The Langdales and Lingmoor

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Blea Tarn. Side Pike on the far side and the Langdale Pikes obscured by clouds behind.

B had a shift in the cafe at Brockholes; since I was dropping him off there, I decided to stay in the Lakes and make the most of it, despite a fairly ropey forecast. I had a fine time, even though it rained on and off most of the day.

I parked up by Blea Tarn, another National Trust carpark, although the joy of ‘free’ parking was tempered by high winds and driving rain which weren’t terribly encouraging. I rarely set-off for a walk in full waterproofs, I’m a fair weather walker, as much as I can manage to be.

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Looking back towards Blea Tarn. The plug of rock in this photo is Tarnclose Crag.

Fortunately, my route started downhill into Little Langdale and I hadn’t walked far before both the wind and the rain had abated a bit.

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Farmhouse at Fell Foot
When the skies are grey and the weather is rotten, I always think the white-washed stone buildings still look attractive. I’ve often thought that the porch over the door here is unusual. Turns out this is a Grade II listed building.

“At the foot of Wrynose Pass. C16 north wing, the main block C17. A long, low house, white-washed stone rubble, flag roof, 2 storeys. The door is under the overhang of a slate-hung upper storey, gabled, and without windows, the timber beam ends showing in the gable.”

Source.

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This shows the entire farm complex at Fell Foot with Castle Crag behind, itself a scheduled monument because of it’s suspected history as a hill-fort. By the farm there’s the Ting Mound where the Norse inhabitants of the valley had council meetings.

Behind Castle Crag you can see Lingmoor which is out of the cloud and would remain so all day, unlike any of the surrounding higher hills. I assume these very rocky lumps – Side Pike, Tarnclose Crag and Castle Crag are volcanic in origin, but would love to find out more.

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Bridge End Cottage.

The National Trust own both Fell Foot Farm and Bridge End Cottage, in the latter case at least, gifted to them by Beatrix Potter. Bridge End Cottage is another grade II listed building.

I had half an idea that I might be able to bag Holme Fell and Black Crag as well as Lingmoor, but I needed to collect B from Brockholes at the end of his shift, and even I could see that I would be pushing it to manage all that and still arrive on time to pick him up. On the other hand, just climbing Lingmoor would undoubtedly leave me with quite a bit of time to kill, so I decided to extend my walk along Little Langdale as far as Skelwith Bridge and then come back up Great Langdale before bagging Lingmoor.

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Lingmoor and Little Langdale Tarn.
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High Hall Garth – you’ve guessed it, Grade II and property of the National Trust.
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Low Hall Garth. Owned by the NT, gifted by Beatrix Potter, Grade II.
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Lingmoor and Slater’s Bridge.

I didn’t divert, as I usually have, to photograph the marvellous Slater’s Bridge – it was very busy. It has appeared on the blog many times before. (Here for example, or here). It’s an amazing structure, in a low-key picturesque sort of way. I’ve never thought to look up it’s protected status before, but it turns out that it trumps the other local properties by being Grade II*.

“Slater’s Bridge II*. Over River Brathay. C17 packhorse bridge of slate and natural boulders. Huge boulder in mid-stream supports segmental arched bridge of 15 ft span with 3 1/2 ft voussoirs, and a flat causeway of a single slab on slate supports.”

Source

Voussoirs? A wedge-shaped or tapered stone used to construct an arch, obviously. Learn a new thing every day! (And forget it the next sadly.)

The obvious knobble on Lingmoor with a prominent gully on its right, is Busk Pike, of which more later.

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No sign of any voussoirs at the next bridge down the Brathay, but still quite a handsome footbridge I thought.

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Little Langdale and Lingmoor.
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Colwith Force.

At Chesters, at Skelwith bridge, I managed to buy a nice lunch* from their takeaway counter and then was lucky to get a picnic table under the eaves and so out of the rain. (*Pricey, but very tasty.)

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Elter Water. Lingmoor on the left. This should be one of the iconic views of the Langdale Pikes, but they were still lost in the cloud.
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Bridge over Great Langdale Beck in Elterwater. Rebuilt 1702. Grade II listed of course.

Judging by Historic England’s map, just about every building in the village of Elterwater must be listed. I shall have to come back to investigate some time. Since one of those listed buildings is the Britannia Inn, that should be an enjoyable experience!

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I left Elterwater on a steep and stony track and was amused by this cycle route sign at the bottom, since ‘challenging’ seems like a huge understatement to me.

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This path leaves that track at around its highest point. I think it must be an old mining track, it has fabulous zig-zags and clearly someone has gone to a lot of effort in constructing it.

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I’ve become a bit obsessed with being able to put a name to every hill, hump and hollow in the view. I blame Andy. The wooded hill in the middle-ground here doesn’t have a name on the OS map and there’s no path to the top, but the wooded slopes on it’s northern and eastern flanks are access land, Fletcher’s Wood, so it would be possible to get at least close to the top. The higher ground to the right, meanwhile, is the end of the Black Crag ridge. TBH and I traversed those slopes on our walk between Coniston and Ambleside last summer.

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A day of contrasts – the Coniston Fells are lost in what I suspect was foul weather, whilst the sun is trying to shine on Little Langdale Tarn.

The weather had brightened up enough for me to take a short stop and drink some of the contents of my flask. The view was limited by the dense, low clouds, but still pretty good.

After the initial steep climb, somewhat eased by the marvellous zig-zags, a much steadier ascent ensues. There were still a number of broad grassy tracks, testament to this areas quarrying history. I took the lower path, intending to take in Busk Pike.

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Looking down on Little Langdale Tarn. Holme Fell visible through the rain. Spoil heaps and small, tumble-down walled structures like this were dotted about the hillside.
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Busk Pike.
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Busk Pike again.
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I’d like to revisit Busk Pike when the views are less curtailed by clouds.

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Brown How – the summit of Lingmoor – from Busk Pike. Notice the ruined buildings between the two tops.
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This was the biggest of the many derelict buildings I saw on Lingmoor. It provided a sheltered spot for another drinks stop. The sun even shone a little, although it also started drizzling again, just in case I was getting complacent about the weather.
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Looking back to Busk Pike and the the old mine buildings.
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And again.from a little higher up.

On the summit of Lingmoor, I met a family party of three, the first walkers I’d met since leaving the track near Dale End. We congratulated each other on the fact that it was “Not too bad”. As soon as our conversation ended, I realised that it was indeed ‘too bad’: the weather was back to how it had been when I first set-off from Blea Tarn – a howling gale and very heavy rain. It seemed highly plausible that closer to the higher hills around the head of Langdale, the weather had remained this way all day.

I was keen to get out of these conditions and back to the car, but I did divert slightly to include Lingmoor Tarn on my route…

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Side Pike – it had been my intention to include this on my route, but with the weather now so foul and with time running short, I decided to keep it for another day.
MapMyWalk gives a little over 11 miles and 560m of ascent (the latter might be a bit of an overestimate)

B had told me his shift finished at 6.30, but when I arrived to pick him up (and two friends who had also been working at Brockholes that day), it turned out that, because the cafe had been so quiet, they’d been ‘sent home’ an hour early. B was furious that I hadn’t been answering my phone (it had been on flight mode, preserving the battery whilst I probably didn’t have a signal anyway). Unfortunately for B, beggar’s can’t be chooser’s, and he soon calmed down when I offered to leave him behind, if he didn’t like the free taxi-service on offer.

The Langdales and Lingmoor

9 thoughts on “The Langdales and Lingmoor

  1. Well a decent little walk despite the conditions – but the latter certainly contributes to some moody photos. And you kept the rain off the lens too.
    Moody, ungrateful teenagers. Who’d have thought there was such a thing! 😁

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I should probably go out on dodgy days more often – I enjoyed most of this day immensely (not so much the descent off Lingmoor in pouring rain!).
      Moody ungrateful teenagers – I guess it’s a stage we all have to go through – and then see it from the other side with our own kids!

  2. I remember climbing this one from a cottage (grade 2 listed!!) we stayed at by the Three Shires Inn. Lovely fell this one and perfect for when the masses are heading for The Langdales

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I remember climbing this one from a cottage (grade 2 listed!!) 🤣 Made me chuckle!
      I have a vague memory (Andy could probably supply the details) of climbing it one hot afternoon after a few bevvies at the ODG. Drinking beer and climbing hills never a good combination in my experience.

  3. Not an area I know that well but looks like a great walk even in the rain. Does DB Snr’s reaction come up to the minimum standard of ungratefulness that the prof showed when I picked him up from Ribblehead after the Hill Inn closure incident?

      1. Don’t remember that? Although didn’t we do it the day after my stag do, come to think of it. We ate in the ODG and in think your glasses fell in your meal!

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