Crinkle Crags in the Lake District is a superb day on the fells with magnificent views from the very first step
It’s easy to see why the traverse of Crinkle Crags is regarded as one of the Lakes’ classic mountain walks – not too long, not too short, spectacular views and the feeling that for much of the route you’re on the roof of Lakeland.
The ‘Crinkles’ consist of five craggy peaks rising impressively above Great Langdale and Oxendale, and so named because of their ‘crinkly’ appearance from lower elevations; there are various enjoyable options for traversing them, the one we’re taking starts from Great Langdale, with an easy amble to begin along the valley floor past Stool End farm into the huge bowl of Oxendale, more Nordic than English in both name and appearance.
After crossing a footbridge over the stream to the left bank of the valley the work begins in earnest as you head very steeply uphill towards Red Tarn, but in recompense the views down Oxendale and Great Langdale, across The Band and Langdale Pikes and to the further fells of the Lakes open up with almost every step.
Take a breather at the tarn then head right and continue upwards past Great Knott on an obvious path to the first of the five ‘Crinkles’. By now the views have really opened up, encompassing everything from the Irish Sea coast to all of the higher Lakeland fells, and these glorious panoramas remain with you for the rest of the traverse. Take your time along the way, having worked hard to gain the altitude this is a walk with views to be savoured.
The traverse route along Crinkle Crags is straightforward in all but poor visibility (when you need to have good navigation skills), and will eventually see you descend to Three Tarns, with the option of a relatively short detour to the summit of Bow Fell if you’re feeling energetic.
This is another place to enjoy a break and enjoy the fine views of the Scafell Massif, after which you your descent via The Band down to Stool End Farm, from where you retrace your footsteps to the car park at Old Dungeon Ghyll pub.