logo Walking Britain

Lake District Walk
Alcock Tarn, Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere

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

Start - OS grid reference NY339072
Lat 54.455866 // Long -3.021066
Postcode LA22 9SL (approx. location only)
what3words start hiding.scored.century

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

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Alcock Tarn, Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere Photo from the walk - Alcock Tarn, Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere Photo from the walk - Alcock Tarn, Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere Photo from the walk - Alcock Tarn, Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere Photo from the walk - Alcock Tarn, Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere Photo from the walk - Alcock Tarn, Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere
Click thumbnails for larger 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.

Alcock Tarn, Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere Alcock Tarn, Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere Alcock Tarn, Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

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 1565 Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere village - easy/mod - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

Walk 1682 Rydal Water & Grasmere from Grasmere - easy/mod - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 3625 Silver How from Grasmere - easy - 3.2 miles/5.2 km

Walk 1154 Between Grasmere and Langdale - moderate - 9.5 miles/15.4 km

Walk 1111 High Raise & Helm Crag from Grasmere - mod/hard - 9.5 miles/15.4 km

Walk 1823 Fairfield Horseshoe & Loughrigg from High Close - mod/hard - 14.0 miles/22.8 km

Walk 2254 Grisedale Tarn from Mill Bridge, Grasmere - moderate - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 2841 Grisedale Tarn & Seat Sandal from Mill Bridge, Grasmere - moderate - 5.0 miles/8.1 km

Walk 2932 A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere - moderate - 7.0 miles/11.4 km

Walk 2715 Skelwith Bridge & Loughrigg from Elterwater - easy/mod - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking the Lake District Fells - Mardale and the Far East

Walking the Lake District Fells - Mardale and the Far EastPart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 36 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from the Ullswater, Haweswater, Troutbeck, Kentmere and Longsleddale valleys, with highlights including High Street, Place Fell and the Kentmere fells. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
More information

The Cumbria Way

The Cumbria WayA guidebook to the 73 mile Cumbria Way, an easy long-distance walk though the heart of the Lake District National Park, from Ulverston in the south to Carlisle in the north, with good transport links to either end. The route is largely low-level but this guide offers alternative mountain days to climb some of the famous fells en route.
More information

Outdoor Photography

Outdoor PhotographyThis practical handbook covers digital outdoor photography and the whole range of outdoor activities including walking, running, cycling, water sports (in and on the water), as participant or spectator. Covers basic concepts, equipment and processing and optimising your images back at base.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Mountain Weather

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

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.