|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Skelwith Bridge (NY344035)|
|To:||Middle Fell Farm, Rossett (NY285059)|
|Distance:||5 miles (8 km)|
|Meets:||A593, unclassified (Blea Tarn Pass)|
|Route outline (key)|
The B5343 runs along the valley of the Great Langdale Beck in the central Lake District. The road was originally unclassified but gained its number in the later 1920s when tourist traffic to the valley and the waterfall of Dungeon Ghyll Force was increasing.
The road starts on the A593 at Skelwith Bridge, as that road bears south to cross the River Brathay. Our road heads west to come alongside the river before following the river upstream, albeit not particularly closely. It climbs gradually out of the valley and has reached open moorland before passing the village of Elterwater. We're still not particularly high up here but there's a good view, weather permitting, of hills around us.
There's a wooded section to leave Elterwater then we come alongside the Great Langdale Beck briefly before the next village of Chapel Stile. As we start to leave the buildings behind both road and valley narrow; as we're a reasonable distance away from the beck we need to contour a short distance up the valley side. The winding road bears gradually round to the left and is heading almost southwestwards by the time it reaches the flat valley bottom. The beck is crossed (there's an older bridge adjacent now closed to traffic) and we pass the turn to the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel before ending a short distance further on. The road bears left here and becomes unclassified as it follows a much steeper route via Little Langdale back to the A593 over the Blea Tarn Pass. A track does continue ahead but this only provides farm access.
The 1.2 mile road from Ellergarth (Ellers) to 200 yards past the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel was opened on 28 November 1925 by Sir Henry Maybury, Director-General of Transport. The eastern section was built on the line of an old occupation road. Width was 20 feet. Cost was over £7,000. There may have been a short period as an unclassified road before the road was numbered B5343 (appears on the 1925-27 OS MoT map). The 7 foot wide old road along the valley floor was prone to flooding.