Lake District Walks: Langdale No.2
Published: Wednesday 22nd Apr 2015
Written by: Alex Smith
Continuing our low level walks in Langdale, this 3.5 mile jaunt is perfect for that after a meal amble. Taking in some of the finest views of the Langdale Pikes throughout the walk our Chapel Stile cottages offer this as one of the ‘walks from the door’. As a circular walk this can be done either way, but for the purposes of this guide we’ll head anti- clockwise around the valley.
Starting at Wainwrights Inn head into Chapel Stile turning left up the rocky lane opposite the public toilets. This lane keeps you off the main road and passes the rear grounds of Langdale School. Continue straight on towards the group of houses ahead and do not bear right back to the main road. As you pass by the houses take the path on the right through a gate onto the lane to Baysbrown farm. Once again keep to the lane and do not return to the main road. The lane will bear left over a bridge and across a cattle grid.
At this point turn right and follow the river upstream through the lower end of Baysbrown campsite. If you’re staying in our cottages at Thrang Brow, Firgarth or Lingmoor View then much of this walk can be seen from your front windows. Keeping the river on your right you will pass through 3 gates (over roughly 400yds) before coming to a bridge to cross the river on your right.
Crossing the bridge, follow the path through the next gate then bear left through 4 gates in quick succession before joining the ‘old road’ and continuing the walk towards the Langdale Pikes directly ahead of you. This road is about a mile long and is now only used by farm traffic and the occasional 4x4. The end of the road exits into a car park, and to your right are the New Dungeon Ghyll hotel and the Sticklebarn Tavern (the first National Trust owned pub). This may be opportunity to stop for a drink and snack as the outside seating areas of both establishments offer superb views.
Continuing on our walk, leave the car park in the direction you are already walking and join the main valley road for about 50yds before turning left through a gate signposted ‘Public footpath to Oak Howe 1 mile’. Follow the lane to Side House (so named for being directly below Side Pike) to the left of the old farmhouse pass through a gate and over the stream turning left to walk back to Chapel Stile. Ahead the path veers a short distance up the lower slopes of Lingmoor Fell (walkers with children in push-chairs may want to do a ‘there and back again’ on the first section of the route rather than tackle this section) The path at this point has been built to combat erosion using traditional local methods, as a runner I find it the perfect ‘leg-burning’ section.
The path leads to a gate, beyond which is a narrow slate bridge over a fell-side stream. Arriving at this spot please take the time to pause and take in the view as this is probably one of the best low-level view points in the whole valley. From Side Pike rising over you then around to Oxendale, Mickleden and across to the Langdale Pikes there isn’t a single angle that isn’t worth a photo.
From here follow the path back along the valley towards Oak Howe, the path is quite rocky so watch your footing. With the Pikes now at your back the views across the valley floor rise up to Broad Crag, Raw Pike and Brigstone Moss. The path to Oak Howe is fairly obvious with no detours but there are a few gates to go through. Arriving at Oak Howe (at the back of an old barn) turn right continuing to follow the lower slopes of Lingmoor Fell into Hag Wood and on towards the farm (this path has been resurfaced in 2014 to be accessible to mountain bikes and wheelchairs).
Exiting the wood at the rear of Baysbrown Farm continue straight through the back of the farmyard (no access back to the river through the farmyard) and follow the tarmacked single lane road up into Baysbrown Wood eventually reaching a cottage on your left. Immediately after this cottage take the left-hand turn into Elterwater Quarry. Whilst not a beauty spot, the juxtaposition between the desolation of the quarry vs the beauty of the surroundings always strikes a chord with me making it one of my favourite places to take in the view.
A right of way passes through the quarry. Keep walking until you have passed the large store-shed/workshop on your left side... After you’ve passed the workshop follow the road downhill out of the main quarry.
Almost immediately upon leaving the main quarry area there is a signposted path (if you pass the quarry cottages you’ve gone too far on the road) leading downhill into Chapel Stile crossing the bridge near Wainwrights Inn and returning you to the pub for a well-earned drink.