Where is this walk?

Dock Tarn and Watendlath

January 10, 2019

From Rosthwaite in Borrowdale a fine walk links Dock Tarn and Watendlath (tarn and hamlet). The walk climbs steeply to Dock Tarn before dropping past the larger tarn at Watendlath. It is a must do circuit.

The Walk

The lands between Watendlath and the Borrowdale/Langstrath valleys offer some really good walking. In particular they are showcased by two lovely areasĀ of water. Whilst Watendlath tarn is large (for a tarn) with easy access to anyone prepared to take the single track drive to the small hamlet bearing its name, Dock Tarn is shy and retiring and rather lovely. In recent years I have had my picnic lunch at Dock Tarn whilst navigation training for the National Park. It is an idyllic spot for lunch but perfect for training the skills of map and compass. Just off path there is some suitably lively terrain.

I sometimes forget Dock tarn exists and come across it by accident whilst heading for the nearby fells of Great Crag and/or High Crag. It is always a pleasant surprise. Watendlath is more obvious, the tarn is large and the hamlet much sort after by photographers. On the walk itself the initial climb from Stonethwaite to Dock Tarn is steep. However it is soon over. Thereafter the walking is typically Lakes, rugged but picturesque and, of course, highly enjoyable.


After Dock Tarn it is worth a small detour over the craggy top of Great Crag which has excellent views.

Navigation Tips at Dock Tarn and Watendlath

The paths on the Dock Tarn and Watendlath walk are very well signed and obvious. However if you wish to pop up Great Crag a faint path heads west up the rocky slopes from the north west of Dock Tarn. Pick your way north along the Great Crag ridge then head back east from the summit cairn to rejoin the path.

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