Lake District Walk
Harter Fell and Low Birker Tarn (Eskdale)
Walk Route Description
Harter Fell has an altitude of 2,128 feet and is situated in a relatively isolated position overlooking the Eskdale valley. As it does not readily link up with any other mountains, it does not see many walkers. However, its' isolation does give it one main plus point, and that is the all round view that it commands, particularly towards the Scafell range and the Coniston mountains. Harter Fell is situated between the Eskdale and Duddon valleys, which means that each valley offers a starting point and this route starts from Eskdale. For the most part, this is a walk of gentle gradients, but there is one notable exception.
The Lake District walk starts from the car park at the foot of the Hardknott Pass and follows a path roughly south west in parallel to the main valley. It starts easily enough and then leads gradually upwards along the side of the lower reaches of Harter Fell with views of the Eskdale valley opening up below to the right with the Scafell range in the background. After the path contours Harter Fell in a south to south east direction for about half a mile without any noticeable height gain, it suddenly branches off to the left and takes a "route one" approach to the top. This is the one really steep section that is likely to increase your heart rate before long as the route climbs somewhat unrelentingly up the grassy felllside. It is not until it nearly reaches the upper reaches of the mountain that the gradient eases off. The summit area, which has a trig point to mark the very top, is notable for its outcrops of clusters of rocks which offer scrambling opportunities.
The author takes the view that tarns, as well as summits, are worthwhile walk objectives and therefore the return route takes in Low Birker Tarn, rather than repeating the outgoing route in reverse.
Walk back down the steep path to the junction with the path from Eskdale which you then follow (now to the right) for about a quarter of a mile before leaving the path and walking across pathless ground between Dow Crag and Kepple Crag to reach the tarn.
Low Birker Tarn is one of the prettier, but less well-known, tarns in the Lake District. Choose a day like the one in the photo, and it may appear as a royal blue colour. Through the crystal clear waters of the tarn, in places, submerged tree roots can be seen. Green Crag provides a good backdrop to a photo of the tarn as well as offering an alternative area to explore on the return route.
A clear path leads down back to Eskdale, zig-zagging in places to Low Birker Farm and then back along a path to the east by Penny Hill Farm to rejoin the car park.
Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.
|Ordnance Survey Explorer OL6||Sheet Map||1:25k||BUY|
|Anquet OS Explorer OL6||Digital Map||1:25k||BUY|
|Ordnance Survey Landranger 89||Sheet Map||1:50k||BUY|
|Anquet OS Landranger 89||Digital Map||1:50k||BUY|
It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.
GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.
Recommended Books & eBooks
Walking in Cumbria's Eden Valley
Guidebook to 30 graded walks in Cumbria's Eden Valley. The routes, which range from 3 to 15 miles and are best from bases such as Kirkby Stephen and Appleby, explore the region's diverse landscapes and offer dramatic views, either of the Pennines, Lake District or the Scottish hills. Linear routes link with the Settle-Carlisle railway.
Great Mountain Days in the Lake District
An 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.
This 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.