11th December 2009

Stone Arthur to Alcock Tarn


Walk Overview
Time 09.00 to 14.15
Duration 5 hr 15 min
Distance 7.4 mile
Ascent 2500 ft
Walking with Jennifer
A591 - Stone Arthur - Great Rigg - Heron Pike - Nab Scar - Alcock Tarn - Town End - Grasmere - A591
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, A591 outside Grasmere

I've described this spot as roadside parking, but it is actually a rather long lay-by found between Grasmere and the bottom of Dunmail Raise. It is quite a popular spot, so latecomers may arrive to find it full. If this turned out to be the case the best alternative would be to try one of the car parks in Grasmere itself. It all depends on where you're going of course, but the distance this would add onto your walk is not much at all.


Route Map

The first section of today's walk took us past Greenhead Gill, which, despite it's incline, makes for a nice easy start to a walk.

Once we'd gained a little height, the view down to a frost covered Vale of Grasmere really opened up and showed us just how frosty it actually was down there. No wonder the car was slipping about on Dunmail Raise.

A close up of Underhelm farm.

And not so close up, but now including Sergeant Man, Tarn Crag, Gibson Knott, Calf Crag, Ulscarf and of course Helm Crag.

Heading up to Stone Arthur, and to the surprise of both of us, the higher we climbed the warmer it seemed to be getting.

Looking south into the sun, and to a host of silhouetted fells.

After Stone Arthur we made our way up to Great Rigg.

The view back to Stone Arthur.

This is the point at which we joined the main ridge, and although we ended up walking down the ridge; first of all we did the short out and back to Great Rigg.
There are a heck of a lot of fells for people to pick out in this picture, so to name a few, there is: Great Gable, Bow Fell, Harrison Stickle, Steel Fell and Grasmoor.

Fairfield, seen from Great Rigg.

Looking a little further to the left you can see the Helvellyn fells, including the pointed top of Catstye Cam,

The higher section of the the Fairfield Horseshoe.


When we reached Nab Scar we had a sudden change of mind. We did intend to continue down to Rydal and then decide which route to take back to Grasmere, however, we could see from here that most of the valley was already in shade. What we ended up doing to stay in the sunshine, was to head across to Alcock Tarn (seen in the middle of this picture), before heading down to Grasmere.

Alcock Tarn.


Reflections in Alcock Tarn.

It was well into the afternoon by now and you'll notice that some of the fields still hadn't thawed from last nights frost.

Looking back up to Grey Crag.


Reflections in the small (man made) pool on route from Alcock Tarn.

With Alcock Tarn looking as good as it did, and the lovely walk through these woods, we both agreed that changing our route had turned out to be the best decision of the day.

Seat Sandal, Stone Arthur, , , , and our shadows, seen from the roadside just outside Grasmere.

Without a breath of wind, it seemed to have been a good day for reflections. These ones were taken from the bridge next to Grasmere Church.

One final picture, taken at the end of a perfect winters walk.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks