A lovely, quiet run starting and finishing along Langdale Beck or, if flooded, the well-signed Cumbria Way
Follow Langdale Beck downstream. Run beside Elter Water, Lake of the Swans, then follow the River Brathay upstream to Windermere. At Kirkstone Gallery, head north, taking an anticlockwise loop around Loughrigg Tarn. Cross on paths through Little Loughrigg before heading down a long descent down to Elter Water, turning right at the lake and following Langdale Beck and the Cumbria Way back to the start.
Loughrigg Tarn & Elter Water
Distance: 4.5 miles (7km)
Start/finish: Elter Water car park, LA22 9HR
Terrain: Grassy paths, tracks, quiet lanes
Navigation: Easy Good for: Wildlife, woodland
Route info: wildrunning.net
The Lake District
The Lake District has a long and rich history in running, particularly in its glorious fells. It is home to the infamous Bob Graham Round, a challenge to complete 42 Lakeland peaks (around 70 miles) in under 24 hours. In 2014, local runner Steve Birkinshaw ran 320 miles and touched the summits of 214 mountains, visiting all of the Wainwrights in six days and 13 hours, breaking the long-standing record of another Cumbrian fellrunning legend, Joss Naylor.
The southern Lake District is a place of contrasts, from the busier tourist area such as Windermere to the beautiful, remote regions of Wasdale and Eskdale. This is a superb and classic area for running, and a destination every runner should visit at least once. The craggy upland areas provide exciting, technical mountain running on steep ascents, fast and furious descents and even some enjoyable scrambling. Below these dramatic arenas lie vast, gleaming lakes, silvery tarns and crystal-clear babbling streams.
One of our favourite runs is the tough but picturesque loop around the Coniston fells, traversing a thrilling ridge path between the iconic landmarks of Swirl How and the Old Man of Coniston.
There’s a multitude of fantastic races to choose from in the Lake District, from navigational challenges to fully marked routes at all distances. Lakes-based High Terrain Events (highterrainevents.co.uk) holds a trail and an ultra series, with brilliantly organised races in spectacular places throughout the year. Or, for those wanting more of a challenge, the Bob Graham can be attempted at any time of year: winter, summer, supported or unsupported…