Adventure & Travel Blog Lake District Lovers Sue Talbot Photography

A Langdale Adventure

Blea Tarn Lake District road trip

Standing against one of the most recognisable backdrops in the Lake District, Langdale is home to the epic peaks collectively known as the Langdale Pikes. Made up of two valleys, Little Langdale and Great Langdale, it has become one of the most popular areas for hikers owing to its dramatic scenery and challenging fell walks.

Although you won’t find much in the way of shops or tourist attractions, you’ll certainly get your fix of nature and outdoor activities. This is the ultimate playground for anyone looking for their next adventure. But if you do want to take it easy, you’ll find several traditional pubs in the villages of Chapel Stile and Elterwater.

Best Things to do in Langdale

It goes without saying that fell walking and outdoor activities are top of the list of things to do in Langdale. Whether you enjoy a riverside stroll, a challenging hike, cycling or abseiling, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.

Walks in the Langdales

The Langdale Pikes is a group of imposing fells and one of the most popular hikes will take you over the distinctive summits of Pavey Ark, Thunacar Knott, Pike of Stickle, Loft Crag, and Harrison Stickle. Although the route can be hard going, you’ll be rewarded with a jaw-dropping view of Langdale and the most iconic fells in the Lake District. Other walks in the area include:

  • Elterwater to Cathedral Caves and Blea Tarn
  • Loughrig Tarn
  • High Raise, Sergeant Man, and Blea Rigg
  • Lingmoor Fell and Side Pike
  • Crinkle Crags
  • Bowfell, Worneyside Force, Hell Gill, and the Great Slab
  • Elterwater and the River Brathay
  • Langdale Pikes
  • Dungeon Ghyll Walk
  • Great Langdale to Blea Tarn

For a less challenging walk, you can take a circular route of Elterwater. This is a flat and easy route that runs along the River Brathay via Skelwith Bridge and Skelwith Force. Alternatively, climb up the steps from the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel to Dungeon Ghyll Force, a spectacular waterfall immortalised by William Wordsworth in his poem “The Idle Shepherd Boys”.

Blea Tarn walk langdale

Wild Swimming in Langdale

If you can’t resist a dip in cool waters, there are plenty of places for outdoor swimming in Langdale. Blessed with fabulous scenery, these are some of the best spots for a swim:

  • Elterwater
  • Langdale Beck
  • Blea Tarn
  • Loughrigg Tarn
  • Stickle Tarn
Elterwater and Langdale Pikes

Cycling in the Langdales

If you’re an avid cyclist, you’ll be in your element here. Not only will you be surrounded by magnificent scenery, but there are also plenty of exciting routes to take. The Langdale cycle trail is one of the most popular as it takes you among the meadows and woodlands of Great Langdale and on to the riverside path from Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge.

As well as the cycle route along the River Brathay, you’ll find another behind Loughrigg Tarn, both let you explore almost all of the Langdale Valley. But of course, if you prefer more challenging mountain biking, you can always tackle the fells.

elterwater walk

Abseiling and Rock Climbing in Langdale

Being one of the rockiest valleys in the Lake District, Langdale is ideal for rock climbing and abseiling. Raven Crag, Gimmer Crag, Scout Crag, Pavey Ark, and White Ghyll are some of the more popular places for climbing.

Abseiling has become an increasingly popular Lake District activity as there are lots of skilled leaders that offer abseiling for children and families. It’s definitely one for the adrenalin junkies as the rush you get as you scale down precipitous rocks from a great height is one you won’t forget. Cathedral Quarry is a favourite spot as it has a 150ft rock face and boasts panoramic views. You can also explore the gaping Cathedral Cave and underground tunnels of the quarry, which is a thrilling adventure in itself.

abseiling in the lake district

Accommodation in Langdale

From luxury spa hotels and self-catering cottages, there are plenty of places to stay in Langdale. Great Langdale campsite is a great option for those summer nights when you want to sleep beneath the stars and soak up as much of the scenery as possible.

Search for accommodation in Langdale.

self catering accommodation in langdale

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