Langdale is a well loved location in the English Lake District. It lies to the west of Ambleside, reached by turning off the A593 at Skelwith Bridge.

The road passes through the small village of Chapel Stile and then you are into Great Langdale.

On the north side of the valley lie the Langdale Pikes. A range of decent sized lakeland mountains, there are four summits : Pavey Ark, Thunacar Knott, Pike of Stickle and Harrison Stickle.

On the south side of the valley is the less well known Pike of Blisco. Climbing this would give a great view of the Langdale Pikes from across the valley.

There are a few hotels you can stay at in the valley including the New Dungeon Ghyll hotel, the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel, the Great Langdale Bunkhouse or the YHA Langdale.

Alternatively you can camp at the Great Langdale Campsite or a family campsite by Chapel Stile.

For my weekend trip, I camped at Great Langdale Campsite. It was a good campsite with a reception and facilities such as two toilet blocks, a drying room and a small shop that does drinks and sandwiches.

It’s within easy walking distance of both the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub and the Stickle Barn, both of which do good food and ales.

There is a small cafe at Chapel Stile where I got a nice breakfast. They have a decent size menu and the staff were friendly.

The weather was mixed as it often is in the Lake District and it rained all night the first night. My old tent survived though and I wasn’t forced to retreat to the car.

Some old hands might have taken a look at the weather forecast and started off sleeping in the car, but to me you are guaranteed a bad nights sleep in a car, whereas in a tent you may do better if it survives the night.

With the campsite’s drying room, it was possible to get everything dried out for the second night, and it didn’t rain that night.

Lying in your tent listening to the wind roaring through the valley above the campsite was a special experience. The valley’s shape seemed to make it go above the level of the tents, otherwise it would have been a noisy night with the tent flapping about.

If you are in good shape you can walk from the valley up the Pikes. Harrison Stickle being a favourite, with Stickle Tarn part way up. The views from the top are amazing in good weather. Best time it till when the tops are not in the clouds. For us the weather came good on the last day and two of our party made it to the top.

In the south west corner of the Dale is a small road over into Little Langdale. If you want an exciting driving experience, you can head up there past Blea Tarn and then drive over Wrynose and Hardknott Passes. You end up in Eskdale. I haven’t done this for a long time, but once did it on a motorcycle for an even more fun experience.

If you want a quieter time, just walking in the valley gives lovely views of the Dale. Probably best in shoulder season or like the rest of the Lake District it will be very busy.

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