A cracking walk taking in some of the finest and well known mountain landmarks in the Lake District.
The walk starts at the National Trust car park next to the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. Further parking is available at the New Dungeon Ghyll with a choice of National Trust or Lake District National Park Authority car parks. There is a also a regular bus service. The National Trust campsite is also nearby.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the Old Dungeon Ghyll car park, head up through the buildings to the gate and bridleway above and bear left. This rough track is for a while hemmed in by dry stone walls. Go through a number of gates to continue on the track into the wide glacial valley of Mickleden.
After approx 3.0km (1.9 miles), cross first one stream by the stepping stones and then the wooden footbridge. Bear left as directed by the guide stone to Esk Hause.
Cross some more stepping stones and follow the stone pitched path. Initially climbing to the right of the lower sections of Rossett Gill, it crosses a number of tributaries then at the bottom of the main gill crosses and heads left in a wide zigzag. At the top of the gill bear left to the cairn.
At the cairn turn right to Rossett Pike. An easy grass ridge ascends to the rocky top. The summit is marked by a cairn perched on a rock.
Return in the direction of the cairn above the gill. You can bear right before reaching it to continue to Angle Tarn.
The path drops down to the right hand side of the tarn. Cross the outflow, which heads for Langstrath, by the stepping stones and follow the stone pitched path beyond. This first climbs to the top of Tongue Head, descends slightly before climbing again to the crossroads (often referred to as Esk Hause) near the wind shelter.
At the crossroads turn left to pass the wind shelter and continue to Esk Hause (properly the col between Esk Pike and Great End). Turn left again on to the wide path.
Ahead is Esk Pike. Perhaps looking a little intimidating it really isn't. The path threads its way through crags, and along a rather fine shelf, ending up at the summit with little difficulty. The last little section is via either a gully going right to left, or a boulder strewn ramp. A line of cairns mark the 'easiest' path through the boulders.
Continue over the summit area of Esk Pike and drop down the other side on the path heading down to the col of Ore Gap. Continue straight over the col and climb through the boulder field where cairns mark the way. At the top of the boulders bear right. More cairns mark the narrow path to Bowfell which traverses below its north ridge before heading to the top.
The summit of Bowfell is comprised of a jumble of large boulders with a small cairn as its marker.
The easiest way off the summit area is the way you went up it. Back down at the cairned path from Esk Pike turn sharp right. Again a line of cairns marks the path down to Three Tarns. It passes close to the top of the Great Slab - don't descend that way however tempting in wet conditions or if you haven't ascended that way before. Drop down the steep, rough path. Some of it has been pitched but even then many of the steps are covered in loose marble like stones.
Bear left at the cairn at the bottom of the steep section. Three Tarns is over to your right. It's often only two puddles and a mud patch but this wet summer of 2012 it has reverted to being three small tarns. The path down The Band is intermittently pitched. The best views are to the Langdale Pikes, and over your right shoulder to Crinkle Crags.
Reaching the farm at Stool End, at the bottom of The Band, go through the gateway into the yard, turn right as indicated on the wall, and then left. Follow the tarmac driveway all the way back to the road outside the Old Dungeon Ghyll.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Bowfell, via Worneyside Force, Hell Gill, and the Great Slab||same start point|
|Lingmoor Fell and Side Pike||50m (55 yards) away|
|Crinkle Crags||58m (64 yards) away|
|The Langdale Pikes: Pavey Ark, Thunacar Knott, Pike of Stickle, Harrison Stickle||0.8km (0.5 miles) away|
|High Raise, Sergeant Man, and Blea Rigg from Langdale||0.9km (0.5 miles) away|
|Cumbria Way - Dungeon Ghyll to Keswick||0.9km (0.5 miles) away|
|A Journey from Dungeon Ghyll over the Fells to Ambleside||0.9km (0.5 miles) away|
|Blea Tarn above Langdale||2.0km (1.2 miles) away|
|Cold Pike and Pike of Blisco||3.4km (2.1 miles) away|
|Great Carrs and Grey Friar||3.5km (2.2 miles) away|
|Waterfalls and the Cathedral Cavern, from Elterwater||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|An Elterwater Stroll||4.4km (2.7 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