Crinkle Crags and Bowfell,
The Lake District
Distance: 5 miles Time: 2 hours Type: Round trip
The Langdale Valley is a truly beautiful spot in the Lake District and offers a number of great hiking opportunities. The climb to Crinkle Crags and the summit of Bowfell before a descent by way of the Band is a classic Lakes walk, offering superb views and the opportunity to pass by waterfalls, several tarns and some interesting rock formations en route.
There is a car park at the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel near the Great Langdale Campsite, both of which are close to the start of the hike. I was staying further away at BaysBrown Farm Campsite in Chapel Stile and simply walked through the valley along the B5343. This added around 1 hour to the walk but it was very pleasant, especially on the return leg when the late-afternoon sun filled the valley with a golden glow.
Where the main road turns south to head to Blea Tarn there is a minor road leading to a farm. Beyond the farm the path continues straight ahead up the Band or turns left to cross Oxendale Beck and climb toward Great Knott. You can walk in either direction: I ascended to Great Knott first. Toward the top of the hill there is a waterfall to the right which can be seen more closely by leaving the path.
I also took a detour to Red Tarn before climbing past Great Knott and Crinkle Crags. From Great Knott there are fantastic views both over Langdale and into Esk Valley in the other direction, as well as interesting rock formations such as the Great Slab and a number of tranquil tarns. It makes for an interesting and varied hike.
Before the turn-off heading down the Band you pass Three Tarns. Then just past the turn-off the path climbs to the peak of Bowfell. It’s possible to continue on rather than return by the Band: that route takes you on to Esk Pike, Angle Tarn and Rossett Pike before you return to Langdale via Mickleden Valley. I did not have time to take this route but will make sure to do so on my next visit. Instead, I dropped back down to the path at the Band and descended into the valley, just in time for some late afternoon sunshine.