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Things to do in Langdale

Things to do in Langdale

Things to do in Langdale

The area is renowned for outstanding natural beauty, and Little Langdale is one of the most picturesque of Lake District valleys. Great Langdale is known for the grandeur of the great fells around it, and the iconic Langdale Pikes. It is no surprise that walking and climbing are the chief attractions of this part of the Lake District. Though the valleys maintain a prized sense of remoteness, you will not be left wondering what to do in Langdale. The area is in fact quite central to the Lake District. It is only a short drive from the busy centre of Ambleside. The villages of Coniston and Hawkshead and their attractions are nearby. In the Langdales themselves, though, there are also many things to see, do, and experience. You can enjoy the incredible mountain scenery all around you. Begin by rambling in quiet vales or scrambling up the steep hillsides. But there are many other options to make your holiday in Langdale an unforgettable one, including beautiful Langdale walks.

In Langdale

Cathedral Cavern

A visit to the impressive Cathedral Cavern should be on the itinerary of all visitors to Langdale. Providing you are not put off by the rugged terrain to reach it, and the dark tunnels that are wet underfoot and scattered with the debris of slate-mining. The cave is situated in woodland near the Three Shires Inn in Little Langdale. It is popular with climbers, while nearby Slaters Bridge, the rustic crossing forged in ages past by the local miners, should also be visited, being a great place for a picnic.

Skelwith Bridge

This cafe at Skelwith Bridge is a wonderful place to take lunch, and is even better for its extraordinary variety of cakes. Combine a coffee break here with a browse around the superb gift shop. You will find this is a great place to spend a couple of hours or a leisurely afternoon. You can combine a stop here with a river walk between Skelwith Bridge and Elterwater, or a shorter stroll to see the waterfalls at Skelwith Force.

Joint Adventures

If you are looking for active things to do in Langdale and the surrounding area, Joint Adventures provides all the adrenalin you could hope for. Based in Coniston the company uses qualified and experienced instructors to lead you as you take part in rock climbing and abseiling, canoeing, gorge scrambling, archery, and even camping expeditions. –


Langdale is one of the chief destinations for Kankku’s off-road adventures. Their 4 x 4 vehicles will provide thrills and a fresh way to interact with the superb Lakeland fell landscapes. –

Langdale Hotel and Spa

If you can’t decide what to do in Langdale on a less than fair day, why not head to the Langdale Hotel and Spa. There you can buy a day pass for the gym and swimming pool, which has hot-tub, sauna and steam room facilities. A tennis court is also available for drier conditions. Lakelovers also offers discounted passes for spa facilities in Ambleside and Grasmere. –

Cycling and Mountain-biking

The Langdale valleys are perfect places to see by bike and to access some splendid mountain-biking routes. You can hire cycles from the National Trust Campsite in Great Langdale, near the end of the valley. As well as from many other places in the Lake District, including Ambleside and from the Coniston Boating Centre. –


There are several opportunities for fishing around the Langdale Valleys, including at Blea Tarn. Do read up on local fishing regulations, and remember that you will likely need a rod licence, available from post offices or online. We like Loughrigg Tarn, which provides good all-year-round fishing for roach, pike, perch and eels. You can buy a permit from Tarn End Farm nearby.

Tourist Information

There is an information centre in Coniston to help you decide what to do in Langdale. Ambleside also has a one.


There is a well-stocked Co-op store beneath Brambles Cafe in Chapel Stile.

Petrol Stations

The nearest filling stations are in Coniston and in Ambleside, so be sure to fill up on your way to Langdale.

Health Centre

Coniston Health Centre is just a few miles from the Langdale valleys.


The nearest veterinarian services are in Ambleside on Church Street. –


There are several National Trust Car Parks at strategic points around the Langdale Valleys. Including at Blea Tarn, Chapel Stile, Elterwater, and near the Sticklebarn Tavern. Some on lane parking is available around the area, though this can be quite hard to come by in Elterwater and Chapel Stile in the busier months.

Exploring Langdale

Langdale is situated in south-west central Lakeland. It occupies some of the very finest Lake District fell country. But also gives great potential for exploring the wider Lake District. A short run in the car takes you to Ambleside and Grasmere, with Coniston and Hawkshead also nearby. South beyond Hawkshead lies Newby Bridge and lower-lying fells and woodlands.

At the end of the Little Langdale valley, the high mountain passes of Wrynose and Hardknott provide an exhilarating drive and unsurpassed views. The imposing Wrynose Pass conveying you towards the peace of the lovely Duddon Valley and Eskdale. From there you can take the Boot to Ravenglass Railway to the west coast. You can continue west through Eskdale, too, and take a drive up to the rugged northern valley of Wasdale.

Getting to Langdale

To reach Langdale by car, leave the M6 motorway at Junction 36. Go past Kendal, taking A591 to Ambleside, then the A593 towards Coniston, and at Skelwith Bridge turn for Elterwater and Great Langdale, or continue some way further on the A593 if you are going to Little Langdale. Windermere rail station can be reached on a branch line from Oxenholme station, on the west coast mainline by Kendal, and buses are available from there to Ambleside and on to Elterwater, Chapel Stile and Dungeon Ghyll in Great Langdale, or to Little Langdale. Bus 516 serves both valleys. Details regarding bus timetables and routes in the Lake District can be found here:

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