After our energetic day climbing Pavey Ark and Harrison Stickle we thought we’d do a less strenuous walk on the second and final day of our short break in Great Langdale. Lingmoor Fell seemed like a good option. An attractive hill with the prospect of good views. Not so small as it’s higher than Catbells,for instance, but much less of a challenge than the Langdale Pikes.

Well, that was our intention, but when we got up the next morning a fit of madness overcame us and we decided to climb Bowfell, which was looking very inviting at the end of the valley. After all, at 2,960 feet, it’s only the 6th highest mountain in England.

We could have driven 1/2 mile or so further down the valley and parked on the National Trust Car Park by the Old Dungeon Ghyll, but left our car on the hotel car park, making the walk a little longer than necessary. But hey, it was a nice sunny day.

We followed the valley past fields of wild flowers. Crinkle Crags and Bowfell were straight ahead as was “The Band” the hill over which we would walk to reach our destination.


There were great views of the Langdale Pikes, Pike of Stickle being particularly noticeable.



As we climbed the Band there was a good view of Pike o’ Blisco to our left on the other side of the valley.


Eventually we turned a corner and could finally see the summit of Bowfell (according to Wainwright we were now at a height of 1700 feet)


Our route was clearly visible


After a relatively easy stretch, a short sharp climb took us up to the “Three Tarns”, which is between Crinkle Crags and Bowfell, where there was a great view of Scafel and Scafel Pike.


Our destination was closer, but there was still some climbing to do.


Looking back down towards the Three Tarns and Crinkle Crags


The path wasn’t as steep as the route up Pavey Ark yesterday, but it was still a stiff climb.


The rock strewn summit was finally in sight. We thought it resembled the lunar landscape. The path was now quite indistinct and would have been hard to follow in poor visibility. Not a problem today, though.


Having made it to the top we stopped a while to take in the views. Bowfell is located in the centre of the Lake District and with it being such a clear day we could see just about every major mountain and valley in the National Park.

Looking back towards Great Langdale and the way we’d just walked. Windermere visible in the distance


Crinkle Crags and the Coniston Fells




Scafel and Scafel Pike


Over towards Borrowdale with Skidaw visible on the horizon to the right


Over towards the Langdale Pikes


I could have stayed up there for much longer enjoying those views (photographs just can’t do it justice) but time was getting on so we had to set off back. We hadn’t plotted out a circular route so retraced our steps.

On the way down from the summit we passed the very impressive “Great Slab”


and watched as a number of para-gliders soared overhead


We made our way back down across the Band with views down Great Langdale opening up.


We finally reached the valley bottom.


There was still a little way to go back to the car but it was easy walking along the road and good paths along the valley


We eventually made it back to Stickle Barn where we stopped off for a well earned brew in a real walker’s mug!

Unfortunately we’d had to check out of our hotel that morning. It would have been nice to freshen up, have a shower and relax for the evening but, alas, it was time to change out of our boots, pack our rucksacks in the boot and set off home down the motorway.

We’d done more than we originally planned but we were glad that we’d made the decision to climb Bowfell. Sunny, clear days which are warm but not too hot are few and far between in the Lake District and we’d been able to take advantage of one and be treated to magnificent, panoramic views of the hills, mountains and valleys.


8 thoughts on “Bowfell

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! I’ve not done Bowfell but have done several of the others you mention – Pike o’ Blisco, Scafell and / or Scafell Pike (can’t remember if I’ve done them both or done one twice – the first time would have been around 1983 so I can be forgiven a bit of a memory lapse) and Skiddaw (really boring IMHO!)

    • Thanks Amanda. We were extremely lucky with the was perfect. Sunny, bit not too hot and no heat haze or smog so visibility was superb.
      I’ve never climbed Scafel Pike. It’s on the bucket list. But I’ll have to get a move on and get it done before I’m completely decrepit!!

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