This is the most popular route up Bow Fell, partly because it provides a comparatively easy route to the top of this imposing fell and partly because it starts from the ever popular Great Langdale. Don't let its popularity put you off - the approach up the Band brings you to Three Tarns, a sudden view of Eskdale and the southern crags of Bow Fell, and the route from there to the summit passes the fell's most unusual rock formations.
Length: 6 miles
Map: The English Lakes - South Western Area (OS Explorer Map Active)
Last Walked: June 2010
We start from the National Trust car park at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.
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Head out of the car park across the bridge back towards the road. Turn right onto the road and follow it until it turns sharply to the left. At this point leave the road by passing through a gate that leads onto a farm track that runs west across the fields.
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This track leads us to Stool End farm. Follow the obvious track through the farm yard. At the far end of the farm yard the track begins to climb, then
splits in two. Take the right-hand branch, which leaves the track to climb up a well maintained path. This is the walker's path up the Band, a long ridge that climbs out of Great Langdale onto the ridge that links Bow Fell to Crinkle Crags
. Follow this path all the way to the pass between the two fells, at Three Tarns
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Three Tarns isn't always well named - there were two when I lasted visited,
and can be more after wet weather. At the top of this pass turn right onto the very obvious path that climbs up the eastern end of Bow Fell. At the top of the steep climb the path turns left, and runs past the impressive Great Slab, before approaching the final summit
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The summit of Bow Fell is a rocky pyramid sitting on top of the main summit plateau. The most obvious route to the very top from our approach route passes just to the right of the summit, then curves around to the left to reach the well formed summit.
After visiting the summit retrace your steps back to Three Tarns, down the Band to Stool End and from there to the Old Dungeon Ghyll.