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Langdales & The Duddon Valley

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The Langdales


The valleys of Great and Little Langdale lie in the shadow if the mighty Langdale Pikes. A series of soaring, jagged volcanic peaks, they form the great central massive of the Cumbrian Mountains, and are one of the most iconic images of the Lake District. There are a host of varied walks, treks, scrambles and climbs, which take you through green valleys, by tumbling becks and waterfalls, past woodland and little tarns and up high on rocky peaks. To get the best from this majestic range of mountain and fell, you need to get hold of some guides and maps to pick your route. There the five pikes, Pike O 'Stickle 709m, Harrison Stickle 736m, Loft Crag 630m and Pavey Ark 700m. Along with these are Thunacar Knott 723m, High Raise 762m, Sergeant Man 730m, Blea Rigg 541m and Crinkle Crags 859m. As you can see, these are big hills and common sense will tell you that you must be sensible and take a few basic precautions before setting off on these quite uninhabited areas. For those that like to keep things a bit easy, you can drive to the start of more gentle walks. A favorite of mine is Blea tarn. Set off the narrow road between Great and Little Langdale, there is a handy car park above the tarn. A panoramic location, beneath the shadows of the rugged Langdale Pikes, the tarn stands 700 ft above sea level. The surrounding meadow is a carpet of wild alpine flowers throughout the spring and summer. The tarn is quite small, with a circular footpath, however you can wander off track, exploring some of the rocky outcrops.


The Hard Knott & Wrynose Pass

Now here's a thought - what if you could mountaineer in the comfort of your car. Well you can, sort of, if you drive the Hard Knott and Wrynose Pass. Running through and over the Langdales this most dramatic road snakes its precipitous route through the craggy mountains, offering breathtaking views and picture moments. There are plenty of stopping of spots where you can simply wander off and explore the rocky heights and breath mountain air - perfect.


The Duddon Valley

Dropping down from the Wrynose Pass to the Wrynose Bottom, you can either carry on to the Hard Knott for a bit more clutch smoking fun - no it's not really that difficult - or turn left and enter the Duddon Valley. From the Langdales, west of the Three Shires stone on Wrynose pass, the river heads south from Pike O Blisco, beginning its ten mile journey through the valley floor, down to the Duddon Sands. Its course flanked by impressive fell and woodland. Harter, Dunnerdale and Ulpha offer some challenging high level treks, this along with many low level paths and trails over moorland, through woodland and by the River banks. The village of Seathwaite has a good pub, where it can be nice to plan a walk, ending up at the inn for lunch or dinner. Wildlife is abundant and you can expect to see red squirrel, buzzards, and peregrine falcon, and during spring and summer look out for violets, primroses, bluebells, and wood anemones. Finally the river comes to the salt marsh of the Duddon Estuary, emptying into the Morecambe Bay. The estuary is a sanctuary and winter home to many winter birds and famed among bird enthusiasts.


Guides Maps Summary & Safety

Together, these two magnificent areas give a chance for most people to get a taste of wilderness and high rugged mountain, this without it being to strenuous, such as the peaks of Scafell and Helvellyn. However you do need to invest in maps and walking guide books, the latter will indicate the level of difficulty, allow you to choose the best routes for you. Fell and mountain safety is important and you can help stay safe by following a few simple rules when fell walking. Obtain a reliable local weather forecast before you set off and plan a route suitable for forecast conditions. Check your equipment before leaving, take waterproofs, spare warm clothing, hat and gloves. food and drink, a map, a compass and a survival bag. Learn basic mountain skills, particularly navigation. If weather conditions turn bad, turn back. Don't rely on mobile phones.

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Langdales & The Duddon Valley


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Carr Crag Cottage

Skelwith Bridge - Near Ambleside
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