The Victorians regularly walked to Easedale Tarn from Grasmere. The path up is a little loose under foot and rocky but really this is a straightforward and pleasant walk. The ring of mountains are suitably impressive.
Dorothy Wordsworth referred to Easedale Tarn as ‘the Black Quarter’ due to its imposing appearance and tight ring of fells. She may have a point but the Victorians enjoyed it none the less and so did we when we tramped up on a hot summer’s day over 100 years later. In fact Easedale Tarn proves that you do not have to gain a summit to enjoy true lakeland scenery. Despite being situated in the centre of the Lake District the tarn is still peaceful and largely uncrowded. Certainly when compared to the chaos encountered at the start of the walk in Grasmere village.
Easedale Tarn is set in a hanging valley, scoured by the retreating glacier roughly 20,000 years ago and has left an excellent selection of picnic spots. Charlotte insisted in exploring one spot, a boulder sat on the water’s edge 12 foot high. It is also worth extending the walk slightly by varying the return route and aiming more for the rugged lands of Upper Easedale.
A visit to the bookshop in Grasmere. My mother used to take me 40 years ago and it is still a good browse.
Cross the river at the outflow of the tarn to join the descent path in to the Easedale valley.
To circle the tarn join the path a few metres away from the southern banks. The northern bank path sticks closer to the tarn. The ring of mountains which enclose the tarn are part of a long and rough walk around the head of Easedale.
There is also chance to have lunch, afternoon tea or dinner at Lancrigg House, which is called Lancrigg Hotel and Kitchen these days. Plenty of seating outside. The woodland estate is signposted at the entrance walls and also from almost the bottom of Helm Crag [by information on blackboards].
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