5th April 2015

Visiting the Lake District Tarns - Walk No 31

Grisedale Tarn


Walk Overview
Time 9am to 1:20pm
Duration 4 hr 20 min
Distance 5.3 mile
Ascent 2300 ft
Walking with Jennifer
A591 - Mill Bridge - Seat Sandal south ridge - Seat Sandal - Grisedale Tarn - Grisedale Hause - Hause Moss - Hause Riggs - Little Tongue - Mill Bridge - A591
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, A591 outside Grasmere

I've described this spot as roadside parking, but it is actually a rather long lay-by found between Grasmere and the bottom of Dunmail Raise. It is quite a popular spot, so latecomers may arrive to find it full. If this turned out to be the case the best alternative would be to try one of the car parks in Grasmere itself. It all depends on where you're going of course, but the distance this would add onto your walk is not much at all.


Route Map


We'd driven through crystal clear conditions this morning. Keswick was bathed in sunshine, Thirlmere was like a mirror and when we reached to top of Dunmail Raise we found ourselves looking across a see of cloud. Okay, I think we'll get above it for a little while but I doubt it'll last long.

It didn't take us long to get into the sunshine and to be honest I thought we wouldn't see much of a cloud inversion at all.

Helm Crag behind a thin veil of cloud.


To our surprise, the cloud was now working its way back up the valley to Dunmail Raise and Greenburn.

Silver How (left) and Helm Crag.


Looking up to Seat Sandal. It wasn't half warm on here.



At this point I thought the inversion was starting to go. The cloud was lifting over Loughrigg and beyond Silver How and, it was thinning out a bit just below us.




It'll be gone shortly, or so I thought.

15 minutes later the valley had filled up with cloud again.



Cloud on the side of Stone Arthur.

Seat Sandal summit was reached in warm sunshine and with clear views all around.

It doesn't get much better than this.

Looking between Dollywaggon Pike / St Sunday Crag to Grisedale and Ullswater.

Almost but not quite all of Grisedale Tarn seen below St Sunday Crag and Fairfield.

And here's the whole tarn.

Lunch with a view of the cloud above Grasmere.

We had two choices here, straight down the Tongue Gill route or, as we did today, turn right and head for the path down Little Tongue.

By the time we were heading across Hause Riggs it was obvious the cloud was lifting instead of burning off. A shame really, because lots of people were going to reach the summit in cloud and miss the treat we'd just had.


Heading down Little Tongue.

And before we had time to say "it's a bit cooler down here", we were now below the cloud instead of above it.

We look roud to see the summit is now topped with thick cloud. Further up the path we'd passed some people who commented on the cloudy conditions. We told them we'd had brilliant sunshine at the top. The must have thought we were making it up or just talking rubbish.


Not far to go now and we look past this old farm building to see Steel Fell which was also topped with cloud.


Well, the route may not have been of any great distance but what a fantastic walk it turned out to be. One of those magical days on the fells.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks