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The Langdale Pikes, with steep flanks and distinct summit profiles, are easily recognised and 'the round' is a classic. Taking the conventional ascent then crossing to Easedale on a sneaky path leads to the Grasmere side of the range. The path down from Easedale Tarn is a purpose built pony track used by Victorian tourists. Head for the Travellers Rest, an original sixteenth century coaching inn, full of old world charm, oak beams and inglenooks (and the full range of Jennings Ales!).
Before setting off please make sure you plot the suggested route on OS maps and pack a compass. They are essential for a safe, enjoyable day in the hills!
Elterwater - Grasmere
7 - 8 hours
1. From the Langdale Hotel go back up the valley road to rejoin the Cumbria Way, over New Bridge and on towards Oak Howe. Turn right about 100m before Oak Howe. Follow the bridleway and cross Langdale Beck to join the valley road. Turn left, follow the road for 50m then turn left and join a track to the road.
2. Go left to a car park; join the Stickle Gill Path to the dam at Stickle Tarn, crossing the footbridge part way up.
3. Cross the dam and go to the foot of the path that climbs to the saddle on the north side of Harrison Stickle; the highest of the 'Pikes'. Once summited backtrack and follow the rocky path to climb to the summit of Pavey Ark and stunning views. The next 'Pike' is Thunacar Knott; a charming, relatively sheltered spot great for a lunch stop.
4. Next is Sergeant Man; from Thunacar Knott head north across a broad col then take the path to Sergeant Man. In mist the path is vague and easily lost so take care.
5. Descend the broad ridge, after about 750m take the left hand path past Belles Knott to the upper reaches of Easedale. Continue to join the bridleway at the mouth of Easedale Tarn.
6. Follow the bridleway above the waterfalls of Sourmilk Gill to lower Easedale. Join Easedale Road and follow it to a junction, turn left passing Thorney How YHA. Cross Low Mill Bridge, turn left to join the footpath along the field edge to the A591.
7. Cross the A591 and head for the entrance of the Travellers Rest taking in the superb views! Open the wooden door with the brass fox head door knocker and go straight to the bar where you will be greeted with the full range of Jennings Ales. A pint of rich, full bodied Sneck Lifter is always a good choice and if you're lucky you might find friends willing to buy you a few more in the true spirit of this strong, satisfying ale. In northern dialect 'sneck' means door latch, and the 'sneck lifter' was a man's last sixpence which enabled him to lift the latch of the pub door and buy a pint, hoping to meet friends who might treat him to a few more!