logo Walking Britain

Lake District Walk
The Crinkle Crags from Great Langdale

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Southern Fells

Wainwrights - Crinkle Crags

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km

Ascent - 2850 feet / 864 metres

Time - 6 hours 20 minutes

Grade - mod/hard

Start - OS grid reference NY286060
Lat 54.444365 // Long -3.102509
Postcode LA22 9JY (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - The Crinkle Crags from Great Langdale Photo from the walk - The Crinkle Crags from Great Langdale Photo from the walk - The Crinkle Crags from Great Langdale
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Despite its obvious popularity this remains one of Lakeland's great walks. Sufficiently challenging yet not too arduous it provides walkers with great scenery supplemented with that unique mountain "feel". Like many walks in the area it starts from the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel in Langdale (grid ref. NY 286060) where parking can be hard to find if you arrive too late on a fine day!

To start this Lake District walk, exit the car park and return to the lane and head west taking the track to Stool End farm. Go through the farm and keep left at two footpath junctions to join the path that heads into spectacular Oxendale. Cross the first footbridge on your left and head steeply upwards towards Red Tarn. This climb appears to be a hard work but with ever improving views and a good path it is surprisingly easy and arrival at the small tarn is accomplished quite quickly.

Turn right at the Tarn and climb steadily on a wide path to cross the head of Browney Gill (an alternative and infinitely more difficult approach to the Crinkle Crags!). Continue with the broad path as its skirts Great Knott, which is a perfect short diversion with a superb view. The onward route is obvious and one soon reaches rockier ground as the first summit of the Crinkle Crags is reached.

This is a mountain to enjoy at leisure being a complex series of six summits (including Shelter Crags) which offer ever changing panoramas in all directions. In addition there are some spectacular views down into the upper reaches of Oxendale which more than justify the effort expended in the ascent. Apart from the "bad step" on the approach to the second Crinkle (which can be avoided by taking the path that heads left) there are no technical problems to be overcome at any point on the ridge. Navigation is fairly simple in good weather although it could be a confusing area if visibility is poor (I would argue it deserves to be traversed in sunshine). Continue along the ridge choosing the path that keeps to the highest ground.

Descent to Three Tarns is something of anti-climax although the sight of Bowfell directly ahead will help dispel any negative thoughts! Reaching the small tarns turn right to follow the recently upgraded path that descends over the Band to Stool End Farm from where it is an easy level stroll back to the Old Dungeon Ghyll car park.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers. Travel restrictions for exercise in Wales and Scotland will be lifted in early July.

Covid 19 Update for Walkers

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL6Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL6Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 90Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 90Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.


Recommended Books & eBooks

Lake District: High Level and Fell Walks

Lake District: High Level and Fell WalksThis guidebook describes 30 graded fell walks on the ridges and high peaks of the English Lake District, the UK's most popular national park. Reaching some of England's finest and highest mountain scenery, this guide leads readers to classic horseshoes and traditional ascents as well as lesser-known routes to quieter summits.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Walking - Covid 19 update

Regular updates on how Covid 19 will impact on walking in the UK More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.