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Grisedale Tarn from Grasmere

Lake District Walk

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Eastern Fells

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 5.5 miles / 8.9 km    Ascent - 1980 feet / 600 metres

Time - 4 hours 40 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Grisedale Tarn
Click image to visit gallery of 6 images.

Grisedale Tarn is dramatically located between high fells. It makes an excellent objective for those who wish to get into the mountains yet do not want to make a full ascent of a hill or mountain. This Lake District circular walk follows paths that are easy to follow and apart from one section of fairly steep ascent on the outward section, the going is generally fairly easy.

The start is one mile north along A591 from Grasmere at Mill Bridge (Grid ref. NY336091). Parking is available in two lay-bys and a few other places although there are restrictions at certain times of the year. At busy times of the year an early start is essential. As an alternative there is the frequent bus service between Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick passing the start. After parking locate the bridleway (signed Patterdale) on the east side of the main road almost opposite the lane leading down towards Low Mill Bridge.

The bridleway climbs gently with Tongue Gill below on your right. Ahead the slopes of Seat Sandal rise quite steeply. Cross the first footbridge (Grid ref. NY339098) and immediately bear left to continue with Little Tongue Gill on your left. At first the ascent is gentle but it soon becomes steeper. With approximately 600 feet of ascent onto the flank of Seat Sandal, the path eventually becomes more or less level and contours across the side of the hill. Below and to your right, you will see the path coming up alongside Tongue Gill. This path crosses beneath the foot of the waterfall and it is worth noting where this path joins yours as this is the return route.

Keeping ahead past a large depression on your right, the path climbs through a boulder field for a final short ascent to Grisedale Hause. From here you get your first sight of Grisedale Tarn, which is surrounded by high fells including Fairfield, Dollywaggon Pike, St.Sunday Crag and Seat Sandal. It is worth following the path around the Tarn as this offers a number of views that you will otherwise miss. It also enables you to select a good spot to rest and enjoy the location.

To return to the start climb back up to the Hause and descend through the depression to where the paths divide. Bear left and descend on a path that is paved in sections to pass the foot of the waterfall seen during the ascent. The path then descends gradually with Tongue Gill below on your right. Ahead you get a good view of Helm Crag with other higher fells in the distance. Reaching the concrete reservoir, bear right down to the gill. Cross both footbridges and retrace your steps along the track to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1111 High Raise & Helm Cragmod/hard9.5 miles
Walk 3625 Silver How from Grasmereeasy3.2 miles
Walk 1154 Between Grasmere and Langdalemoderate9.5 miles
Walk 1472 Alcock Tarn & Rydal Watereasy/mod7.0 miles
Walk 1565 Rydal Water & Grasmere circulareasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 1682 Rydal Water & Grasmere easy/mod5.5 miles
Walk 1823 Fairfield Horseshoe & Loughrigg from High Close mod/hard14.0 miles
Walk 2026 Loughrigg from Pelter Bridge near Rydaleasy/mod4.0 miles
Walk 2715 Skelwith Bridge & Loughriggeasy/mod5.5 miles
Walk 1684 Lingmoor Fell & Langdale easy/mod7.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Lake District: High Level and Fell Walks

Lake District: High Level and Fell WalksThis guidebook describes 30 graded fell walks on the ridges and high peaks of the English Lake District, the UK's most popular national park. Reaching some of England's finest and highest mountain scenery, this guide leads readers to classic horseshoes and traditional ascents as well as lesser-known routes to quieter summits.
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Walking the Lake District Fells - Langdale

Walking the Lake District Fells - LangdalePart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 25 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from the Great Langdale valley, Ambleside and Grasmere, with highlights including Scafell Pike, Bowfell, the Langdale Pikes and Helm Crag (the Lion and the Lamb). Includes suggestions for longer ridge routes.
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