Discover the Upper Esk

  • Venture to the heart of Lakeland
  • Dramatic scenery in all directions
  • A classic tumbling mountain river

A day walking in the Upper Esk left me feeling somewhat smug. The weather was hot and sunny and I could imagine the 100’s of walkers sweating their way across the rough summits of the Scafells, Bowfell and the Crinkles. Meanwhile I was strolling around at the foot of this giant amphitheatre of mountains refreshing myself periodically in the ice cold waters of the Esk.

This really is the heart of the Lake District and the scenery is superb; a typical mountain stream cascades through the rock before it opens in to the giant arena of the Great Moss where the mountains tower above you – a place of romance and tranquility, a place I clearly enjoy being in! It is so tempting to head for the fells whilst staying in Eskdale but I would urge anyone to leave a day for a stroll up the Esk.

Recently I took a party up Scafell from the Great Moss, not via Foxes Tarn but by a marked and extremely steep path that hits the ridge between Scafell and Slight Side. Worth considering or those after a different approach to Scafell. I would not descend that way.

Recommend: If anyone is keen on wild camping this is the place to do it

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Upper Esk map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL6 The English Lakes South West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 213012. There is parking near the farm at Brotherikeld - my favourite route is sticking to the river path all the way up to the Great Moss
Height to Climb: 343ms (1,125 feet)
Terrain: The paths are clear and the terrain fine except in the Great Moss where it may become damp
Eating & Drinking: The excellent Woolpack Inn is 1 1/2 miles back along Eskdale and Boot another mile.
Similar Walks Nearby: Craggy frolics over Eskdale
A walk along Muncaster Fell
Eel Tarn from Boot
Places to Stay: Bridge End Cottages, EskdaleThe Barn, Eskdale


Fisherground Camping, Eskdale