21st March 2015

Visiting the Lake District Tarns - Walk No 25

Tarns around Kirkstone Pass


Walk Overview
Time 8:50am to 2:10pm
Duration 5 hr 20 min
Distance 9.6 mile
Ascent 3900 ft
Walking with On my own
Hartsop - Hartsop Dodd - Stony Cove Pike - St Raven's Edge - Kirkstone Pass Inn - Red Screes - Scandale Pass - Little Hart Crag - High Hartsop Dodd - Hartsop Hall - Brothers Water - Cow Bridge - Hartsop
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Hartsop Village

Unspoilt, sums up the lovely village of Hartsop; apart from the car park that is. At least it is tucked away beyond a narrow gap between the buildings at the top of the village.

The car park is free and offers almost instant access to the surrounding fells. The number of different walks you can do from here are jut too many to list.


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


Here you see Hartsop Dodd which is one of those places that is equally as hard on the legs going up as it is coming down. High Hartsop Dodd is another fell like this so, given that I'm going to be on both of them today it didn't matter which way around I did the walk because the beginning and the end of the walk were going to be very steep. Anyway: I don't want to sound like I'm moaning so on I go following the wall up to the skyline where I then turn left up the ridge itself.

And before you've had time to say "blimey, this is a steep beginning to a walk" you're high enough to look down on the rooftops of Hartsop.

Here's a higher version of the previous picture.

Looking down to Brothers Water. I'll be there towards the end of the walk but I have a few up hills and a few down hills to walk before I get that far.


Here's a picture of Hartsop Dodd's summit cairn seen here directly in front of High Hartsop Dodd and Little Hart Crag. To its left hand side is Red Screes and Middle Dodd.

And this is Hartsop Dodd's summit post.

Way ahead of me I spot two other walkers who were also on route to Stony Cove Pike. I assume they had a look around the Caudale Moor area before reaching the actual summit because despite them being a long way in front, we all reached the summit at the same time.

Looking back down the wall to Hartsop Dodd.

Stony Cove Pike summit seen in front of High Street (left) and Thornthwaite Crag (straight ahead).

I leave the summit in the direction of the tarns found on Caudale Head. It's often a wet affair walking across here but today was surprisingly dry; probably because a mixture of semi-frozen ground and a rainless week.



The route from Caudale Moor to St. Raven's Edge follows the ridge wall. Only a short walk across from the top of it you find the monument to Mark Atkinson and his son William. Well worth the slight detour.
If you don't know exactly where it is there's a narrow path running across from the wall. If you do know where it is it's easy enough to head cross country.


Below me is St Raven's Edge, it's not really an edge that you need to balance on but that's still its name. On the right hand side you can see Red Screes where I'll be going after passing the Kirkstone Pass Inn.

Red Screes taken from the route down to St Raven's Edge, , , , , it's quite easy to find your way, just follow the wall,

Looking down on the Kirkstone Pass Inn / top of Kirkstone Pass which was quite a busy place today.

This is more or less the half way point of the walk and accorting to the route, the furthest point away from the car.

Here's a close up of one of the turbines.

Before I began the walk up Red Screes I was reminded that you're never really that far away from hustle and bustle of the world.

I wonder why they don't open earlier in the morning. Even if they're not allowed to sell alcohol (I don't drink so I don't know) anyway, there must be a lot of people stopping up here that would go in a buy something even if it's just a soft drink and a bite to eat. Business is business after all.

Just like the tarns on Caudale Moor, the one on Red Screes was frozen. It just shows that although spring has arrived in the valleys, winter is still hanging on for a bit longer up here.

Red Screes summit and a view down to Middle Dodd & Brothers water in the valley.

Time for a bit of down hill walking now as I make my way to the highest point on Scandale Pass. From there I'll be walking to Scandale Tarn and Little Hart Crag (both marked on the photo).

and as if by magic, I'm here at the top of Scandale Pass. Can you see the stile over the wall, well, if you walk over it and carry on walking you'll end up in Ambleside; eventually. If you walk to the cairn and turn right, you'll end up at Brothers water; eventually.
I'll be following the wall to the first corner and then I'll be turning left to get to the tarn.

I'd hung back with having anything to eat until I reached Scandale Tarn as I thought if might be sheltered, , , , it wasn't. Never mind, it was still nice and sunny and definitely a nice spot to sit for ten minutes.

Stormy waters at Scandale Tarn.

Lunch with a view.

A view up to High Bakestones and Dove Crag.

Zooming in on a heart shaped Scandale Tarn.

Little Hart Crag summit.


Dove Crag's eastern side is still holding onto some patched of snow. I can't see it lasting much longer.

I'm at the top of the High Hartsop Dodd ridge now and ready for the walk back down to valley level. It's really easy pleasant walking along here but the end of the ridge does have a sting in its tail.


Aye, it's a steep one this. It won't be long until the bottom section of the ridge will be putting on a fantastic display of blue bells. If you happen to be in the area at the right time it's well worth a look.




A coulpe of big rocks in front of Dove Crag and Hart Crag.

Hartsop Hall.

The footpath to Brothers Water.

It was like a different day down here to the one I'd had on the higher sections of the route. Hardly a breath of wind and lovely and warm.

Looking across Brothers Water to Hartsop Dodd.

A view over Brothers Water to the doubled topped Angletarn Pikes and Brock Crags.


I arrive back in sleepy Hartsop to find the place deserted and err, , , sleeping I suppose.


David Hall -
Lake District Walks