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Great Langdale & The Crinkle Crags

Lake District Walk

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

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Great Langdale & The Crinkle Crags
Click image to visit gallery of 3 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.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1207 Great & Little Langdales FROM New Dungeon Ghyllmoderate8.5 miles
Walk 2042 The Langdale Pikes with an ascent of Jack's Rakevery hard6.3 miles
Walk 2073 Harrison Stickle, Pike o'Stickle & Rosset Pike moderate8.3 miles
Walk 1736 Langdale Pikes and High Raise FROM New Dungeon Ghyllmod/hard6.1 miles
Walk 1144 Lingmoor Fellmoderate8.0 miles
Walk 1171 Pike o' Bliscomoderate5.0 miles
Walk 2582 Pike o' Stickle, Harrison Stickle & Pavey Arkmoderate6.0 miles
Walk 3508 The Crinkle Crags from Wrynose Passeasy/mod5.0 miles
Walk 1134 Wetherlam and The Carrs from Little Langdalemod/hard10.8 miles
Walk 2270 Tilberthwaite and Holme Fell Little Langdaleeasy/mod5.5 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Great Mountain Days in the Lake District

Great Mountain Days in the Lake DistrictAn inspirational guidebook to 50 challenging walks on the high fells of the Lake District. The graded circular routes, between 4 and 14 miles in length, cover classic Lakeland summits like Fairfield, Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Blencathra, to the lesser-known High Spy, King's How and Brund Fell.
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Hadrian's Wall Path

Hadrian's Wall PathHadrians Wall Path guidebook to walk the 84 mile National Trail. Described in both directions, the main description is west to east between Bowness-on-Solway and Wallsend, Newcastle, with extensions to Maryport and South Shields. With extensive historical information related to this World Heritage site and separate 1:25,000 OS map booklet included.
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