A few days in the Langdale Valley

Great Langdale, Lake District National Park
Dawn in Great Langdale from Walthwaite Bottom, Lake District National Park.

Time is of the essence and I’ve got deadlines to meet with work. My back injury which decided to unleash it’s fury on me in Snowdonia last week hasn’t helped as it’s kept me bound to my bed for a few days and consequently I’ve struggled to even sit at my desk for more than an hour or two endeavouring to complete some projects. Even so, come last Thursday I felt about 80% fit and decided to chance my recovery and head out to the Lake District National Park.

I needed to capture a selection of photos for a certain manufacturer’s kit and so I figured my pack weight wouldn’t be as heavy as normal (having ditched the video gear at home) while Jake Lunniss had kindly volunteered to act as a slave model for my shoot along with offering to lug my pack around should I need the help.

As most of you are aware the UK has been under a deluge of rain for the past week and the forecasts for the Lake District were less than ideal. Ever the optimist I planned to head to Great Langdale anyway in the hope I’d get at least an hour of decent weather over a 4 day period. Reaching this fantastic valley is easy enough, there are campsites aplenty, pubs are within easy reach and if I were to provoke or worsen my injury I guessed I wouldn’t be too far away from civilisation if I needed tending too.

Arriving in the Langdale Valley last Thursday afternoon, I was delighted to see the skies ablaze with sunshine and little cloud. I figured my luck was in, but I was not meeting Jake until the following morning and on this day I was taking it gently and pitching my tent on a campsite near Chapel Stile and visiting a couple of the local pubs.

BaysBrown Campsite proved to be an excellent place to spend the night. £5 per person, nice facilities and a helluva view from the main field down the valley to the iconic Langdale Pikes. I pitched up, got my kit sorted and with a hoof and a poof I got comfortable lying on my mattress outside the tent soaking up the scenery and the warm sun beaming down from the sky. Happy days!

However, some time later my early doors visit to the land of nod was suddenly interrupted by a horrendous downpour! Frantically, rolling off my bed and stumbling into the tent for shelter I lounged inside for an hour or so as the rain came and went with the odd flash of lightning for good measure. Good old British weather, eh?

Nevertheless, eventually I got kitted out in waterproofs and paid the local pubs a visit.

Come the following morning the weather hadn’t improved a great deal at all. The heavens above continued to  dump half the Irish Sea onto Cumbria but I packed up OK and headed off to the Britannia Inn, in Elterwater to meet Jake.

By the time we both left this delightful Lakeland Inn, the rain had all but disappeared but was replaced with a strengthening wind in the valleys and up on the tops. It was nothing major though. Forecasts we’d seen indicated gale force winds with a chance of storm force by the evening. But we only encountered the odd gust to nudge us out of stride now and again at the very most. And as the sun sank somewhere behind the murk we only had light drizzle to contend with.

Just goes to show the weather forecasts are not always reliable. Aye, they’re a guide but if you’d have looked at them the previous day you’d have surmised myself and Jake would be at the centre of a proper shitstorm. Instead we woke to blue skies and sunshine!

Anyway, I’m not too keen on writing and so I’ll leave you with a selection of pics as I think they’ll make for a much more enjoyable way to share my trip in and around the Langdale Valley. Besides, at the minute I’m trying not to reach for my lower legs and scratch them until they bleed.

I inadvertently brought home some stowaways from my Lakeland trip – bloody ticks! I didn’t know they were there until this very morning and even then I was struggling to remove them because my damn tick tweezers are broken (after a desperate attempt to remove a cork from a wine bottle one evening at camp some months ago). Thankfully, my local GP has helped me out with regards to the little black blighters….

NB: Most of the following pictures were captured on an advanced compact camera. Some were taken by a DSLR. The majority of my DSLR photo’s feature the products I was working on and am unable to show them at this moment in time.

Langdale Pikes, Lake District National Park
The view from my tent on BaysBrown Campsite near Chapel Stile – as good a view as you’re gonna get!

Chapel Stile and Langdale Pikes
After a thunderstorm I headed off to Chapel Stile to visit some pubs.

Chapel Stile, Lake District National Park
Chapel Stile in Great Langdale. I was making my way to another pub at first but did pay this village’s local on the way
back – Wainwright’s Inn. Bit of a dive in truth. Staff were lovely but it’s no traditional Lakeland pub.

Britannia Inn, Elterwater
The Britannia Inn, a cracking pub. The umbrellas outside certainly helped keep the returning thunderstorms at bay!

The Britannia Inn, Elterwater, Lake District National Park
Myself and Jake Lunnis enjoying a pint in the Britannia Inn, Elterwater on Friday lunchtime. It was raining cats and dogs
outside – so it would’ve been rude not to linger in this fine pub for a while.

Lake District walking
Jake makes his way along the flanks of Lingmoor Fell after the rain had cleared.

Wetherlam from Lingmoor Fell
Looking to the Coniston range from the sides of Lingmoor Fell as we made our way to camp.

Little Langdale, Lake District National Park
The weather may not have been ideal but at least we had nice views to enjoy – this one being of Little Langdale.
And yes, that’s an umbrella! Jake’s converted me to them for backpacking. They have their uses.

Windermere, Lake District National Park
The view over towards Windermere began to open up as we climbed higher up Lingmoor Fell.

Jake takes some time out from the strong winds we were encountering as we approached this wee hills summit.

Gram Counter Gear Litehouse Solo, wild camping, Lake District National Park
Upon reaching our camp for the night, Jake decides to enjoy a early evening nap in a Gram Counter Gear Litehouse Solo
I had loaned to him.

Jake looking rather smug under his umbrella in the drizzle as we whiled away the time enjoying some brandy and sherry.

As you can see here, I’m bewildered to the joys of using an umbrella whilst backpacking!

Wild camping, Lake District National Park
I woke at 4.30am to note the weather had dramatically improved for the better!

Wetherlam and Swirl How, wild camping, Lake District National Park
The view from camp over to Swirl How and Wetherlam. Fabulous!

Crinkle Crags, Lake District National Park
From the same spot as the previous picture, a view of (left to right) Pike O Blisco, Crinkle Crags and Bowfell.

Wild camping, Lake District National Park
Jake’s still asleep as I prepare for the day’s work ahead.

Lake District National Park, wild camping.
Mr Macho!! One of the pictures from my shoot featuring Jake as a model. We spent around 90mins taking photos before
moving on elsewhere for the day.

Langdale Pikes from Lingmoor Fell, Lake District National Park
The cloud came back but no rain or wind. Which was ideal for midges unfortunately!

Lingmoor Tarn, Lingmoor Fell, Lake District National Park
The picturesque Lingmoor Tarn from higher up the fell. I wanted to do a shoot there as well, but the weather as you can
see made me decide to leave it for another day.

Langdale Pikes from Lingmoor Fell, Lake District National Park
Jake descends with brolly in hand (after a few spots of rain).

Blea Tarn, Lake District National Park
The sun out again, midges in our faces, we made our way to Blea Tarn and then onwards to the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub.

Well known Lakeland photographer Stewart Smith hooked up with us at the Old Dungeon Ghyll for a couple of pints.
We’d been chatting on Twitter and he happened to have been out for a wander that day on the Langdale Pikes.

Check out Stewart’s wonderful landscape photography HERE

Elterwater, Great Langdale at night
After a few drinks, me and Jake then made our way to Walthwaite Bottom for a sneaky camp for the night.
Here’s a view of Elterwater village taken at around 11.30am.

Langdale Pikes from Walthwaite Bottom, Lake District National Park.
After pitching at around midnight, I woke not so long after (4am) to capture views of the Langdale Valley at dawn.
I was surprised to see a spectacular valley fog inversion too! Lovely!

Elterwater village at dawn, Lake District National Park
As the fog began to dissipate, Elterwater village came into view below the common. It was eerily silent but for the
call of a nearby stag. I’ve seen deer roam this area before at dawn but not today.

Gram Counter Gear Litehouse Solo
Jake begins to slowly wake from his slumber after my motherly calls to “Wakey! Wakey!”

Lake District National Park
It was the start of another beautiful day. By 6.30am we were already on our way to Grasmere to catch a bus home.

Grasmere, Lake District National Park
And so Grasmere came into view and this is where our journey ended…. 

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