walking – langdale valley floor
This straightforward circular walk explores the beautiful wooded south-western edge of the valley floor, before circling back through sheep pastures and along the river. Paths are well-de ned and, apart from the initial climb through the quarry, gradients are gentle throughout.
- In Chapel Stile. Turn left o the road just before Wainwright’s Inn, across a footbridge and then right along the bank of the river.
- Shortly after the path passes through a gap in the wall, it starts to bear left away from the river to wend its way upwardsbetween old slate spoil heaps. At their height, the green slate quarries of Langdale and Coniston employed several hundred workers, and many prestigious buildings made from the stone can still be seen, including the National Library in Edinburgh, the Observer o ces in London, and the headquarters of the Bank of Canada in Montreal. Passing a house on the left, the path enters one of the few remaining working quarries, where it bends round to the right between the quarry buildings (take care for quarry vehicles) before veering left past the Burlington Slate o ce and along a track leading gently up into woodland.
- After passing a metal gate, the track reaches a T-junction at a metalled lane, near an isolated house. Turn right along this lane, contouring northwest along the side of the valley, through mixed woodland of larch and sessile oak. After 3⁄4 km, the lane leaves the woodland brie y to reach Baysbrown, which has been the site of a farm since mediaeval times.
- Continue through the farmyard and a gate on its far side, and follow the track – now rougher and mainly unmetalled – towards a second wood. As the track reaches the trees, it veers sharply uphill to the left; turn right here onto a bridleway that undulates through the woods. Eventually the bridleway leaves the woodland and continues along the side of the valley through rough pasture dotted with trees, before gently descending to a T-junction of paths by an old barn.
- Turn right, following the sign to ‘Great Langdale Road 1/3 mile’. The path bears left past a house called Oak Howe and becomes a vehicle track as it sweeps round to the right. Follow this, ignoring the footbridge to the left. The track begins to run adjacent to the river on its left after a while, and continues to do so until it reaches a picturesque slate bridge. Follow the track as it turns left over the bridge and then winds towards the nearby houses of Chapel Stile.
- Just before the track reaches the Langdale road, turn o right onto a footpath that leads to cluster of houses on the right, where it turns into a lane. Past the houses the lane forks; turn right to skirt the southwestern edge of the village before reaching the road between Langdale Village Hall and Wainwrights’ Inn. Turn right onto the road and return to Fellside Gate.