20/07/2020

An impressive Cathedral Quarry walk from Little Langdale in the Lake District


Cathedral Quarry walk map Lake District caves Little Langdale car park
The impressive main chamber inside Cathedral Quarry, a small network of interlinked quarries above Little Langdale that where mined hundreds of years ago, and although now disused, and maintained and kept open for free by the National Trust. They are a good little destination for a walk and explore, especially with kids, and there's a pub in Little Langdale too called the Three Shires! 



A short walk to the mighty Cathedral Quarry from Little Langdale, a perfect family walk 

Distance: 1.6 miles
Time: 1 hour (longer if you explore the caves more)
Difficulty: Easy


Here you can see where this walk to Cathedral Quarry in the Lake District starts. Little Langdale is the best place to park the car and start the walk to Cathedral Quarry, and whilst there isn't lots of car parking space, there is space for some cars on the road side at the map point above (Beware of using google maps to get you close to Cathedral Quarry as it will try and take your car on an alternative route that appears closer to Cathedral Quarry, but it's on some very narrow and unsuitable roads/dirt tracks - head for Little Langdale and use the map above for your walk and you can't go wrong! ). From Little Langdale it's a short walk to Slater Bridge, then onto Cathedral Quarry to explore. After cross the river again on the bridge and head back. 




Blink and you will miss it! Taking the footpath off the minor road and heading to Slaters Bridge


At the start of the walk you can see the entrance to Cathedral Quarry over the little valley and the remnants of the slate from the old mine workings and which is where we are heading :-) 

Cathedral Quarry walk map Lake District caves Little Langdale car park
Heading to Slaters Bridge

Slaters bridge slater Cathedral Quarry walk map Lake District caves Little Langdale car park
Slaters Bridge is one of the ancient pedestrian Lake District stone bridges still in use that was built in the 17th century. The packhorses and miners would have used it to walk over the River Brathay to the surrounding quarries. It connects the hamlet of Little Langdale to all the old slate quarries in the Tiberthwaite Area including Cathedral Quarry. It's a timeless view on this walk and a place to stop and admire.

Cathedral Quarry walk map Lake District caves Little Langdale car park
We leave one path...

..and head up another into Cathedral Quarry, it's not much of a walk up this bank.


Whilst Cathedral Quarry is one of the lesser known Lake District landmarks, if you visit on a weekend with will no doubt come across others 


The National trust now own the site and it provides some history about the quarry on it's signs

We enter Catherdral Quarry through an 80m tunnel that the old miners would have used. If it's a dark overcast day a torch may come in handy here!

main chamber Cathedral Quarry walk map Lake District caves Little Langdale car park
When you get inside Catherdal Quarry in the main chamber it's very impressive and the acoustic's are amazing. Apparently raves used to be held here in the 80's! There has been some recent rockfall in the cave so some sections are marked off - but it's still deemed safe by the National Trust.   

The main Cathedral chamber is little by a window which you can exit by and further explore.

Main chamber Cathedral Quarry walk map Lake District caves Little Langdale car park
Looking back into the main Chamber and you can see the pillar of rock that is helping to hold the roof up 

Cathedral Quarry walk map Lake District caves Little Langdale car park
There are all sorts of tunnels and caves to explore in Cathedral Quarry- just bring some sturdy waterproof shoes, a torch and have fun!

After we've finished exploring the caves, we head back down to the main path and head for a different bridge over the River Brathay and back to Little Langdale!




As ever I hope you have enjoyed this little write up and photos and it inspires you to want to visit Cathedral Quarry and give the route a go.  If you have any questions about this route - just post a comment and I'll try and answer. 


Blog Post by Stuart Hodgson, 'The Hiking Photographer'


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