Lingmoor Fell

ONE Wainwright circular walk: Lingmoor Fell

Walk Rating:⭐⭐

Time: 2 - 3 hours 

Parking: Paid car parking at the small Blea Tarn National Trust Car Park (Grid Ref: NY295043)  

Lingmoor Fell, Side Pike and the Langdales over Blea Tarn

Lingmoor Fell is one of the lowest of the Southern Fells but, as its name suggests (as 'ling' is another word for heather), it is a pleasant heather-covered fell that offers a fairly gentle walk to a summit with excellent views over Great Langdale.

Lingmoor Fell can be ascended from Chapel Stile, passing the quarries on the side of the fell that are still in operation, but the route described starts at the small National Trust car park above Blea Tarn. It also includes a short detour to Lingmoor Tarn, an interesting path around, and to the top of, the subsidiary summit of Side Pike and a walk around Blea Tarn itself, with its beautiful reflections of the Langdale Pikes.

Strava estimates a walking distance of 6km

1. Before you start, go through the gate across the road from the car park to look at the view over Blea Tarn. You will have a chance to take in this beautiful view at the end of the walk, when the light is likely to be even better for the views to the Langdale Pikes, but it's too good a view not to have a quick look at the start of the walk as well!

Side Pike and the Langdale Pikes from above Blea Tarn

2. Now return to the road and walk north along it for about 500 metres until you are nearly at the white walled building of Bleatarn House, described by Wordsworth as a "home of poverty and toil, though not of want" in his poem "The Excursion".

Sheep above the road on the way to Bleatarn House

3. Just before you reach the house, turn right on a path that heads up the fellside on the near side of a beck flowing down from the top of the fell. 

White Bleatarn House on the roadside below

4. Follow the path through a gap in a stone wall and continue upwards through the bracken.

5. The path climbs towards a hummocky area close to a stand of larch trees. From here there are good views towards the Langdale Pikes.

Looking across to the Langdale Pikes

6. The path turns left, following a wall up to 'Brown How', the highest point of Lingmoor Fell (1539').

Chapel Stile and its quarries from the summit

Lingmoor Tarn beneath the south-west ridge

7. To continue the route, now descend the ridge to the south-west. You will see the little Lingmoor Tarn down to your right. Once you have descended the ridge towards it, it's worth taking a small detour across the grass to visit the tarn.

Lingmoor Tarn

8. Returning to the original path, there are fine views along the ridge as you continue towards Side Pike.

A panoramic view from Lingmoor Fell

Descending towards Side Pike

9. The route continues alongside a wall then descends to the subsidiary summit of 'Side Pike'. Don't take the path that takes you down to the road above Blea Tarn to your left. Instead continue until you are under the steep wall of Side Pike.

Continue downwards ...
... until you are under the steep wall of Side Pike

10. Side Pike cannot be climbed from this direction. Instead the path traverses along its southern edge, after passing through a gap between boulder and crag that Wainwright labels 'The Squeeze'. 

The ledge after 'The Squeeze'

11. Once safely around to the western side of Side Pike, a short path climbs back up to the top of Side Pike. After taking in the views over Great Langdale, retrace your steps as the way up is also the only safe way down!

The Langdale Pikes from Side Pike

12. The path then continues down the heathery western ridge of Side Pike. 

The 'ling' of Lingmoor Fell

Blea Tarn from Side Pike

13. A steep final part of the descent brings you out by the cattle grid on the col at the top of the road climbing up to Blea Tarn from Dungeon Ghyll.

A final steep descent brings you out on the road below

14. Cross the road, go through the gate in the wall, and follow the track that skirts around the bottom of the fellside opposite, south, to the woods besides Blea Tarn, signposted to Wrynose Pass.

Looking back at the Langdale Pikes at the start of the track

15. A path takes you through the woods, alongside the tarn.

Side Pike in the evening sun from the woods by Blea Tarn

16. On the far side of the tarn and the woods, turn left onto another track which takes you back to the starting point of the walk.

Walking back along the southern banks of the tarn

Worth knowing: If you want to take a good photograph of Lakeland scenery but aren't wanting to walk up a fell to do it, then  a still clear evening on the banks of Blea Tarn is not a bad choice.

Blea Tarn, New Year's Eve 2019

These pictures were taken mid-afternoon on New Year's Eve 2019, catching the reflection of Side Pike and the clouds over the Langdale Pikes in the low sunlight.

Blea Tarn, New Year's Eve 2019

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