Little Langdale is the quieter valley south of Great Langdale. Because the mountains are less spectacular it is less busy and the walks tend to be lower level. This one passes an old slate mine in Tilberthwaite.
Little Langdale is best approached over the low pass from the quiet but beautiful valley of Tilberthwaite. The views as ‘the col’ is reached are spectacular with Little Langdale Tarn lying to the north and the gash of Lingmoor Fell opening up to frame the Langdale Pikes in all their glory to the north west. I followed the track to Bridge End to fully appreciate the views even though this meant doubling back past the Climbing Hut to the bridleway for the return.
In the quieter months I would suggest crossing the river at Fell Foot Bridge and walking in to Little Langdale via the road but this does get a little busy in the summer. It is best to remain to the south of the tarn then. The return walk to Gilberthwaite through the woods is full of interest of a different sort. The valley is one of the most obvious examples of the industrial past of the Lake District. Slate and lead both being extracted in times past and the resultant chaos clearly seen from the track.
Visit Cathedral Cave on the return in the woods, just off the main track. The main cave is 40 foot high and preserved for visitors by the National Trust.
There is no difficulty in finding the route. The challenge is finding the best views of Little Langdale and its tarn. This is not easy. The best views are actually from the higher ground to the north on Lingmoor Fell. However the views from the outbound track on this walk are excellent, enhanced by the framing of the Langdale Pikes beyond.
More and more I like to plan walks to reflect the best views. This is one of them.
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