Lingmoor Fell and Blea Tarn.

Start. Elterwater.

Route. Elterwater - Sawrey's Wood - Howe Bank - Bield Crag - Lingmoor Fell - Brown How - Little Langdale - Bleatarn House - Blea Tarn - Great Langdale - Side House - Oak Howe - New Bridge - Chapel Stile - Elterwater.

Notes. Some times when I'm out I wish I could record my ramblings in sound and vision, this was one of those occasions, I'm afraid a snap shot doesn't tell the whole story. Buffeted by wind I was, the noise was deafening, almost frightening and the temperature with wind chill, well below zero, spin drift in my eyes and up my nose and any where else it could breach my defenses. It was bloody great, I'm sorry dear reader that you will miss out on the sensation of being at war with elements.

With strong winds forecast I opted for Lingmoor Fell, I thought it might offer a modicum of shelter compared to it's bigger brothers, I was partially right. Elterwater was my chosen starting point, after crossing the river I swung south, the narrow tarmac lane guided me to a bridleway, come cycle way, come footpath, two hundred years ago this was the main route between Elterwater and the slate quarries in Little Langdale, and further afield to the Westmorland (Cumbria) coast via the passes of Hardknott and Wrynose. Never the less it guided me up the hill into cold but staggeringly beautiful views.

Just before reaching Dale Head a footpath emerged from the right, this inconspicuous narrow trod was my guide into the promised land. Up the southern slopes of Lingmoor Fell I climbed, on reaching a dry stone wall the path turned west, the wall then became my companion on this long undulating traverse, sometimes a wall other times a fence, always there to keep me on track. My new found friend ushered me passed many old mine workings eventually depositing me on Brown How the summit of this fine hill. As it was impossible to stand up I hankered down behind the rocky crown jumping out to take the odd photo between gusts of wind. Enough playing around I felt like a cuckoo trying but failing to escape the clock, it was time to descend.

To the south west my friend lead me depositing me in some boggy ground at the head of an unnamed gill, a small stile aided my crossing of the fence, here I bid fairwell to my companion before descending the west bank of the gill. With a good path to guide me I was soon on the valley road heading to Blea Tarn much loved by photographers, not today the tarn was mine to do as I pleased.

The water was choppy, the wind howled through this high pass in fact it was bloody freezing, for the first time today I got the shivers, not good. I donned another layer, number five before allowing a path cutting across the west side of this high valley to guide me to the coll between Kettle Crag and Side Pike, from this weather beaten pass I descended into Great Langdale and hopefully the warmer. Once in the valley I stepped onto the Cumbria Way an excellent long distance foot-path linking Ulverston to Carlisle, it was only to guide me three miles but it's a fabulous three miles following an ancient track probably the original valley road.

view route map.


Capturing the morning light, Wetherlam.

A breath-taking view from the ascent of Lingmoor Fell.

Toiling up Lingmoor Fell with this wonderful view behind me.

Who needs summer when winter brings scenes like this, Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell.

My companion on this traverse, with stunning views to a distant Red Screes, Ill Bell and Yoke.

On a blistering cold day striding out across Lingmoor Fell, with that stunning piece of architecture to guide me and wintry views to the Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell for company.

An icy wonderland on the Langdale Pikes.

Bow Fell as seen from Brown How the summit of Lingmoor Fell.

A spectacular sweeping panorama from the rocky crown of Brown How.

Seen across the broad grassy saddle of Lingmoor Fell, Windermere Lake.

Rising above Little Langdale, Blea Rigg backed by Pike of Blisco.

Viewing Wet Side Edge rising to Little Carrs, to the right the cliffs of Blea Rigg.

From a patch of boggy ground above an unnamed gill views into Mickleden at the head of Langdale, closing the head of the valley Rossett Pike.

The mighty head of Langdale, Rossett Pike and the unmistakable Langdale Pikes.

Blea Tarn forever in the shadow of Blea Rigg.

From a grassy shelf on my descent route a staggering view to the head of Langdale.

Side Pike on view from an icy valley road.

A classic view of the Langdale Pikes.

Side Pike seen across Blea Tarn.

Seen from the coll between Kettle Crag and Side Pike, Crinkle Crags with Bow Fell to the right.

Lit by a winters sun, seen over frost veneered fields, Rossett Pike.

In the spotlight the Langdale Pikes, from left to right, Loft Crag, Harrison Stickle and the cliffs of Pavey Ark.

Striding out with the surface of the Cumbria Way under my boot soles, looking back to Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark, to the right Broad Crag.

Dark against the snow white of the Langdale Pikes, Oakhowe Crag.

Great Langdale Beck at Chapel Stile.

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