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Little Langdale and Elterwater

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Little Langdale and Elterwater
Author: Andrew's Walks, Published: 03 Jan 2019 Walk Rating:star1 Little Langdale and Elterwater, Cumbria Walkig Guidestar1 Little Langdale and Elterwater, Cumbria Walkig Guidestar1 Little Langdale and Elterwater, Cumbria Walkig Guidestar1 Little Langdale and Elterwater, Cumbria Walkig Guidestar1 Little Langdale and Elterwater, Cumbria Walkig Guide
Cumbria, Lake District
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Little Langdale and Elterwater
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot Little Langdale and Elterwater, Cumbria Walkig Guide boot Little Langdale and Elterwater, Cumbria Walkig Guide boot Little Langdale and Elterwater, Cumbria Walkig Guide
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A 6.5 mile circular walk from the village of Skelwith Bridge in the Lake District, Cumbria. This pretty circular walk is particularly varied, beginning with a waterside stretch along the River Brathay passing the Skelwith Force waterfall and the lake of Elter Water. After passing through the village of Elterwater, the route leads you through slate quarries and woodland to reach the village of Little Langdale. Continuing across the pastures, the walk takes you over Slater Bridge (thought to date from the 1600s), before continuing through woodland and pastures to return to Skelwith Bridge.

The route is a low-level Lakeland walk, with several steady climbs and descents throughout, but only reaching a height of about 180 metres above sea level. It follows a mixture of paved riverside paths, stone tracks, quiet lanes and paths through woodland and pastures. You will need to negotiate several bridges, gates, kissing gates and stiles. You will be sharing some of the fields with livestock. Allow 3 hours.

The walk starts and finishes in the village of Skelwith Bridge, where there is some roadside parking available on the B5343. Approximate post code LA22 9NH. (If there are no spaces left, you could park in the village of Elterwater and adjust the walk to start from there instead).

Walk Sections

Start to Skelwith Force
Start to Skelwith Force

Start point: 54.4226 lat, -3.0123 long
End point: 54.4223 lat, -3.0169 long

The walk begins on the B5343 in Skelwith Bridge, outside the rear of the Skelwith Bridge hotel. With the hotel to your left, walk ahead along the road. When the pavement ends, continue ahead along the road edge (taking care of traffic) with a woodland on your left. A little way along, fork left onto the footpath into the woodland with the River Brathay running on your left. You will pass the waterfall called Skelwith Force, which you can access via the metal viewing platform and the adjacent rocks – but do take care.

Skelwith Force to Elterwater Village
Skelwith Force to Elterwater Village

Start point: 54.4223 lat, -3.0169 long
End point: 54.4338 lat, -3.0379 long

When you have finished at the waterfall, continue on the surfaced riverside path (part of the Cumbria Way) with the river running on your left. You will have wonderful views of the Langdale Pikes in the distance ahead as the path leads you through grass pastures. You will pass the small lake of Elter Water on your left; the name of this lake translates as Lake of the Swan and whooper swans over-winter on this lake. Beyond the lake, continue on the riverside path and it will lead you into the edge of the village of Elterwater, emerging to a road.

Elterwater Village to Beck Bridge
Elterwater Village to Beck Bridge

Start point: 54.4338 lat, -3.0379 long
End point: 54.4375 lat, -3.0454 long

Turn left to cross the road bridge over Great Langdale Beck. At the far side, turn right onto the small side road, still following the Cumbria Way. Follow this access road leading you uphill for about 300 metres to reach a stone lay-by on your right. Follow the footpath signs here, forking right to join the footpath leading you into the trees. Follow the path with the beck running on your right. When you reach the bridge, do NOT cross this, instead swing left to continue with the beck on your right.

Beck Bridge to Slate Quarry
Beck Bridge to Slate Quarry

Start point: 54.4375 lat, -3.0454 long
End point: 54.435 lat, -3.0447 long

Stay with this bridleway path as it leads you up into the site of a slate quarry. Burlington Stone quarries here for the famous green slate which was formed 455 million years ago. Follow the bridleway as it swings right around the quarry buildings and then bears left to continue into the trees.

Slate Quarry to Track
Slate Quarry to Track

Start point: 54.435 lat, -3.0447 long
End point: 54.428 lat, -3.0477 long

As you reach a T-junction, turn right and fork immediately left to join the woodland path into Sawrey’s Wood, signed as a public bridleway to Little Langdale. The path soon continues with a pretty stone wall on your left, before emerging out to a T-junction with a track.

Track to Wilson Place
Track to Wilson Place

Start point: 54.428 lat, -3.0477 long
End point: 54.4212 lat, -3.0523 long

Turn right along the track for about 200 metres to reach a fingerpost marking a path junction (pictured). Turn left here to follow the sign to Wilson Place. Where the path forks, take the right-hand option. Follow the footpath which leads you through a kissing gate and then bears right to continue along the right-hand edge of fields. You will emerge to Wilson Place which leads you to the main lane in the village of Little Langdale.

Wilson Place to Slater Bridge
Wilson Place to Slater Bridge

Start point: 54.4212 lat, -3.0523 long
End point: 54.4179 lat, -3.0617 long

Turn right to follow the lane through the village. Pass the village pub on your right and then turn left onto the side lane (signed to Tilberthwaite). Follow the lane for about 200 metres, passing a couple of properties on your right, then turn right to leave the lane and join a footpath. The path descends through pastures, passing through stone wall gaps to reach Slater Bridge on the River Brathay.

Slater Bridge to Stang End
Slater Bridge to Stang End

Start point: 54.4179 lat, -3.0617 long
End point: 54.4164 lat, -3.0515 long

Slater Bridge is an old packhorse bridge, used by the quarrymen of Little Langdale to reach the slate quarries on the other side of the valley and thought to date back to the 1600s. The bridge has three spans and takes advantage of a large central rock. Cross the bridge and keep ahead on the path to emerge to a junction with a lane. Turn left to follow the lane towards Stang End.

Stang End to High Colwith Lane
Stang End to High Colwith Lane

Start point: 54.4164 lat, -3.0515 long
End point: 54.4182 lat, -3.0337 long

After passing through this tiny hamlet, continue on the lane for about 500 metres to reach the farmhouse of High Park. Turn left here to join the path leading across a pasture and into woodland (we have now joined the Cumbria Way again, which we will follow to the end of the walk). As you enter the woodland, take the left-hand of the two paths (the footpath, not the bridleway) which will lead you to the riverside and past the waterfall of Colwith Force. Continue with the river on your left and you will emerge out to a junction with a lane, near High Colwith.

High Colwith Lane to End
High Colwith Lane to End

Start point: 54.4182 lat, -3.0337 long
End point: 54.4229 lat, -3.0123 long

Turn right (away from the river) and then turn left to join the surfaced path leading into more pastures. Follow this surfaced path leading you east, passing through Park Farm and past Park House. Beyond Park House, ignore the right-hand path branch which heads to the road, instead keep ahead on the path into trees. The path swings left and leads you down to the river. Cross over the river via the Trevor Woodburn bridge and you will reach the path used on the outward leg. Turn right to reach Skelwith Bridge where the walk began.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

Check out these resources for your walk

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network Little Langdale and Elterwater, Cumbria Walkig Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2019 by iFootpath and the author AndrewLocking and may not be reproduced without permission.


4 Comments for: "Little Langdale and Elterwater"

Really good walk. Should include the National Trust quarry as part of the walk after saddlers bridge

By SMJBDJ on 15 Apr 2019

Great walk. Very varied with some beautiful scenery highly recommended

By sarahb18 on 06 Apr 2019

A lovely walk and beautiful scenery, easy enough to follow using the gps map. Would highly recommend

By amy1828 on 08 Feb 2019

A very pleasant walk which was very varied.
Got a bit confused going into Sawrey’s wood.
A mention that the terrain being rocky at the start would have helped me personally. It would have confirmed I was going in the correct direction.

By Westham58 on 09 Jan 2019

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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