Bowfell & Esk Pike Circular Walk

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
5.5-8h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
15.3 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
1,055 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Bowfell & Esk Pike Circular Walk

The Bowfell & Esk Pike Circular Walk is a rough and rugged adventure in the Lake District that is popular with outdoor enthusiasts looking for amazing views of the picturesque terrain. This trail will take you from the floor of the Great Langdale Valley to the summit viewpoints atop Bowfell, Esk Pike, Allen Crags, and Rossett Pike, where you will enjoy spectacular views overlooking the lush valley floor and surrounding fells. This is a lengthy trail with a fair bit of elevation gain along some rugged terrain, but the views across the hilly landscape are more than worth the required effort.

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Route Description for Bowfell & Esk Pike Circular Walk

Although the Bowfell & Esk Pike Circular Walk is a tough climb through terrain that is unforgiving at points, that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the most popular routes in the area. The junction in the trail near Esk Hause is particularly busy, as many walkers use it as a throughway to reach Great Gable and Scafell Pike. If you want to enjoy some peace and quiet along the trail, be sure to arrive early enough to beat out the other walkers. Additionally, much of this walk passes through rugged and exposed terrain along elevated positions. Be sure to wear study walking boots for the best footing on the trail.

Setting out from the car park at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, follow the road southwest to pass by Stool End Farm and begin the climb up the trail known as “The Band.” Enjoy the views of the surrounding landscape as you gain elevation along the trail, eventually arriving at the summit of Bowfell. From here, follow the trail to the northwest as it dips slightly before climbing back up to the summit of Esk Pike with its views of Scafell Pike and the River Esk. Continue downhill until you reach the junction at Esk Hause, at which point you will turn to the northeast to summit Allen Crags. Retrace your steps down the hill and head east, passing by Angle Tarn before summiting Rossett Pike. From here, you will make your way down into the valley below while enjoying views of the Langdale Pikes, first following Mickleden Beck and then Great Langdale Beck until you arrive at the trailhead where you began the walk.

Getting to the Bowfell & Esk Pike Circular Walk Trailhead

To reach the car park for the Bowfell & Esk Pike Circular Walk from Chapel Stile, head northwest on B5343 for 4.5 km and turn right. After 61 m, make another right and you will arrive at the car park.

Route Information

  • When to do

    March-October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Bowfell & Esk Pike Circular Walk Elevation Graph

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Bowfell & Esk Pike Circular Walk Reviews

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