Little & Great Langdale Valley 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.
4.5-6.5h
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.
723 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Little & Great Langdale Valley Walk

The Little & Great Langdale Valley Walk is a fun adventure in the Lake District that will allow you to explore the terrain within two charming valleys and take in the views of the surrounding fells. Also known as ‘The Five Pubs Walk’ due to the fact that there are five establishments located right along the trail, the route also offers the chance to visit several natural and historical sites. Whether you are looking to explore the picturesque terrain along the valley floor or run the circuit with a pint in each pub, there is sure to be something for every type of walker on this amazing journey.

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Route Description for Little & Great Langdale Valley Walk

The Little & Great Langdale Valley Walk is a fairly laid back adventure in terms of rugged terrain; however, you will experience several different terrain types that inclus open farmland, urban walkways, roads, and woodlands. In addition to this, there is also a bit of elevation gain along the route, so make sure to wear proper walking footwear for the adventure. If you aren’t planning on stopping in at any of the pubs along the way, remember to pack plenty of snacks and water for this long journey.

This walk is an amazing experience in the Lake District because it caters to a wide variety of people and gets them out exploring nature. To many walkers, the highlight of the adventure may well be visiting each of the five pubs that can be found along the trail, and to others it may be visiting historical sights or simply taking in the picturesque views along the valley floor. There is so much to do and see on this route that it’s worth making it a part of your next trip to the district.

Setting out from the car park, head north and keep to the left at the fork, following the road for 0.2 km to find a gated path on the left. Take this and make your way south to get to the Cathedral Quarries, the highlight of which is a 12 m high chamber known as the Cathedral Chamber. After exploring this unique system of caves, retrace your steps back to the gated junction with the main trail and head to the left.

From here, make your way west and keep straight along the road for 1.4 km, passing by the Low and High Hallgarth cottages and taking in the views of Little Langdale Tarn to the north before arriving at a bridge crossing over Greenburn Beck. Cross over to the other side and continue on for another 0.3 km, where you will come to a junction with the road.

Heading to the left, you will pass by two unique historical sites. The first is Ting Mound on your left, which was used as a meeting place for the local government established by the Viking settlers following their arrival in the 10th Century. The second site, Castle Howe, has produced the remains of an Iron Age hilltop fort that further promotes the historical importance of the area.

After travelling along the road for 0.8 km, turn right along the path and continue north across Blea Moss for 1.3 km to arrive at the edge of Blea Tarn. After taking in the views across the water, continue along the trail for another 0.3 km to arrive at a fork. Take the path on the left and keep straight for 0.6 km to pass through a gate and arrive at the edge of the road.

Make your way to the other side and pick the trail back up, heading left at the fork to descend the hillside towards the Great Langdale Campsite. Here, you will have some great views of the rugged Langdale Pikes straight ahead to the north. Once you arrive at the campsite, follow the lane to the left for a short distance and turn right onto the road, continuing north for 17.7 km before turning right. After 76 m, turn left and cross over Great Langdale Beck, keeping right at the fork to make your way around the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.

Pick up the trail leading toward the west and pass through the gate, keeping right as the trail turns east to pass through another gate and traverse the foot of the hillside. After walking along this trail for 0.9 km and passing through two more gates, you will arrive at a junction in the trail. Take the path on the left and follow it down the hillside, heading right at the next junction to arrive at the first pub on the walk, Sticklebarn. You will also be able to find some public toilets here if you don’t want to head into the pub.

From here, follow the road southwest and cross over the B5343, turning left along the road next to the car park. Follow this as it runs parallel to Great Langdale beck for 1mi and enjoy the amazing views of the surrounding fells from the valley floor before turning right when you reach the B5343. After 85 m, turn right again and follow the path to the southwest, where you will cross back over Great Langdale Beck after 0.4 km. Upon crossing over the water, turn left along the road and keep straight for 1.2 km, crossing once again over the beck and meeting up with a junction branching off to your right.

Turn right and make your way to the southeast for 0.5 km, where you will arrive at Wainwright's Inn, the second pub of the day. After breaking for some refreshments, head east along the B5343 for 56 m and turn right onto the path to enter into a stretch of woodland terrain. Pass through the gate and make your way across the beck, keeping left at the junction to eventually reach the edge of a road. Turn left here and follow the road for 0.4 km, turning left for a quick detour to cross over Great Langdale Beck and arrive at the third pub, the Britannia Inn.

From here, retrace your steps across the flowing waters of the beck and follow the road south for 0.2 km. Here, you will find a road branching off to the right and the fourth pub of the day, the Eltermere Inn, straight ahead. If you aren’t stopping in at the pub, take the path on the right and follow it for 1.0 km to make your way through Sawrey’s Wood and Birch Hill Wood.

Here, you will find a path on your left side leading towards the south. Take this and keep right for the next 0.7 km to pass by a cottage and arrive at the edge of the road. Turn right and follow the road to the fifth and final pub on this lengthy adventure, the Three Shires Inn. Continue past the pub for 87 m, turning left along the road to follow it south on the return to the trailhead where you began the Little and Great Langdale Valley Walk.

Insider Hints for Little & Great Langdale Valley Walk

  • This trail is also known as ‘The Five Pubs Walk,’ as you will have the chance to visit Sticklebarn, Wainwright’s Inn, Britannia Inn, Eltermere Inn, and Three Shires Inn.
  • Wear decent walking footwear to better traverse the variety of terrain along the route.
  • Pack plenty of snacks and water for this lengthy walk.
  • Although you can complete this walk while travelling with a dog, remember to keep them on leash in areas where livestock may be present.

Getting to the Little & Great Langdale Valley Walk Trailhead

To reach the car park for the Little & Great Langdale Valley Walk from Skelwith Bridge, head south on the A593 for 2.3 km and turn right, making another right turn after 43 m. Continue on for 1.9 km to arrive at the car park.

Route Information

  • When to do

    March-November

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Baysbrown Farm Campsite, Great Langdale Campsite

  • Pets allowed

    Yes

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Little & Great Langdale Valley Walk Elevation Graph

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