Harrop Tarn is the focus for this quiet walk to the west of Thirlmere. The walk includes a climb through woods to a rarely visited tarn. There is also some walking along the quiet shores of the lake itself.
I had never been tempted to walk on the quiet west of Thirlmere. This is because the west banks have always looked a bit bleak and dark on the drive through the valley. In addition I was fully aware, due to a number of visits, that the ridge above was boggy and largely uninteresting. I was only partially correct. It was a late decision and a sunny day that prompted an exploration to the west of Thirlmere. As a result we found a pleasant walk through the woods up to and then a little beyond Harrop Tarn. The climb to the tarn is steep but there is a waterfall and a narrow gorge which diverts the attention with teasing views of the lake through the trees. It is similar in many ways to the climb up Barf above Bassenthwaite.
The shoreline of Thirlmere is more pleasant however than Bassenthwaite and walking through the woods is a peaceful and pleasant experience. Near Harrop Tarn was where the controversial zip wire proposal (2018) was to be based. The wire would have taken the participants across the lake to the other side. It failed to gain planning permission. I am not so much against activity enterprises to get the younger market to explore the lakes but this was not practical and potentially dangerous to both road traffic and the American air force.
Park at Steel End and enjoy the lakeside path to Dobgill car park rather than tackling the slopes direct.
On passing Harrop Tarn continue for a further ten minutes to a major forestry track on your right. This will return you to the lake.
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