Styhead & Sprinkling Tarn

  • Two lovely tarns
  • Rugged mountainous terrain
  • Paths alongside mountain streams

I think it may be considered cruelty in this day and age but one of our past family entertainments was to picnic and then take a dip in one of the deep pools of Styhead Beck just above Seathwaite. I still recall being unable to breath as I jumped in to the icy cold, crystal clear depths and everytime I pass I now cringe inwardly at the memory – oddly I have never seen anyone else in the water since!

However there is little doubt that it is a beautiful stretch of water. The cold waters create lovely colours  all the way up the twin valleys at the end of Borrowdale. Styhead and Sprinkling Tarn lie at the head of each gill; both idyllic stretches of still water surrounded by the dramatic rock faces of Great Gable and Great End respectively. Sprinkling Tarn has more character whilst Styhead Tarn is more famous, and certainly more visited, but combined they make a lovely circular walk through the heart of the highest and most rugged fells of the Lake District.

Recommend: One possibility is for the stronger and keener walkers to strike out for the summits whilst others take the more leisurely stroll outlined above. Scafell Pike via the corridor route includes Styhead and Sprinkling Tarns.

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Styhead Tarn & Sprinkling Tarm map


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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL4 The English Lakes North West Buy Map
Start Point: NY 235123. Seathwaite. There is plenty of parking on the side of the road. I like going up Grains Gill first and returning via Sty Head Tarn
Height to Climb: 507 ms (1,663 feet)
Terrain: A clear path throughout including the spectacular track to the north of Styhead Gill.
Eating & Drinking: I have fond memories of High Tea at the Yew Tree at Seatoller. It is fine for an afternoon and cuppa, it is licensed and has a beer garden. Inside is just a little dark. Update July 2011 Appears to be closed.
Similar Walks Nearby: Exploring Upper Borrowdale
Great Crag from Watendlath
Glorious Glaramara
Places to Stay: