Little Stand, The Crinkles and Bowfell : Circular walk from Cockley Beck

A Dunnerdale-with-Seathwaite walk posted on 30/06/19 by Alwayswiththehills. Update : 12/07/19

A lovely walk taking in the excellent and interesting Crinkle Crags and with great views down Great Langdale, over to the Scafell group and south down the Duddon Valley. The start up Little Stand and the descent from Ore Gap are without the heavily trodden paths now common in the Lake District.

There are a few small parking spaces near Cockley Beck heading west towards Hardknott Pass. Please park sensibly so other walkers and climbers and get in too.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h55[?]
Distance Distance : 13.84km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 820m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 820m
Highest point Highest point : 882m
Lowest point Lowest point : 220m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Dunnerdale-with-Seathwaite
Starting point Starting point : N 54.405727° / W 3.16403°
Download :
The 2nd Crinkle and the Bad Step. Descending from Ore Gap The Crinkles from Bow Fell with the Coniston fells in the background Great Slab


(D) From the parking spacewalk back towards Cockley Beck until next to the stream on the left where there is a ford, stepping stones and metal gate on the far side.

(1) Cross the stream and take the Roman Road (footpath) for a short distance until you can turn left and start to cross the enclosed fellside using vehicle tracks and then sheep tracks. These will lead upwards through bracken and grass and to a gate in the wall. (Note the bridleway shown on OS map does not exist on the ground)

(2) From the gate, head up the open fellside. Take a good look first and plot out your route through the small outcrops. We headed in a rightwards and upwards direction to see if we could pick up the bridleway. We used some sheep tracks and natural grass rakes between the outcrops, eventually taking a good grassy/rocky gully which ascended more directly.

(3) The gully will bring you to a less steep section where there is more grass than rock and ahead of you will be a long outcrop striated with the distinct layers of volcanic ash from which the rock was formed. We ascended leftwards with this formation on our right and then up another broad grassy rake with what looks like the pointed summit above on the right,

(4) From the top of the rake, you can make a detour right to the rocky point but the actual higher summit is further on and slightly to the left, next to a small tarn/pool. (5)

(5) From the top of Little Stand, head northwards over the grassy and rocky ground until the ground starts to drop away. You will see the path from Langdale to the Crinkles ahead of you and a smaller track on the right. Pick up the smaller track and follow it to the foot of the first Crinkle where you will join the broad and well-trodden path from Langdale.

(6) Follow the well-marked path and cairns over the first Crinkle and start to descent. Ahead of you is the second Crinkle, the most direct path takes in the Bad Step (7) which involves some easy scrambling. The well-marked path skirts the Bad Step by going leftwards and then up to the summit cairn. From the top of the second Crinkle, follow the path and cairn, with great opportunities for views, over the remaining Crinkles and down to The Three Tarns.

(8) From the Three Tarns, follow the broad and obvious path on the right flank of Bowfell Links upwards and then to the top of Bow Fell. The rocky summit is a great place to get the views in all directions.

(9) From the summit of Bowfell, take the path north then westwards to Ore Gap.

(10) At Ore Gap, take the faint track south and descend with Yeastyrigg Gill on your right. The path will be faint in places but the descent is obvious and as you get near Slate Crag the path becomes more obvious again, descending more steeply Green Hole where many streams join and the broader Lingcove Beck starts.

(11) From Green Hole, follow the track beside Lingcove Beck, again with it on your right, making a few detours to avoid boggy sections. When you are level with Pianet Knott on the right and the beck has turned in a southwesterly direction the track will cross a stream. You are looking for a track (12) just before the next stream, which ascends the grassy slope to the head of Moasdale.

(13) From the head of Moasdale, follow the more obvious path on the right down to the road.

(14) From the road, walk back to your car (A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0 - Parking
1 : km 0.11 - alt. km 0.11
2 : km 0.89 - alt. km 0.89
3 : km 1.99 - alt. km 1.99
4 : km 2.38 - alt. km 2.38
5 : km 2.67 - alt. km 2.67
6 : km 3.77 - alt. km 3.77
7 : km 4.29 - alt. km 4.29 - Bad Step - Bad Step
8 : km 5.75 - alt. km 5.75 - Three Tarns - Three Tarns
9 : km 6.59 - alt. km 6.59 - Bowfell summit - Bowfell
10 : km 7.6 - alt. km 7.6 - Ore Gap - Ore Gap
11 : km 9.38 - alt. km 9.38 - Green Hole - Green Hole
12 : km 10.74 - alt. km 10.74
13 : km 11.16 - alt. km 11.16
14 : km 13.73 - alt. km 13.73
D/A : km 13.84 - alt. km 13.84 - Parking

Useful Information

This is a route which takes in some great summits. Prepare for the worst and take a waterproof/windproof.

You will cross some rocky and difficult ground so boots are advisable rather than trainers.

There is running water in Yeastyrigg Gill but not much-running water before that. You could fill bottles from the tarns but it would be advisable to purify this.

Variations :
It would be possible to extend this walk from Ore Gap by taking in Esk Pike and then descending from Esk Hause or by going from Esk Hause over to Scafell Pike and down from Mickledore to cross the Great Moss and head towards Moasdale.

Another interesting variant would be to do the route in reverse and from point 12 ascend the south ridge of Esk Pike (Yeastrigg) to the summit and then descend to Ore Gap and return via Bow Fell, The Crinkles and Little Stand.

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

The ascent of Little Stand is an interesting exercise in route finding. The Crinkles make for excellent walking and the views are great. Bowfell is a bit of a slog but there are good views from the Great Slab and more so from the summit. The descent, particularly down beside Yeastyrigg Gill is through an unspoiled landscape with lovely views south to Harter Fell and the Duddon Valley.

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