Colwith, Little Langdale, Chapel Stile & Elterwater Walk

Skelwith Fold Caravan Park

Colwith, Little Langdale, Chapel Stile & Elterwater Walk

A low level route providing a variety of wonderful views, waterfalls and visits to Lakeland villages en route.

Clothing: Waterproof jacket, sweater, hat, gloves walking boots/shoes
Equipment: O.S. Map, compass, whistle, binoculars, emergency food
Refreshment stops: ‘The Three Shires Inn’ Little Langdale, ‘The Brambles’ Chapel Stile C-op, ‘Wainwrights’ Chapel Stile, ‘The Britannia’ at Elterwater, ‘Chesters by the River’ and ‘The Talbot’ at Skelwith Bridge.
Conditions to be expected underfoot: tarmac, unmade tracks, loose stone, occasional damp or muddy parts, grass and a short rocky scramble.

Key Information

Fitness Level: Basic Plus (Reasonable level of fitness)

Distance: 7 miles

Time: 4 to 6 hours

Skelwith Fold Caravan Park

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 and Reception Area turn left and follow the red road to the barrier. Continue along the lane to the Post Box. Turn right to Skelwith Fold and continue along the lane ignoring the right turn to Ambleside. Go down the hill to the junction and turn right. Continue down the lane until reaching the main road.
  2. Turn left up the hill for 150 yards. At Crag Hill Cottage turn right and immediately left on to the bridleway. After the next gate and turn left to join the uphill footpath through Bridge Howe Coppice. Pass through the next gate and follow the path to Park House. The winding path through the meadow passes through two gates leading to Elterwater Park Guest House. (Look for the carved alphabet in the slate on the barn wall on the left.)
  3. Take the centre footpath that leads to a stile, crosses a beck, over the next stile and on to a gate. Continue through the next gate and along the path through the meadow. This leads to yet another stile and path with steps down through the wood (quite steep!). Cross two more stiles to reach the road.
  4. Turn right. After 80 yards cross the road to the footpath sign to High Park. Climb the steps, turn right and follow the narrow path up to Colwith Force (waterfall). After visiting the waterfall return to the path that follows the fence to the right up through woods.
  5. Go through the gate to a field at the top of the wood and follow the path to the next gate that leads to some cottages at High Park. Go through the gate turn right then left between the buildings to the gate leading to the road and turn right signed Coniston.
  6. Continue along the road while admiring the views of Lingmoor Fell and Little Langdale. Pass Stang End, down the hill, cross the cattle grid. At the bottom of the hill, after crossing the bridge, turn right and follow the footpath through the trees close to the river. Pass the footbridge on the right and continue along the wide track with the river on the right and old mine workings on the left.
  7. After passing through two gates go through the footpath gate on the right, go through the gate then over the stile that leads to the much-photographed Slater Bridge. (A popular place for a picnic.)
  8. After crossing the bridge follow the path to your right through the fields to the lane. Turn left and continue up to the junction and turn right to The Three Shires Inn. (Bar meals, coffee & stronger refreshments!)
  9. Continue past the inn to the first turning up to the left. Follow the path through the farm (Wilson Place), through the gate, along the path at the side of the field, through the gate, to the next field and to the gate leading to a Byway. Turn right.
  10. Follow the Byway to a gateway then immediately turn left along a signposted rough track through the woods. The track leads to a tarmac lane. Cross to follow down to the working quarry. Follow the footpath signs through the quarry down to the bridge at Chapel Stile. Cross the bridge and turn left towards Wainwrights. 50 yards further on is Chapel Stile Co-op incorporating The Brambles Café. (Each well worth a visit!)
  11. Retrace your steps back to the bridge, cross it and follow the path round to the left and alongside the river. The path leads onto the quarry drive, which, in turn leads to the village of Elterwater with its famous maple tree, Cafe, The Britannia Inn and public loos!
  12. From the car park adjacent to the bridge and river take the bridleway that follows the River Brathay past Elter Water Tarn through the woods and meadows to Skelwith Force. Continue through the former slate works to Chester’s by the River and The Talbot Inn.
  13. Cross the main road bridge taking care. Then take the little lane to the left at the corner and follow it passing the Community Centre on the right. Continue on the tarmac road until reaching the first left turning. Turn left up the hill to Skelwith Fold. Pause to admire the view as you reach the top.
  14. Continue through Skelwith Fold ignoring the first turning on the left. At the post box turn left to return 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 Countryside Code.

How to find Colwith, Little Langdale, Chapel Stile & Elterwater Walk

Opening times: Always open

Distance from park
164 ftles (approx. 1 min)

Dog Friendly location Dog friendly