logo Walking Britain
Home About Holidays FAQ Email MENU ☰

Alcock Tarn & Rydal Water from Grasmere

Lake District Walk

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Central Fells

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km    Ascent - 1600 feet / 485 metres

Time - 5 hours 10 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL7Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL7Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 90Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 90Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Alcock Tarn & Rydal Water
Click image to visit gallery of 9 images.

This Lake District circular walk starts from the village of Grasmere and begins by climbing onto the fells to visit Alcock Tarn. The route continues into the Rydal and returns via Rydal water and Grasmere. The views throughout are excellent so choose a fine day. There is one section of sustained ascent towards the beginning of the route although this is over a well-maintained path.

The start is the large pay and display car park (grid ref. NY339072) at the southern end of the village near the A591 Keswick to Ambleside road. Exit the car park and turn right to walk through the village following the B5287 to reach the A591 at the northern end of the village (grid ref. NY339082). Cross the main road and take the lane to the right of the Swan Hotel. Continue along this lane continuing straight ahead at the first junction. Turn right at grid ref. NY340083 and follow the signed footpath for Alcock Tarn. The path crosses a river and then starts a steep climb up the fellside. This is well maintained and offers improving views over Grasmere and the surrounding fells. Alcock Tarn is soon reached and provides an excellent place to take a break. From here the emphasis of the view changes with the panorama now including Windermere and other salient features in the southern Lake District.

Continuing, start the descent towards Rydal. Follow the clear path as it drops across the fellside passing a small lake. Eventually this leads down to a track (grid ref. NY344072). Turn left and follow the track to reach a lane (grid ref NY344067). Turn left and follow this track to follow an undulating course across the fellside all the way to Rydal. Reaching Rydal, turn right past the church down to the main road.

Cross the main road and turn left walking towards Ambleside. At the first road junction, turn right and cross the bridge. Once on the other side of the River Rothay turn right again along a tarmac lane. Continue past some cottages after which the lane becomes a rougher track and exits onto open fellside. The path forks (grid ref. NY358060). Bear right here to join the lower path which initially follows the shore of Rydal Water. At the next junction (grid ref. NY347059) bear slightly right to descend to a footbridge (grid ref. NY343059). Cross the bridge and bear left on the other side now following the shore of Grasmere, which is on your left. This path leads to the A591 road. Turn left along the road and follow the pavement alongside Grasmere. Walk past the hotel and take the next left. This leads back to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 3625 Silver How from Grasmereeasy3.2 miles
Walk 1154 Between Grasmere and Langdalemoderate9.5 miles
Walk 1111 High Raise & Helm Cragmod/hard9.5 miles
Walk 1823 Fairfield Horseshoe & Loughrigg from High Close mod/hard14.0 miles
Walk 2254 Grisedale Tarn from Grasmeremoderate5.5 miles
Walk 2841 Seat Sandal via Grisedale Tarn from Grasmeremoderate5.0 miles
Walk 2932 Green Burn horseshoe from Grasmeremoderate7.0 miles
Walk 2715 Skelwith Bridge & Loughriggeasy/mod5.5 miles
Walk 1684 Lingmoor Fell & Langdale easy/mod7.0 miles
Walk 1141 Elterwater circulareasy/mod4.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking the Lake District Fells - Patterdale

Walking the Lake District Fells - PatterdalePart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 35 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from Ambleside, Grasmere and Patterdale and the Thirlmere and Ullswater valleys, with highlights including Helvellyn and Fairfield. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
More information

Great Mountain Days in the Lake District

Great Mountain Days in the Lake DistrictAn inspirational guidebook to 50 challenging walks on the high fells of the Lake District. The graded circular routes, between 4 and 14 miles in length, cover classic Lakeland summits like Fairfield, Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Blencathra, to the lesser-known High Spy, King's How and Brund Fell.
More information

Messaging & Social Media

Message Walking Britain and follow the latest news.

Facebook  Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.