14th March 2015

Visiting the Lake District Tarns - Walk No 22

Whin Rigg Tarn(s)


Walk Overview
Time 8:50am to 1:50pm
Duration 4 hr
Distance 9.4 mile
Ascent 2500 ft
Walking with On my own
Wast Water - Low Wood - Lund Bridge - Greathall Gill - Whin Rigg - Whinrigg Tarns - Illgill Head - Straigthhead Gill - Brackenclose - Overbeck Bridge - Netherbeck Bridge - Road alongside Wast Water
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Wast Water

There are lots of parking options along here, ranging from quite large areas which have been adopted as car parks to simply driving onto the grass verge.

They are all free, but this is a very popular place with families so be prepared for the need to drive up and down the road to find a space.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


Dawn may have cracked a couple of hours ago but I was still early enough to be the first person walking along here this morning. It's always nice to have a place to yourself but I can't help but feel that this small section of the Lake District has an air of bleakness about it when I'm here on my own and walking under dark skies. Anyway: on with the walk.

Shortly after setting out I cross the bridge over Countess Beck.

I'm not standing on the exact spot, but a few years ago this was voted Britain's favourite view, , , out of a selection of views offered for inclusion. There are of course much nicer views in the Lake District than this but at least it was a Lake District one that won.

Looking across to The Screes.

Wasdale Hall.

I walk along the path next to the lake until I reach a big enough gap in the trees to get a picture looking down the lake without any branches creeping into the photo.

and here it is. Pity it couldn't have been a bit sunnier but there's nowt I can do about that; more's the pity.

The boat house.

Lund Bridge.

I've been walking for 45 minutes now with very little in the way of height gain but that's about to change as I start the walk up the side of Greathall Gill.

While on a 'get your breath back' stop I turn around to take a picture across the valley to Buckbarrow, Seatallan and Middle Fell.

A close up of Sellafield catching a burst of sunlight.

It may be a steep path up the side of Greathall Gill but the advantage of this is that the views come along sooner than they do on long gentle climbs.

The path to Whin Rigg.

Whin Rigg summit.

You get a better view from Whin Rigg if you walk across to one of the rocky areas nearer to the edge of the cliffs. Here I look down to Wast Water and across to the western fells.


Just below the top of Whin Rigg the view opens up to show the whole of the ridge to Illgill Head including the tarns which are the main aim of todays walk.


It almost looks level from here doesn't it.

Here's the smaller of the two tarns, and

here's the bigger of them.

You have two choices here, one is to use the path up the centre of the ridge and the other (on windless days) is to follow the left hand edge of the ridge where you get some quite dramatic views down The Screes to Wast Water.

It's a long way down.


Not Illgill Head summit, that's a bit further on.

A close up of Haycock.

It was while I was at the top of Illgill Head that I had my faith in human kindness restored. I was standing here looking around at the view with no jacket, no hat, no gloves and my sleeves rolled up. A couple walked across and the lady politely asked "excuse me but aren't you cold?".
"Cold, err, no I'm fine with these temperatures thanks" (it was -6 Deg C)
"If you're heading past Brackenclose I can give you my spare pair of gloves and you can just leave them next to our car"
"Really, , , , , you'd do that? Blimey, that's so kind of you I don't know what to say. It's OK though, I've got hat gloves and everything in my bag I just don't use them very often"

Conversation continued but you don't want to hear about that. I just wanted to reassure everyone that despite all the undesirables out there, the world does still have a few decent people in it.


Burnmoor Tarn. I was close enough to pay the tarn a visit but given the amount of rain we had this week it would have been like a mud bath trying to get close to the waters edge. Burnmoor Tarn is planned in with another walk anyway.

A close up of Wasdale Head.

As I get nearer to the old peat huts the sun comes out for a while and make it a very pleasant (almost spring like) walk off the fell and into the valley.
On the left is Yewbarrow with the ridge on Pillar behind that and straight ahead with a splash of sunshine is Kirk Fell.




Lingmell Gill is crossed here and shortly after passing those trees I'll be crossing Lingmell Beck. No matter how many times I come here I still have to remind myself which is which. Does that mean I'm lost or just got a crap memory.

Looking across Wast Water to Lingmell, Scafell Pike and Scafell.

Overbeck Bridge was chosen as the spot to have something to eat. While I was here I noticed, , , , ,

, , , , lots of snails, which I assumed were hybernating in the wall.

Bowderdale Farm is dwarfed as it sits on the fellside beside Yewbarrow.


Shortly before reaching the car I take a look back at one of Lakeland's most recognisable skylines. Yewbarrow on the left, Great Gable looking darker at the back and then there are Lingmell, Scafell Pike and Scafell on the right hand half of the picture.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks