My latest Lake District Photographs are from just up the road from Elterwater, my last location. Langdale is regarded as one of the most beautiful locations in the Lakes with the Great Langdale valley and Little Langdale valley separated by Lingmoor Fell and the valley of Mickleden tucked away in the North West corner.
The beauty of this location is the combination of great looking fells, wonderful views and all in such a compact area. The Lake District in miniature. Blea Tarn has long been a favourite location of mine, I can remember the first time I visited about 15 years ago and I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been since, for a location so easily accessible it’s a true gem.
August 2010 will go down as a key milestone for us, my 5 year old son Thomas ticked off his first Wainwright when we headed up Lingmoor Fell above Blea tarn. It’s a fell I’ve been meaning to explore for a while and given its location and what surrounds it; there are countless opportunities for landscape photography.
A favourite location of mine is just above the National Trust Car Park at Blea Tarn as seen below in late winter and again in spring and summer. I imagine I’ll be making several more trips over the coming months to get Autumnal shots too.
The walk was a complete success, which I interpret as no carrying, no crying great photography and a family memory that I shall hold on to dearly. A realization that we’re going to have many happy days on the Lakeland fells for the years to come is an exciting prospect for me. Fell walking with a 5 year old is certainly interesting and worthy of further posts as a subject in its own right.
After a brief lunch stop just below the summit we see our first cairn, and as young boys do they have to build stuff so we invent a new game of putting the highest stone on the pile.
At the summit of Lingmoor fell you are rewarded with such a fine vista for a relatively straight forward climb, panoramic views over the Langdale valley, The Langdale Pikes, Pike o Blisco, Great Carrs, Swirl How and Wetherlam above Wrynose Pass and round to Coniston and Windermere as this 360 degree panorama shows.
On reaching the summit the sense of achievement brought out an emotional song and you can tell he was well pleased with himself, and rightly so it was a great achievement.
As you head along the summit ridge towards the Langdale Pikes you are treated to glimpses of the fine views awaiting as you get closer to the decent to Side Pike.
There’s so much heather up on Lingmoor Fell and I believe that’s where the fells name comes from with the Old Norse word lyng meaning “heather covered”
As you approach the descent toward Side Pike you are greeted with what I’m considering to be one of the finest views of this particular area if not the entire Lake District, for me this viewpoint has pretty much everything that you can compose to make a stunning shot. Great lead in foreground features, attractive mid and background features, such as Pike O Stickle, Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark that make up the photogenic Langdale Pikes; the band leading up to Bowfell and Crinkle Crags, Pike O Blisco, Wrynose Fell and back round to Blea Tarn.
For an August afternoon the light was pretty good, patches of cloud helped to cast highlights and shadows across the distant fells and exaggerate their contours. After the third or forth “Dad come on” we descended towards Side Pike, here you have 2 choices, continue to descend onto the road just up from Wordsworth’s Solitary Blea Tarn House or continue across the south face of Side Pike. The only problem with that is there’s a large rock in the way of the path and having not passed it before was unsure if it was suitable for a 5 year old. We headed up there for a look and before I knew it he’d gone right through the gap, turned and said “Come on its easy”
Following the path round Side Pike reveals another stunning viewpoint over the Langdale Pikes and Mickleden, the two hotels the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel http://www.dungeon-ghyll.co.uk and the Old dungeon Ghyll hotel http://www.odg.co.uk are directly below the thought of a cool drink in the afternoon sun was getting close.
We descended to the road and picked up the path around the west side of Blea Tarn, where you can see the entire route of the walk and the scale of what we’ve achieved. Back to the car with 4 minutes to spare on the parking ticket and off to the pub for two lemonades with Ice and a plan for our next outing. A perfect day out in the lake District.
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