The walk begins in Little Langdale, where we were staying in a rented cottage. Turning left off the main road will get you to the start of the footpath, where you’ll join a flock of sheep (which sensibly kept their distance each time we charged into their territory with a yappy dog). There’s a bit of an incline until you exit the field and then it’s a slow wind down to the river and Slater’s Bridge.
|Lexi gets her toes wet|
|Spoiling the incredible scenery with my chic ‘drowned rat’ look (Gentlemen, please form an orderly queue)|
One path will take you higher once you get through yet another gate. Follow it onto the top of some slate piles until the air gets remarkably cool. You’ll come to the mouth of a cave. Water may pool around the entrance and in the tunnel but enter and you’ll be greeted with this.
Towards the far side of the cave – and you can just make it out in the photo – is an enormously deep murky pool. Apparently they’ve tried to measure how deep by diving but the water was so murky it was inconclusive. All I know for sure is that there’s an entire tree submerged in it. And little fishies.
The quarry is sometimes known as Dragon’s Cave because of a little folk legend. According to the tale, a dragon that was being hunted crawled in through the window and laid an egg. It was later crushed by some slate (and lies beneath the rubble on the right) but the egg was left in the open. Unable to hatch without its mother’s warmth, it pushed down into the ground and formed the pool.
There’s another entrance to the cave close to the pool which can’t be mistaken as anything but a quarry. If you’re feeling daring you can climb up more rubble and get to the window of the cave.
|Greg, Jamie and Carolyn look in on Kate, Lexi and I.|
When you’ve cooled off inside the cave, you can either go left back the way you came to join the other road or continue right, heading down a more challenging (i.e. fun) route, using tree roots and rocks as steps. Climb down off the wall and go right until you get to the ford.
There’s a bridge going over but if you’re feeling adventurous, try the stepping stones…