Black Crag, Tarn Hows & Little Langdale

Skelwith Fold Caravan Park

Black Crag, Tarn Hows & Little Langdale

A full day walk with magnificent views and the occasional surprise!

Equipment: O.S. Map, compass, whistle, binoculars, walking pole/stick (recommended)
Refreshment stops: Elterwater, Skelwith Bridge
Conditions to be expected underfoot: tarmac, unmade tracks, loose stone, occasional damp and very muddy parts, grass. (Some of the NT paths have become eroded by water!)


Key Information

Fitness Level: Ability to enjoy and endure a full day’s walking!

Distance: 12.5 miles Time: 7 hours

Clothing: Light waterproof/windproof jacket – depending upon the weather conditions, strong shoes or walking boots

tarm hows

For printed directions, please ask at Skelwith Fold Reception. These are available for a suggested £1.50 donation which goes to supporting The Great North Air Ambulance.

  1. On leaving Skelwith Fold Caravan Park Shop turn left. Follow the red road to the barrier. Ignore the path to the left and continue to the junction by the Post Box. Turn left up the hill, and along the lane for ¾ mile to a gate and sign to SUNNY BROW. Take this path up through the woods passing through two wooden gates. After the second the track follows a wall on the left and arrives at a finger post.
  2. Take the track to the right – IRON KELD. Continue up to the track to a gate leading to the next finger post. Turn right to HIGH ARNSIDE. Follow the track uphill.
  3. After a slight descent the path joins a bridleway at a finger post turn right to HIGH ARNSIDE. Go through the gate and immediately turn right. This path leads to a Trig. Point. Just before a ladder stile on BLACK CRAG (322m). Enjoy the panoramic views and ‘bag an easy fell top’! Count the lakes and tarns while taking a coffee break. Retrace the route back to the gate. Go through it and back to the fingerpost to follow the sign to TARN HOWS. At the next gate turn right signed TARN HOWS & OXEN FELL. In ½ mile at the fingerpost to TARN HOWS AND CONISTON turn left through a gate.
  4. Follow the path to the Tarn and turn right at the sign CONISTON & CAR PARK. Follow the undulating path with the Tarn on the left until arriving at a small dam and a sign on the right to TOM GILL FALLS GLEN MARY CAR PARK turn right. The descent along the waterfalls is gated and requires great care. Children and dogs should be kept under very close control!
  5. At the bottom, a gate and footbridge lead into a car park. Pass through the car park and head for a footbridge and gate leading to a field. Follow the footpath with the road on the right. YEW TREE FARM is accessed via the gate to the road. Take care while crossing this busy road. Take the track to the right of the farm. (Signposted PUBLIC BRIDLEWAY SHEPHERD’S BRIDGE, CONISTON. Pass through the first wooden gate and continue up the track passing a gate on the right. Follow alongside the wall on the right for 50 yards. Take the right path leading to another gate. Continue along the rough path that eventually arrives at another gate. Go through the gate and turn right continue up to some big boulders and a small old cairn. Take the uphill path to the left (bit of a slog!) towards the skyline eventually arriving at a cairn on the pass by Holme Fell.
  6. The descent is over springy grass for a while until a small tarn is reached. Keeping the tarn (disused reservoir) on the right, follow the path round and over the outlet beck and descend along the track, through a gate until it joins another track. Turn right and down the hill to a gate. Pass through another gate/stile and continue until arriving at a gate and stile.
  7. Go through gate/stile with the WARNING SIGNS about the Quarry on the right. Keep children and dogs under close control – DANGER! Turn right along the tarmac lane, pass the car park on the left, and continue to THE OLD FORGE on the right. Turn left onto the path that leads to a wooden gate, pass through and continue to the next large gate. Go through and take the distinctive central path with walls on each side. The path descends through the woods crossing a small stream before joining another track. Turn right and continue along the track, through a gate and pass a house on the left.
  8. On arrival at a deep ford and footbridge turn left keeping the river on the right progress along the track until arriving at a fence on the left coming at right angles. Turn left immediately over the stile. This is a very short excursion to CATHEDRAL QUARRY (disused). After 50 yds a sign points to a passage way leading to a day lit cavern where those with singing voices can enjoy the marvellous acoustics!
  9. Retrace the path to the stile; continue left, for 100 yds, through a gate until reaching a small gate on the right. Go through it this leads to a stile and on to the famous Slater Bridge. Continue straight ahead uphill with the splendid view of Little Langdale Tarn on the left. The path has a wall on the right, after passing through a gate continue through two more gates and on to a track. Turn left. At the road turn left then immediately right (sign ‘Unsuitable for motor vehicles’).
  10. Follow the lane to the farm. It then becomes a byway. Continue passing through two gates until it eventually becomes tarmac again. Pass Elterwater Hall on the right. Join the road and turn left past The Eltermere Inn. On arrival at Elterwater cross the bridge, turn right into the car park and follow the bridleway towards Skelwith Bridge. On leaving the field at the gate continue straight ahead keeping to the left of the river. Pass through the former Slate Works to Chester’s by The River. Go to the main road and turn right, over the bridge (cross over at the centre as it is the safest place). Take the lane to the left, pass the Community Centre; the lane continues left uphill to signpost SKELWITH FOLD turn left up the hill. On reaching the Post Box turn left and back to Skelwith Fold Caravan Park.

Rambling and hill walking can be strenuous and it is up to you to approach it with caution and if you are inexperienced, to do so under appropriate supervision. You should also carry appropriate clothing, equipment and maps and wear suitable footwear. Details given were believed to be right at the time of going to press but neither the author nor Skelwith Fold Caravan Park can accept responsibility for inaccuracies or mishaps. Please keep to public rights of way and observe the Country Code.

How to find Black Crag, Tarn Hows & Little Langdale

Opening times: Always open

Distance from park
164 ftles (approx. 1 min)

Dog Friendly location Dog friendly