The village is at the foot of the Kirkstone Pass, one of the most scenic routes in Lakeland. This situation means that the village is an ideal centre for fell walkers, particularly those wanting to climb Helvellyn (316 feet) along Striding Edge. It is also close to Patterdale, another popular hiking area. Not too far from Glendenning is Aira Force, a 60 feet high waterfall which is particularly spectacular after heavy rain when the water cascades between the rocks down to the northern side of the lake.
Glenridding is also a popular water sports centre and it is possible to hire various craft, including windsurfers, canoes and dinghies, or to take boat trips along this lovely lake. There are buses running from both Penrith and Keswick and combined tickets can be purchased for the bus and steamer boat service along the lake.