A Round of Elter Water.

Start. Elterwater.

Route. Elterwater - Elterwater Hotel - Dale End - Little Langdale - Slater Bridge - The Cathedral - Stang End - High Park - Colwith Force - Park Farm - Park House - Skelwith Force - Elter Water - Elterwater.

Notes. A classic valley walk found in most good guide books, but unlike most books we'll tackle the round counter clockwise, get that stoney bridleway linking Elterwater to Little Langdale out of the way first, allowing us to relax into the rest of the walk, it's not that bad just hard on the feet at the end of the day.

I've got Sue for company, leading the way, at least she likes to think she is. We crossed Great Langdale Beck at Elterwater Bridge before continuing along the lane, on reaching Elterwater Hotel a sign on the right announced we'd reached the off road cycle route to Coniston. This boulder strewn lane once the main route between Elterwater and Little Langdale guided us out of the valley, past long disused quarries, through moss covered woodland, after a short ascent we passed Dale End Farm before descending to Slater Bridge, built sometime between 1650 and 1750 by the quarry men of Little Langdale, this is a real Lakeland gem. After crossing said bridge it seemed apt to visit their place of work The Cathedral, a vast slate cavern, the roof held aloft by a 40ft pillar of inferior slate.

Our route continued, passed Little Fell and Great How, through the farms of Stang End and High Park. At High Park we left the lane, a splendid new path guided us through sheep pastures before descending through woodland, our descent terminated at Colwith Force, a spectacular twin cascade. With the river and a good path to guide us we wandered down stream, crossed the valley road before ascending to Park Farm, the farm lane guided us to Park House, a few yards further on a yellow arrow pointed the way to Skelwith Force, another spectacular water fall created as the River Brathay is forced through a narrow cleft in the slate bed rock. After mingling with the many visitors we turned our backs on the spectacular cataracts, The River Brathay now guided us north, this popular path was busy, as always, mingling with the many day trippers we headed towards Elterwater through spectacular scenery.

view route map.


Looking back down our exit route, this stoney track was once the main route between Elterwater and Little Langdale.

The mountain vastness of mighty Wetherlam, seen from the approach to Dale End.

Greenburn seen over Little Langdale Tarn, the cliffs of Great Carrs dominate the head of the valley.

Lingmoor Fell seen from the descent to Slater Bridge.

Let the dry stone wall guide the eye to Little Langdale Tarn, then on to the cliffs of Pike of Blisco.

Slater Bridge over the infant River Brathay.

Lilies thrive in a still pool below Slater Bridge.

Your's truly dwarfed by the mighty Cathedral.

Through the window the cliffs of the outer quarry.

Seen from near High Park the Langdale Pikes.

View taken on the approach to Park Farm, Dunmail Raise flanked by Steel Fell and Seat Sandal.

The twin cascades of Colwith Force.

Views over Little Langdale.

Harrison Stickle and the cliffs of Pavey Ark seen from near Park House.

Viewing Great Rigg and Steel Fell from Park House.

The River Brathay below Skelwith Force.

Skelwith Force where the combined waters of Great Langdale Beck and the River Brathay plunge in a caldron of boiling cataracts and foam to lower pastures.

Wetherlam seen from the pastures above Skelwith Force, no sign of the turmoil a little further down stream.

The unmistakable Langdale Pikes across Elter Water.

And to end the day, Lingmoor Fell.

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