A Lakeland Adventure – Day 4

Published 27 June 2011

Sheep in a field

I recently spent some time in the Lake District walking and camping, and generally not getting anything done that I planned. Still Wednesday didn’t turn out that bad really…

Planned version: At this point my plans started getting more vague, to take into account bad weather options. However in the good weather I would have left my wild camp spot at Great Moss and headed up to Angle Tarn and then Lining Crag and then to High Raise. Wasn’t entirely sure how long that would take me, but both Coledale and Easedale Tarns were pencilled as possible wild camp sites.

The weather forecast was looking good again, so I decided, and why not, to head back towards Langdale. Depending on how I got on I could camp at Chapel Stile or at the National Trust campsite near Dungeon Ghyll. And I could probably do some fells too.

I followed the Cumbria Way along from Coniston until just after Tarn How Cottages when I took a bridleway down to Yew Tree Farm. From here I could start the ascent of Holme Fell.

Holme Fell, seen from near Coniston

Holme Fell is not a hugely high fell but it’s quite rugged and a steep climb up. The top itself isn’t easy to reach from the north side where the path comes up, but tromping along to the south side provides a slope which is reasonably easy to get up. And once you’re up, the summit provides fine views both north towards Langdale, and south to give a full view of Coniston Water.

Coniston Water seen from the summit of Holme Fell

Finding the path when I came back down again was another matter, and what I originally took to be the main path down to Hodge Close was actually nothing of the sort, quickly degenerating into a muddy sprawl which met a barbed wire fence – and at one point, blocked by a fallen tree. When I did eventually make my along the fence to the bottom I found that the path I should have been on was just a few metres away all along…

Hodge Close is the site of a number of former quarries; much work having been done to cut down deep into the rock now filled in by an emerald pool, with highly visible caves just above the water line. An interesting place and no mistake.

Holes in the rock looking like a face at Hodge Close Quarry

I now followed the path along to Little Langdale where my next challenge was waiting – Lingmoor Fell. Going over it would take me to Langdale where I planned to set up camp. The path on that side was well made and not hugely steep, no doubt to allow access to the quarries that lined the south side of the fell.

After a long climb I came to a caien and a slate built bench which had an amazing view of Coniston Water and looked to be at the summit of the fell. Only when I went for a wander did I walk on a little and see, oh, no, I actually had a fair way to go yet! Still, it was an excellent place to linger and rest, the slate seat keeping out the wind well.

The summit proper was even better, providing an outstanding view of the Langdale Fells. Wainwright described it as providing a view of “worthy objectives for later days of the holiday”. Sadly I knew that due to the weather conditions, I was unlikely to be meeting many of those objectives, however as a vantage point to admire them, Lingmoor Fell was a perfect place.

The author sitting at the top of Lingmoor Fell

Wainwright offered a route down to Dungeon Ghyll over Side Pike, however having walked down it a little I noted the rather narrow paths on ledges and decided that, what with having my huge rucksack, taking the other route down to Blea Tarn would be more sensible, the following a footpath that took me to the National Trust campsite.

Two fells done, I was feeling happy. Well until erecting the tent proved to be a nightmare due to the high number of rocks on the field. It took me over an hour and I had to move the thing twice before I could get all the pegs in. Frankly, after that, a trip to the Old Dungeon Ghyll for a pint was well in order.

Panoramic of Langdale

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