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Lake District Walk
Bowfell Circular from Great Langdale

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Southern Fells

Wainwrights - Bowfell

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Peter Smyly

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km

Ascent - 2700 feet / 818 metres

Time - 6 hours 10 minutes

Grade - mod/hard

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

Photo from the walk - Bowfell Circular from Great Langdale Photo from the walk - Bowfell Circular from Great Langdale Photo from the walk - Bowfell Circular from Great Langdale Photo from the walk - Bowfell Circular from Great Langdale Photo from the walk - Bowfell Circular from Great Langdale Photo from the walk - Bowfell Circular from Great Langdale
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Bowfell is one of the classic Lakeland mountains and this Lake District walk features a circular route via The Band, returning down the valley of Mickleden. I did this walk on New Year's Day 2006, a day when the mountains were still partly covered with snow, a very cold day but with bracing fresh air and an almost alpine feel about the fells. The photos shown were taken on that day.

Bowfell Circular from Great Langdale 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Start from the car park at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and follow the road to Stool End Farm at the foot of the ridge know as The Band. Once you have passed the farm, a track ahead climbs up the ridge. Crinkle Crags appear on the left and the Langdale Pikes, across the Mickleden valley, are to the right. The gradient eases off as the track goes to the right before it going left up to the col where Three Tarns are situated. These tarns offer a foreground to a fine view of the two Scafells (Scafell and Scafell Pike) across the valley to the west.

Next begins a steep route up rocky and rugged terrain to the north with the summit of Bowfell being the next objective. The summit, marked by a cairn, offers a fine view down the valley to the south west towards Eskdale.

The route now descends Bowfell to the north, then north-west down as far as the col between it and Esk Pike. At the col, bear right at Ore Gap and descend the grassy, pathless felllside as Angle Tarn comes into view below on the right with the Langdale Pike seen from the back, therefore showing a less familiar profile. The descent leads to the main path leading from Rossett Ghyll to Great End and beyond and here you turn right along the path to cross the outflow of Angle Tarn before ascending the fellside ahead. At the top of this rise, Rossett Pike is an optional extra as a digression from the main route to the left. Otherwise, it is time to set off down the steep, rocky path going down Rossett Ghyll. The gradients eases off as the Mickleden valley is approached and the necessary height has been lost. A walk of a couple of miles or so (though it may well seem further) back down the Mickleden valley brings you back to the walk's starting point.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.

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