Great Langdale.

Start. Stickle Barn.

Route. Stickle Barn - Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel - Great Langdale Camp Site - Side House - Cumbria Way - Oak Howe - Hag Wood - Baysbrown - Baysbrown Wood - Yew Crags - Burlington Slate Quarry - Chapel Stile - New Bridge - Baysbrown Camp Site - Stickle Barn

Notes. Great Langdale the Long Valley in old Norse, cuts deep into the Lake District massif roughly five miles from Skelwith Bridge to the Langdale Pikes before splitting in two, Oxendale and Mickleden. High mountains close the valley head. The Langdale Pikes dominate the views, standing guard over the tiny farmsteads in the green valley bottom, unfortunately they are so dominant they draw the eye creeping into every photo, I made a conscious decision not to include them but that didn’t happen. Unlike the rest of the walkers in a mad rush to scale the many peaks we were heading for the quiet, a valley walk.

We parked in the National Trust car park next to Stickle Barn, to the rear of the car park next to the toilet block a gate allowed access to the main trod up Stickle Ghyll. We passed through said gate but turned left, a stoney path then guided us above the intake wall over Dungeon Ghyll and a number of smaller beck's before depositing us at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. After walking to the front of the building a narrow lane guided us across the valley, we crossed Great Langdale Beck to be greeted by a finger-post promising passage to Blea Tarn, not on our route but this path we followed. Through Great Langdale Camp Site we wandered exiting onto the steep slopes of Side Pike, at this point we turned left, a narrow trod then guided us down the valley.

Beneath the steep grassy slopes and cliffs of Side Pike we wandered, at Side House we stepped onto the Cumbria Way, a popular 73 mile footpath linking the historic town of Ulverston with the equally historic city of Carlisle, we sampled just a tiny section but one could say the best. We continued the Cumbria Way under foot, beneath the cliffs of Oakhowe Crag we wandered, through Hag Wood, at Baysbrown Farm we joined a tarmac lane which in turn guided us through Sawrey’s Wood where we joined a path descending passed Yew Crag Quarries and the massive Burlington Slate Quarry. We emerged from the detritus of the slate industry onto the banks of Great Langdale Beck, a fine footbridge guided us over it’s crystal clear waters into Chapel Stile.

In Chapel Stile we grabbed a sandwich for lunch, ate it in an excellent shelter set back from the main valley road, once fed and watered we stepped onto a path behind Wainwright's Inn, this well used trod ushered us to Thrang Farm then New Bridge. Now in the company of Great Langdale Beck we wandered through the deserted Baysbrown Campsite (Covid crept into our lives yet again) the Langdale Pikes growing larger with every step. Once at the access lane to Oak Howe we re-crossed the beck almost immediately stepping onto a good path that deposited us in a narrow lane, the dry stone walls and compact gravel surface safely ushered us back to Stickle Barn, the car park and the patiently waiting car.

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Looking over the lower slopes of Thorn Crag to the rock pyramid of Tarn Crag.

Pike of Blisco kissed by cloud, to the right Crinkle Crags, well they would be if you could see them.

The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel dwarfed by the massive climbing cliffs of Raven Crag.

Middle Fell Farm looking to a cloud capped Bow Fell.

Viewing Loft Crag with Harrison Stickle rising behind.

Heavy weather washes Kettle Crag and Pike of Blisco.

Dwarfed by the mountains, the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.

Impressive views to the rock architecture of Langdale, from left to right, Loft Crag, cloud kissed Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark with Tarn Crag to the right, far right Broad Crag.

Views over Side House, The Band leading to the coll at Three Tarns either side tops under cloud Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell.

Moody views to the Langdale Pikes.

Seen across Great Langdale Swine Knott and Scout Crag.

Near Oak Howe enjoying stunning views to the towering cliff wall of Pavey Ark.

Oakhowe Crag as seen from Oak Howe.

Enjoying the ambience at Oak Howe.

Lingmoor Fell seen over the lush greens of Hag Wood.

Wandering through the mixed woodland of Hag Wood.

Burlington Quarry looking to the Langdale Pikes through heavy rain.

The white washed cottages of Chapel Stile backed by the deep ravine of Megs Gill.

Near Thrang Farm looking back to Dow Bank.

New Bridge over Great Langdale Beck.

Rising above Great Langdale the fearsome rock architecture of the Langdale Pikes.

Viewing The Band soaring into a blanket of dark cloud.

The impressive cliffs of the Oak Howe face of Lingmoor Fell.

Almost back, viewing Side Pike with Pike of Blisco to the right.

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