Earlier this year, we were in the Lake District, walking the Wainwrights again. Returning to Great Langdale, we decided to revisit Lingmoor Fell. Rick and I had walked here with the mutts one snowy day eight years ago. We decided it would be the perfect fell for a walk with Rowan, especially given the shorter days.
We parked at the National Trust car park at Old Dungeon Ghyll (LA22 9JY) and walked back to the B5343. After crossing a footbridge, we picked up a path through the National Trust campsite (which a great place to stay). From here, we began to climb amongst the trees, passing through a number of gates as we went – Rowan taking great pride in his role of the gate keeper.
Once out the trees and keeping a wall to our right, we made gentle progress up the fell-side. Stopping to admire the view, we could see the valleys of Mickleden and Oxendale, separated by the wedge of The Band and its steady climb to Three Tarns and Bowfell. To the right, the conical peak of Pike of Stickle – a hill I can’t wait to visit with Rowan as I know he’ll love the scramble and lofty feeling at the summit. Above all that were the grey clouds that were to bring the one and off rain and drizzle for much of the day.
We reached another gate, taking us through a dry stone wall, and the path levelled out as it skirted round the termination of the ridge which makes up Lingmoor Fell. Rowan now took the role of Adventure Leader, guiding the way as we pressed on through the mizzle.
The easy path did not last too long. After passing over a wire fence, we turned to the left where Rowan took no time in storming up the steep pitched path. Me and Rick couldn’t believe how fast he was going! We had to keep giving him a shout to wait for his unfit mum and dad. The crags around Side Pike loomed above us as Rowan bounded, whilst we huffed and puffed, to reach a wall running along the crest of the ridge.
From here we turned right to trudge up the grassy slope, interspersed with rocks and heather for Rowan to scramble between. Behind us, the tops of the Langdale Pikes were shrouded in cloud and below us, was the dark pool of Blea Tarn.
We continued following the dry stone wall until we reached a stile and after climbing over, we stopped for a breather before tackling the next part up the walk. Despite the weather the views were amazing!
Here, the route became very steep for a short time. Clambering through the heather, we needed to take great care to make sure all five of us got up safely. Looking back, it almost seemed like we had scaled a short vertical section and though it hadn’t been that bad, we did negotiate a particularly narrow path really cautiously.
It was getting really blowy as we climbed higher, but route finding was easy. We simply followed the dry stone wall to the summit. Along the way, we came across craggy sections where Rowan could enjoy getting hands on as he scrabbled over the rocks. As we neared the summit, we spotted Lingmoor Tarn between the heather clad knolls.
On reaching the summit cairn, the wind had really picked up so after we braced ourselves for the obligatory photo, we hunkered down to find a sheltered spot for some dinner. Whilst setting up, we found a geocache hidden away. We had a quick look at the contents but left everything inside as we had nothing with us to swap.
Rowan was feeling the cold a little as he ate his sandwich, but a hot chocolate soon sorted him out (before and after below).
Suitably sated (though maybe Rick should have had a hot chocolate too), we packed up and set off down the hill side. Heading to the wall, we found a stile and climbed over to descend a steep grassy slope with views across to the Coniston Fells.
The wind was really buffeting us as we walked, which could only mean one thing. Anemometer time! I dug around in my pocket, excited to find out what wind speed we were encountering that day, but it was not to be – dead batteries. And my anemometer was not the only thing feeling flat. The steep slope and strong winds had taken their toll on Rowan. We were a man down! Luckily, jelly babies still have the same effect as they did on Shutlingsloe a couple of years ago, and within a minute, we were off again.
Our path led down to a stile standing in soggy ground – that’s what hiking boots are for. Once over, we stood near the top of a gully, this time finding the majestic Langdale Pikes bathed in sunlight.
Continuing past two trees, that could have easily been mistaken for Ents standing sentinel over the route, we were greeted with more amazing views which continued for much of the way down
Rowan enjoyed jumping from the rocks, taking the odd tumble whilst having fun in nature’s playground as a bemused Herdwick looked on.
Soon, the road and Blea Tarn came into view and the grassy slopes were replaced with pitching for a short time. When we reached the tarmac, we had a choice – walk along the road or stroll round the lake and through the forest to pick up the path we had started on. We chose the latter.
The view across the lake was so beautiful. Blea Tarn was one of the places we visited with the mutts when I was heavily pregnant, so the place holds happy memories.
We crossed a bridge and turned right into the forest, me and Rowan exploring in amongst the trees whilst Rick walked the dogs along the clear gravel path, eventually meeting up again by a small stream.
From here we passed through another gate then strolled back to the road to meet up with our original path, the boy walking his Pebble Pie. It had been a brilliant four and a half mile walk, climbing 1600 feet (you can find the route here). Stickle Barn pub was calling us and after a good feed, we drove all the way home without Rowan falling asleep – he’s definitely getting big now.