19th July 2009

14 go walking on Black Crag and Holme Fell

Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 15.00
Duration 5 hr 30 min
Distance 6.7 mile
Ascent 1800 ft
Walking with 13 others plus 4 dogs
Glen Mary Bridge - Tom gill Waterfall - Tarn Hows - Black Crag - Low Arnside - Low Oxen Fell - High Oxen Fell - Hodge Close - Holme Ground Tarn - Holme Fell - Uskdale Gap - Yow Tree Farm - Glen Mary Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Tom Gill, near Coniston

This car park is found just down the road from Yew Tree Farm; one of the Lake District properties owned by Beatrix Potter. Aside from this obvious attraction, the car park is generally used as a starting point for a walk to Tarn Hows. It may be further away from Tarn Hows than its main parking spot, but it is easier to get to and the walk past Tom Gill waterfalls is well worth the effort.

This is a pay and display car park.

Should you get here at a reasonable time of day, you may be able to get a free space at Yew Tree Tarn. This is found about 5 minutes walk from the main car park. There is a narrow path linking the two together.


Route Map

Heading through the woods between the main Ambleside to Coniston road and Tarn Hows.

On route to Tarn Hows we passed the impressive looking Tom Gill waterfall.

Time for a regroup as we reach Tarn Hows.

They recon that 1 million people visit Tarn Hows every year and although I've no idea how that figure was arrived at, I just don't see how it can be right.
For a not too serious look at the figures; 1,000,000 people divided by 365 days = an average of 2,739 people each day of the year.

OK, I'll go along with that for the time being, so lets say 250 of them walk here from somewhere else, then that leaves 2,489 people all wanting to park here. 4 people in a car sounds a reasonable average, so that's 622 cars a day. Of course people don't come here day and night so I'll go for a (8 hr) 9am to 5pm day, which works out at 77 cars an hour. Assuming that this happens every day and each car load of people stays for only one hour then that would be correct and the figure of one million people would be right.

In reality:- There isn't room for 77 cars at a time so one option would be for more people to walk from elsewhere, say 739. That leaves 2,000 people, at 4 per car, which is 500 cars. I don't think 8 hours is long enough so I'll change it to 10 hours. That's 50 cars an hour, all staying for one hour each. This would still keep us inline with the 2,739 average visitors a day; brilliant, now I'm convinced.

Hang on a second, doesn't it occasionally rain and doesn't the wind often blow in the Lake District, so it only stands to reason that this must result in considerably less than 2,739 visitors on those days. That's not a problem I can alter the figures a little more. Even more people could walk here from elsewhere, (surely there aren't more than 739 people walking here from somewhere else every day of the year) perhaps every car load could only stay for 30 minutes (that's no good, most people come for a pick-nick or a nice stroll, you can't limit them to 30 minutes) we could extend the day to 11 or even 12 hours. Yes that's a good idea, , , , , but what about winter when it doesn't get light until 8.30 and it's black dark again at 4 pm.

Sorry, which ever way I look at it, I just can't see 1,000,000 people visiting Tarn Hows ever year.

14 down, only 999,986 people to go !

A group of locals, patiently waiting for the pick-nick visitors to arrive with their hampers full of food to throw away.

Tarn Hows.

This was the point where we left the Tarn Hows circular route and headed across towards Iron Keld Plantation.

Looking across to Black Crag, a great little fell set amongst of some gorgeous countryside.

Despite Black Crag's modest height you're never short of a view of the higher fells.

In the opposite direction the outlook is somewhat gentler. As I said earlier; we are in the middle of some gorgeous countryside.

Ambleside, seen here at the foot of Wansfell Pike, which in turn, is seen in front of the Ill Bell Ridge (Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick and Thornthwaite Crag)

What a contrast in lighting, from Low Arnside, Great How, the Wrynose end of Little Langdale and Pike O'Blisco all enjoying the sunshine to Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags, Bowfell and Rossett Pike not enjoying the shade.
Those of you with a keen eye will be able to pick out Wrynose Pass twisting its way up the fellside below Pike O'Blisco.

What a fantastic viewpoint, along with the previous three pictures this one was taken from the summit of Black Crag. This one looking across towards the Fairfield Horseshoe, Steel Fell, Seat Sandal and Red Screes.

Low Arnside.

Walking down the path next to Hollin Bank, leading us to the main A593, which more or less splits the walk in to two halves.


High Oxen Fell; just about as typical as a Lakeland farm house could ever be.

Well, I suppose we'd been above ground for long enough, so the only thing to do was head down into the old Hodge Close quarry; an impressive place to say the least.

The twisted and slowly rusting remains of the quarry equipment provide an interesting foreground for a picture of the flooded part of the quarry, but don't get too close to the edge.

It didn't seem quite as daft at the time as it does now, but we chose to have our lunch in a big black hole in the ground rather than up above where the sun was shining.
On the other hand, I don't suppose many other people in the country had such an interesting lunch spot than we did.


Roger 'spider man' Hiley climbs out into the sunshine for an alternative view of the quarry.



The larger of the Holme Ground Tarn tarns.

A close up of the Langdale Pikes.

Half a group photo; not on Holme Fell summit.

This one is taken from the summit.

A close up of Tilberthwaite.

Uskdale Gap.

Yew Tree Tarn. There's no need to clamber over the fells for hours to reach this tarn. Simply park next to the road, trip up getting out of the car and you could quite easily land in the tarn.

Inside Yew Tree Farm where we stopped for a relaxing spot of afternoon tea. We are posh in this part of the world you know !

And from the outside.

Next to the farmhouse is the large barn, complete with its spinning gallery.

What a poser!

David Hall -
Lake District Walks