Where is this walk?

Staveley and Potter Tarn

March 8, 2018

The walk between Staveley and Potter Tarn is a rarely visited route. This quiet area is situated between Kentmere and Longsleddale. It is very pleasant walking on fainter paths than normal.

The Walk

The twin tarns of Gurnall Dubs and Potter Tarn are the highlights of an attractive foray in to the lower Kentmere valley which separates Staveley from Longsleddale. The higher approach to the tarns offer an excellent contrast to the lower return. This return picks its way back to Staveley along the River Kent, in itself one of the best few miles of the Dales Way. Staveley itself has a long and distinguished history. Stretching all the way back to Roman times when the town formed a staging post between the forts of Kendal to Ambleside. More recently it was a centre for the middle aged sheep markets, had a popular rail station and was mentioned frequently by Dorothy Wordsworth as she walked through. However today it is surprisingly quiet, tourism largely passing it by.

Whilst walking the Dales Way, all the way from Ilkley, this stretch is when I really felt I had entered the Lake District. The path along the River Kent is a perfect example of riverside, Lakeland slate and attractive trees combining to form a beautiful riverside path. In the high summer months there is the added attraction of plenty of wildlife and colour. Birds, otters and wild rabbits are just some of the wildlife that it is possible to see along the river. Higher up the slopes and towards the tarns it is bracken and sheep that dominate this tranquil scene.


The land to the north of the two tarns is distinctly remote. However it makes for a good, but longer walk. The Staveley to Longsleddale walk is definitely worth doing.

Navigation Tips at Potter Tarn

Gurnal Dubs tarn is in access land, Potter Tarn is not. Therefore you can wander around the tarn at Gurnal Dubs but you must stick to the path at Potter Tarn. Thems the rules!

  • Alistair Blamire says:

    The bridge at Hagg Foot has been reinstated (October 2018) and you can once again link up with the path on the east side of the river, back to Staveley.

  • Aaron keats says:

    FYI. The bridge at Hag Foot is missing, but the path does continue along the river at the crossing point. We then rejoined the lane and made a left turn at a footpath by the sewage works, past Staveley Park and over a footbridge back to the center of the village. Very nice walk.

  • Stan Wilson says:

    Am I aloud to copy the photos onto Staveley Site

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *