25th October 2015

Little Langdale and Great Langdale

Time 8:20am to 1:05pm
Duration 4 hr 45 min
Distance 9.2 mile
Ascent about 1000 ft (more or less)
Walking with Jennifer
Elterwater - Elterwater Hall - Dale End - Slater Bridge - Low Hall Garth - Fell Foot Bridge - Side Gates - Blea Tarn - Old Dungeon Ghyll - Great Langdale - Chapel Stile - Elterwater
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Car park, Walthwaite Bottom, Elterwater

Elterwater is such a popular village with visitors to the Lake District that the car park in the centre of the village and also the roadside around its edges soon become clogged up with cars. This car park appears to act as an overspill, although I suspect this one fills up just as quickly as the others.

Parking is free.


Route Map


In the hope of seeing a good show of autumn colours, we headed out from Elterwater for a walk through Little Langdale and Great Langdale today. This is a lovely walk at any time of year, but today we were here for something specific so arguably that made it even more enjoyable than normal. It's difficult to put a measurement on enjoyment so I thought it best to quote Handel instead. In his Coronation Anthem "The King shall rejoice", he tells us that "exceeding glad shall he be". Today, as I witnessed the Lake District putting on it's most colourful show of the year, exceeding glad I indeed was.
Here you see Elterwater looking somewhat deserted; apart from the bloke outside the Britannia Inn that is. Perhaps he's here early to make sure he gets a table before they all fill up, , , , as you'll see later.

As we walk across the high ground on the crossing between Elterwater and Little Langdale, Wetherlam, Great Carrs and Wet Side Edge come into view.

Looking back along the lane to Dale End Farm.

I thought these would have died off ages ago.

Looking across the fields to Little Langdale Tarn.



Slater Bridge seen below Lingmoor Fell.

"mind you don't poke someone's eye out"

"and you mind don't poke your own eye out"

Low Hall Garth is reached and to my delight they (whoever 'they' are) have set up a self service, all you can eat cake buffet. Brilliant, all the cake I can eat for £1.50, Stuff the walk, lets just sit here and eat cake all day.
"hang on a minute, before you get too exited you need to read the blackboard properly"
"Ah, , , , so it's £1.50 for one piece" Never mind, that's still not too bad these days. So, we treated ourselves to a piece of lemon 'something or other' cake (each) to eat later in the walk.

High Hall Garth is found a few minutes further through the valley and to my utter disappointment, there was food stall or stall of any other kind for that matter. Although, there is a nice view of Lingmoor fell from here and, the doors and walls have had a coat of paint since the last time I was along here.

Don't panic but it looks like it's emptying down on the Langdales and it might be heading our way.
Keeping with the theme of Handel, the Oratorio Messiah says "For behold, darkness shall cover the earth" and by the look of that it could turn out to be right.

Thankfully, by the time we were walking towards Bridge End the rain had decided to change direction so we were spared a soaking.

Bridge End.

Just along the road at the bottom of Wrynose Pass is Fell Foot Farm

and here it is again. This time with Wetherlam towering above.

Jennifer crosses Blea Tarn's outflow.


As we head down to Great Langdale another band of rain sweeps across the area. This one just clipped us enough to consider using waterproofs but, by the time I'd decided it was getting heavy enough for a jacket - it stopped raining.

The Langdales seen above the Old Dungeon Ghyll.

Middle Fell Farm.

The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, sitting below Raven Crag. We couldn't see any climbers up there today but I suspect there must have been some hidden somewhere among the rocks and crags.

It looks like the cows have gone on strike. Ah well, I guess this means the price of mince will go through the roof in a month or so.

Looking back through Great Langdale.

and again with more of a view of the valley itself this time.

We arrived back at Elterwater to find the place packed with people and, because I didn't count them, I can only assume there are ever so slightly less leaves on the tree than there had been this morning.
I've already said that this walk made me "exceeding glad". So, if you've stuck with the theme and are asking me to quote another bit of libretto from Handel's music, I reckon the best I can think of on an autumn day like this would be "And all the people rejoiced", , , , or at least I'd be surprised if they didn't.

Notices I noticed along the way




David Hall -
Lake District Walks