29th June 2014

Stone Arthur to Alcock Tarn


Walk Overview
Time 9:25am to 2:55pm
Duration 5 hr 30 min
Distance 6.8 mile
Ascent 2600 ft
Walking with Jennifer
A591 - Stone Arthur - Great Rigg - Heron Pike - Nab Scar - Alcock Tarn - Forest Side - 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


We're in the Grasmere area again today and this time we'll be walking up to the western side of the Fairfield Horseshoe via Stone Arthur. This is a route we've done many times over the years, only today, we'd be walking for almost a mile on brand new ground for us. Over there is Silver How, which was visible for all the walk; except for the times it was out of view.

I think it's called Greenhead Tower or something like that. Whatever its name, this is the final house we passed before reaching the open fellside. Once through the gate you have two choices, cross the bridge over there to walk up to Alcock Tarn or, as we did today, head up to Stone Arthur.

The views begin to open up before long and you find yourself looking down to Grasmere.

Helm Crag.

We cross the unnamed gill and look across to Grasmere, Silver How and the Coniston fells beyond.


A close up of Alcock Tarn. We'll be across there later.

Looking back down to Stone Arthur.

We're just above the point where the path from Stone Arthur joins the main ridge path. As it's quite close, we did a short out and back to Great Rigg.

Fairfield seen from Great Rigg.

From Great Rigg we double back and then make our way down to Heron Pike. I was amazed at just how few people there were walking towards us. I would have thought the place would have been very busy with Fairfield horseshoe folk.

Turning around, we look across to the fells at Rydal Head.


It's Jennifer's birthday today but she's not bothered about the extra candle on the cake. Last week it was mine, but I have a completely different opinion of birthdays. I dwell on the subject, feel a bit down, and keep telling myself the time I have left is getting less and less all the time.

Heading down to Nab Scar with five of the Lake District's lakes in view. Have a go at naming them before looking at the answers at the bottom of the page.
Mmmmmm, I wonder exactly where I'd need to stand in the Lake District to be able see the most lakes from one spot. I reckon this has to be a strong contender.


The sun came out briefly on the route between Nab Scar and Alcock Tarn. Very nice while it lasted but as I said, it was brief.

Almost at Alcock Tarn.

You can't help but notice the scorch marks on the ground at this end of the tarn. I just don't know what's wrong with these stupid people. You don't need to be a genius to realise these things get very hot and burn the ground. It also means the BBQ itself is too hot to take back with you so the only options are to wait until it cools or if your a selfish idiot that shouldn't even be allowed in the county you leave it behind.

From the tarn we could have taken t'other path that would have brought us down to bottom of Stone Arthur just above the car. As we weren't in a hurry to be anywhere, we took the longer route which, if followed to the bottom, takes you past Dove Cottage.

Looking down to Grasmere.


And then, just when I think I've walked every footpath an area has to offer, Jennifer suggests "why don't we walk along there, it's bound to bring us out at those houses further through the valley". She was right, and once we started, I realised I hadn't actually walked along here before.

The route took us in and out of the trees and if you're unsure, this picture was taken during one of the 'out' sections. That's Silver How on the opposite side of the valley.

Something to do with the Thirlmere Aqueduct perhaps ??

Another view across to Silver How.

Well, we're almost back at the car and on reflection, that was a good way to spend your birthday.
And the answer to the lakes puzzle, left to right:-
Esthwaite Water
Coniston Water

David Hall -
Lake District Walks