Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

By Emma Knipe   

on February 15, 2020    No ratings yet.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

Further Details

Route Summary:

Circular, low level route through the Langdale Valley, showcasing some of the best views of the Langdale Pikes.

13.58 km 370 m 4-5 hours

Activivity Type: Moderate Walk

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Summits and Places on this Route


Sticklebarn pub and free toilets next to the car park. The Old Dungeon Ghyll pub and the Wainwrights’ Inn are both on route. Pubs and cafes in Chapel Stile and Elterwater, see our full guide to Great Langdale for more details


Often boggy moorland by Blea Moss.

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking : LA22 9JX

National Trust Stickle Ghyll car park, just below Sticklebarn pub.

Public Transport:

There are good public transport links between Great Langdale and Ambleside, with the  516 Bus Route between Dungeon Ghyll – Kendal / Ambleside running six buses daily.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

There are few valleys in the Lake District that offer easy walking as scenic as Great Langdale, and its compact sibling; Little Langdale. This circular walk brings in the best lower level walking offered by both Great and Little Langdales. One feature of this walk is the visibility of the Langdale Pikes, which seem to be visible for almost all of the walk.

The route allows you to explore the popular Langdale Valley without hardly any strenuous climb. Woodland trails, hillside paths and sections of the Cumbria Way lead you from the New Dungeon Ghyll to Blea Tarn, Elterwater quarry, through picturesque villages and past remote farmhouses and National Trust cottages.

You can start this route at any point on the circular, with this walk starting from National Trust Stickle Ghyll car park by the New Dungeon Ghyll hotel but could easily be started from Elterwater or Little Langdale. The walk keeps low along the bottom of Great Langdale as far as New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel before crossing Langdale and climbing up to Blea Tarn. It’s over to Little Langdale, past the tarn of Little Langdale Tarn and over Slater Bridge before the final leg over the shoulder of Lingmoor Fell.

It’s worth diverting slightly at Slater Bridge to the man made Cathedral Cave. Instead of crossing the bridge, continue for a few 100m and it can be found a short distance to the right. It’s a disused quarry, now owned by the National Trust and apparently has its own resident goldfish!

Great Langdale and Little Langdale Circular Route

1. Head to the far end of the car park, by the National Trust welcome board.

2. Turn left. Follow the rocky footpath through a wooden gate and alongside Stickle Ghyll, but only for a metre or two. Take the left hand turn and continue on the footpath which runs alongside the dry stone wall.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

3. Go through the gate and keep left at the fork.

4. Continue straight ahead across the bridge and through the gates to eventually reach the back of the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

5. Turn sharp left and go through the wooden swing gate to join the road. Follow the road around to the right and across the stone bridge. Turn right at the junction and then left at the T junction.

6. When the road bends around to the right, turn left into the camp site, following the signpost for Blea Tarn 1 Mile.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

7. Keep right and follow the waymarkers to turn right and climb through the woods.

8. Continue straight ahead through the wooden gates to reach a wide path, which gently weaves up the hillside. The view back across the Langdale Pikes is spectacular.

9. The footpath eventually bears right through a swing gate to reach the road.

10. Cross the road and continue alongside the dry stone wall for a few metres. Turn left, following the signpost for Wrynose Pass. The well-defined track heads towards Blea Tarn.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

11. At the gate, continue straight ahead into the woods. At the south edge of the tarn, turn right to leave the main track. (If you have time, follow the main track left across the bridge for a wonderful view back across the tarn).

12. Go through the wooden gate and follow the narrow footpath alongside Bleamoss Beck.

13. The footpath gradually bears right, away from the beck and across often very boggy moorland to join the road.

14. Turn left and follow the road. Continue past Fell Foot Farm and turn right to cross the Fell Foot Bridge, signposted for Tilberthwaite.

15. The wide track runs next to farming fields and past an old, remote farmhouse.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

16. Continue uphill and through the gate. At the junction, take the left hand fork and go through the wooden gate between the dry stone walls.

17. The path continues down past a National Trust cottage and Low Hall Garth climbing hut to join a wide gravel road. Keep an eye out for a left hand wooden gate in the dry stone wall. Go through the gate, over the stone stile and then across the slate bridge.

18. Keep left at the fork and follow the narrow, rocky path upwards, with great views of Little Langdale Tarn to the left.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

19. Continue straight ahead through a series of gates to eventually reach the road.

20. Turn left and then almost immediately turn right, following the signpost for Ambleside. Continue past the cottage, through the metal gate and follow the wide track.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

21. At the edge of the woods, go through the wooden gate and immediately turn left.

22. Keep right. The narrow footpath runs next to a dry stone wall.

23. The path widens and climbs down through the woods to reach the road. Turn right and follow the road for a few metres and then turn left, following the signpost for Chapel Stile and Elterwater.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

24. The track leads through Elterwater slate quarry.

25. At the edge of the quarry, take the narrow footpath on the left hand side of the road.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

26. The path drops down to reach the edge of Great Langdale Beck. Turn left at the junction, towards Chapel Stile, and go across the bridge.

27. At the road, turn left, past Wainwrights’ Inn. Take the left hand footpath, signposted for Baysbrown Campsite.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

28. The footpath, now following the Cumbria Way, runs behind Langdale C Of E Primary School to reach a junction. Turn left and continue on the road between the houses. Turn right, taking the footpath between the dry stone walls.

29. Go straight ahead, still following the signposts for Baysbrown Campsite. The wide track bears left over a stone bridge and then turns right to run alongside farming fields and the camp site.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

30. After just under 1km, turn right and go across the wooden bridge, signposted for Great Langdale.

31. The well defined gravel track crosses a farming field.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

32. Turn left through the wooden gate and then left again at the junction, with great views of the Langdale Pikes ahead.

Great & Little Langdale Circular Walk

33. The track eventually reaches a car park just below the New Dungeon Ghyll. Continue along the road for a few metres and then turn right to return to the National Trust car park.


Based in the Lake District and with frequent trips to Snowdonia, Emma spends most days in the mountains. She splits her time between leading group hikes, volunteering with the National Trust, mountain biking, hiking with the dog and planning the next adventure.

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