Adventure & Travel Blog Lake District Lovers Sue Talbot Photography

Blea Tarn Walk from Great Langdale

wild swimming at blea tarn and langdale pikes
  • Parking: New Dungeon Ghyll Car Park
  • Length: 6 miles
  • Grade: Easy to moderate
  • Time: 2- 3 hrs

Great Langdale Walk to Blea Tarn

The Langdale Valley is one of the most stunning areas in the Lake District, wrapped inside the iconic Langdale Pikes which comprise Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Loft Crag and Pike of Stickle. You’ll also find the likes of Bowfell, Great Knott and Lingmoor Fell looming above the valley floor. If you don’t want to tackle the higher fells but still want to appreciate the fell scenery, this Blea Tarn walk from Great Langdale and the New Dungeon Ghyll is the perfect low-level route for beginners.

Begin the walk from the New Dungeon Ghyll car park, which you’ll find on the opposite side of the B5343. Turn left out of the car park and head along the road, over the small stone bridge and past the Old Dungeon Ghyll. Along the way, you’ll have fabulous views of the Pikes and surrounding fells.

road through great langdale
Road through the Langdale Valley

Continue to the end of the road and when you reach the little red post box and a sign for Stool End Farm, turn left along the lane. After a few yards, turn left again through a small gate that leads into the National Trust Great Langdale campsite before going right over the little bridge.

red post box and sign for stool end farm
Red post box and sign for Stool End Farm

As you begin to climb gradually uphill, you’ll pass through another gate and onto the path that winds along Side Pike. The hill is short but if you need to catch your breath on the way up, pause to soak up views of the Langdale Pikes behind you.

view of the langdale pikes from side pike

As you reach the top of the hill, Blea Tarn comes into sight. Continue down the other side of the hill until you get to a gate on your right where the cattle grid is. Cross the road before the cattle grid and go through the second gate on your left which leads onto the path that meanders through a short stretch of woodland.

blea tarn woods
Woodland next to Blea Tarn

At the end of the path, cross the little wooden bridge on your left and walk along the tarn. You’ll pass through another gate before arriving at one of the most beautiful spots on the Blea Tarn walk. This is an epic setting for photographers wanting to capture the tarn and its spectacular backdrop of the Langdale Pikes. There are also lots of places to stop and have a picnic or even enjoy some outdoor swimming in Blea Tarn when it’s not too cold.

view of langdale pikes from blea tarn walk
Soaking up the view of the Langdale Pikes from Blea Tarn

Retrace your steps through the wooded area, over the path on Side Pike and along the road to the car park at New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.

This Great Langdale to Blea Tarn walk is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and there’s plenty to see along the way for families with young children. It’s also a good route for a winter walk in the Lake District when there’s snow dusting the Pikes or a waterside stroll in the summer. I’d highly recommend stopping for a drink or a bite to eat at one of the inns at Great Langdale on your return.

Blea tarn walk and langdale pikes


Places to Stay in Langdale

If you’re looking for places to stay, take a look at this collection of self-catering cottages in Langdale and nearby surrounding areas.

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