This is an interesting walk from Elterwater or Chapel Stile.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park in the National Trust car park at Elterwater (£7.50 for a full day in Aug 2020), if this is full turn right at 'Slates' and there is further parking just before the Ambleside-Langdale road.
(D/A) From the parking in Elterwater turn left and go over the bridge, then turn immediately right onto a road that ascends towards the working slate quarry. Keep on this road which curves leftwards and ascends into the quarry yard. The path is signposted and is now separated from the quarry vehicles by a fence. Follow the path into woods and up to emerge on a road with a house on your right. Turn right on the road and then left to follow a signposted path. This will lead quickly to cross another track.
(1) At this track turn right and ascend past the disused slate heaps of Banks Quarry. The entrance to the quarry is on the left and there is a tunnel entrance in the back wall.
(2) The following is optional : you can go into the quarry and explore the tunnel if you have a torch with you, it goes in for about 10 metres and can be wet underfoot with a few stepping stones to help you.
Return to the track and follow it through a gate. It ascends gently across the fell-side to cross a stream. At a sign (Lingmoor / Side Pike) turn left and follow the path more steeply up to a metal gate with tread-plates to help you cross.
(3) Climb over the gate and turn immediately right. You will now be following the wall up and over the fell-side as it follows the ridge to the summit of Lingmoor. Take time to look forward and back at this wall as it undulated over the spoil heaps and dips. The path rises to a slate seat and then again to a good viewpoint.
(4) After the viewpoint, the path descends into a small col where the wall becomes a fence and where it can be wet underfoot. The path then follows the wall again, which becomes a fence again on the final ascent to Brown How which is the actual summit of Lingmoor Fell. (Cross the fence via a stile)
(5) Follow the wall (now on your left) as it descends towards Side Pike. There are some rocky steps and at the end a steeper section can be avoided by a detour to the right and back left again to the stile over the wall.
(6) Cross the stile and follow the path towards Side Pike, you will come to a gate where the path splits with the left hand branch heading downhill.
(7) Go through the gate and follow the path up towards the steep outcrop. It passes along the base of the outcrop and behind a large flake of rock. It is a bit of a squeeze. Continue along the path which bends to the right and ascends to join the path coming up from the road. Turn right and follow the path up to the summit of Side Pike to enjoy the view.
(8) From the summit, track back but continue down towards the road in a westerly direction, crossing the dry stone wall and then picking one of the tracks down the hill. Depending on your route, there will be one or two places where you will have to negotiate rocky steps.
(9) Cross the road and go immediately ahead to a larger gate on your left. Go through the gate and follow the good track towards Blea Tarn. Go through another gate and onto a path that has been constructed to be wheelchair friendly; this path leads around the lake to the car park at the top of the pass between Langdale and Little Langdale.
Do not go as far as the car park but follow this good path to where it turns left and crosses a bridge.
(10) Go straight ahead and through a gate in the wall to take a good path down into Little Langdale with a lovely stream on your left. Near the bottom, the paths start to level out and cross boggy ground (Blea Moss) before joining the road up to Wrynose Pass. Keep a high as possible on your right to avoid the boggy section. The rule of thumb is to stay level with the bracken line.
On your left is a volcanic plug called Castle Howe which is the site of a hill fort.
(11) At the road turn left and head down for about 800m, passing Castle Howe. Look to your right in the field just behind Fell Foot Farm where there is a grassy mound. This is the site of the 'Ting Mound or Thing Moot' which was an administrative meeting place when Viking settlers ruled. You can go through a gate and read the information board then return to the road. Turn sharp right to Fell Foot, and then follow the road curving left again. 100m after the left hand bend take the good track on your right which leads to the Greenburn Beck and a cottage at Bridge End.
Cross the stream and take to the good path which climbs gently. This path is well used by mountain bikers so keep a lookout for them. You will soon arrive at a split in the path. Ignore the right turn to Tilberthwaite and take the left hand fork downwards past Low Hall Garth walkers hut where the path bends to the right. As you continue along the path it will be bordered on your left by fields and the stream coming from Little Langdale Tarn with a footpath crossing Slater Bridge. On your right, there will be huge piles of waste slate from the quarrying that took place here. After Slater Bridge keep a lookout for a gate and stile on your right with a wide ramp that leads to a raised flat platform on the spoil heap.
(12) Cross the stile, go up the ramp to the entrance to Cathedral Quarry. The quarry is entered via a tunnel which emerges in a cave supported by a single, vast column of rock and illuminated by a higher opening. This dramatic location has been used as a film set on a few occasions. Behind the column of rock is another opening which leads into another section of the quarry that is open to the sky. A short scramble leads up. When you arrive at the top of the scramble, straight ahead of you and down there is another tunnel into the rock. You will need a head torch or torch for this. Enter the tunnel and after a while it will come to a widening where another branch goes off on the right. This right hand branch ends in a metal fence (do not cross it) so back track your steps and go right, this tunnel will bring you out at another raised platform at the end of the Tilberthwaite Valley. Turn left and drop down to the main path/road then turn left along this until you are at a ford and bridge over the river. (IMPORTANT UPDATE 2020. There has been some rockfall in the quarry and the National Trust have taped off the entrance to the tunnel. There are notices warning of the rockfall and until further investigation is made into the stability of the tunnel it is best not to enter. Instead, you can go and look and then scramble back down the way you came or you can follow some steps up and out of the quarry and a path back down to the entrance level.)
From the entrance to Cathedral Quarry continue along the track to the ford and bridge. Cross the bridge and take the lane past cottages up to the Wrynose Pass road. At the junction turn right and head down passing the Three Shires Public House. This is a good place for refreshments if you have not brought your own. From the Three Shires walk down the road until you come to Wilson Place farm on your left
(13) At Wilson Place Farm follow a sign for Elterwater. Take the path through the farm, through a gate on the right and over a field to another gate. A further field leads to a broad track, turn right along this and after a few hundred yards you will come to a gate. Go through the gate, into woods and almost immediately turn left and follow another track uphill. This will lead you through the woods and will drop down, passing (1) into the large working slate quarry at Chapel Stile.
(14) Take the detour from the end of the shed up to the viewing platform and look down into the workings. The quality of Langdale slate is still highly regarded for building and decorative purposes. From the quarry head downhill on the road which curves to the right. Follow it back downhill to the junction with the road through Elterwater. Turn left, cross the bridge and the parking is on your right.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 213ft - National Trust car park
1 : mi 0.79 - alt. 476ft - Sawrey's Wood
2 : mi 1.14 - alt. 666ft - Quarry
3 : mi 1.54 - alt. 1083ft - Gate
4 : mi 2 - alt. 1388ft - Lingmoor Quarry
5 : mi 2.21 - alt. 1467ft - Wall
6 : mi 2.88 - alt. 1145ft - Stile
7 : mi 3.07 - alt. 1007ft - Gate
8 : mi 3.27 - alt. 1030ft - Summit
9 : mi 3.67 - alt. 748ft - Side Gates Road
10 : mi 4.29 - alt. 640ft - Blea Tarn
11 : mi 5 - alt. 587ft - Wrynose Pass
12 : mi 6.67 - alt. 407ft - Stile
13 : mi 7.4 - alt. 390ft - Wilson Place Farm
14 : mi 8.44 - alt. 367ft - Detour
D/A : mi 8.95 - alt. 213ft - National Trust car park
It is a companion/alternative to two other walks on this site :
https://www.visorando.co.ukwalk-lingmo... but it takes in the fell top rather than a low level circumnavigation of the fell.
https://www.visorando.co.ukwalk-langda... again taking the fell top and then dropping down from Blea Tarn to pick up the path back through Great Langdale.
Most of this walk is on easily navigated paths with a few boggy sections on Lingmoor and particularly at Blea Moss.
There is a short section on the Wrynose Pass road which is narrow so please walk in single file and take care.
There are three pubs en-route and The Britannia Inn in Elterwater.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 2020 : There has been some rockfall in the quarry and the National Trust have taped off the entrance to the tunnel. There are notices warning of the rockfall and until further investigation is made into the stability of the tunnel it is best not to enter.
It is your choice to explore the quarry tunnel at point 2. You will need a torch but please assess for water levels underfoot and any recent rockfall in the quarry. If in doubt just look in using your torch.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Information about Castle Howe can be found here:-
Information about the Ting Mound / Thing Moot can be found here
Cathedral Quarry is a must see and remember to take a torch so you can explore the tunnel.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 2020. There has been some rockfall in the quarry and the National Trust have taped off the entrance to the tunnel. There are notices warning of the rockfall and until further investigation is made into the stability of the tunnel it is best not to enter. Instead, you can go and look and then scramble back down the way you came or you can follow some steps up and out of the quarry and a path back down to the entrance level.
The beck is fed from the Greenburn Reservoir and the National Trust are installing a small hydro-electric power plant at the old mine working further upstream to tap into this energy.
If you have time you could go over to the nearby quarry of Hodge Close
This is a short walk with a lot of interest. Despite it not tackling any of the major Lakeland summits the views over Loughrigg Tarn are excellent and the panorama from Loughrigg Fell is one of the best. The descent through the arboretum of High Close and Low Wood maintains the interest. This is a great walk for a half day, perhaps when it has rained and then has started to brighten up.
In contrast to the great lakes of the Lake District, here are three small lakes that lay south of Elterwater village.
This is a low level lakeland walk suitable for a short day. It takes in Elter Water, Skelwith Force and Colwith Force waterfalls before heading through farmland to the impressive Cathedral Quarry. The return leg passes a good pub which serves food and then through the working slate quarry above Chapel Stile.
A circular walk from Chapel Stile along the Great Langdale valley to the New Dungeon Gill Hotel. Then an ascent along the pleasant Stickle Gill to Stickle tarn followed by the ascent to Blea Rigg and a return to Chapel Stile along the ridge.
A short, and mainly flat, walk which circumnavigates the bottom of the Langdale valley. Good for half a day or when the tops are clagged in. It passes both of the Dungeon Ghyll hotels where refreshments are available.
The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 8 Wainwrights and 3 tarns.
The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 1 Wainwright, 1 tarn and 1 pub.
This variation of the Fairfield Horseshoe starts from High Close on the western edge of Loughrigg Fell. The route follows a clockwise direction offering a different perspective to the normal horseshoe route.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.