Cumbria Way Coniston to Langdale

 

Difficulty : EasyDuration : 6 HrsDistance : 17 Km

 
The Cumbria Way is one of Britain's most popular long distance footpaths. The seventy mile long distance route runs from Ulverston in south Cumbria to Carlisle in the north, passing through and over the heart of the Lake District, England's finest countryside. The way is usually walked from south to north making this the second stage of the route. This stage is the shortest of all five stages. This stage leaves the picturesque village of Coniston and heads uphill through woodlands with stunning panoramic views of the Coniston Fells, eventually reaching the small but beautiful Tarn Hows that looks incredible at any time of the year. After leaving Tarn Hows the path heads downhill towards Skelwith Bridge before turning left and following the riverside paths into the awesome Langdale Valley and the villages of Elterwater and Chapel Stile. The stage ends at the head of the Langdale Valley where you will find refreshments at some of the best country pubs in Britain and accommodation options from luxury rooms at the inns to campsites and bunkhouses.


Full route description for this walk

 

This stage of the Cumbria Way starts from the village of Coniston. The path leaves the village crossing Shepherd Bridge over Yewdale Beck. To find Shepherd Bridge go to the centre of the village at the Black Bull Inn and head north down the main road out of the village until after about half a kilometre when you reach a road sign posted to Hawkshead. Turn right down this road with Yewdale Beck on its left. After a few hundred metres head left over Shepherd Bridge and then head through the stile or gate immediately on the left after the bridge.

Coniston Village & Black Bull Inn

Coniston Village

Cumbria Way near High Guards

Near Low Yewdale

Now on the Cumbria Way footpath head in a north east direction uphill towards a stone building at the top of the fields. The path heads through a gate to the left of the stone building and continues uphill. The path will pass through a small woodland before coming out into open land again as the views open up on the left towards Mart Crag and Yewdale Crag. Follow the path along the track until the forest on the right ends. The path now heads off to the left and then downhill again. When the path reaches the small road turn left heading alongside the Yewdale Beck to the left until you reach Low Yewdale. At Low Yewdale do not cross the bridge over Yewdale Beck and instead go through the gate to the right and head north east across the open field heading towards Tarn Hows Wood. The path enters Tarn Hows Wood crossing a few tiny streams in the woods and reaching an old forestry service road. Turn left up this road which eventually narrows into a stone track and heads steep uphill through the woods eventually reaching Tarn Hows Cottage.

Tarn Hows Cottage

Tarn Hows Cottage

Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows

At Tarn Hows Cottage, with the cottages front gate on your left turn right through the wooden gate onto the road and head uphill round the sharp bend to the left. This road will take you uphill all the way too Tarn Hows. When you see the National Trust car park on your right ignore it and continue along the road you were already on. When you see Tarn Hows, head down to the tarn and head left round the lake crossing the dam wall and exit stream on the left. The path heads alongside the tarn and then leaves it for a while as it heads through Tom Heights Intake Plantation. Before reaching the end of the tarn the Cumbria Way heads off left to the north on a rough path before reaching a rough road where you should turn left. This rough road passes a small lake on the right before heading downhill and eventually reaching the main road at Oxen Fell High Cross.

Helvellyn from High Park

High Park Farm Road

New River Brathay bridge

River Brathay Bridge

Cross the road at Oxen Fell High Cross and take the path immediately on the right through the trees. This path then crosses a field below the main road to the right. At the end of the field the path goes back through onto the main road. To the left there should now be a small road leading off downhill with Tongue Intake Plantation always to the right. Follow this road keeping the Tongue Intake Plantation to the right all the time until it reaches a sharp left bend in the road at High Park Farm. Go through the main entrance to High Park Farm and then take the path on the right through the fields.

As the path reaches the bottom of the Tongue Intake Plantation it splits into two. The official route of the Cumbria Way goes straight on and heads gently downhill. The path to the left takes a slightly more interesting route along side the Colwith Force Waterfall. Both paths end up reaching the minor road to Little Langdale and Elterwater. Turn right along the road and look for the path as it heads left over a stile just after the road crosses a small stream. Follow the path across the field and then up a steep stepped section. The path crosses another field and then reaches a road to buildings, at this point a gate on the other side of the road takes you to a path round the properties. The path continues on then passing through Park Farm and then another cross field section to Park House. From Park House follow the path down towards Skelwith Bridge. If you wish to go through Skelwith Bridge then follow the signs and path that turn off right half way down the hill. However a new footbridge can be taken by heading downhill then left along The River Brathay until eventually crossing it on a modern bridge.

Wetherlam above River Brathay

River Brathay

Langdale Pikes over Elter Water

Elter Water

If you take the new bridge or go via Skelwith Bridge then you will end up on the northern side of the River Brathay. Follow the obvious riverside paths now as they follow the River Brathay through open park land, eventually reaching Elter Water. The path heads through a small woodland area and then rejoins the banks of the Great Langdale Beck and makes its way to the village of Elterwater. When you reach Elterwater cross the stone bridge over the river and then follow the road immediately on the right over the bridge following the south side of the river. After half a kilometre follow the path right and downhill to the river again and cross the wooden bridge towards the Wainwrights Inn. After refreshments at the Wainwrights Inn head left along the road and after only a few metres take the path to the left along a footpath leading to the tracks to Thrang Farm. Pass the farm to the right and the track will reach the road to the Chapel Stile camp site.

Wainwrights Inn

Wainwrights Inn

Chapel Stile

Chapel Stile

Turn left along the road towards the Chapel Stile camp site. Go over the stone bridge over the Great Langdale Beck. Head along the bank of the beck and keep on this line passing the camping site on your left. The path continues over a field as the river moves away to the right. At the point where the river comes back to the path head left to Oak Howe farm. Go round the farm and its fantastic side barn and then turn immediately right along the rocky path. The path now rounds the lower slopes of Oak Howe Needle on a very rough path until after a kilometre or so it reaches an old stone walled sheep fold. Here head downhill to the right and over a small stream at Side House. From Side House follow the road to a stone bridge over Great Langdale Beck. The road will now reach the main road through the Langdale Valley.

Myself in Langdale

Langdale Valley

Stickle Barn Tavern

Stickle Barn Tavern

The Langdale Valley can be a busy place in summer so make sure you sort out your accommodation as you arrive. Watch out for the busy roads too which can be packed and dangerous in the summer holiday weeks. To your right from here there is the New Dungeon Ghyll and the Stickle Barn Tavern with Stickle Barn Bunk House. To your left and only a short walk down the road is the Old Dungeon Ghyll and on the left here the National Trust's excellent Langdale campsite.

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Weather forecasts for this walk

 
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Webcams near the Lake District, England

 
 
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Accomodation near this walk

 
Camping and Caravanning Club
 

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Mountain rescue teams covering this walk

 
Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team
 

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Photos taken on this walk

 
Images from March 3rd 2008.

Lakeland House B&B Coniston Village Above Shepherd Bridge Trees above Coniston Path near High Guards Myself in Tarn Hows Wood Nickys footsteps in snow Tarn Hows Cottage track Tarn Hows Cottage Track to Tarn Hows Nicky near Tarn Hows Tarn Hows Robin at Lane Head Coppice Robin at Lane Head Coppice Myself at Tarn Hows Nicky at Tarn Hows Myself at point I gave up last time Helvellyn Range from High Park New River Brathay bridge Wetherlam over River Brathay Langdale Pikes above Elter Water Great Langdale Beck Wainwrights Inn sign Chapel Stile Stickle Barn Tavern Bunkhouse View from Stickle Barn Tavern window
 
Images from July 4th 2005.

Coniston Hall Coniston Water Coniston Village Yewdale Crag Guards Wood Tarn Hows Wood Tarn Hows Cottage Tarn Hows Greylag Goose



Videos taken on this walk

 

Images from March 3rd 2008.




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