A Round of Elter Water.

Start. Elterwater.

Route. Elterwater - Elter Water - Skelwith Force - Park Howe - Park Farm - Colwith Force - High Park - Stang End - Cathedral Quarry - Slater Bridge - Dale End - Elterwater.

Notes. Today I fancied a break from the fells, a change from the limestone of Yorkshire and it was too nice to wander through the woodland around Silverdale and Arnside. I decided on the classic Round of Elter Water, call it what you like this walk can be found in most good guide books, if it isn't in yours then it's not a good guide book, what most guide books omit is the Cathedral, a short ascent off the main path but well worth a visit, take a torch there's lots more than just the main chamber to explore.

Leaving the village I followed the waters of Great Langdale Beck, striding out over the Cumbria Way passing Elter Water before fording the beck at a rather smart footbridge. After visiting Skelwith Force my route followed the Cumbria Way through woodland and pastures, passing impressive Colwith Force en route. I eventually left this long distance footpath passing through the heart of the Lake District at High Park farm, my route followed the tarmac lane descending into Little Langdale.

After visiting the Cathedral Quarry I crossed Slater Bridge to start the short walk back to Elterwater. First a brief climb to reach then cross the narrow valley road, then over tarmac to Dale End farm. From the farm it was down hill all the way, descending a stoney bridleway in the footsteps of long dead quarry men, with dry stone walls to guide me I was soon back in the village enjoying the delights of the Britannia Inn.

view route map.


Elterwater village seen from the banks of Great Langdale Beck.

The Langdale Pikes seen over Elter Water.

The dramatic rock scenery of the Langdale Pikes looms above Great Langdale.

Lingmoor Fell seen from the outflow of Elter Water.

Great Langdale Beck enters Elterwater, emerging as the River Brathey at the southern end of the lake, here we have a view of Wetherlam over the calm waters of the river, with no sign of the drama further down stream.

Skelwith Force where the River Brathey is forced through a narrow crevice in the bedrock, creating a 15ft fall of thundering water as the river races to lower pastures.

Seen from near Park House, Fairfield behind Stone Arthur with the Helvellyn massif across the pass to the left.

Hidden deep in the woods the twin cataracts of Colwith Force.

The Cumbria Way through Colwith Force Woods.

Approaching High Park looking to Lingmoor Fell with Bow Fell rising above the coll.

Lingmoor Fell over Little Langdale.

This is a portal to another world, the world once dominated by the quarry men of Little Langdale, all ghosts now, dare you enter the Cathedral.

Once the domain of slate miners now a playground for walkers and climbers, although best known for it's main chamber rising 40ft, lit by this window from the main quarry, there are lots of passages and adits to explore, some safer than others.

Today the sun's beaming through the window, the last time I came here it was eerie, the chamber was filled with swirling mist forming strange shapes, most unwelcome, I got the distinct impression I was not welcome, when my imagination started running wild I decided I best leave, quickly. CHECK OUT THE PHOTOS FROM 2008.

Slater Bridge spans the infant River Brathey just below the outflow of Little Langdale Tarn, constructed by the quarry men of Little Langdale between 1650-1750.

Photographed many times, visited by many people Slater Bridge.

Rising sheer from Greenburn, Great Carrs with Wet Side Edge to the right.

Seen over Little Langdale Tarn the cliffs of Black Rigg hide the summit of Pike of Blisco.

Stunning views over Little Langdale, the notch in the skyline is the Wrynose Pass.

Seen from near Dale End the bowl of hills enclosing Greenburn, from left to right, Wetherlam, Swirl How, Great and Little Carrs leading to Wet Side Edge, a classic Lakeland view.

Wandering between dry stone walls en route to Elterwater looking to Black Fell.

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