Eel Tarn in Eskdale

  • A picturesque Lakeland tarn
  • Great views of unspoilt Eskdale
  • Boot is a pretty little village

Eel Tarn is one for artists, people with imagination and those with dreams of better things. I was there on a lovely summer’s evening; the first time I had come across complete silence during that summer of walking. There was no wind, the sun was hazy but the tarn idyllic. It is not necessarily a place for children as there are no pebbly beaches but it is easily accessible and has some wonderful rocky outcrops amongst the bracken making it a perfect place to spend some time.

The route from Boot passes some delightful falls on Whilfan Beck (which is fed from the rarely visited, but much larger, Burnmoor Tarn) before climbing through the bracken for the first view of the tarn. The descent is steeper but offers a beeline to the Woolpack Inn and its excellent beer garden. Here Eskdale can be fully appreciated, the road is not busy with cars and the scenery is fantastic. When I was there last there were more cyclists than cars which reflects the type of people who discover Eskdale and make it all the better as a result.

Recommend: For those who want to explore a little further, Stony Tarn is 3/4 a mile to the north east and has a very similar appeal to Eel Tarn. Double the fun.

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Eel Tarn map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: 1/25,000. OL6 The English Lakes South West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 173007. Boot is small with no real parking, there is a large parking area at the train terminus. Walk throughBoot nd take the track to the right before crossing the bridge
Height to Climb: 240ms (787 feet)
Terrain: Easy tracks through the bracken. If going to Stony Tarn it is best to return the same way to Eel Tarn.
Eating & Drinking: For a sunny day the Woolpack Inn is the place to stop but when the beer garden is not tempting the Boot Inn is a good little pub
Similar Walks Nearby: Discover the Upper Esk
A walk along Muncaster Fell
Craggy frolics from Eskdale
Places to Stay: King George IV Inn, EskdaleThe Barn, Eskdale


Fisherground Camping, Eskdale


Bridge End Farm Cottages