England’s best views: Langdale

‘The first glimpse of Langdale for most visitors is from a distance at the upper end of Windermere, with their first hint of real fell and a promise of heights to come. The dale rises from Ambleside, splitting into Little and Great Langdale, the one soft and gentle, the other a grand glacial scoop,
its excitement growing as we reach the dale head.

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These fells were places of prehistoric industry. Their stone was renowned for its ease of knapping, making it ideal for stone axes. In the valley’s bottom are fields of the smoothest green, rolled out along its length and curled up against the abrupt slope of the fells. The fields are divided by dry-stone walls of baffling geometry.

The walls are of Cumbria’s most characteristic building material. Beck cobbles are hard stones smoothed by water abrasion.

The tops are sometimes laid vertically to produce a serrated edge, harder for sheep to climb ’

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