An autumn walk around Tilberthwaite and Little Langdale

I would describe this walk as a lovely autumn amble with lots of wildlife, wonderful scenery, fewer visitors than in the peak season and fairly easy walking.

How to get there:

Located from the A593 just over one mile from Coniston and almost five miles from Ambleside. There is parking close to Yewdale Beck near Low Tilberthwaite. The name means a settlement (thwaite) used by someone named Til or Tilly and was Scandinavian in origin.

Map: OS Explorer OL7

Grid reference: 306 013

Distance: 4 miles

Route

1 Leave the car park and follow a narrow road but do not rush. Look out for a typical Cumbrian cottage complete with a spinning gallery. These were typical of the time when people had to work from dawn to dusk and had to make the very best use of every minute of daylight. You cannot spin wool by candlelight. Pass through a narrow gateway and cross a farmyard, then through a gate to reach a gentle incline. Pass through an area of oak and birch woodland and it was here that I was lucky enough to see a red squirrel - quite a rare sight these days. Go on through the woodland to reach a magnificent area of open fell with mountains away to the left. Pass through another gate to reach a lovely view of the Langdale Pikes. Look down to see Little Langdale Tarn, one of my favourites. Tarn, in old Norse, means a tear drop which to me is the perfect description. Here are more gates, lovely old farms and cottages and continue along the obvious track with Great Intake away to the left.

2 Look for a gate in the wall, passing through it to a lush field and then over a step stile. Cross Slater Bridge over the River Brathay as it flows out of Little Langdale Tarn. This old packhorse bridge was once the old boundary between Westmorland and Lancashire. These boundaries were redrawn in 1974 when the new county of Cumbria was formed. After exploring the bridge return to the original route and keep the river on your left and passing an old ford also on the left.

3 Continue to follow the obvious track to reach a narrow road at Stang End. Turn right and follow this road through a mixed woodland where I saw yet another red squirrel plus a jay and a family of green woodpeckers. The track here is signed Skelwith Bridge. Continue until you head towards Hodge Close where there is an old quarry very popular with rock climbers. There is also a deep pool popular with divers.

4 Continue along the narrow track and pass Holme Ground Cottages. Ignore a footpath to the farm and just beyond this is a footpath leading to the right. Descend to reach the car park but with super views of Yewdale Beck, the haunt of dipper and grey wagtail.

NB: Restrictions on space mean that this article provides a general summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.

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