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Walking in the Lake District's insider take:

In just a 30-mile stretch, the area boasts a breathtaking range of tarns (lakes), fells (hills), becks (brooks), and forests, not to mention a variety of beautiful walks.

Footpath Holidays runs tours at all grades of difficulty from June to September, both guided and self-guided (16 Norton Bavant, Near Warminster, Wiltshire; 44-198-584-0049; Its seven-day hikes through the Lake District include the waterfall at Skelwith Bridge, Castlerig stone circle, and Easedale Tarn, as well as scenic walks along Loughrigg Terrace and Jenkin Crag.

Contours Walking Holidays also offers six-to-nine-night treks for all levels, including the 70-mile Cumbria Way, which goes right through the heart of the Lakelands from Ulverston to Carlisle (Gramyre, 3 Berrier Road, Greystoke; 44-176-880-451,

If you're aiming for the high fells, such as the summits of Great Gable or Scafell Pike, check the weather forecast, take waterproof clothing, and wear boots. It may be helpful to have the following map from the Ordnance Survey series on hand: The English Lakes, South Western Area, number OL6 (44-845-456-0420;; closed Saturdays and Sundays).

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