Easedale Tarn, Blea Rigg and Stickle Tarn


After a difficult few weeks, last Tuesday I took a day off work and headed up to the Lake District. There’s nothing like a good walk in the fells to let me wind down and de-stress. It was a grey, overcast day but not too cold and visibility was good. All the cloud was high level so the risk of getting caught in mist seemed quite low.

We drove over to Grasmere and parked up close to the centre of the village. Our plan was to take the relatively easy and very popular walk up to Easedale Tarn and then see how we felt.

The walk from Grasmere village to Easedale Tarn became popular when Victorian tourists started to flock to the Lake District.  It’s not too strenuous with a long flat section followed by a moderate climb up to the tarn which sits surrounded by the fells in a hanging valley created by a glacier many thousands of years ago during the Ice Age.

We set off from the centre of the village and walked up past the National Trust property, Allan Bank, which is one of William Wordsworth’s former homes.


Looking across the Easedale valley we had a good view of the surrounding hills including Helm Crag and the Fairfield range.


Our route took us across Easedale Beck a couple of times, first over some stepping stones


and then over a narrow slate bridge


This is the view across the valley to Far Easedale, where I’d walked a few years ago.


But our  route took us along Sour Milk Gill a tributary of the Easedale Beck,


named after the milky white colour of its waterfalls,


the scenery becoming more dramatic as we climbed,


finally reaching the tarn.


We rested for a while and ate our sandwiches and took stock. Feeling energetic we decided to carry on and head up into the fells.

We took the path along the tarn, branching off to the pass to the left of Blea Cragg rather than follow the route that runs alongside the beck feeding the tarn.


Looking back we could see Easdale Tarn sitting snuggly in it’s valley surrounded by the fells


After a moderate climb we reached the top of the pass to be greeted by fantastic views across the Langdale Valley. The Coniston Fells were visible on the horizon to the west


and the Langdale Pikes to the North West


We carried along the ridge of Blea Rigg, making a short diversion to take a look at Stickle Tarn which is dominated by Harrison Stickle and and Pavey Ark


Back over to Blea Rigg and the view down to Easedale Tarn and the smaller Blea Tarn


We decided to descend via the path that runs down the valley followed by the beck that feeds Easedale Tarn


This turned out to be very steep and quite challenging and a little hair raising in places.


But we made back down  to the bottom of the valley and then followed the the path along the shore of the tarn. Much easier but wet and boggy in places.

We passed some Herdwick sheep grazing near the beck


Then we retraced our original route down Sour Milk Gill back to Grasmere Village


We arrived just as he light was starting to fade. We’d done about 11 miles in all, more than we originally intended. But conditions were good and it was a very enjoyable day’s walk.

We took our rucksacks back to the car, changed out of our boots and treated ourselves to a very nice meal at a Bistro on Broadgate. The new owners had only taken over the previous weekend so it’s just in the process of changing it’s name from Sara’s Bistro to Lewis’ Bistro. I enjoyed a main course of Lakeland Herdwick lamb.



11 thoughts on “Easedale Tarn, Blea Rigg and Stickle Tarn

    • It was excellent! Nice starter too – if you like black pudding and bacon, and I certainly do. Skipped the pudding, though. Didn’t want to undo all the benefit of the walk!

    • I have to admit to feeling rather stiff when I got up the next day, Barbara! But it did me a world of good. It was a grey day and my pictures don’t do the scenery justice great day out.

  1. We stay at Lancrigg when we go to Grasmere – the entrance is just out of your picture to the left of the house by the pillar box. This makes Easdale Tarn the perfect short walk for the day we arrive or the day we leave, so we must have done it about 10 times. We’ve extended it a couple of times as you did, but usually we just go up one side of the ghyll and down the other, though I can report that neither is pleasant in ice or driving rain!

    • Thanks Susanne. It sure was an energetic walk but very enjoyable. Herdwick sheep are a Lake District breed and only found in that area. It’s believed that they were originally brought over by Viking settlers.

  2. Pingback: Helm Crag, Gibson Knot, Calf Crag and Far Easedale | Down by the Dougie

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