Cathedral Cavern in Little Langdale is a wonderful example of the fantastic industrial activity which has shaped some of the landscape in the Lake District. Just a 25 minute walk from Brimstone taking in some great views this is a great outing whatever the time of year.
A disused slate mining quarry getting its name because of its huge central like main cave It’s a place that’s often missed by walkers exploring Little Langdale and keen to find Slaters Bridge which is just 2 minutes’ walk away., Shrouded in woodland the caves aren’t visible from the passing footpaths and farm tracks. The only real giveaways are the waste slate banking’s that are visible through the gaps in the trees although these are common in the area.
Access to the main cavern is via a tunnel carved out of the rock, it’s quite exciting on your first visit … think the mining dwarfs of Middle Earth.
The tunnel opens out and the cavern is well … cavernous! There’s a huge ‘window’ which the daylight floods through illuminating a huge slate pillar and pool of water below.
The cave pool is home to several fish including some pretty large goldfish, unfortunately they were a little camera shy on our visit!
You can leave the cavern through a second short tunnel. From here you can scramble up the large rocks and peer back down through the ‘window’ for a second impressive view of the main cave.
This is also where you see how much of the hill side was actually mined, there’s often climbing and abseiling groups here, making the most of the sheer rock sides that are now maintained by the National Trust. Not for the faint hearted!
If you're feeling adventurous, from here you can continue through another tunnel this one is around 400m long and isn’t as straight as the others so there’s no light at the end of the tunnel … until you’ve turned a few corners. It makes it pretty dark and scary but lots of fun! You definitely need a torch to go through here as it’s low in places and the footing is a little uneven.
How to get there on foot -
To get to there leave the Estate via the exit to Elterwater Village, when you hit the road turn right over the bridge and follow the road to a right turn opposite the Eltermere Hotel. Follow this road then track all the way over the hill until it turns into a road again. Watch out for mountain bikers, trail bikes and 4x4s as this is actually a road.
At the T junction turn left and follow the road until the top of a short hill with the Three Shires Inn at the bottom and a right turn at the top, take this right turn and proceed through the ford (or use the bridge) and turn right. The first tunnel is up some steps on a wall on the left
start your adventure