15th February 2015

Visiting the Lake District Tarns - Walk No 14

Holmeshead Tarn and Mortimere Tarn


Walk Overview
Time 10:25 to 11:55am
Duration 1 hr 30 min
Distance 3.5 mile
Ascent 500ft (doesn't feel like it)
Walking with Jennifer
Brathay - Bog Lane - Skelwith Fold - Holmshead Tarn - Skelwith Fold - B5286 (Pull Wyke) - Mortimere Tarn - Brathay
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside Parking, Brathay, Clappersgate

This is roadside parking with room for about 10 cars if they're all parked properly. Parking is free.

Route Map


We had a short walk today to visit two of Lakeland's more obscure tarns in the area between Clappersgate and Skelwith Bridge. There should have been three tarns but one of them is on private land with no public access other than those staying at the caravan site which is closed at this time of year anyway.

We're not going that way but we walked onto the bridge to get a picture of the river.

River Brathay seen from the bridge.

It was quite nice walking along here in the morning sunshine. Despite it being called Bog Lane we never got our feet wet and we never passed by any toilets so I've no idea where the name comes from.

Looking across to the Ivy Crag / Todd Crag area of Loughrigg Fell.

Skelwith Fold Farm provides a nice foreground for this otherwise very hazy picture.

Without the farm but now looking more towards the Langdales.

Skelwith Fold.


Less than 10 minutes walk from Skelwith Fold and we reach Holmeshead Tarn. What a lovely peaceful spot. A cuppa and a piece of cake would have been nice sitting here but one of us (me) had the bright idea of leaving everything in the car except the clothes we stood in and my camera.




Now we drag ourselves away from the tarn and make our way back to Skelwith Fold.

Somewhere in there is Slew Tarn. I did think about climbing over but the prospect of getting caught and then dragged off for an interview by the local constabulary didn't appeal so I gave it a miss.

Across the fields we go to eventually join up with the Hawkshead road.


Thankfully the new path removes the need to dodge the traffic on the busy route between Clappersgate and Hawkshead.


Walking through Beck Pane Wood.


And this one if Mortimere Tarn. It's also on private land but this one is easily visible from the roadside and although this is as close I could get, it's still as close as you can get to some of the tarns found in very boggy areas of the Lake District.




And to finish off this short walk here's a picture of Brathay Church. It looks more like a castle then a church but the cross on top of the tower sort of gives it away.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks