Bowscale Tarn

The weather just seemed to be getting better every day, so on the Wednesday, when I was due to return home, I wanted to make the most of the time I had left. The B and B said it was OK to leave my car so I set off from the farm with the intention of walking up to Bowscale Tarn.

I walked through Mosedale village on towards Bowscale.

On the roadside I noticed an old sign

A nearby information board told me that it was a boundary sign for the parish dating back to the 1830’s. Before reorganisation in 1934, when they were merged to form the current Parish of Mungrisdale, there were four individual townships in the area – Bowscale, Berrier & Murrah, Mosedale and Mungrisdale. “Township stones” were placed to mark the boundaries and these have been located and preserved by local people. The locations were marked on a map on the information board and I was able to find another one close by

I walked through the small settlement of Bowscale

and then turned up the lane that would take me up into the fells and Bowscale Tarn.

The path climbed gradually up the side of the fell

becoming a little steeper as I got closer to the Tarn. But it was good, easy walking with excellent views on a sunny day up Mosedale and across to Carrock Fell

The tarn sits in a glacial corrie (the hole left after the glacier that sat here had melted) and kept in place by a morraine (a bank of earth and rock dumped by the glacier) on the north side of the corrie. The walk up here was very popular during Victorian times. The path up from Bowscale village that I’d taken is relatively gentle most of the way so not too difficult for ladies in corsets and long skirts! I bet a lot of the well to do visitors would have been taken up in a pony trap or on horseback, mind.

There’s a legend that there are two immortal talking fish that live in the tarn and they’re even mentioned by Wordsworth in his poem ‘Song, at the Feast of Brougham Castle‘.

And both the undying Fish that swim
Through Bowscale-Tarn did wait on him,
The pair were Servants of his eye
In their immortality,
They moved about in open sight,
To and fro, for his delight.

I didn’t spot them so can’t confirm whether they can talk on not. Mind you, I couldn’t see any fish in the tarn.

There are a number of routes up on to the summit of fell from the tarn, one of them climbing up through the rocky crags on the south side of the tarn. You can make it out in the following picture I snapped

It was such a nice day and I was in no hurry to set off for home, so I decided I’d pay another visit to the summit. I decided to take the path up through the grassy section between the crags.

It was quite steep and there was a little scrambling over some rocky sections , but wasn’t too difficult and it didn’t take me too long to get to the top of the path.

Looking down on the tarn as I climbed

I then had a walk up the grassy slope to reach the summit.

Blencathra seen from the summit
Skiddaw and Great Calva

There was one other walker who was already there when I reached the top. We had a chat, as you do, but I didn’t stop long and made my way back down. Initially following the same path but I carried on down the gentler slope rather than negotiating down to the tarn on the steep path.

The view of Carrock Fell as I descended

The final section of the descent of the mountain was steep enough mind and brought me down to a path below the tarn. Then another steep path took me down towards the River Caldew by Roundhouse farm.

Roundhouse farm

I crossed over the footbridge and past the farm to join the minor road down past Swineside and back to Mosedale.

It was only about 1 o’clock when I was back at Mosedale End farm and I wasn’t ready to head home so I decided that rather than drive back to the A66 and onto the M6 at Pensrith, I’d drive in the opposite direction down the narrow country roads and have a look at the village of Caldbeck. I’d never been there before.

It didn’t take long to get there and I parked and had a mooch around. It’s an attractive village with old houses that have been done up very nicely and a few shops.

I took a walk along the river

as far as the old church

The attractive church is dedicated to St Kentigern who is better known in Scotland as St Mungo. It was built in 1112 and still has some Romanesque (Norman) features. But like most old churches there’s been a number of extensions and modifications showing Gothic influences.

Romanesque doorway

I had a quick peek inside but didn’t take any photographs.

The old mill – now housing a couple of crafty shops
Village green and duck pond

It didn’t take long to explore the village but before I went back to the car I decided to have a brew in the little riverside cafe, the Muddy Duck. It’s a hut really with benches outdoors on the riverside. I got myself a coffee and sat on one of the benches enjoying the drink in the sunshine.

Looking over the river as I drank up my coffee

Then it was time to return to the car and set off for home. I’d had a good short break and could have stayed up in the Lakes for longer. I’d done the walking I’d planned but there was the possibility of going up Blencathra from Mungrisdale. However, if I had stayed longer I would have wanted to move on to a different part of the Lakes. But that was academic. I had some commitments the next day.

The good weather continued for a few more days, but then a cold front came in leading to a significant drop in temperature and bringing in rain and even some snow. Well that’s the British weather for you!

15 thoughts on “Bowscale Tarn

  1. Superb looking tarn that one. You really did that corner full justice in those few days. Great little trip to take advantage of that great weather. Back to normal now, filthy miserable day down here today

  2. I have been to the tarn, you got some better photos of it though. We have a map of the lakes and tarns in the lake District on the kitchen wall, covered in photos of our dog paddling or swimming in them. He still has a couple of lakes to go..and lots of tarns.

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