Lingmoor, Blea Tarn and Little Langdale

Since we returned from our holiday in Anglesey, I’ve been keeping an eye on the weather looking out for opportunities to get out for a walk. Work is usually quiet during July and August and that allows me to take some days off in addition to my holiday weeks. I hope in the future to ease of the workload so I can do more of that!

The first Friday in August promised to be a decent day up in the Lakes so I set off early to drive up the M6 (again!). I’d planned a walk in the Langdales, setting out from Elterwater village, tackling the more modest fell, Lingmoor and then returning via Little Langdale.

It was a bright and sunny morning when I parked up in the National Trust car park in the centre of the village. I took a moment to have a look at the bridge

DSC06762

I had a quick look at the small village – a former quarrying settlement

DSC06858
DSC06763
DSC06764

and then set off along the minor road that would take me towards my first objective, Lingmoor.

DSC06765

It’s a modest fell, only 1538 feet high and so dwarfed by the larger fells that surround it. But it’s known as a great viewpoint and I hadn’t climbed it before.

Wetherlam and the Coniston Fells dominated the view as I set out down Little Langdale.

DSC06767

The slopes of Lingmoor over to the right of the path

DSC06768

Starting to climb the fell

DSC06770

Another grand view of Wetherlam

DSC06771

The hillside was heavily covered with bracken. These days I’m wary that it could be a source of ticks so I rarely walk in shorts.

DSC06772

Looking across to Great Langdale

DSC06773

Helvelyn and the Fairfiled horseshoe peeking over the lower fells to the east of Great Langdale

DSC06774

Windermere visible in the distance

DSC06775

Carrying up the hill through slate quarry waste. There was a handy bench to stop, have a butty and take in the view

DSC06779
DSC06780
DSC06781

Continuing onwards and upwards the path started to shadow the “Great Wall of Lingmoor”

DSC06783

It’s amazing to think that people actually built these dry stone walls on top of the fells, often in places that are very difficult to access just walking never mind manhandling great lumps of stone. The walls aren’t as old as people think. They were mainly built following the Enclosure Acts of the 18th Century when common land was taken into private ownership and the peasantry lost the right to use the land. So what many would consider an attractive feature of the landscape often, depending on your point of view, represents the greed of the wealthy and oppression of the poor.

Carrying on along the path

DSC06784

Through the gate at the summit

DSC06786

Great views in every direction

The Coniston Fells

DSC06788

Pike ‘o Blisco with Crinkle Crags behind

DSC06789

Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

DSC06790

The Langdale Pikes

DSC06791

Great Langdale with the Helvelyn range and the Fairfield Horseshoe above the lower fells

DSC06792

Lower down Great Langdale with Loughrigg Fell in view. I could make out the distinctive shape of Ill Bell and some of the other Far Eastern fells in the distance

DSC06793

Windermere

DSC06794

I stopped for a while before continuing north along the ridge

DSC06798

Looking down towards Blea Tarn

DSC06800
DSC06801

The path followed close to the dry stone wall

IMG_2653

until close to Side Pike

IMG_2652

when I took a path down to the valley

IMG_2654

During the walk, cloud have come in but it was still warm and I completed the walk wearing only a t-shirt. No need for a fleece or jacket.

I walked down the quiet road for a short while then joined the path towards Blea Tarn.

Looking up to Lingmoor

IMG_2655

I reached Blea Tarn, a popular beauty spot, where I stopped for a bite to eat.

DSC06804
DSC06807

I carried on round the tarn and then joined the road which would take me down to Little Langdale. It’s not usually very busy and I only saw a couple of cars as I descended down to the Wrynose Pass.

DSC06810

A short walk up the pass and then I took the track across to the other side of the valley

A couple of locals keeping an eye on me!

DSC06817

Looking back across the valley to Lingmoor

DSC06816

Passing an old farm building

DSC06818

The view from the other side

DSC06819

The view up Little Langdale

DSC06821

Looking down to Little Langdale Tarn with Lingmoor in the background

DSC06823

Another old house – I saw several along the valley and most of them were owned by the National Trust

DSC06825

And another one!

DSC06827

I diverted off the track over to Slaters Bridge – there’s a reason I particularly wanted to have a look at it (any guesses?)

DSC06831

The bridge connects Little Langdale with the many slate quarries in the Tilberthwaite area and so is named for the quarry workers who would have used it to travel too and from work.

I had intended to carry on over towards the Three Shires pub and then head back to Elterwater, but it was a grand day and I was feeling good so I decided to extend my walk. So, I turned back to carry on along the path beside the river

DSC06833

Looking across the valley

DSC06838

I came across another attractive old house, which had a tea garden! Only one thing to do.

DSC06839

IMG_2669
IMG_2670

Refreshed, I continued on the path which went past Colwith Force

DSC06844

Photographs never do justice to waterfalls, unfortunately. But, although not exactly the Niagara Falls, it was quite impressive.

IMG_2673

I continued following the river

DSC06846
DSC06848

I crossed this attractive modern bridge

DSC06852

and then walked downstream to have a look at another waterfall, Skelwith Force

IMG_2676
IMG_2675

Heading back upstream the path went along Elterwater (the tarn) towards Elterwater (the village!)

IMG_2679

It wasn’t too far now back to the village – an easy walk along a good flat path.

Reaching the car park I dumped my rucksack in the car and went for some refreshment at the popular Britannia Inn

DSC06860

Sadly, these days, I’m restricted to non-alcoholic beverages – but it was cold and wet and just what I needed after a long walk.

IMG_2682

I’d gone further than intended but had enjoyed the walk. You need to take advantage of days like this one had been – we’re not getting too many of them this summer.

Pike O’ Blisco and Crinkle Crags

The mini heatwave was over but the weather last Sunday was forecast to be quite decent up in the Lake District, so we set out early and headed up to Great Langdale. It took less than 2 hours to drive up the M6 and across to Dungeon Ghyll and we arrived by 10 o’clock giving a good long day. The plan was to climb Pike o’ Blisco then, depending on how we felt, tackle Crinkle Crags. This was an ambitious walk for us but after our adventure walking (most of!) St Cuthbert’s Trail we were keen to keep up with some relatively serious walking.

IMG_1281

We parked up on the National Trust Car Park near the Stickle Barn and the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. We booted up and set off through the fields, our objective, Pike o’ Blisco clearly visible.

IMG_1253

Getting a bit closer

IMG_1258 (2)

Looking over to Crinkle Crags across the meadow

DSC01860 (3)

We had to walk along the narrow road that heads over to Little Langdale and the Wrynose Pass for a while. Looking back there was a good view of the Langdale Pikes and towards Bowfell and the Crinkles

IMG_1263 (2)

The start of the climb up to Pike o’ Blisco (2,313 feet)

DSC01863

IMG_1264

Looking back towards the Langdale Pikes. Skiddaw can be seen in the distance on the left and the Helvelyn range to the right.

DSC01866

Initially it was a gradual, fairly steep, climb up a clear path which had been paved to prevent erosion (it’s a popular route)

The summit dead ahead

IMG_1265

Closing in on the rocky summit

IMG_1269

We had to tackle a few scrambles requiring the use of hands and feet

IMG_1271 (2)

We finally made the top. It was quite windy, but not so bad that it was unpleasant. Good visibility meant there were great views all around

IMG_1279

Looking across to Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

DSC01867

The Coniston Fells

DSC01869

Windermere in the distance

DSC01868

We’d made reasonable time and were feeling good. Next objective Crinkle Crags, then!

Heading down towards Red Tarn

DSC01870

After a long, but relatively easy, gradual climb up a grassy slope, we reached the first of the rocky “Crinkles”

DSC01878

Crinkle Crags consists of a series of five rocky rises and depressions (crinkles): the second, “Long Top”, being the highest at 2818 feet. The ridge is about a mile long and crossing it involves several scrambles using hands as well as feet. Crossing it is well worth the effort, though, with magnificent views and a little excitement. According to Alfred Wainwright

For the mountaineer who prefers his mountains rough …this is a climb deserving of high priority

DSC01879

The view down Great Langdale

DSC01880

The “second Crinkle” . We decided to take the easier (a relative term!) route to the left, avoiding the “Bad Step”.

DSC01885

Looking over to Scafell and Scafell Pike, England’s tallest mountains.

DSC01894

Looks like we’re on the Moon!

DSC01897

Looking back to Pike o’ Blisco with Windermere in the background

DSC01899 (4)

Carrying on along the undulating ridge

DSC01900

Looking towards Bowfell

DSC01901

We reached the Three Tarns, with a final look over to the Scafells before we started ours descent back down towards Langdale

DSC01908

We set off down the Band, a relatively easy descent down to the valley

DSC01911

It was hard on the knees, though. I was glad of my walking poles.

Looking backwards to Crinkle Crags

DSC01912

Pike o’ Blisco dead ahead

DSC01913

The Langdale Pikes to our left

DSC01915

The view down Great Langdale

DSC01916

Some of the locals

DSC01920

Looking back towards the Crinkles and The Band

DSC01922

Crossing

DSC01924

We passed the Old Dungeon Ghyll

DSC01925

and carried on along the path for the last half a mile or so to the Stickle barn car park where we’d parked up

Feeling hungry, we decided to eat at Stickle barn before driving home

IMG_1288

IMG_1284

Yummy – Herdwick Shepherd’s pie and  Herdie pulled lamb on a bun

IMG_1282

A side order of rather excellent sweet potato chips

IMG_1283

A proper brew!

IMG_1285

And a view of Lingmoor Fell while we ate.

IMG_1287

A long, butt very enjoyable day and a great walk.

image

Bowfell

DSC08803

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.

DSC08848 

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

DSC08849

DSC08852

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

DSC08853

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)

DSC08854

Our route was clearly visible

DSC08857

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.

DSC08860

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

DSC08861 

Looking back down towards the Three Tarns and Crinkle Crags

DSC08862

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

DSC08885

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.

DSC08881

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

DSC08872

Crinkle Crags and the Coniston Fells

DSC08873

Eskdale

DSC08876

Scafel and Scafel Pike

DSC08870

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

DSC08871

Over towards the Langdale Pikes

DSC08874

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”

DSC08882

and watched as a number of para-gliders soared overhead

DSC08883

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

DSC08887

We finally reached the valley bottom.

DSC08889

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

DSC08891

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.