Angle Tarn Route 2
Waterfalls in little-walked Langstrath
Not only does this route score points for starting and finishing at a pub, it also boasts no less than three superb mini-waterfalls on a route so close to England’s famous highest peak, Scafell Pike – yet there are hardly any other humans present. Walk this route after a good bit of ‘typical Lake District weather’ if you can (that shouldn’t be too hard!) so you see the cascades churning white froth over the watersmoothed rocks. The first of the three is a joy to discover as you explore the meeting of the tributary you have followed down to the larger Allencrags Gill. It’s hidden at the end of a deep gully and comes as a complete surprise. The second you can get close enough to feel the spray on your face, and the sound is deafening as this beautifully clear river sweeps through the serenely green, fern-covered slopes of the surrounding mountainside. The third is the highest, and a real treat, tumbling down as you climb back up and over the pass back into the Langdale valley. These rivers make this route straightforward to navigate as they are your companion all of the way round the walk.
Then, once you’ve had your fill of these natural cascades, there’s the chance to refresh yourself with an equally delicious water-based attraction in the Hikers Bar or beer garden at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. I can recommend a large glass of Old Peculiar!
NY286061 Turn right out of the car park, so that the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel is on your left. Walk round the back of the pub then turn left to pick up a clear bridleway – the Cumbria Way. This heads west then north-west along a well-defined stony path, gently rising upwards into the Langdale valley, crossing a few streams along the way. 2
NY261073 At a junction of paths, take the left-hand fork leading steeply up Rossett Gill on clear man-made slabbed path that zigzags between the impressive crags of Hanging Knotts and Rossett Pike. It tops out at Angle Tarn on your left. Continue straight on and, as you reach the outflow of the tarn, there’s a clear path on the right. Ignore this one and cross the outflow to immediately reach another junction with a path on the right. 3 NY244078 Turn right to walk down Angletarn Gill with the river on your right. It gets steeper, mostly on grassy hillside with footholes from previous walkers. The path can be indistinct around this section, with options to cross, so make your way down whichever side you prefer, crossing at a safe place before this tributary reaches the larger river on your left, flowing down from Allencrags Gill. 4
NY247087 Here, leave the path and take a slight detour to see the thrilling, secretive cascade rushing down from Allencrags Gill. Take a left to walk along the faint path with the tributary river you just descended along on your left. The tributary river is now in an impressive, steep-sided, rock gully with twisted trees snagging out of it, so be careful not to get too close. Soon you will reach the larger river, with the first fantastic waterfall. Then regain the path and continue down it with the larger river on your left.
NY251090 Here, you can either cross the river to take the more established path on the other side, which makes the route slightly longer, or continue along the fainter path keeping the river on your left, which makes the route slightly shorter but gives a brilliant view of the second set of wide, beautiful miniwaterfalls at NY262095. After taking a few musthave photos here, continue along this faint path heading north-east until you meet the unmissable Cumbria Way bridleway at a footbridge over a large tributary river, Stake Beck. From here, looking across the footbridge, you’ll see a distinctive, gnarled, old tree, which is worth a quick detour to look at if you have time.
NY264098 At the footbridge, turn right to head uphill on the Cumbria Way with Stake Beck on your left. Shortly you will see the third set of spectacular cascades, this time higher and especially impressive after some typical Lake District weather. Top out at Stake Pass, with the highest point marked with a pile of stones. Then you descend south, back into Great Langdale with Stake Gill on your left. At the valley bottom (back at point 2) curve left to follow the Cumbria Way back to the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel to reward yourself with a tasty and hearty snack.
You get a stunning view of the Langstrath Valley from the final pass.
You’ll find the most impressive waterfall on your way back up and over the pass into the Langdale valley.
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The first waterfall appears as an unexpected surprise.
The second, wider waterfall.