7th March 2014

Blea Tarn and Eskdale


Walk Overview
Time 1:10 to 3:30pm
Duration 2 hr 20 min
Distance 4.2 mile
Ascent 900 ft
Walking with On my own
Near Dalegarth Hall - Eskdale road - Beckfoot - Blea Tarn - Blea Tarn Hill - Peat Huts - Boot - Eskdale Church - River Esk - Near Dalegarth Hall
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, near Dalegarth Hall, Eskdale

Forget the fells for a moment and consider a lower level route through one of Lakeland's most beautiful valleys. And if Eskdale happens to meet with your approval then this car park could not be a better starting point. Stanley Force is within easy walking distance, on the opposite side of the valley is the La'al Ratty and the little village of Boot. For those with rather more energy, following one of the paths through the valley will offer hours of enjoyable walking.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


A short walk after work saw me in Eskdale for a couple of hours where I briefly skirted the edge of the wonderfully remote area between Eskdale and Miterdale. The walk didn't take me to any new ground but the route as a whole was something I'd never done before. I reckon it would make a nice evening walk in the middle of summer so hopefully I'll be back again in 3 or 4 months time for a repeat performance.

I took this picture from Trough House Bridge which is often referred to as Hangman's Crossing.

2014 is the centenary of the beginning of the first world war and there has been some really good documentaries about the subject on telly recently. (you probably knew that already) When they quote how many millions of people lost their lives, dare I say, it's just a number. However, when you see the long list of names from such a small community as Eskdale you begin to realise the shear scale of the war.

A view through the valley with Harter Fell over there on the right. Okay, I admit it isn't really called Hangman's Crossing. If you have another look you'll see why I said it.

If I had to have a theme for todays walk it would have to be water. The river was full, the streams were full, the road had water almost right across it, the tarn was full and the fellside had water running off it where it would normally be dry. It had absolutely bucketed down last night.

After a short walk along the road I crossed the railway lines and headed onto the fellside to reach Blea Tarn.

And if you're not sure which way to go, this might help.

The path!


With a bit of height gained you get a great view through Eskdale to Harter Fell.

And in very little time at all you arrive at Blea Tarn.



I'm almost at the highest point on the walk now and here you get a view showing almost all the tarn.

A fine view of some of Lakelands highest fells is to be had from here. Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Scafell, Slight Side, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags are all in view.

Looking in a different direction and you see Whin Rigg and Illgill Head.

What a fantastic place.


A collection of old peat huts are passed more or less at the point where the wide open moorland gives way to a more cultivated landscape.

This one is seen in front of Scafell and Slight Side.

As you can see, some of the buildings are in a surprisingly good state of repair.

Just above the little village of Boot are more ruins, although these ones had nowt to do with peat. At one time this was the end of the line for the Ravenglass / Eskdale railway.

Once in the village you pass by Eskdale Corn Mill. It's open to the public, , , , , but I think it's just during the summer months.


Eskdale Corn Mill and cottage; presumably that's where the miller lives.

After talking to the miller for a while I headed out of Boot, but not before taking this picture.

Crumbling away.

St Catherine's Church Eskdale.

Inside the church.


The stepping stones across the River Esk were well and truly under water so I walk a short way up stream and crossed here.

The riverside path.

As I said, the stepping stones were under water.

Scafell and Slight Side, seen from the walk back to the car.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks