Great Langdale to Borrowdale – The Cumbria Way – Day 3. 7.5 miles of mountainous scenery with stunning valley views and rising surrounding crags.
Welcome to the third installment of my write up of this years long distance walk, The Cumbria Way.
Make sure you’ve checked out the previous two days Ulverston to Coniston – The Cumbria Way – Day 1 and Coniston to Great Langdale – The Cumbria Way – Day 2 posts first. To catch up!
Day 3, although a shorter day in terms of mileage was a much tougher day on our legs and feet.
Today we climbed rough mountain paths and felt the physical effort of climbing for the first time on our journey!
Great Langdale to Borrowdale – The Cumbria Way – Day 3
We left the Great Langdale Bunkhouse just after 8am. There had been some heavy rain last night and the ground was quite wet underfoot.
Our hopes were that this wasn’t going to be our first day’s soaking of the week.
Today’s section started at The New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel which was where we ate last night.
Then there was a section of rough path that lead from that hotel 0.6 miles to The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. Neither hotel appeared to be associated with the other.
Just after the second hotel a signed footpath (above photograph) took us up onto a hill path above the valley floor.
Make sure you watch my short video in this post to see all the stunning scenery we enjoyed!
After crossing a river the clouds lifted slightly giving us a good view of Loft Crag and Harrison Stickle.
We had set out walking with our waterproofs on and there were a few drops of rain as we progressed further along into the valley.
It was one of those days where it was also quite hot so annoyingly, it was “waterproofs on”, “waterproofs off” weather.
The hill path heads into Mickleden which is a classic U shaped glacial valley.
No one lives here and only sheep farming is possible.
We got a great view along the valley floor with Black Crags and Stake Gill in the distance.
At Stake Gill a path heads up the hill to the right eventually leading to the climb of 480m over Stake Pass.
It was about 9.30am when we started climbing Stake Gill.
It’s a steep zigzag climb up a stoney but good path to Stake Pass. And gives a real sense of mountain remoteness.
There were a lot of stops and water breaks on our ascent of Stake Gill. As it was hot work.
We finally reached the top about 10.35.
There wasn’t much to see walking through Stake Pass except clouds and the odd sheep or two.
I’m led to believe from a review that I read that Stake Pass is “achingly beautiful”. Well we’ll just have to believe that review as we couldn’t see anything much!
Still, it’s worth mentioning that poor weather here needs to be taken seriously.
There were many other paths leading off the main one we were on and taking the wrong one and getting lost in this wilderness would have been worse than not being able to see anything!
After walking through Stake Pass, just like the climb up, it was now a steep zigzag descent down over the other side of the pass into Langstrath. Which means the “long valley”.
The view above looks to the valley floor and the river, known as Langstrath Beck.
Fortunately the clouds had lifted off the top of the surrounding mountains to give us a stunning view.
This was just typical, as if we had been heading upwards in the other direction I’ve no doubt I could have got some stunning photographs!
Descending to the valley floor and the Langstrath we continued on our route from Great Langdale to Borrowdale.
By about 11.30am we reached the valley floor.
The next few miles were slower progress as the path was quite rocky with lots of wet patches and bogs to avoid falling into!
We found a sheltered spot and sat and had some lunch at about 12 enjoying the views of Sergeants Crag and Eagle Crag. Seen to the right (above).
It wasn’t sensible to sit about for too long to avoid getting stiff!
We’d bought sandwiches yesterday at the village shop in Chapel Stile. This was just as well as they nearest shop to here was another 3 miles away!
Finally at the end of a long walk through Langstrath, where the rain had just begun to come on again, we could see some houses and civilisation in the distance and civilisation meant a pub! A pub meant a bar and a bar meant a pint. A well earned one!
So we stopped for drinks and also some sandwiches at the Riverside Bar in the Scafell Hotel.
It was a lovely welcoming place and had a roaring log fire.
We stayed there for an hour before it was time to make the final 2 mile trek to our destination, Borrowdale.
Our accomodation for this Wednesday night was the stunning Borrowdale Gates Hotel.
The hotel has an AA Rosette for culinary excellence. They certainly lived up to that reputation!
The local cuisine we ate was absolutely excellent as was the selection of wines!
We had scallops, duck, lamb and freshly made home made bread for dinner that evening. We were stuffed!
The rooms were lovely and we were back in the land of Wi-Fi, which pleased Lady Lynne and Jen greatly.
After sleeping in bunk beds the previous night it was good to have a full sized bed to sleep in. Maybe I’m just getting too used to my creature comforts!
So folks that ends Day 3 of our Cumbria Way Walk, Great Langdale to Borrowdale.
Be sure to check back soon for Day 4 Borrowdale to Skiddaw House YHA or better still make sure you’re subscribed by following the instructions below!
If you enjoyed reading this then you might also be interested in reading about our other adventures such as our hike of The West Highland Way last year or our videos of our coast to coast walk of Hadrian’s Wall.
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