About the Hike
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If you're looking for an incredible and challenging hiking experience, look no further than the Langdale Pikes. These five Wainwrights are located in the beautiful Lake District of Cumbria, England. They are a must-do for any avid hiker. This guide will give you all the information you need to make the most out of your experience hiking the Langdale Pikes.
I started this Hike at Stickle Ghyll car park (LA22 9JU). This National Trust car park is pay and display or free for National Trust Members (Join Here), it has toilets and an excellent pub for when you have finished the hike. There is also a National Trust Campsite nearby, which I highly recommend. (Review imminent)
The hike starts just behind the pub and follows the gorgeous Langdale Valley west along The Cumbria Way (See my blog post on The Cumbria Way here). Following the valley towards Stake Pass is a lovely flat walk but can be rocky underfoot. After nearly 4km, you arrive at the bottom of Stake Pass; this is an excellent walk through the valley and gets those muscles warmed up for the pass. Take Stake Pass slowly, and it is relatively easy. Of course, the higher you get, the better the view down the valley.
Once the pass flattens, you take a right at a crossroads and head towards Pike of Stickle over Martcrag Moor. Upon reaching Pike of Stickle, there is a great little scramble to get to the top, but it's a small scramble and relatively easy. It's worth it for the view from the top.
From here, you head towards Loft Crag and then onto Harrison Stickle. The views from up are sensational, and the plateau between the Pikes is lovely to walk through. However, it's another steep climb up to Harrison. The ground can be pretty boggy, and there are a few little tarns scattered about. From Harrison, you head north to Thunacar Knott. From Thunacarr Knott, you head east to Pavey Ark, which turns into a very rocky path, and you have to watch your footing. From Pavey Ark, you can head down Jack's Rake, but this is classed as a grade 1 scramble, so the route I have shared takes you to the east of the tarn. Whilst this is easier, be prepared as it is very steep, and you may need to use your hands quite a bit. It can be tough going in the knees too.
Stickle Tarn is beautiful and is often frequented by wild campers. You then head down the rushing waters of Stickle Ghyll, a path popular with school groups and families; you can often see schoolchildren jumping into the gorge. It's a good path with stone slabs to assist you, but again can be tough on those knees.
The hike finishes back where you started, and what's better than finishing off with a well-deserved drink in the Sticklebarn pub, which also offers food. Please, check the serving times, as these do vary throughout the year. Furthermore, there is The Old Dungeon Ghyll pub, a very popular pub with hikers that also has parking if you prefer to start from there.
I will rate this hike as moderate due to its length and ascent, but certain parts are steep and can be tricky.
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If you don't already use the Ordnance Survey App, you can download it here, enabling you to download the GPX route from above, straight into it. I use this App to plan all my hikes, and as its OS, it mirrors the paper map you should always use in conjunction.
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