Great Langdale Valley Walk

man along Great langdale valley walk

Great Langdale Valley Walk

Along the valley with great views of mountains and the option of returning by bus.

Clothing: Waterproof/windproof jacket – depending upon the weather conditions, strong shoes or walking boots
Equipment: compass, whistle, binoculars, OS Map
Refreshment stops: Skelwith Bridge, Elterwater, Chapel Stile, Old Dungeon Ghyll, New Dungeon Ghyll
Terrain conditions: tarmac, undulating footpaths, uneven surfaces with loose stone, occasional damp or muddy parts, grass

Key Information

Fitness Level: Moderate

Distance: 10.5 miles

Time: 5 to 7 hours


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 the Skelwith Fold Caravan Park Reception turn left. Follow the red road to the barrier, through the gate and on to the junction (by the Post Box).
  2. Turn right down the hill through Skelwith Fold. (Road sign ‘Skelwith Bridge).
  3. At Spy Hill pause to admire the magnificent views towards Great Langdale – your target – but not the summits! This is a low level walk!
  4. Follow the lane down to the junction and Turn Right.
  5. Continue along the lane to the corner at the bottom of the hill and Turning to the Right at the Community Centre and continue down to the main road junction.
  6. Continue straight ahead with great caution to the centre of the bridge. Cross over to the opposite side refuge (safest place to cross) and continue to the turning on the left by a small car park and FP sign Elterwater. Continue along the drive keeping the wicket fence on the left.
  7. Pass through the former slate works and on to the path alongside the River Brathay on the left and the spectacular Skelwith Force.
  8. Continue along the path passing the Millennium Bridge on the left to the gate leading to the meadows. (Note that cyclists now use the route.)
  9. Follow the winding path with river on the left until reaching a third gate. Pause again to admire the view of Elterwater. Go through the gate into Rob Rash Woods and follow the well-defined and surfaced path eventually arriving at the NT car park at Elterwater. (Toilets here.)
  10. At the main road turn left and cross the bridge and keep along the road passing the Eltermere Hostel. Turn Right just past the Eltermere Inn entrance signposted to Coniston (challenging option for cyclists Route 37).
  11. Continue up the tarmac lane and take the Right fork. Continue along the tarmac lane passing ‘Ullet Nest’ on the right until eventually arriving at the gate to Baysbrown Farm. Go through the farmyard and continue on the track.
  12. Ignoring the paths to the left and right follow the bridleway signed to ‘Oak Howe ¾ mile’ and the unusual road sign. Continue along the bridleway eventually descending to Oak Howe. At the fingerpost follow the path round to the left Dungeon Ghyll 1 ¼ miles.
  13. The footpath follows down to a gate and becomes uneven as it contours round to a stone slab bridge and a gate. Pause to admire the views. Continue through the gate and down the pitched path to a kissing gate.
  14. Continue keeping the beck on the right until arriving at a small wooden bridge; Cross the bridge, through a kissing gate, pass some cottages and through another gate leading to a farm track. Cross a stone bridge to a gate leading to the road. Go through the gate and Turn Right.
  15. Continue along the road for 50 yds to Langdale Car Park and finger post on the right By-way & Public Footpath. Go through the car park keeping the wall on the right until arriving at the start of the By-way. [Refreshments are available at The Stickle Barn and New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel to be seen on the left]
  16. Follow the By-way for ¾ mile to a fingerpost ‘Chapel Stile 2 ¼’, go through three more gates to join the bridleway signed Chapel Stile Turn Right. Continue along the bridleway to the river bridge gated at each side. Having crossed the bridge immediately Turn Left to Chapel Stile ¾ mile, follow the Footpath, passing the campsite then Turn Left over a stone bridge and along the track to a fingerpost on the right. Take the FP on the Right (Village Centre) and continue along passing some buildings on the right and the back of the village school on the left to meet the road (& toilets). [Refreshments available at The Brambles at the Co-op in the village and at Wainwrights Inn].
  17. Turn Right along the road, pass the inn and take the bridleway to the Right at the end of the little car park. Through the gate, over the bridge and follow the FP to the left with the River Brathay on the left. The path soon climbs up to a metalled quarry road, Turn Left and follow the road and arrive at the road bridge back at Elterwater. [Refreshments at The Britannia Inn and Elterwater Cafe!]
  18. From here retrace the route walked from Skelwith Fold at the start of the walk. [Maybe calling in at Chester’s for refreshments at Skelwith Bridge!]

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 Great Langdale Valley Walk

Opening times: Always open

Distance from park
164 feet (approx. 1 min)

Dog Friendly location Dog friendly