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Great Langdale to Rosthwaite

Hiking route · United Kingdom
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  • Enjoying views to the surrounding fells
    Enjoying views to the surrounding fells
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
m 600 500 400 300 200 100 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Great Langdale The Flock-In Sticklebarn Borrowdale Valley Mickleden Valley Rosthwaite
A stunning walk through valleys, farmland, and fields combined with a challenging ascent of Stake Pass as you climb up its rugged and steep slope.
Distance 14.6 km
5:00 h
385 m
390 m
481 m
51 m

The amazing Mickleden Valley makes up most of your walk, surrounded by Bowfell and the Pikes. Then a zig-zag ascent up the fellside before dropping back down into Langstrath valley. The view down to Rosthwaite is one you won’t forget in a hurry.

Rosthwaite is a small village with a couple of hotels and pubs tucked away at the head of the valley. You can’t help but feel relaxed.

Author’s recommendation

One of my personal favourite picnic spots along the Way with spectacular views is just after climbing up Stake Pass! 
Profile picture of Heleen Bosch
Heleen Bosch
Update: August 18, 2021
Highest point
481 m
Lowest point
51 m

Track types

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Rest stops

The Flock-In
Great Langdale

Safety information

This route involves crossing stone walls and fences by means of step-stiles, ladder-stiles as well as passing through kissing gates and crossing footbridges. Please take extra care, especially when squeezing through small gaps as it can be slippery in wet weather and it might be easy to lose your balance.

Some terrain can be boggy, especially in wet conditions (during or after rainfall) and parts may become muddy and slippery. It is important to make sure you take your time while crossing these areas.

This section involves some road walking along quiet country roads as well as very short stretches along main roads. Always be mindful of other road users and pay attention when crossing roads.

There is little to no waymarking present along today's route, but it's quite a popular stretch with day-trippers (Especially Stake Pass) and most of the paths are clearly defined and easy to follow.


If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the Cumbria Way map published by Harvey Maps. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.


If you wish to bring a guidebook, we would recommend Rucksack Reader's Cumbria Way guidebook by Paddy Dillon.  

Tips and hints

Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest.  Click the icons on the map for more information.

Food & Drink:

On your walk from Great Langdale to Rosthwaite, you will not pass any cafe, pubs or restaurants along the way. For a packed lunch you must ask your overnight accommodation in Great Langdale to prepare a picnic lunch for you (supplement payable and to be requested in advance) as there are no shops in Great Langdale. 


Great Langdale (98 m)
OS Grid
NY 29397 06345
54.447585, -3.090298
54°26'51.3"N 3°05'25.1"W
30U 494144 6033325
Show on Map



Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Start at the top of the car park next to the signpost for Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. Ignoring the sign, TURN RIGHT and BEAR LEFT climbing up a grassy and overgrown track leading into the woods in direction of a step-stile. Follow the track uphill for roughly 300 meters keeping the stone wall to your left. At the top of the field TURN LEFT through the gate and continue the path towards another gate.

0.30km – Cross a footbridge and BEAR LEFT following the path that continues downhill along a stone wall. Continue STRAIGHT ON through a gate, following a clear path. 

1.00km – Continue STRAIGHT ON passing the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel on your left towards a gate. Follow the stony track alongside the stone wall.

2.00km – Keep following the obvious stony path passing another gate and enjoy views to the right of the valley of Pike o’ Stickle, and today’s target Stake Pass, being the lowest gap in view. Continue STRAIGHT ON through the valley. 

3.50km – Cross a stone footbridge and continue STRAIGHT ON following the track upstream passing little pools. After roughly 700 meters cross a wooden footbridge and follow the track until you find a stone to your right, carved with ‘Stake Pass’ and ‘Esk Hause’.  

4.00km - TURN RIGHT and follow a constructed path twisting and turning as it steeply climbs. 

4.50km – Continue along the rugged but clearly defined uphill track that becomes stonier and more rugged the further you get to the top. Once reaching the top you will have gained 400 meters in height and added roughly 1.5km to your distance.

6.00km – Follow the track STRAIGHT ON ignoring a path on the right and later another one on the left (right leading to Langdale Pikes and left leading to Rossett Pike). The path is clear and goes up and down.

6.50km – Keep following the track STRAIGHT ON and as you get near the edge of the top, don’t forget to enjoy the fine views having arrived at one of the highest points on the Cumbria Way. Continue along the clear gravel path in front of you as it descends gently. The path later descends steeply, winding round hairpin bends on the slope. As you continue further the path becomes more rugged too and you will notice the waterfalls of Stake Beck to your right.

Important: Take extra care descending on the gravel track as the loose stones on the steep slope can be tricky underfoot and it can be easy to lose your balance. You might want to stick to the grassy side of the path wherever it is safe to do so. 

7.80km – Cross a small stone footbridge and continue STRAIGHT ON following the track downhill. After 200 meters continue STRAIGHT ON ignoring a second footbridge to your left.

 8.50km – Keep following the path ahead crossing grassy slopes that are dotted with boulders and some wet terrain and/or boggy patches. Take extra care as you follow the stony track.

9.50km – Cross the ladder stile over a stone wall and continue STRAIGHT ON keeping the wire fence to your left, and later keeping a stone wall to your left.

10.50km – Continue STRAIGHT ON keeping the fence to your left, later a combination of a fence against a stone wall. The terrain is more rugged here and you will notice more trees along the water of Sergeant’s Crag.

11.00km – Pass under a huge larch tree and follow the track STRAIGHT ON through a gate in a stone wall. Continue for another 300 meters avoiding a footbridge to your left and following the path ahead. Cross through another gate and continue STRAIGHT ON following the path as it hugs the beck.

11.50km - Keep left crossing a footbridge and immediately afterward continue through a gate. TURN LEFT onto a different path leading through a gate. The Coast to Coast long-distance trail shares this part of the route with the Cumbria Way.

12.00km – Continue STRAIGHT ON through a gate and after 200 meters cross a footbridge over a beck. Notice the campsite across Stonethwaite Beck. Keep left along the stone wall as you continue to follow the track ahead towards another gate.

12.50km – Continue STRAIGHT ON through the gate along the walled track until you reach another gate following signposting for ‘Watendlath via Rosthwaite’. Keep following the stony track and BEAR LEFT through a gate, ignoring the other gate on the right. Continue to follow STRAIGHT ON through the woods and keeping the water to your left. 

14.30km – TURN LEFT over the bridge at the tarmac road and continue STRAIGHT ON until you reach the main road. TURN LEFT and nearly immediately TURN RIGHT into the first street walking towards the centre of Rosthwaite.

14.60km– You have now arrived in the centre or Rosthwaite. Treat yourself to a coffee or tea with a fresh scone in the tea garden of the Flock-In Walker’s Bar.

*** This is the end of our Great Langdale to Rosthwaite route, use your included documentation to find your overnight accommodation. For those doing one of our shorter walking itineraries you are likely to be walking onward to overnight in Keswick  - Please move onto the next route in the Macs App which is Rosthwaite to Keswick ***


all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
NY 29397 06345
54.447585, -3.090298
54°26'51.3"N 3°05'25.1"W
30U 494144 6033325
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes, and a waterproof/wind-break layer are a must! The weather can change quickly, and it is therefore important to be prepared and carry any extra equipment or clothing even if the weather looks okay. If you are used to walking with walking poles, it could be great to bring them too.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

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14.6 km
5:00 h
385 m
390 m
Highest point
481 m
Lowest point
51 m


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