Waterfalls and Quarries

Walk Date – 23rd August 2015

Distance – 7.8 miles

Weather – dry, sunny and warm



The Britannia Inn, deserted except for the man sweeping the patio area. It’ll be crowded by the time we get back here.

Along the path beside Great Langdale beck, the beck was full and fairly racing along.

When we reached the lake we came across two swans doing some early morning preening. The one on the left was especially meticulous and we had to wait a while before I could get a shot with both heads visible.

Then when the heads were finally up, the one on the left then decided to keep its left leg out of the water …..

Off it went, paddling with the right foot and keeping the left one well clear of the water, very strange …..

Looking across Elterwater to the Langdale Pikes. Its a fabulous morning, a slight breeze ruffling the water and the sun beating down, what a welcome change.

A close up of the Langdale Pikes across Elterwater.

The little tree covered ‘island’ in Elterwater. Its not really an island, just part of the land which juts out into the water.

Peace and quiet at Elterwater.

Not a lot of peace and quiet at Skelwith Force though, the water roared down and the spray flew everywhere. It seemed as though the water just couldn’t get down fast enough.

Risking life and limb to bring you more spectacular pictures. I scrambled down to the little viewing platform for a better view of the falls. There were plenty of people standing at the top but that only gave the view in the previous photo. I was the only idiot who ventured down to begin with, once I’d done it more idiots followed.

Safely back on the path we return to the Woodburn footbridge to continue the walk.

Our route took us along the other side of Skelwith Force for a different view of the falls and the little viewing platform, the scene of my daring descent. It wasn’t all that daring really I’m just hyping it up a bit!

Passing by Park Cottage as we make our way to Colwith Force, our next watery encounter.

The old barn adjoining Park Cottage.

Time for a drinks stop and there’s a view over to Loughrigg on the right. Just behind it and a bit hazy are Heron Pike and then Great Rigg.

After our drinks stop we continued on the path and came to this inviting little tea garden …..

….. we should have waited and stopped here instead.

Through the woods and down the steps …..

….. across the lane and up the steps …..

….. through the woods again and there you are at Colwith Force. Last night’s downpour certainly added to the volume of water flowing over Colwith Force, not to mention the deafening noise it created. Why is water falling over rocks so fascinating …..

Another set of falls coming in from the side.

Approaching the farm at High Park, with a lunchtime influx of a large group of walkers at the cafe. This must have been a disappointing sight for the small group of walkers who were just ahead of us as I got the impression that they had been planning to have their lunch there too.

We walked down from Hodge Close to here where the track splits. Our route takes the middle path which the water had taken over, so it was a bit of a splashy walk down it.

Along the track is this stone stile which we crossed to go up to the Cathedral Cavern.

Safety notice outside the cavern entrance, you wonder why people have to be told that quarries can be dangerous places.

The long tunnel entrance to Cathedral Cavern. It looks like we’re about to be eaten up by that big mouth with the nose above it, but we’re not going to be put off by those kind of thoughts, what’s more we’ve got a head torch so that’s bound to scare away any monsters in there.

I really didn’t expect this shot to work, it was pitch black in here apart from the head torch’s feeble light, which is the brightish spot on the tunnel floor, and that was absolutely useless. I could see nothing in the viewfinder, so it was just a ‘hit and hope’ sort of shot. If only the camera’s flash could have been kept on while we were walking through.

We emerged out of the tunnel, blinking and dazzled, into the sunlight again where you are dwarfed by the immense height of the quarry. To the right of the fence is a huge gash where you look down into the cavern below.

This is the view when you look through the opening, this huge column from floor to roof inside the cavern below. The very bright sunshine was bleaching the colour from everything so this was the best shot I could manage.

More rock strata to wonder at all around the quarry walls ……

Another small tunnel, too small and too wet to even think about entering.

The upper opening into Cathedral Cavern. Below are a couple of shots from the floor of the cavern …..

The rock pillar in Cathedral Cavern.

The short tunnel exit from the cavern, torch not needed for this tunnel.

A brief history of the Langdale Quarries.

From the Cathedral Cavern its just a short walk to the ever popular Slater’s Bridge, dozens of people here today so I had to wait for a quieter moment. Why do dogs wander over just as you take the shot?

Lingmoor Fell from Slater’s Bridge.

Little Langdale Tarn.

Little Langdale Tarn with Blake Rigg, the dark fell in the centre, behind it.

Looking across Little Langdale Tarn to Wetherlam on the left skyline.

A final look at Little Langdale Tarn, its a lovely peaceful place.

A close up of the Langdale Pike from the Elterwater quarries.

We carry on to the Burlington quarries and have a look down into the quarrying area, the large orange digger down there adds scale and shows just how big the quarry is.

Another view of the quarry area.

The remains of a tree on the edge of the quarry caught my attention.

Back to Elterwater for a last close up of the Langdale Pikes, the sun and blue sky have been replaced by cloud, and its time to go home. Its been a great little walk though, full of variety and interest, thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.