Sarah's Top 5 picnic places in The Lake District.
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No. 1 - Slater's Bridge, Little Langdale
Distance from Langdale Hotel: 25 mins walk
Best for: Photos, tarn, accessibility, nearby pub
Little Langdale a veritable treasure trove of rolling hills, sparkling streams and stone-walled farms with a single, thin, hedge-rowed road bimbling through its middle. It’s also steeped in history that dates back all the way to the Viking Era. Slater’s Bridge is one of the most photographed locations in the Lake District and our favourite place to set out a picnic and enjoy the passing day. The Bridge itself is an old packhorse style footbridge from the latter part of the 18th Century and is generally never an overcrowded place due to the limited vehicle access. The traditional Three Shires Inn and also the dramatic Cathedral Caves are also the perfect nearby places to retreat to just encase you experience a smattering of that good old Langdale rain!
No. 2 - Blea Tarn, Great Langdale
Distance from Langdale Hotel: 15 mins drive. 45 mins walk
Best for: Views, mountainous scenery, feeling of remoteness
A picture-perfect nature reserve that sits literally at the tip of the Langdale Valley on top of a small, winding, Lake District pass. Blea Tarn offers beautiful views towards the Langdale Pikes and South towards Weatherlam, a behemoth of quarried rock and impressive gullies that lies the end of Little Langdale. There is a carpark just off the road and it’s then less than 5 minutes’ walk from vehicle to tarn shore where you’ll find many areas, both under tree cover and out in the open, to set up for a pleasant lunch. Afterwards one can enjoy a nice walk through the coniferous woods hugging the tarn shore and back along the main path to the car.
No. 3 - Loughrigg Tarn, Skelwith
Distance from Langdale Hotel: 40 mins walk
Best for: Relaxing, wildlife, swimming
Probably one of the most iconic Lakeland views on offer, Loughrigg Tarn is a great retreat for a lazy lunch when the sun is in the sky and the legs are tired. A wonderful diversity of birds populate the water; swans, geese, pied wagtails and chaffinches but to name a few. Ducks dance between the bulrushes and lily pads and grazing Herdwicks flank its shores while all the time the painterly Langdale pikes hang in the backdrop, creating an ever-changing scene of Turneresque proportions. Bring your towel also as this is one of the most popular wild swimming spots in the Lakes.
No. 4 - Penny Rock, Grasmere
Distance from Langdale Hotel: 25 mins drive. 35 mins walk.
Best for: Lake and mountain views. Choice of walks and picnic spots. Caves nearby
The place where Grasmere turns its waters towards the outflow that runs to Rydal Water. Penny Rock is a beautiful, shoreline wooded area with plenty of places to set down just off from the main path, either waterside or further in towards Rydal and White Moss. The imposing beauty of Helm Crag can be viewed just across the water which continues the panorama left, past Silver How, finally shouldering up to Loughrigg’s Northern flanks. Parking can be found either at White Moss car park, Grasmere or it can be enjoyed as a walk from Langdale up over Red Bank, past the YHA.
No. 5 - Wainwrights' Tarn, Chapel Stile
Distance from Langdale hotel: 10 mins walk
Best for: Hidden gem, right by a pub, barbecue facilities on site
A beautiful, little hidden spot of beauty just a stone’s throw from the Langdale Estate, behind Wainwright’s Inn. This is the perfect place for a summer barbecue, with Great Langdale Beck flowing by and the mirrored reflections of the surrounding fells from the tarn’s surface. If the rains come knocking to offer their opinion, then you can retire to Wainwrights Inn until the sun comes out - where warm fires, craft ales and great food await.
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