Walking for Mental Health: Winter Sun on Lingmoor Fell

© Dan Bailey

Winter is no time for hibernation. Lace up your boots and embrace the light, says Jess Hodkinson.

The sun shines brightly through the wintry colour palette, and trees that have turned from green to brown to bare sway ever so slightly in the cool air. I really appreciate the change in seasons. It's getting colder but the warmth of the sun still reminds us of our place on earth and how it powers every single one of us.

Bowfell and the Langdale Pikes form Lingmoor Fell  © Dan Bailey
Bowfell and the Langdale Pikes form Lingmoor Fell
© Dan Bailey

After many visits to the Lake District I had never explored Langdale, or known the best routes in the area. Lingmoor Fell is a combination of rocky steep inclines, followed by beautiful pockets of still water in the tarns that are overlooked by breathtaking landscapes.

With pheasants springing out from beneath the heather, and the sound of birds tweeting in the distance, this walk is perfect for the mind and soul. Walking in a tranquil and peaceful land with very few humans in sight (for most of the walk).

Looking out over Langdale  © Jess Hodkinson
Looking out over Langdale
© Jess Hodkinson

The fell is steep and craggy, covered in heather, and gets its name from the Old Norse word 'Lyng' meaning 'heather'. When you start to walk up, the land feels slightly boggy with a satisfying squelchy feeling under your feet.

We consciously went off the beaten track leaving Brown How, enticed by the speck of water in the distance. Getting closer to Lingmoor Tarn the mirror image of the mountains in the distance against the water was quite something. It's worth standing here for a while just to take in the surroundings, before finding the path again and making your way on to Side Pike.

Pools reflect the sky  © Jess Hodkinson
Pools reflect the sky
© Jess Hodkinson

When we arrived at the dominating Side Pike it didn't seem clear on where to go next, until I saw a fellow walker pop out from an unexpected through-way. This involved squeezing though extremely small gaps and scrambling through rocky terrain until reaching the most breathtaking view of the fells in the distance and the tranquil water shimmering in the mid-day sunlight.

As we navigated our way down towards the road at the top of Blea Tarn road it was extremely peaceful with only a few walkers passing by from the other direction. I started thinking more about the change in seasons and how bright the sky was for this dark time of year. My usual attitude is to hibernate in winter as I'm honestly not a fan of of the colder, darker months. But as time goes by, I have realised that there is something quite satisfying about digging out your muddy walking boots and stepping into the winter light.

Embrace the winter sun!  © Jess Hodkinson
Embrace the winter sun!
© Jess Hodkinson

UKH Articles and Gear Reviews by Jess Hodkinson

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