The best Cathedral Quarry walk route from Little Langdale in the Lake District - a perfect family walk with kids

Cathedral Quarry walk map Lake District caves Little Langdale car park
This is the impressive main chamber inside Cathedral Quarry, which is a small network of interlinked quarries above Little Langdale that where mined hundreds of years ago, and although now disused, they are maintained and kept open for free by the National Trust. They are a brilliant little destination for a short walk and explore, especially with kids who will love it, and there's a pub in Little Langdale too called the Three Shires! What's not to like? 

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

This walk is not very long at all at 1.6 miles and is quite flat most of the way - with a short gentle uphill into Cathedral Quarry. It's perfect for kids and families, and the Quarry is a great place to explore. 

Cathedral Quarry Walk Distance: 1.6 miles

Cathedral Quarry Walk Time: 1 hour (longer if you explore the caves more)

Cathedral Quarry Walk Difficulty: Easy

Cathedral Quarry walk map route - choose this route:

This is the route you need to know about to plan the best walk to Cathedral Quarry, and you should definitely start from Little Langdale, do not let your car sat nav take you to somewhere near Cathedral Quarry (as you will end up down very unsuitable narrow roads with no parking - I found this out the hard way haha) - so head for Little Langdale and walk from there. 

Here you can see where this walk to Cathedral Quarry in the Lake District starts. For those familiar with the area, Little Langdale is the best place to park the car and start the walk to Cathedral Quarry. Whilst there isn't lots of car parking space, there is space for some cars on the road side at the map point above. From Little Langdale it's a short walk to the delightful Slaters Bridge, then onto Cathedral Quarry to explore the caves. After that cross the river again on another bridge to the east and head back. Click the button below to view the full map route (note you will need a subscription to view all map features)

If you don't have a Phone Map App - I really recommend the one by Ordnance Survey. You can download route maps to your phone such as this one and the app will show you exactly where you are on the route even when you have no signal - so no more taking a wrong turn :-)

Where do you park for Cathedral Quarry? IMPORTANT INFO:

The best place to park the car is Little Langdale. Beware of using google maps or a sat nav to get you close to Cathedral Quarry as it will give you the impression that you can drive and park quite close to Cathedral Quarry, but it's on some very narrow, steep and unsuitable roads/dirt tracks with little to no road-side parking - instead head for Little Langdale and use the map above for your walk and you can't go wrong! )

How old is Slaters Bridge?

Slaters Bridge is over 300 years old dating from the 17th century, when it was used as a packhorse bridge over the River Brathay and to allow the miners, or 'slaters' quarry the surrounding area, such as whats now known as Cathedral Quarry! Crossing it is one of the highlights on this walk.

Photos of the best Cathedral Quarry Walk:

Blink and you will miss it! This is where you take the footpath off the minor road in Little Langdale village and head 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 eventually heading :-) 

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

Slaters bridge slater Cathedral Quarry walk map Lake District caves Little Langdale car park
What a classic Lake District view eh! 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 gentle bank.

Whilst Cathedral Quarry is one of the lesser known Lake District landmarks and it's not somewhere you just stumble across, if you visit on a weekend you will no doubt come across others 

The National trust now own the site and it provides some interesting history about Cathedral 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 lit up 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. It's a superb little walk for all the family, young & old. If you have any questions about this route - just post a comment below and I'll try and help. 

As I've mentioned, if you don't have a Phone Map App - I really recommend downloading the one by Ordnance Survey, especially if you are new to walking so you won't get lost!  You can plan walks and download the maps to your phone and it will show you exactly where you are on the route even when you have no internet signal! (It works off your phones inbuilt GPS) 

Happy Hiking!

Post by Stuart Hodgson 
'The Hiking Photographer'

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  1. Thank you for this! I'm going to use it this December, can't wait!

  2. No probs at all - hope you find it of use - enjoy your visit

  3. Thank you for all the info. I'm not able to walk long distances, so to find a shorter route other than from Tilberthwaite was ideal. Lots of water in the river on our visit. An amazing area to explore. Thank again.

    1. Gla dit was useful - I can imagine ether river ws crazy full at the weekend!

  4. A great little guide and nice photos too. Thanks 😁

    1. Really pleased you found it useful - thanks for your feedback!

  5. Very nice walk, way too easy, it’s a shame there’s nothing else around as the walk leaves you with appetite for more. The hint about the gate for the bridge was a spot on, and parking space is really limited so make sure to park in recommended place.

    1. It's just a short walk route meant for families here - but can be extended in multiple directions - ie. to Colwith Force.

  6. How do I find the route/instructions for this walk?

    1. See the map at the top of the page and link to the OS Map. I really recommend downloading the Cathedral Quarry map route to your phone via OS Maps if you aren't very familiar with following map routes


Thanks for taking an interest in my blog, all comments and questions are welcome! Best, Stuart

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