walking – lingmoor fell
Dividing the valleys of Great and Little Langdale, Lingmoor Fell gives magni cent views across both, and over a panorama of the high fells. Route- nding is straightforward but beginning the ascent of Side Pike is awkward – particularly in the wet – requiring a degree of sure- footedness and a head for heights. The route brings you back through the beautiful mixed woodland of the lower valley slopes.
- Leave the Langdale Estate by Fellside Gate and turn left along the road. Turn left just before Wainwright’s Inn, to cross a footbridge, and then right to follow the path near the bank of the river.
- Shortly after passing through a gap in a wall, the path veers away from the river and begins to climb up through the slate spoil heaps. After passing a house on the left,
it joins the track through the working quarry (careful here for quarry tra c). Follow the green ‘Public Footpath’ signs round to the right, through the quarry buildings, and then to the left, past the Burlington Slate o ce and along a track into woodland.
- Soon after passing a metal gate, the track reaches a staggered crossroads at a metalled lane near a house. Turn left onto the lane, and almost immediately right up a bridleway signposted ‘Little Langdale’, that rises diagonally through the woods until it nally emerges above the trees at an old quarry and slate spoil heaps. Pass through a gate and, a few hundred paces further up the track, turn left onto a well-de ned footpath at a cairn and a post displaying a white arrow.
- Follow this path directly up the fellside until you reach a padlocked, green metal gate with stile steps on it. Immediately over this, turn right to begin ascending the crest
of the Lingmoor Fell ridge. To your right is a stone wall; this snakes its way up and along almost all of the crest, mostly close to the path, and is a handy landmark in bad weather. Ignore a left fork on the initial slopes, and continue to follow the path as it climbs and then undulates along the ridge. At the top of Brown How – the high point of the ridge – cross over a stile to the right to reach the summit cairn and the continuation of the path. The 360-degree views are magni cent in clear weather. From here you can see how the fell got its name: ling is an old name for the heather that clothes its northern and eastern slopes.
- The path continues in a north-westerly direction, keeping close to the right side of the fence and – later – the wall once again. Lingmoor Tarn can be seen over to the right as the path reaches a succession of short, steep, rocky sections. At a nal steepening before a stile, there is a choice of descents: the right fork is at a more reasonable gradient but the ground drops sharply to the left of the path at rst, so care is needed. Cross over the stile to the left and follow the path as it accompanies the wall towards the crags of Side Pike ahead.
- At the base of the Pike, cross another stile and climb up to the foot of the crags. Here, the path contours round to the left, where there is a choice of either a short scramble or a narrow squeeze; both lead to a path winding up around the south side of Side Pike before heading for the top from the west. There is a fork in the path halfway up this section; carry on up to reach the summit of the Pike. After visiting the top, retrace your steps to the fork and take the right-hand path, to begin descending to the southwest, with the path still following a wall and occasional cairns. After a steeper section of descent, it veers to the west. With the road from Great to Little Langdale visible not far below, the path passes through a wooden ‘squeeze’ in a fence. Turn immediately right to follow an indistinct path heading northwest. This soon breasts a rise and starts to descend, with the switchbacks of a much more clearly-de ned path coming into sight to the left. Stick to the path you are on until, about two thirds of the way down the hill, another path intersects with it horizontally. Follow this to the right and a kissing gate.
- Follow the still-rather-indistinct path beyond the gate as it contours northeast along the side of the valley, just above a small larch plantation. At the end of the plantation, continue across the pasture and slightly downslope, to pick up a narrow but better-de ned path that continues to head northeast along the valley side. Where this arrives above the buildings of Side House, continue over the stile and footbridge and then down the eld to pick up another path, still continuing in the same direction. This soon begins to ascend at a fairly gentle angle, up a mainly well-pitched section, before undulating along the side of the valley, then very gradually dropping to follow the south- western edge of the valley oor.
- At an old slate barn, a signpost marks a T-junction of paths. Turn left, following the bridleway sign to ‘Great Langdale Road 1/3 mile’. The path takes you past a house called Oak Howe and along a vehicle track as it sweeps round to the right (ignore the footbridge to the left). The track begins to run parallel with 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 leading to a cluster of houses. Past the houses the way forks; turn right to skirt the south-western edge of the village before reaching the road between the village hall and Wainwrights’ Inn. Turn right onto the road to regain Fellside Gate.