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Crinkle Crags

  1. 8 miles

  2. 770 metres ascent

  3. 6 hours round trip

I’ve done this walk before but not for some time. Starting in Langdale, it climbs up clockwise towards Crinkle Crags summit, traversing the several crinkles then coming back down via The Band.


Flowers in the meadow by Stool End farm with the Pikes on the skyline.

I started at the Stickle Ghyll car park, mostly because it’s National Trust so I park for free. The real start of the walk is where the road bends sharp left at the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel and you follow the track to Stool End farm.

Through the farmyard and out the other side, I wonder what the farmer and family think of the so many thousands of people walking through their back yard every year? Soon keep straight when you see the path to The Band going off right. In half a mile bear left over Oxendale Beck and the wooden footbridge.


Looking up Oxendale towards Crinkle Crags in the centre of the shot.


Down Oxendale Beck towards Langdale valley.

Navigation is now pretty foolproof. Follow the path uphill and into the sinewy curves of Browney Gill. I don’t know why some ghylls are gills and some gills are ghylls, I just use the spelling on the OS map.


Looking towards Hell Ghyll and Whorneyside Force from the ascent path above Browney Gill.

As the path nears the high hanging valley between Pike of Blisco and Cold Pike, look for the turn right up to Great Knotts. Keep following until you get to the first of the Crinkles. For each rocky Crinkle, there’s usually an easy way round or a scrambly way up. I tried to take the more sporting option each time.


The so-called “bad step” on the middle Crinkle, a short scrambly obstacle in the centre of the shot that some people prefer to avoid by using the skirting path around to the left of the summit.

The views from the top of the second Crinkle were fantastic. A 360 degree panorama taking in the Irish sea, the Scafells, Wast Water, the Coniston range, Coniston Water, Windermere and the south, Fairfield and Helvellyn, Skiddaw, and back round to Bowfell and, of course, Langdale and the Pikes.

Down to the Three Tarns at the pass between Crinkle Crags and Bowfell and time to decide whether time and fitness allowed Bowfell to be included. They did not. So down The Band easily back to Stool End farm and then to the car.


Bowfell ahead.


The Langdale Pikes from near the bottom of The Band.


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