Lake District Walks Route Planner Review

Which walking route planner websites are the best? In the second part of our guide we are reviewing five websites that include walks in specific areas of the UK. We conclude with a review of John Dawson’s Lake District Walks.

General / Searching for a Walk

John Dawson’s Lake District Walks is a veteran walking website with a classic, straightforward design. It contains 40 hikes in the Lake District and over 300 photographs taken en route. The walks can be found using an index that is subdivided into sections of the Lake District based on the location of the walk. These are north, north east, east, south east, etc. and The Howgills. Each walk within these sections is identified by the name(s) of the major peaks on the route, or the name of the walking route, e.g. Fairfield Horseshoe. Each walk has a brief list of the summits and points of note along the walking route, the grid reference of the start and finish point, the total distance, total ascent and equivalent distance. All of the walks are circular, except of the Morecombe Bay Crossing.

The English Lake District is the most beautiful natural terrain I know. In 1990 I was fortunate enough to be able to come to live here permanently and walk the Lakeland fells to my heart’s content. This site is dedicated to all those who explore the area on foot. John Dawson.

There is an index of photographs listing each photo in alphabetical order, with the photo name including the main object of the photo and where the photo was taken from. Most of the photos can be viewed in small or large versions, whilst some others have a zoom-in feature. There are also a number of panoramas. These are very useful if you are planning a hike and want to get an idea about a particular part of the terrain, or if you just want to look at photos of great Lakeland scenery. Each photo page has a link to hikes that are relevant to the photo.

The search facility is useful for searching for specific locations such as Taylorgill Force. Searching for names of the highest or most popular peaks, e.g. Scafell Pike, Bowfell or Blencartha, gives too many results since these are mentioned on lots of webpages within the site.

Navigation around the website could be improved. There is a small navigation bar near the bottom of each page, which is obscured by banner adverts. The navigation bar only contains links to the Title Page, Walks Index, Photo Index and Site Search. There are a few pages listed at the top of the photo index page that I would have missed seeing, had I not looked at the photo index.

John Dawson's Lake District Walks website screenshot – lots of great hikes throughout the English Lake District

Walk Descriptions

Clicking through to the webpage for an individual walking route gives you a repeat of the summary, the option to view the route on an OS Map and a list of route grid references. You can also view the route mapped onto satellite images which have been added to the website

Next there are “Escape Routes” that enable you to make the walking route shorter or abandon the hike in the case of fatigue and/or bad weather.

Wast Water in the Lake District, Cumbria, UK
The Lake District, arguably the best place to go walking in England. Source: Flickr by dullhunk.

Following this heading section comes the route description. The navigational information is quite detailed and there are helpful comments about the difficulty of the terrain. Links to pages containing photographs are contained within the walk description. The descriptions of the photographs state where the photo was taken from and often identify many of the peaks and summits that can be seen.

As well as Lake District walks there are also hikes and trekking routes in Turkey and Cyprus.

GPS waypoint data is provided for some of the walking routes.

There is a fair amount of advertising in the form of banners and Google Ads.

Summary –

John Dawson’s has walked many of the fells in the Lakes. He is obviously passionate about the area and knows it well. Consequently this walking website is very comprehensive. The walk descriptions and maps provide detailed and helpful information.

The equivalent distance calculated for each walk provide a useful indication of the severity of the walk. The photograph index is very useful for identifying Lakeland Peaks and looking at views the Lake District.

If you are going hiking in the Lake District then is definitely worth looking at.


Have you used Were you able to find a suitable walking route? Was the information provided useful and accurate? Let us know what you think! Add to the review using the comments link below…


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