7th April 2013

Thirlmere from Dunmail Raise


Walk Overview
Date 7th April 2013
Time 08.30 to 15.00
Duration 6 hr 30 min
Distance 11.2 mile
Ascent 800 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Dunmail Raise - Homesdale Green Bridge - Wythburn - Dob Gill - Armboth - Thirlmere Dam - Dalehead Hall - Swirls - Forest path to Birkside Gill - Dunmail Raise
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, top of Dunmail Raise

There is lots of available parking along this stretch of road, and just as well. Anyone who has driven over Dunmail Raise will have noticed how many cars form the line on each side of the road. I'm tempted to say that this is somewhere you'll never fail to get a space. Simply leave your car at the end of the line.


Route Map

We didn't exactly beat the sunrise today but we certainly beat the sun onto this side of the fell. After a nights frost, this meant the walk down here was quite cool.

Looking across the top of Dunmail Raise to Helm Crag.

Walking across the Wythburn end of Thirlmere.
It looks like frost on the road but it was actually salt. After weeks of frosts and no rain, salt and grit seems to be finding its way here from the main road.

Steel Fell's steep northern ridge. I wonder how many people walk up or down this ridge compared to the one on the other side above Grasmere.

A look into Wyth Burn.



On the opposite side of Thirlmere you can see the western most side of Helvellyn and running through the gap in the trees is the track we'll be following later in the walk.

The perfectly level road twists and turns it's way along the whole length of Thirlmere. The prominent fell in the distance is Steel Fell. We're parked at the low point on the skyline.

The resent spell of dry weather hasn't half reduced the water level. It's hard to imagine that what I'm standing on now used to be part of the fellside prior to the flooding of the valley. It also makes you realise what the ground is like under the shallow covering of soil above the high water line.

Thirlmere reflections




Evidence of recent tree felling.

Use (ful) or (less) depending on your point of view. You'll need to look above head height to see it though.

A hazy view down to the southern end of Thirlmere.

Raven Crag seen from as we crossed the dam.

We're on the return leg of the walk now and this is the woodland on the side of Great How.

Looking across to Watson's Dodd.

You can continue along the path nearer to the waters edge but today we opted to walk around Dale Head Hall instead.

Eagle eyed Jennifer spotted this deer crossing the path ahead of us.   Now that it's in the safety of the bushes, the deer watches us to make sure we walk away without getting any closer..

Below Swirls car park we pass by a few waterfalls which soon find their way into Thirlmere.

Tall trees near Swirls.

Looking down to the main road above Thirlmere.

A view across to Steel Fell and the ridge leading up to Ullscarf.

Thirlmere seen from what is more or less the steepest part of the whole walk.


Tree trunks and leaf litter.


A long distance view backwards from Dunmail Raise all the way to Lonscale Fell.

A close quarters view of Seat Sandal.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks