Lakeland Walking Breaks

Join us on a Lake District walk to Slaters Bridge


Slaters Bridge

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Click the pictures below to see more great views

Langdale to Grasmere
via Easedale Tarn
Grasmere to Langdale
via Silver Howe

Grasmere from Loughrigg Terrace

A circuit of Grasmere

Nab Scar and Rydal Water

A Circuit of Rydal


Slater Bridge

School Knott Tarn

Windermere Walks

A selection of 8 walks around Bowness and Windermere

The Langdale Pikes from Loughrigg Around Loughrigg
Alcock Tarn Alcock Tarn

More routes will be added to these pages as they become available.

This walk can also be seen on video

On a nice sunny day there is no finer low level walk in the Lake District than the route from Elterwater to Slaters Bridge, returning via Colwith and Skelwith Bridge. There is plenty of interest to see on the way, including superb views, a couple of Waterfalls, abandoned quarry workings, and, of course, the star of the show, Slaters Bridge. At just over 6 miles it is the ideal length for a browsers day out, but short enough for route marchers to do before lunch!

These pictures were taken in late August 2011, on a relatively fine day, although the cloud did increase from the west later in the walk. We start at Elterwater, although this walk is possible from most parts of the Great Langdale Valley and if you have plenty of stamina and don't mind doing 12 miles in the day then it is also possible from Grasmere.

The walk heads South out of Elterwater Village and then turns right, up a narrow road, heading for Little Langdale. The road turns to rocky track as it goes uphill for a mile or so. There are great views to the left.

A bit of a reminder that we are actually passing through pasture land, this bullock seemed more interested in the ladies he was with than us, which given the size of him was probably just as well!

Before long we come to the end of the track and cross the Valley road towards Birk Howe Farm. Behind us, the slopes of Lingmoor.

Little Langdale is not as popular with walkers as Great Langdale. The walking routes available are more limited, however, it does have one thing that it's more northerly neighbour does not have, and that is a tarn. Because of limited access by either road or foot, Little Langdale Tarn is not as popular, or surprisingly, well known as some. It is often completely missed by many motorists as they drive by on their way to Wrynose Pass

The outflow of the tarn runs for just a few hundred feet before passing beneath Slaters Bridge, a packhorse style footbridge that was used by the quarrymen of Little Langdale to reach the slate quarries on the other side of the valley. Walkers that pass this way may be forgiven for thinking that this is an ancient bridge, but in reality it probably dates to the latter part of 18th Century, when the quarries were developed.

It is now one of the most picturesque, and most photographed, bridges in the Lake District, and probably benefits greatly from the fact that vehicular access is poor. Even on a sunny (well, nearly!) summer day at the end of August there were few people here, and getting a picture or two of the bridge without anyone else in shot was easy. That is not always the case at more accessible sites, such as Ashness Bridge, which with it's car park in close proximity sees a constant stream of visitors during the summer months.

From Slaters Bridge there is a nice country stroll along track and lane via the wonderfully name Stang End and High Park, to Colwith. A detour from the main path in the wood leads us to Colwith Force, yet another of Lakeland's wonders that benefits from having no reasonable level of vehicular access. Again, motorised tourists pass within a hundred yards of the main falls yet are completely oblivious of their existence.

When in spate, Colwith is a fine sight. Access to the falls is limited and in parts dangerous, so much so that a number of areas have been fenced off to prevent walkers from getting too close. As with all such things, the absence of a sign is not an indication that all is safe, and you venture to the edge of the falls at your own risk.

From the falls the route passes over a road and follows the line of the Cumbria Way to Skelwith. The last leg of the walk features Skelwith Force, which perfectly illustrates the point we made earlier about sites benefiting from having poor vehicular access. Skelwith Force is not as spectacular as Colwith Force, but is more popular because it is next door to the main road and close to Skelwith Bridge where there is parking. Additionally, walkers from Elterwater have a mile of level riverside walking to do to reach Skelwith Force, and the stroll from Elterwater to Skelwith and back again is very popular. When we got there it was not possible to take a photograph without getting other people in view. At half four in the afternoon there were still plenty of visitors to this little waterfall, most of them tourists and not walkers, wearing a variety of footwear not really suitable for the fells.

The picture below was taken at a different time, as the background foliage shows.

From Skelwith Force it is a very pleasant riverside stroll of just over a mile back to Elterwater, with the Langdale Pikes forming an impressive backdrop.

The main sections of the above walk are featured in " More Walks in the Langdale Valley".

Buy it here for just £2.99 + p&p

The waterfall sections of this walk are featured in "Nowt But Scenery",

Buy it here for just

£2.99 + p & p

Don't forget to mention Lakeland Walking Breaks when contacting your chosen accommodation provider. The Lake District hotels and guest houses participating in this promotion are amongst the finest of their type in the region, combining a warm welcome and good food with superb facilities for the walker. So whether you prefer a comfy guest house or a country house style hotel, you'll be sure to find accommodation to suit your needs, and all within touching distance of the finest walking country in the world.