The EASY Way to Access Cathedral Quarry in the Lake District

Are you ready to discover the best Lake District Cave?

It’s a big claim to make, but it’s hard to beat Cathedral Quarry’s impressive tunnels, stonefall, and mighty cavern. The Cathedral Caverns in the Lake District can be tricky to find, so be sure to read the directions below and watch the video before you embark on your journey to Catherdal Quarry!

Looking For Something Else?


This site is user-supported and that’s why we use affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we get a little bit of money when you purchase something. Thank you for helping support ethical, sustainable, and plant-based travel! You can read more about our affiliate disclosure policy here.


Lake District Essentials

If you’re heading to the Lake District, you’ll need a waterproof jacket, hiking boots, and a few other essentials like National Trust and English Heritage memberships (they pay for themselves with free parking). Check out our recommendations below.


What is Cathedral Quarry in the Lake District

Also known as the Little Langdale Quarries, Cathedral Quarries is owned by the National Trust but is free to explore. The main quarry (pictured above) is over 40 feet high and the impressive hole in the “ceiling” casts light into the chamber known as the Cathedral.

The cavern is known as part of the Little Langdale Quarries because it is indeed, one of several quarries throughout the area, many connected by tunnels that can be explored. Some tunnels are over 400 feet long and you’ll definitely need a flashlight and waterproof boots to walk through.


Where to Park for Cathedral Quarry Access

To access Cathedral Quarry you’ll need to walk. The easiest place to park that we have found is at Tilberthwaite Farm. You won’t park at the actual farm but just before the bridge leading to it (see the image below).

Parking is free and there is no limit, however, the roads leading up to Tilberthwaite Farm are steep and very narrow. Only experienced drivers in small to medium-sized cars should attempt them. Cars will be coming from both directions so you’ll need to be comfortable passing on these roads. Most of the Lake District is like this and you’ll often lose signal (as you’ll see in our video guide to Cathedral Quarry), so it’s best to plan your route in advance!

Additionally, you’ll also likely come across sheep in the road, so drive slowly and be prepared to give them the right of way.

After parking at Tilberthwaite Farm, you have two options for walking to Cathedral Quarry: the direct route or the extended route.


Renting a Car in the Lake District

Although the Lake District does have public transportation, to get around the Lake District and explore the best sites, you really need a car.

What type of car should you rent? The best type of car for the Lake District is a small one. The roads are narrow and winding so having a small car gives you a better ability to maneuver. Unless you plan on doing some offroading, you don’t need a 4×4. We’ve been fine getting around in a Mini Cooper, so something around that size for two people should be fine.

Where should you rent your car from? The best place in the Lake District to pick up a rental car is from Kendal. You’ll probably still have a bit of a drive to your accommodation, but Kendal has relatively easy train access from London and Edinburgh among other stations. I recommend booking your ticket with Trainline and booking your car through Expedia or Enterprise.


Staying at Tilberthwaite Farm and Cathedral Quarry

There are so many wonderful paths around Little Langdale and so many beautiful little cottages tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Bowness and Windermere. If you’re looking for a relaxing Lake District holiday and you want to visit Cathedral Quarry before the crowds arrive, stay at one of our recommended cottages nearby.

Tilberthwaite Farm Cottage: Tilberthwaite Farm Cottage is a fantastic place to base yourself for an easy walk to Cathedral Quarry and you can follow our directions exactly. The cottage sleeps 4 and has a full kitchen, lovely garden, and has a 9.3 (out of 10) rating. Check prices with your dates.

Acorn Cottage: Located slightly further away from Cathedral Quarry but with better access to the main roads is Acorn Cottage. It’s also less than 2 miles from Tarn Hows, one of the Lake District’s most beautiful spots making it an ideal place to situate yourself. Acorn Cottage sleeps 5 and has a full kitchen and gorgeous views. Check prices with your dates.

Three Shires Inn: If you’re looking for something a little closer to food and drink, the Three Shires Inn in Little Langdale is the way to go. The pub won the Cumbria Tourism Pub Awards in 2017 and you’ll find local ales and a residents’ lounge with guides of the Lake District. There’s also free parking which is always a bonus. Check prices with your dates.


Cathedral Quarry Directions (How to Access Cathedral Quarry from Tilberthwaite Farm)


Shortest Route to Cathedral Quarry from Tilberthwaite Farm (1.3 miles one way)

If you want a quick walk to Cathedral Cave in the Lake District, the direct route is the way to go. As one of many easy Lake District walks with such an impressive cave to explore at the end,

  1. Park at Tilberthwaite Farm
  2. With your back facing the car park, head up the path on your left past the holiday cottages and towards Tilberthwaite Farm (a 5 to 10-minute walk from the parking lot).
  3. On your left, you’ll pass by another small quarry/cave. Continue walking straight. If you come to a turnoff to the right where the path leads over a little stream where you’ll find a small bridge made of large, flat stones (one stone is quite wobbly), you’ve gone the wrong way.
  4. You will now reach a path where you have the option to go left or right. Turn left and continue walking for a few minutes.
  5. You should now see a relatively large bridge (several meters). When facing the bridge, turn left and follow the path.
  6. Just a minute or two up the road, on the left you’ll find a fence and a gate. The gate will likely be locked but simply use the steps to cross the fence and follow the path
  7. Enter Cathedral Quarry through the tunnel to your right and enjoy!

Read More: 10 Easy Lake District Walks You NEED to Try


Extended Route to Cathedral Quarry & Hodge Close from Tilberthwaite Farm (5+ miles one way)

  1. Park at Tilberthwaite FarmWith your back facing the car park, head up the path on your left past the holiday cottages and towards Tilberthwaite Farm (a 5 to 10-minute walk from the parking lot).
  2. On your left, you’ll pass by another small quarry/cave. Continue walking straight.
  3. When you come to a fork in the road, choose the right path across a little stream where you’ll find a small bridge made of large, flat stones (one stone is quite wobbly)
  4. Continue walking straight and pass through two sets of gates to reach the farm near Wythebank Cottage
  5. Turn right to head to Hodge Close
  6. To access Cathedral Quarry, continue back towards Wythebank Cottage and continue following the left path
  7. You’ll pass through several more gates and eventually come to a small group of houses
  8. Turn left onto the paved road and continue walking, following the bend around to the right
  9. Continue straight until you come to a bridge that’s several meters long.
  10. When facing the bridge, turn left and follow the path.
  11. Just a minute or two up the road, on the left you’ll find a fence and a gate. The gate will likely be locked but simply use the steps to cross the fence and follow the path
  12. Enter Cathedral Quarry through the tunnel to your right and enjoy!

Read More: DON’T Make This Mistake When Visiting Rydal Cave


Catherdral Caves in the Lake District FAQ

Is there a difference between Cathedral Cavern, Cathedral Caves, and Little Langdale Quarries?

Not really. Cathedral Cavern and Cathedral Caves are the same. Little Langdale Quarries refers to a larger network of quarries that connect with Cathedral Cavern.

Is Cathedral Quarry in the Lake District family-friendly?

To truly experience all that the Lake District’s Cathedral Quarry has to offer, kids probably need to be at least 8 or 9. This is because there are a lot of steep drops, rocks to climb over dark tunnels, some old quarrying equipment, and what seem like relatively deep puddles. So in short, yes, Cathedral Quarries is family-friendly for older children.

Is Cathedral Quarry wheelchair accessible?

No, Cathedral Caves are not wheelchair accessible.

Are Cathedral Caverns dog friendly?

Yes, Cathedral Caverns are dog-friendly.

What time is Cathedral Quarry open?

Cathedral Quarry is open 24/7, although it’s best seen and safest during the day.

What other caves are there in the Lake District?

The Lake District is full of incredible caves. We recommend heading to Rydal Cave, but don’t make the same mistake we did!

Where is Cathedral Cave in the Lake District

Cathedral Cave is located near Slater Bridge in Little Langdale.

When is the best time to visit Cathedral Quarry?

The best time to visit Cathedral Quarry is during the day when the sun is high and you can see into the majestic cavern. However, if you want to avoid crowds try and visit relatively early in the morning.


What Camera Gear Do We Use?

If you want the full list of things we keep in our camera bag, check out the complete guide or browse our photography guides.


Free Resources


Keep Exploring the Lake District


And as always, you can find more photos of our adventures on Instagram @VoyagingHerbivore, Youtube, and TikTok and to get updates straight to your inbox, enter your email below in the footer, or to the right on the sidebar. If you want to help us out even more, you can buy us a bit of fuel!

z6q1s1?v1620154686

Pin The EASY Way to Access Cathedral Quarry in the Lake District and Find Us on Pinterest

Author: Alysa

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.