Blea Tarn and Side Pike

A Lakes walk posted on 05/01/19 by Alwayswiththehills. Update : 12/02/19

An out and back walk from the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel car-park. The Hotel car parking is available for non Hotel users but you will need to purchase a parking ticket from a machine.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h20[?]
Distance Distance : 3.7mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 846ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 837ft
Highest point Highest point : 1037ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 322ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Lakes
Starting point Starting point : N 54.444682° / W 3.103884°
Download :
Blea Tarn from Side Pike Langdale Pikes from Side Pike Taking a wall for a walk up Side Pike Side Pike view over Blea Tarn


(D/A) From the Old Dungeon Ghyll (ODG) Hotel car park, take the entrance road back towards the main Langdale road and at the entrance to Middle Fell Farm go through the gate and take the path across the field to the stone bridge over the river. (Alternatively as shown on the map, go onto the Langdale Valley road and turn right) Continue along the road until you can take the gate into the National Trust camp-site on your left.

(1) The path cuts up through the campsite on your right and goes through a gate, over a field and through another gate before ascending the fellside.

(2) The path levels out and at the junction with a dry stone wall take the gate on your right, cross the road and go immediately ahead to a larger gate on your left. Go through the gate and follow the good track towards Blea Tarn. Go through another gate an onto a path that has been constructed to be wheel chair friendly .This path leads around the lake to the car park at the top of the pass between Langdale and Little Langdale.
Do not go all the way to the car park, instead follow the good path to where it turns left and crosses a bridge,

(3) Take a right turn up and follow the path up and through the trees turning back right and contouring the hillside before dropping back down and onto the path you started on. Follow this back along to gate (2)

(4) From here you can descend to the OLD but a good diversion is to take the path to Side Pike ¼ mile. This path leads diagonally across the fell before it zig-zags back again. It will cross the dry stone wall before zig-zagging back and following the wall to the top of Side Pike.

(5) This ascent is interesting to the walker as there are numerous rocky steps where easy scrambling provides some interest. Retrace your steps back to (4) There are minor variations you can make before descending to the ODG.

Please note the west spur of Side Pike is the only safe way up and down from Side Pike and in particular the East and South East sides are steep, being of interest to rock climbers. Do not try to walk from the top of Side Pike over to Lingmoor Fell directly : if you wish to do this you will have to back track and take a lower path to the South.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel car park
1 : mi 0.24 - alt. mi 0.24
2 : mi 0.75 - alt. mi 0.75
3 : mi 1.46 - alt. mi 1.46
4 : mi 2.2 - alt. mi 2.2
5 : mi 2.6 - alt. mi 2.6 - Side Pike
D/A : mi 3.7 - alt. mi 3.7

Useful Information

An easy walk up to and around Blea Tarn but the upper path through the woods can be wet and it is advisable to wear stout footwear on the way up Side Pike.

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

There are good photography opportunities around Blea Tarn and good views from Side Pike.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.