in the UK, maybe even in Europe, but what makes it really special is that it looks just as great in winter as it does in the summer months. Its striking landscapes, woodlands and of course the lakes look even more stunning under a layer of snow or covered in the oranges and reds of autumn than they do bathed in the mid-summer sun. It makes the area great for amateur photographers, too, whether you’re just snapping on your iPhone or you’re taking some more serious kit with you – you’ll be able to showcase your photography talents for your friends and family when you get back home!

You can relax in the comfort of a great hotel

Lots of people associate the Lake District with outdoor activities, such as golfing, cycling, and walking, and even though these are fantastic days out, they aren’t all that the area has to offer. The Lake District is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the UK, and at the Borrowdale Gates our 4 star hotel and AA Rosette restaurant can keep you comfortable and occupied throughout your break.

Borrowdale and Castle Crag Fell Walk

Here are the Borrowdale Gates hotel, our location makes us the perfect choice for fell walkers. When you step outside the hotel you are in the heart of the national park and there are many walks to discover and challenge.

Castle Crag Fell Walk

Rosthwaite to Castle Crag Walk

In the middle of Borrowdale is Castle Crag. From its summit you can view up and down the valley and take in the spectacular views that are on offer. From its flanks you can experience the intimacy of the surrounding woods and river banks. Castle Crag is a rather small, perfectly formed little peak, a walk round and up it is a unique experience in the Lake District as no other valley in the area has a similar feature.

Essentially a low level walk but the ground is rough in parts and shelter can take time to get to so dress for higher fells.

  • Grade: Time / Effort 1, Navigation 2, Technicality 2
  • Start/Finish: Rosthwaite, GR NY257148 – parking at Rosthwaite or bus service from Keswick to Rosthwaite.
  • Distance: 3.7 miles (6km)
  • Time: 2 hours height gain 263m
  • Superwalker: (1:25.000) Lakeland West, British Mountain Maps Lake District (1:40.000).


1. Turn right out of the car park and head along the lane to the River Derwent. Follow the path to New Bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the path into the woodland. The path leaves the river and climbs steadily through the trees. After 1km you will reach a junction with a bridleway.

2. Follow the stony bridleway as it climbs for 600m until just past the foot of the crags of Castle Crag to a steep path on the left.

3. Follow this path to a ladder stile. Continue along the path as it climbs to a col then as it zig-zags north to the summit of Castle Crag – take care near the quarry edges.

4. Back-track to the col then take the path that leads down to the side of the River Derwent. Join the path and follow it to New Bridge. Cross the bridge then retrace your steps back to Rosthwaite.

Come and discover this wonderful fell walk that will take your breath away. Remember to bring a camera, your photos will be a fantastic way to keep this special day in the forefront of your mind.

Personal Walking Instructor

If you would like a walking instructor, we can arrange for Mandy Granville from “Women Rock” to come to the hotel to show you what we have to offer here in the Lake District.

Book Your Stay With Us

Make the most of your trip to the Lakes by staying over with us in our luxury 4 Star hotel, set in the tranquil, stunning scenery of the Borrowdale Valley. We look forward to your visit.

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