This is a circular walk from Elterwater which crosses Lingmoor before descending to Blea Tarn and then returning via Great Langdale. There are great opportunities for photography; from the snake like wall running across Lingmoor, the Langdale Pikes and reflections in the lake at Blea Tarn, plus the rural scenery in Great Langdale on the return leg.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park in the National Trust car park at Elterwater (Pay and display or free for National Trust members), if this is full turn right at 'Slates' and there is further parking just before the Ambleside - Langdale road. If using the latter, please park sensibly and do not obstruct narrow roads.
(D/A) From the parking in Elterwater, turn left and go over the bridge, then turn immediately right onto a road that ascends towards the working slate quarry. Look out for a path on the right after 400m.
(1) Turn right onto the path and walk with the river on your right to a footbridge, ignore this bridge and stay on the path which bends to the left, continue following this path, again with the river to your right. At the junction, take the left hand path and walk uphill, passing through spoil-heaps and beside a house to the road leading up the quarry. (Alternatively, keep on the road at (1) and follow it, curving leftwards and ascending to the same point)
(2) Turn right and follow the road which leads into the quarry yard. (At the entrance you can climb up to a viewing platform) The path is signposted and is separated from the quarry yard by a fence. Follow the path into the woods and up to emerge on a road with a house on your right.
(3) Turn right on the road, walk past the house and then left immediately to follow a signposted path uphill. This will lead quickly to cross another track. At this junction, turn right and ascend past the disused slate heaps of Banks Quarry. (The following is optional : you can go into the quarry and explore the tunnel if you have a torch with you, it goes in for about 10 metres and can be wet underfoot with a few stepping stones to help you.)
Return to the track and follow it through a gate. It ascends gently across the fell-side to cross a stream. Shortly after the stream is a junction with another path signposted Lingmoor / Side Pike.
(4) Turn left and follow the path more steeply uphill up to a metal gate with tread-plates to help you cross.
(5) Climb over the gate and turn immediately right. You will now be following the line of the wall up and over the fell-side as it follows the ridge to the summit of Lingmoor. The path rises to a slate seat and then again to a good viewpoint. After the viewpoint, the path descends into a small col where the wall becomes a fence and where it can be wet underfoot. The path then follows the wall again, which becomes a fence again on the final ascent to Brown How, which is the actual summit of Lingmoor Fell. Cross the fence via a stile to the summit.
(6) From the summit, turn back on yourself and cross the stile. Take the path which descends with a wall on your right. At a junction with another path keep descending, following the wall, this will bend to the right and the path bends with it but veers away, eventually arriving at the road which links Little and great Langdale via Blea Tarn.
(7) At the road, turn right and walk for a short way to a gate on the left, opposite the parking area on the right. Go through the gate and follow the path beside the lake. (In clear still weather, the photography opportunities are excellent). Continue along the path and cross a stream to a junction with another path.
(8) Turn right at the junction and walk through the woods, then go through a gate to a track. Follow the track, pass through another gate and arrive at the road.
(9) Cross the road, go through a gate and turn left to follow the path downhill towards Great Langdale. The path zigzags a little as it descends and you will see a wooded area in front of you, just above the camp-site. Walk down until you are almost at the gate in the wall that leads into the wooded area. (At one of the lower zigzags another path slants diagonally across the fell side to the wooded area, this cuts the corner off)
(10) From just above the gate, turn right and follow the path with the wood on your left. Follow the path past the wood and across pasture, passing through walls that run down the fell side. This will bring you to a wall and stream just above Side House farm. Cross through and over and follow the path down to the farm track with the stream on your left.
(11) At the farm track, turn right and walk away from the farm, heading down Langdale. After passing through a gate, the path curves rightwards and ascends to a wall. Continue following the path, mainly with the wall on your left, crossing stiles as necessary. The path will bring you to Oak How farm.
(12) At Oak How, turn right at the junction in the track and follow the path around the fell side and into woodland. The path become a better track and brings you to Baysbrown farm. Continue past the farm along the farm track and back into woodland. The track will bring you to the house at (3).
(3) Continue straight on, along the track, which descends to join another track.
(13) At this junction, turn left and walk down to the road that runs through Elterwater. Turn left again and walk carefully along the road to the bridge. Cross the bridge and turn right into the parking.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 64m - Car Park
1 : km 0.46 - alt. 84m - Junction road and path
2 : km 1.14 - alt. 102m - Junction path and road
3 : km 1.56 - alt. 130m - Junction path and track
4 : km 2.66 - alt. 268m - Junction in path
5 : km 2.96 - alt. 328m - Gate
6 : km 4.28 - alt. 455m - Lingmoor Fell
7 : km 5.3 - alt. 202m - Side Gates Road
8 : km 5.71 - alt. 197m - Stream
9 : km 6.75 - alt. 227m - Side Gates Road
10 : km 7.36 - alt. 128m - Gate
11 : km 8.49 - alt. 97m - Side House
12 : km 9.98 - alt. 91m - Oak Howe
13 : km 12.64 - alt. 98m - Junction track and track
D/A : km 13.16 - alt. 64m - Car Park
There are few places where you can find shelter on this walk, other than duddling down behind a wall. Please check the weather forecast before setting off and dress accordingly. A wind/waterproof is always a good idea and an extra layer in case it is cold on the top.
I would recommend boots for this walk, in the summer, when it is dry you could use approach shoes with a good sole unit. When wet, there are the odd boggy sections where a full boot provides better protection.
Once in great Langdale you can take detours for refreshment, the nearest being The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel (from 10, walk through the wood and past the campsite towards Middle Fell Farm, the Hotel is next door or from 11, turn left and take the farm track to the road, opposite and rightwards is the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. There are also hotels and cafés in Elterwater at the end of the walk.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
This is a great walk for the changing views and opportunities for photography. Do it in different seasons and you will see the same views in different light. Try to do it on a still day and you will be rewarded with reflections of the Langdale Pikes in Blea Tarn.
In winter, particularly if there has been a temperature inversion, you will find the north facing slopes frozen hard and the south facing slopes bathed in sunshine. In these condition, you will emerge on the side of Lingmoor above a sea of cloud and will strip off your layers as you ascend to the top. Then, once you are back in great Langdale you will be putting them back on again as you traverse the path back.
A varied walk taking in woodland, a quarry, farmland, the open fell side and finishing beside a river with a waterfall and then the lake side at Elterwater.
This is a short walk with a lot of interest. Despite it not tackling any of the major Lakeland summits the views over Loughrigg Tarn are excellent and the panorama from Loughrigg Fell is one of the best. The descent through the arboretum of High Close and Low Wood maintains the interest. This is a great walk for a half day, perhaps when it has rained and then has started to brighten up.
This is an interesting walk from Elterwater or Chapel Stile.
In contrast to the great lakes of the Lake District, here are three small lakes that lay south of Elterwater village.
This is a low level lakeland walk suitable for a short day. It takes in Elter Water, Skelwith Force and Colwith Force waterfalls before heading through farmland to the impressive Cathedral Quarry. The return leg passes a good pub which serves food and then through the working slate quarry above Chapel Stile.
A circular walk from Chapel Stile along the Great Langdale valley to the New Dungeon Gill Hotel. Then an ascent along the pleasant Stickle Gill to Stickle tarn followed by the ascent to Blea Rigg and a return to Chapel Stile along the ridge.
A short, and mainly flat, walk which circumnavigates the bottom of the Langdale valley. Good for half a day or when the tops are clagged in. It passes both of the Dungeon Ghyll hotels where refreshments are available.
The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 8 Wainwrights and 3 tarns.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.