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Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

  • A rocky panorama around the head of Langdale
  • As much scrambling as you want
  • Views of all the Lakeland giants


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Langdale is probably the best known Lake District valley for challenging walks and iswithout doubt one of my favourites. It has the appearence of having been created for walkers, the valley bottom has only a few farms, two hotels and a campsite whereas the valley itself is ringed by a spectacular set of steep sided mountains. The “Band” splits the valley down the middle creating the one and only relatively straightforward ascent in to the circle of mountains. I like this route as it is not unremittingly steep like Rossett Gill, has ever improving views and offers a straightforward access to the Climbers Traverse, situated under the cliffs of Bowfell.

The Climbers Travers led me under the Great Slab of Bowfell which for geologists is a masterpiece and for non geologists simply impressive to look at. Just imagine where you could stop yourself if you fell.

Crinkle Crags has always been one of my favourite fells in the Lake District. It is a 2 mile highway of rocky outcrops on a wide ridge, difficult to follow in the mist, but great fun in all conditions. I enjoy scrambling as much as possible on a walk and keeping to the crest on the Crinkles offered me this opportunity. I have visited the Crinkles in the snow, high winds and most recently in glorious sunshine and enjoyed them all. I have suggested carrying on to the rocky peak of Pike O Blisco on this walk, it just seems a shame to leave it out and it is ‘almost’ on the return journey whilst offering fabulous views back over the Crinkles and Bowfell and across the valley to the Langdale Pikes.

Recommend: Poke around the Crinkles, there are some perfect little spots to stop and admire the wonderful views

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Crinkle Crags map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk ©2017

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL6 The English Lakes South West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 293065. The parking is expensive (£6 for the day) so bring change and then head for the farm at Stool End
Height to Climb: 880ms (2,886 feet)
Terrain: Hard on the feet the terrain particularly on Bowfell and over the Crinkles is rocky and sometimes loose. There is nearly 4,000 foot of climbing across the circuit. The path off Pike O Blisco is a masterclass in erosion control.
Eating & Drinking: Climber bars are available at both the New and Old Dungeon Ghyll and after this walk it is probably not worth the effort to travel the extra 2 miles to the better pub in Chapel Stile
Similar Walks Nearby: Great Carrs & Wetherlam
The Langdale Pikes
Pike O’Blisco from the New Dungeon Ghyll
Places to Stay: Smallwood Hotel, Ambleside


  1. dan says:

    Hi on your “map” you have labelled pike o blisco as “pike o stickle”

  2. Claire says:

    We did this walk today – Good Friday 2013. Superb alpine conditions – a good deal of thick snow beneath moody sunny / cloudy skies.
    It’s very slow going so took us 8 hours ( but 3 food stops and a million photos).
    With the cold wind very strong in places, I’d say it would be tough but even if you just got up to Red Tarn or onto the first Crinkle it would be awesome. Some brilliant snowfields where you sink to your knees in the stuff. Very cold- our bivvy shelter for two was amust as it’s an Easteyn facing ridge so in theeye of those cold winds.
    Another option just to go straight up the Band to Bow Fell – a bit easier going, safer and still masses of snow.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Very much depends on the weather and how well the children walk. I would walk up the Band to the col between the Crinkles and Bowfell (not taking the Climbers traverse)and then decide. It is easy to just do Bowfell and retreat back down the band or, my preference, would be to turn left and just do the Crinkles, great fun for the kids!

  4. Michelle says:

    We are thinking about going up bowfell over Easter with 2 children, 8 and 5. The hardest they have done so far is the pike of blisco a few weeks back in snowy conditions. Is bowfell suitable for them?

  5. […] where you can swap stories of your wanderings. For your second day, take in the perfect pairing of Crinkle Crags and Bowfell, which offer views of every group of fells in the Lake District national park. Both walks start at […]

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