Starting from the beautiful Langdale valley this walk visits an eclectic selection of summits with an ascent beside Dungeon Ghyll and the return via Stickle Ghyll to create a stunning circular walk. The first fell visited, Harrison Stickle - one of the Langdale Pikes, is in the way of our main destination of High Raise. It's always a good spot for a view whether it is the Langdale valley, the dramatic setting of Stickle Tarn far below, or the gully riven cliff of Pavey Ark that excites you. Going over it also avoids the marshy ground of Harrison Combe. The route also passes by Thunacar Knott before reaching the trig point at the summit of High Raise's slightly boggy top. Sergeant Man is very similar to Pike of Stickle - a rocky knoll on the edge of the high ground with extensive views out. The last fell is Blea Rigg, a small cairn perched on a rocky outcrop at the end of a knotty ridge-upon-ridge. As the main ridge drops away from the summit the views are over Silver How and Grasmere. A large perched stone howff is just back from the summit, an improvised 'hobbit house' sometimes used for a planned night out, but occasionally can be life-savers in dire emergencies. Hopefully you wont be trying this walk in such poor weather as to need its shelter.
The walk starts from the National Trust car park near the New Dungeon Ghyll hotel. There is also the Lake District National Park Authority nearby, and the 'Langdale Rambler - 516' bus service runs at various times throughout the year.
This walk takes you to the top of the following hills: Thunacar Knott, Thorn Crag, Sergeant Man, High Raise, Harrison Stickle, and Blea Rigg; and includes 5 Wainwrights, 6 Birketts, 3 Nuttalls, 1 Marilyn, 2 Hewitts, and 1 HuMP.
If you need accommodation we have details of 29 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Head up through the car park to the information board and keep going. Beyond it follow the path round the back of the hotel through the gates, and then left towards Stickle Ghyll. Head up past the National Trust sign, and then in a few metres under the tree turn left up a wide rough path alongside the wall to go through the kissing gate ahead on the skyline.
Turn immediately right alongside the wall, continue past the bench to cross the step stile, with dog gate. Bear left to drop down and cross Dungeon Ghyll at the ford to join the bottom of a stone pitched path climbing alongside the ghyll which is now to your right. Through bracken the path meanders reasonably gently with just the occasional easy rocky step.
Rounding a corner an uninviting tongue of scree appears ahead which the path neatly voids by bearing right up straightforward rocky steps. The views from the knoll at the top are superb.
Keeping on the main path bear left across a damp plateau below Thorn Crag. The way ahead looks barred by crags, however as the path rises it bears right becomes stone pitched and ascends easily alongside the crag.
At the top swing right around to the right to visit the summit cairn of Thorn Crag. Then turn sharp left, and right to cross the head of Dungeon Ghyll. Bear left to the junction of paths below Harrison Stickle. Turn right onto the rough path climbing the fellside.
It soon becomes stone pitched though breaks in places. An occasional cairn confirms the way ahead. A few rocky steps will need to be scaled, some quite energetic, but more of a delightful clamber than a scramble. Bear left to the summit cairn of Harrison Stickle, which is the most northerly of the prominent cairns.
To continue north bear left off the summit of Harrison Stickle and drop down to the rocky ramp bearing right - this is pretty much north. Initially cross boggy ground, then gain a path heading for the rough and rocky ground of Thunacar Knott ahead.
The summit is just to the left of the cairn on the high ground before the small tarn.
Continue heading northwards, pick up the path to High Raise visibly climbing the grass slopes slightly east of north. It gets a little faint at the start of the climb as folk spread out to avoid boggy patches. Regain the path above and continue roughly ahead to the trig point of High Raise.
Sergeant Man is not in view from the summit of High Raise. To find it turn sharp right from the line of ascent to find a narrow path over the marshy grass heading approx south-east.
Skirt the tarn on its right hand side. The prominent knoll of Sergeant Man will be in view slightly right. As the ground becomes marginally drier so the path becomes clearer. Climb the short rocky knoll to the summit cairn.
To Blea Rigg is a long and slightly complicated leg. Bear left off the summit of Sergeant Man by way of a gentle ridge and at the base turn right to cross the small beck. Bear right again heading for the wide ridge to Blea Rigg. The summit is at the far end of the broken ground just before the ground drops away out of sight. Pass to the left of the distinctive large flat rock slab set at a bit of an inclination.
As the path swings to the right around a knoll keep left to continue south east along the ridge.
The small summit cairn perched on a rocky outcrop is visible but still some way ahead. Skirt a large boggy patch on its right hand side to a cairn perched on a rock - we'll return here later. At the cairn turn left to continue below the knotted ground above on your right to the far end. Nearing the end cross a small depression and then up to the summit cairn of Blea Rigg.
Turn around, back the way you came, and look below and to the left of another rocky top with a collection of stones, you'll notice a large perched rock making for a very small howff underneath it.
Retrace your steps from the summit of Blea Rigg along the path below the knotted tops back to the large cairn. Bear left to pick up a faint path heading in the general direction of the Langdale Pikes. This narrow path meanders and becomes quite indistinct at times, often being lost over soft ground. The destination of Stickle Tarn though is clearly ahead - if caught out in mist keep heading west to regain the path or the tarn.
Reaching the tarn turn left and follow the shore line path to its outfall. Cross, beware the stones are quite slippery in places, to the dam.
Turn left to follow the rough path descending alongside the outfall, Stickle Ghyll. The path is over quite large boulders and rocky steps, however it is more stable than the one on the other bank. After 100m (110 yards) cross again at the large stepping stones.
Here the path is well reasonably well maintained, follow it down sometimes stone pitched, often rough, and a slightly interesting clamber down a rock step is required. Climb the step stile, with the dog gate, and continue down through the fenced off plantation. Cross the ghyll for the last time via the footbridge and drop down back to the car park.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|The Langdale Pikes: Pavey Ark, Thunacar Knott, Pike of Stickle, Harrison Stickle||30m (33 yards) away|
|Cumbria Way - Dungeon Ghyll to Keswick||31m (34 yards) away|
|A Journey from Dungeon Ghyll over the Fells to Ambleside||50m (55 yards) away|
|Crinkle Crags||0.8km (0.5 miles) away|
|Lingmoor Fell and Side Pike||0.8km (0.5 miles) away|
|Bowfell, via Worneyside Force, Hell Gill, and the Great Slab||0.9km (0.5 miles) away|
|Rossett Pike, Angle Tarn, Esk Pike and Bowfell||0.9km (0.5 miles) away|
|Blea Tarn above Langdale||2.1km (1.3 miles) away|
|Waterfalls and the Cathedral Cavern, from Elterwater||3.7km (2.3 miles) away|
|An Elterwater Stroll||3.7km (2.3 miles) away|
|Cold Pike and Pike of Blisco||4.0km (2.5 miles) away|
|Great Carrs and Grey Friar||4.1km (2.5 miles) away|
|Allan Bank Woodland Walk||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|Silver How||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|A circuit of Grasmere||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|Alcock Tarn||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|Helm Crag||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|Easedale Tarn||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|Grasmere and Rydal Water||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|Easedale Tarn, Codale Tarn, and Tarn Crag||4.6km (2.8 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011