Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
The last few weeks have brought some really horrible weather to the Lakes - torrential rain, thick fog, snow and ice. Not really ideal conditions for hiking! This had led me to have a few weekends off walking and left me to focus on Christmas instead. However, now that the big day is over and done with and the weather has taken a turn for the better, I have been able to get out and fit in one more Wainwright walk before the end of the year, bringing my grand total up to 102! The chosen location for our most recent walk was Lingmoor Fell...
Lingmoor Fell lies between Little Langdale and Sticklebarn and is a fell I have been eyeing up for some time now. It sits by itself so can't easily be included in a route with other Wainwright's, so I decided to wait for the perfect time when I needed a short walk not too far from home. Wednesday was the perfect day - after sitting at home over Christmas eating our body weight in food and drinking gallons of mulled wine, Greg and I felt the need to get out for a walk but didn't want to dive right back in and push ourselves too far by going straight for somewhere like Scafell Pike. Lingmoor Fell is fairly small in comparison to many other Wainwright's, it's only a 45 minute drive from my home, and would only take a couple of hours maximum to complete (according to my OS Maps app). So we got up early and headed out past Ambleside towards Coniston, turning off to go through the small village of Little Langdale, and headed straight for the National Trust car park at Blea Tarn. After a brief moment of panic when we saw a sign for Wrynose Pass and wondered if we had to drive over there to reach the car park, we turned off and reached Blea Tarn just before the pass began - phew!
Our planned route took us from the car park further up the road before turning off to the right and heading straight up the grassy slopes of the fell. After a short climb we passed through a wall and followed the well formed stone footpath on the other side. The views on the way up were fantastic, looking over to the snowy peaks of the Langdales and the sunny (but frosty) valley below.
Carrying on further up the fell the path soon turned back to grass and on reaching another wall I checked the map, which said to reach the summit we were not to cross the wall but follow it straight up to the top. We began the climb and soon the wind picked up, making it feel a lot colder than it probably was! This fell must get hit badly by wind as a lot of trees were either fallen down or leaning very far over - one of them had fallen on the wall and knocked a whole section down!
Eventually we reached the top of the fell but there was another wall blocking our way which was not showing up on the map! It seemed that there was a proper footpath on the other side of the wall so we would have been better off crossing over at the bottom but never mind! We clambered over anyway and fought the strong gusts of wind to finally touch the top of Lingmoor Fell. For one of the smaller fells it certainly doesn't disappoint with it's spectacular views! There's the Langdale Pikes in one direction, the huge mass of Coniston fells looking the other way, and a surprisingly good view of Lake Windermere too. The weather was also great for us with the sun shining and blue skies above us, with snow capped peaks all around. I couldn't stop taking photos and felt so lucky to be there, witnessing this fantastic scenery so close to my home with no other people around. It really felt for a while that we could have been the only two people in the whole world as it was so quiet (when the wind died down).
After making the most of the views we eventually decided to head back down (this time staying on the right side of the wall and using the proper footpath) admiring the way the sun lit up the valleys and brought out all the orangey colours of the bracken and the heather. Once we were safely back down by the road (after I fell over and hurt my arm but my first question being 'Is my camera OK?') we wandered back along to the car park but before going straight back we had a short walk around the shores of Blea Tarn. It's a lovely small tarn with a nice little woodland next to it with a circular footpath winding through. After our recent purchase of a dinghy we decided this would be an ideal place to come in warmer weather and chill out in the boat with a picnic.
Finally we headed home, stopping in Windermere for sausage and chips on the way - I highly recommend Windermere Chippy on Church Street! Overall, Lingmoor Fell was a lovely way to end our year of hiking. With great views, an easy climb, and the added bonus of Blea Tarn to explore before or after the walk I would say it is a great choice for an easy hike out in the Lakes.
If you want to give it a go yourself my route is below...