Lake District walks: Easdale Tarn

Easdale Tarn
Easdale Tarn
We do this walk every time we visit the Lake District, and have therefore seen Easdale Tarn in all weathers – and this was not the best: late March, cold and wet. The big advantage is that we can more or less fall out of bed and straight onto the trail from Lancrigg, our favoured Grasmere hotel (and what a bed we had this time!)

The path winds uphill alongside Easdale Beck, with views of Helm Crag to the right and Sourmilk Ghyll ahead.

From the Ghyll, the views back down to Easdale are very pretty.

After climbing 650 feet, the tarn appears, as pictured at the top of this post. From here, there are options. Normally, we cross the beck and go back down the other side, but there had been so much rain that the stepping stones were well under water. In the past we’ve climbed high above the tarn and returned by another route. Rather than tamely go back the way we came, we thought we’d give it a go again and set off along this path:

Before long, the weather took a turn for the worse – horizontal sleet and hail – and we decided to call it a day, turned around and went back the way we came after all. This is what we should have seen – taken in 2010, not much later in the year but in much better conditions:

Never mind! We passed the rest of the afternoon sampling the very good beer in the Lamb in Grasmere before wending our way back to Lancrigg for dinner.

I’m linking this post to Jo’s Monday Walks. Visit her blog to see where she’s taking us this week, and a selection from other walkers too.

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Grasmere

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I’ve known the Lake District since childhood, but John had never been till he went with me in around 1984. We took our bikes and stayed in Keswick and, looking back, I marvel at what we did. We cycled to Dove Cottage in Grasmere and back one day, and another we went down through Borrowdale, over the Honister Pass to Buttermere and back over the Whinlatter pass. Two passes on a bike! I can’t believe I was ever capable of such a thing. In the late 80s we had a couple of stays in Borrowdale and then nothing till 2004 when we visited Grasmere again and have been back almost every year since. We always stay at Lancrigg, a beautiful country house (above) with Wordsworth connections. Not only that, it is also a completely vegetarian hotel – the only time I ever go anywhere where I can choose from the entire menu!

I think every time we have been, we have done the walk past Sourmilk Ghyll (waterfall) up to Easdale Tarn. However, a weekend in early December is the latest we have ever visited so it was unusual to see it in snow. It was icy and cold at the top so we didn’t linger.

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The other walk we did was a circular one from Grasmere through part of the Langdale Valley to Elterwater and back. The beauty of the Lake District is that it is so compact that you can nearly always arrange your walking to pass near a good pub at lunchtime, and there are many good, local beers to try. In this case, we were happy to stop for good, warming soup and a pint at the Britannia Inn.

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Days aren’t long at this time of year, especially when you have lingered over a Lancrigg breakfast, so we were happy to spend the late afternoons pottering around Grasmere, purchasing items such as the famous gingerbread and a Tubular Fells poster. This shows all the Wainwrights set out as in the London Underground map and is very clever, not least in its double-punning title. We got this in the National Trust shop where I met Chris whom I had preciously chatted to on Twitter (@GrasmereVillage). Eventually, we had to leave the bright lights of downtown Grasmere and head back to our hotel for another delicious dinner and a good night’s sleep before heading home the next morning. I’m very certain we’ll be back.

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