Great Langdale is renowned for the majestic Langdale Pikes and it is estimated that they receive 1 million visitors every year. It’s easy to see why; the views down the Langdale valley are stunning. But there is another option for a view of both the valley and the famous Pikes themselves that is equally as stunning, but sometimes overlooked. After all standing at less than 400m Side Pike is not even high enough to be classed as a mountain, but that doesn’t stop it from offering some great views. So great that it is one of my favourite views in the Lake District!
Starting from the National Trust car park at the Old Dungeon Ghyll head back out onto the road and at the bus stop turn right, almost immediatly follow the road around the the left rather than heading further down the valley. You will come to the top of the National Trust Campsite and from here you can follow signs through the campsite to Lingmoor/Side Pike. This will take you up a zig-zag path.
To get the best views head up to the top of Side Pike, but be aware the ground is uneven and care should be taken. If you don’t wish to head to the summit when you reach the top of the path turn left onto the Knoll that overlooks the valley, the views from here are nearly as good! Return the same way or you can extend the walk to include Blea Tarn where there is another National Trust Car Park.
As the National Trust Great Langdale campsite is at the base of Side Pike it is a great place to start the walk from, especially at sunset. For more information on camping in Great Langdale.
The National Trust also manage the Stickle Barn Tavern, a great place to stop have a drink and grab a bite to eat after your walk.
Having travelled the world I am yet to find anywhere that holds my attention like the Lake District. Such a beautiful, interesting and diverse landscape I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of a team that works in this special upland area.