Imposing mountains, wild landscapes, tranquil lakes and picturesque towns combine to make the Lake District uniquely beautiful, and one of the best places in Britain for walking, climbing, boating and biking.
Travel bucket list idea:
Walk the Langdale Pikes
Great Langdale, Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)|www.visitlakedistrict.com
The Langdale Pikes is a classic Lake District ‘round’, a multi-hill loop hike that allows keen ‘peak baggers’ to tick off several summits in a single walk.
The main route climbs up past the waterfall of Dungeon Ghyll Waterfall, then loops across the ‘Pikes’ – which can, depending on your chosen route, take in between three and six summits: Pike of Stickle, Pavey Ark, Loft Crag and Harrison Stickle, Thunacar Knott and Thorn Crag. The route then loops back down via Dungeon Ghyll, or you can add on an optional descent via Martcrag Moor.
It offers wonderful views over the valley of Great Langdale, and is also a stiff workout – there’s plenty of ascent involved, and depending on your route, some airy drops too, but there are few walks in Lakeland that offer such drama and diversity of scenery.
Stop for a post-hike pint at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, (locally known as the ODG), one of the most iconic Lakeland inns – and much loved by many famous walkers and climbers.
Getting there & doing it
The main route starts in Great Langdale next to the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. There’s a large car-park, but it fills up quickly on busy days, so arrive early if you want to bag a spot. Occasionally extra parking is available in a nearby field.
It’s a well-trodden trail, but you’re on pretty high ground here, with a maximum height of 736m on top of Harrison Stickle. The paths between the Pikes can occasionally be indistinct – so a map and compass definitely comes in handy. Walk Lakes has a useful route description and map, or you can download a fun hand-drawn map and PDF guide sheet produced by the New Dungeon Ghyll.
Allow 4-5 hours depending on route (around 6 miles). As always, sturdy boots, wet weather gear and plenty of food and water are essential.
When to do it
Walking is superb all year round. Summer (usually) brings good weather but crowds. Winter offers invigorating walking conditions and fewer crowds, but be prepared for snow on the Fells.
If you’re an inexperienced walker, it’s best avoided in bad weather as cloud and fog can make route finding very tricky.
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