Located in the heart of the Lake District National Park, and a 20 minute drive west of Ambleside, Great Langdale is a glacial-formed valley offering some of the best outdoor adventures in the UK. As you drive past Elter Water and the view appears up the dale towards the Langdale Pikes and the Scafell massif, it’s hard to avoid a growing sense of excitement.
My first ever rock climb was on Lower Scout Crag on a school trip in the late 90s, and I have many fond memories of Langdale from across the years since. Venturing up my first multipitch climb (Middlefell Buttress), pull up competitions under a footbridge and crystal clear winter days learning to use an ice axe and crampons (and trying not to kill myself!) all stand out.
Whatever your outdoor pleasure, you’ll be able to indulge it here. Fell walkers can head up Rossett Ghyll, past Angle Tarn and on towards Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. Those out for a gentler stroll can head along Mickleden and admire the fells rising above them. For rock climbers there are classic routes across the grades at popular crags such as Raven and Gimmer. A steep pull up the path alongside Stickle Ghyll opens out to Stickle Tarn where keen swimmers can brave the chilly water. Standing guard over the tarn is the rocky bulk of Pavey Ark with the classic grade 1 scramble Jack’s Rake slashing across its face.
After all that exertion, back in the valley there are several great pubs for a well-earned beer. The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel (the ODG for short), the Sticklebarn and Wainwright’s Inn should all be visited; we’ll let you decide on your favourite. Here’s a tip – the ODG is the shortest stumbling distance back to the National Trust campsite!
All year round, there is fun to be had in Great Langdale, so start planning your trip. Just go steady on the Cumberland Ale…