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.
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, go through the gate next to the car parking meter and onto the well maintained footpath that runs beside the river. The path enters woodland, look out for an obvious path on the left that slants uphill.
(1) Turn left and take the path uphill to a gate. Take care here as the gate leads into the main Langdale road. Cross the road with care to a gap in the dry stone wall. Go through the gap and follow the path uphill. After rain, the path may be running with water but persevere it will lead up to go left at a junction and will emerge at Loughrigg Fold Farm. Follow the farm track rightwards to the road, turn left on the road (take care, single file) and follow this for about 100m to an obvious gate on the right.
(2) Turn right and go through the gate onto the grassy pastures around Loughrigg Tarn. Follow the path around the north side of the tarn to a gate in the fence.
(3) Go through the gate. Walking to the right for about 20 metres or so will give you the classic view over the lake towards the Langdale Pikes then turn back and follow the good track back to the gate and onto the houses at The How. Go past these on the path until you come to a gate and stream on the far side of a stone wall.
(4) Turn right before the gate and take the steep but well maintained path with rock steps up the flank of Loughrigg Fell, where the path starts to level out the summit is up to your left and is marked with a cairn. The summit has great panoramic views.
(5) From the summit follow the path north as if heading towards Grassmere but as you drop down the first section you will see a boulder and flat cairn. This marks the bifurcation of the path. Turn left at the cairn and follow a faint path through the bracken, it becomes more obvious and descends the fell side to the road.
(6) Cross the road and go through the gate into the National Trust land for High Close. High Close is now a Youth Hostel but was once a private house with a small estate. The next section of the walk goes through the estate and the National Trust has laid out a trail through the arboretum with information about different species of trees; this section of the walk follows some of the trail.
After the gate, follow the path leftwards to another gate with a National Trust sign for Low Wood. Go through this gate and follow the path around to a wooden gate on the left. Go through the gate and start descending an old carriage track to a junction where the track goes left (arrow for the arboretum trail). Turn right (signpost for the finish of the trail) and follow the path passing a few more information points (basically doing this part of the trail in the reverse direction) to a junction in the path. Turn right and follow the path down to a gate onto a road.
(7) Turn right after the gate and walk to a junction with the main Langdale road. Cross this and turn right (walk single file) to pass over a cattle grid after which you can walk on the grass verge. At the first junction on the left turn left toward Elterwater and follow the road back into the village and the parking place.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 213ft - National Trust car park
1 : mi 0.78 - alt. 230ft - Rob Rash
2 : mi 1.3 - alt. 348ft - Loughrigg Tarn
3 : mi 1.66 - alt. 351ft - Gate
4 : mi 2.16 - alt. 512ft - Gate
5 : mi 2.46 - alt. 1053ft - Loughrigg Fell
6 : mi 2.94 - alt. 535ft - Road
7 : mi 3.68 - alt. 266ft - Gate
D/A : mi 4.22 - alt. 213ft - National Trust car park
There are shelters on this walk other than those that nature provides.
Take everything you need with you. After rain, the paths will be muddy and boggy in places so I would recommend boots. (Trainers or approach shoes will suffice but expect to get wet feet).
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
The views on this walk are stunning. The view over Loughrigg Tarn to the Langdale Pikes is a classic and the panoramic views from the summit of Loughrigg are not to be missed.
If you do this on a day when the fells are clagged in with mist or rain you will miss out on the views.
When descending through Low wood you can choose the turn left at the junction and continue along the carriage track, following the arboretum walk in full but you will end up back at the junction (finish again) and will have to back track. if you take the left branch by mistake don't worry you will end up at a junction with the road and you can turn right along this and return to the main Langdale road where you cross and turn right.
This is an interesting walk from Elterwater or Chapel Stile.
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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