Easedale Tarn Walk

Difficulty
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Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
2.5-3.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
7.6 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
436 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Easedale Tarn Round is a 7.6 km walking route in Cumbria that will take you through the rolling terrain of the Lake District to reach Easedale Tarn. While out on the trail, you will make your way through the picturesque countryside by crossing open fields and charming bridges, experience cascading waterfalls, and receive views across the calm waters of the tarn. This route features easy-to-navigate terrain and breathtaking views, making it suitable for walkers of all ages and skill levels.

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Route Description

Walking the Easedale Tarn route is an amazing adventure in the Lake District that can be enjoyed by walkers of almost any age or skill level; however, that doesn’t mean that the route is without its challenges. Depending on the time of year - particularly during spring/autumn - portions of the trail can become very wet and muddy due to the trail's proximity to several streams. Make sure to wear some sturdy walking boots that are ideally waterproof in order to stay comfortable while out on the trail. Additionally, there are a few stretches when you near the tarn that are a bit steeper and slightly more technical. Again, proper boots are key here, but don’t be afraid to bring some poles to aid you in the climb.

William Wordsworth, the English poet, was known for his admiration of the Lake District and frequently used its beautiful landscapes as inspiration for his writing. In reference to Easedale, his sister Dorothy once wrote that “wherever we turn there is nothing more beautiful than we see from our windows, while the treasures of Easedale lie as it were at our door.” The terrain along this walk is a spectacular mix of open farmland, charming stone bridges, and vibrant green hills that really make the landscape come alive. As mentioned, this trail is popular with walkers of all ages, due to the scenic highlights that include a cascading waterfall and of course the serene landscape around the tarn itself. This is one walk in the Lake District that you won’t want to miss!

Setting out from the trailhead in Grasmere, cross over the River Rothay and pick up the trail on your right, passing through the gate to enter into the shady cover of the forest. After walking around the edge of Butharlyp Howe, you will pass through another gate and turn right onto Easedale Road. Follow this to the northwest for the next 0.3 mi before picking up the trail on your left to cross over Easedale Beck.

From here, you will pass through a small stretch of forest before entering the open farmland. Continue on for 0.4 mi, passing through two gates to arrive at a bridge crossing over Blindtarn Gill. Cross over the bridge and follow the path on the left, keeping straight for the next 0.5 mi to pass through two gates and a kissing gate. After a brief uphill climb, you will come to a junction for Sourmilk Gill Falls. Follow this short detour to the right to check out the natural beauty of the cascading waterfall, before heading back to the main trail.

Head right here to continue in a westward direction toward Easedale Tarn. After climbing uphill alongside Sourmilk Gill over the next 0.5 mi, you will arrive at the edge of the tarn with Tarn Crag and Bea Rigg serving as a rugged, yet beautiful backdrop for the charming body of water. After exploring the area and taking in the scenery, follow the trail east along the opposite bank of Sourmilk Gill to chart a different course back to the trailhead.

Here, you will keep straight along the path for 0.52mi, until you arrive at a fork in the midst of some boggy terrain. Head left and continue downhill along the trail, where you will eventually cross a bridge over Far Easedale Gill. From this crossing, the trail will turn to the southeast to run parallel to the gill and skirt around the foot of Helm Crag.

After 0.8 mi of walking from the bridge crossing, the trail will turn into a lane that after a short distance will meet back up with Easedale Road. Follow this left to retrace your steps back to the trailhead, having completed your journey on the Easedale Tarn Round.

Trail Highlights

Easedale Tarn

Located roughly two miles west of the village of Grasmere, Easedale Tarn is one of the larger tarns in the Lake District, measuring roughly 480 m long by 300 m wide. A popular destination for walkers of all ages, the tarn lies in a hollow between Tarn Crag and Blea Rigg, serving as a peaceful oasis in the rugged Cumbria landscape.

Insider Hints

  • Wear proper walking footwear, as the trail is often wet and muddy.
  • If walking with dogs, make sure to keep them on a leash to avoid interactions with livestock

Getting There

To reach the trailhead for the Easedale Tarn Round from Ambleside, head north on Rydal Road for 3.5 mi and take the second exit at the roundabout to continue on for another 0.7 mi. Turn left onto Swan Lane and you will arrive at the starting point of the walk in 0.1 mi.

Route Details

  • When to do

    Year-Round

  • Backcountry Campsites

    YHA Hostel Grasmere

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Elevation Graph

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