Hodge Close Quarry & Cathedral Cavern Walk

Difficulty
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Moderate
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.
1-1.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
4.7 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.
146 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Hodge Close Quarry & Cathedral Cavern Walk

The Hodge Close Quarry & Cathedral Cavern Walk is a great family-friendly adventure in the Lake District that will allow you to explore the natural beauty of the Little Langdale Valley. While out on the trail, you will meander through charming forests, walk past several quarries, and get the chance to take a detour into the Cathedral Cavern before strolling through the picturesque pastures of the valley. This may be a short walk, but it provides the opportunity to explore several unique points of interest both above and below ground.

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Route Description for Hodge Close Quarry & Cathedral Cavern Walk

The Hodge Close Quarry & Cathedral Cavern Walk is a fairly straightforward adventure that will take you across open farmlands and dense stretches of forest. With this variety of terrain and the presence of several underground caverns that can be explored, you will want to wear sturdy walking boots to have the best footing.

Not only does this walking route feature beautiful forest settings and amazing views of Little Langdale Valley, it also offers walkers the chance to explore the Cathedral Chamber, a 12 m tall subterranean cavern. Whether you are looking to explore the terrain above or below ground, there is no shortage of amazing views to be experienced along this trail.

Setting out from the trailhead, head west along the track for 0.2 km and turn right at the fork to enter into Quarry Wood. Make an immediate left turn and continue straight for the next 0.5 km, crossing over Pierce How Beck and passing through Sty Rigg Coppice to arrive at a fork. Take the path on the left and continue north for 0.7 km to pass through the dense cover of the wood and arrive at the edge of a road.

Head left along the road and keep left as you turn to the west alongside the River Brathay. After 114 m, you will find an optional path on the left that leads to Cathedral Chamber, a series of large underground caves that are the result of past mining operations in the area. If you aren’t looking to explore the caves, continue along the road to the west for another 0.4 km.

Turn right here and pass through the kissing gate, continuing north towards the edge of the river. Here, you will cross over a stile before making your way across Slater Bridge that spans the flowing waters of the River Brathay. From here, keep right along the trail as it gradually climbs uphill and passes through two kissing gates, before meeting up with a road. Turn left and follow the road north for 0.2 km to arrive at a junction in the road. Turn right and you will arrive at the Three Shires Inn after a brief walk.

After stopping for some refreshments, make your way east along the road for 0.3 km, where you will find a gated path on your right. Head through the gate and make your way south, following the trail across the open terrain for 0.2 km to arrive at the edge of the River Brathay. Pass through the gates and cross over the river, continuing south until you reach the edge of the road at Stang End.

Head through the gate and cross over to the other side, picking the trail back up as it leads south. Follow this straight for the next 1.1 km to pass through a series of gates on the arrival back to the trailhead where you began the Hodge Close Quarry & Cathedral Cavern Walk.

Insider Hints for Hodge Close Quarry & Cathedral Cavern Walk

  • Keep an eye out for the entrance to the Cathedral Cavern, as it can be tricky to spot.
  • If you are travelling with a dog, make sure to keep it on leash in areas where livestock is present.
  • Be sure to wear sturdy walking boots, especially if you are looking to explore the caves.
  • The Three Shires Inn is a great place to stop for mid-walk refreshments.

Getting to the Hodge Close Quarry & Cathedral Cavern Walk Trailhead

To reach the trailhead for the Hodge Close Quarry & Cathedral Cavern Walk from Skelwith Bridge, drive southwest on the A593 for 5.5 km and turn right. Continue along the road for 2.7 km, and you will arrive at the trailhead.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Hodge Close Quarry & Cathedral Cavern Walk Elevation Graph

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